In the fall of 2014, a National Geographic team set out on what they knew would be a harrowing journey to the summit of Burma’s Hkakabo Razi to determine if it is indeed Southeast Asia’s highest point. What they didn’t realize was that the greatest obstacle wouldn’t be their dwindling rations, or the grueling jungle hikes, or the life-threatening hypothermia. It was the force of conflicting personalities that threatened to unravel the entire endeavor. Leader Hilaree O’Neill recounts the tough decisions she had to make to keep the team together, accompanied by photographer Cory Richards’s dramatic stills and clips from Renan Ozturk’s searing documentary, Down to Nothing.
This event is presented by the Seattle Symphony.
For Hilaree O’Neill, skiing is the gateway to possibility. She started skiing at age 3 at Stevens Pass in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state. She took a leap of faith shortly after graduating from Colorado College and moved to Chamonix, France. In many ways, her five years in Chamonix served as a second round of college in that this where she was introduced to the world of big mountain skiing and climbing.