Trekkers crossing a jungle bridge

Down to Nothing

The Hkakabo Razi National Park in northern Myanmar is a region that very few westerners have ventured to. So few in fact, that its lack of exploration leaves the question of Southeast Asia’s highest peak undetermined. In 2014, a dedicated team from The North Face and National Geographic embarked upon a journey into the depths of the national park to settle the matter once and for all. Three members of the six-strong team, led by mountaineer Hilaree O’Neill, attempted to summit Hkakabo Razi peak, after a gruelling 135-mile journey to it’s base.

The challenge of the expedition was such that it left the team struggling to reach their goal, with dwindling food and supplies testing their mental and physical strength to the extreme.

O’Neill spent more than two years carefully planning this old-fashioned expedition after summiting Everest in 2012. As a result, Down to Nothing tells a story of personal drive, and the suffering endured for the sake of chasing dreams. It is a very real reminder of how even the best laid plans can crumble to little more than basic survival.

It is hard to comprehend how videographer Renan Ozturk and photographer Cory Richards had the capacity to put together such a beautifully shot piece of cinema in the circumstances. But they certainly did an incredible job, bringing us a raw and honest account of a truly intrepid adventure into the unknown.

As well as the film, National Geographic put together an in depth article of the expedition and you can also take a look at their behind the scenes edit of the film.

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