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Photo by @renan_ozturk @camp4collective for #TheLastHoneyHunter assignment. ~ Words by @m_synnott ~ As I was gearing up for expedition my wife asked, “So, will you need to go down on the cliffs with the honey hunters?” ~ “Definitely not,” I replied. “I’m just there to document what’s happening, which I can easily do from afar.” ~ A few weeks later I’m curled up in a small hut in the village of Sadhi in eastern Nepal. I’ve spent the past two days shuffling back and forth between my bed and the outhouse. Renan is also sick, but he’s in the other room sorting through his 15 bags of camera gear. ~ The Honey Hunters have consulted an astrological calendar to determine an auspicious day to start the harvest, and they’ve decided it must be Saturday, which is in two days. I’m wondering if I’ll be able to pull it together in time when I hear Renan discussing the plan with @jetbutterflies, our expedition leader. “After Maule Dhan is in place, Mark and I will head down on the ropes,” says Renan. “If for nothing else, I’d like him there for moral support.” I don’t say anything and instead just curl up a little tighter in my bed. ~ Two days later, I’m hanging off a rappel device at the lip of a 300-foot overhanging honey cliff, and I can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of what I’m about to do. I can barely see Renan’s face through the thick mesh hood covering his head, but we make eye contact and I think his look says something like, “I’m sorry man.” In his puffy white bee suit, he looks like an astronaut. His neck is festooned with cameras, including a mount for a virtual reality rig comes off his back and over his shoulder like some kind of crazy black snake. He forgot his gaiters, so he’s wrapped white gaffers tape around his ankles, but I can see that it’s already unfastened from his shoe, leaving his ankle exposed. “See you down there,” he says, as he disappears down the rope into a smoky void filled with swarming bees. #OnAssignment #anklestings #nepaliloveyou ~ For more on this story follow the team @taylorfreesolo @climber.abiral @ben_knight @jetbutterflies @m_synnott @renan_ozturk
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