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Annapurna Summit Push Climbers on the Move; Fatal Accident on Shisha Pangma, Two Casualties Reported

K2 Mountain

A group of around 30 climbers have launched summit attempt on Annapurna. Tragedy strikes spring 2016 early in the season as two climbers are said to have died in a crevasse fall incident on Shisha Pangma.

Annapurna Second Summit Push: Climbers on the Move


A group of around 30 climbers have launched summit attempt on Annapurna. Leaving Base Camp earlier today, they intend to reach the top by May 1st. It’s the second summit-bid. The first attempt was thwarted by strong wind, couple of weeks ago. Only four climbers managed to reach 7800m. Nonetheless, with route fixed till a few hundred meters below summit, the mountaineers are confident about a better outcome this time. Unlike ambiguous weather reports during previous summit push, forecasts are pretty refined and encouraging this time.

This may well be the last chance to reach the top, before heavy snow thwarts the climbing season on Annapurna. For now, “the weather is good, almost no wind,” as Atanas Skatov wrote before leaving BC.

Climbers

Few climbers wrapped up their expeditions after previous summit attempt. However, majority of the teams decided to wait.

The summit-push party consists of around ten Sherpa/guides from Nepal, Chinese lady climber Luo Jing, Australian/Kiwi Chris Burke, Bulgarians Boyan Petrov and Atanas Skatov, Hungarian David Klein, Russians Dmitry Sinev and Alexander Lutohin, German Jost Kobusch, Swiss Guntis Ivars Miko Brands, Israeli Nadav Ben Yehuda, American Matt Du Puy, a climber each from Korea and Italy, and the Spanish team of Carlos Soria. All in all, there will be around 30 climbers on the mountain.

The Plan

The summit push plan is similar to the first attempt. Boyan Petrov (and a few other climbers, may be) want to summit a day ahead of main party. He climbed directly to C2 today and is planning to reach C4 by 29th. If weather allowed, he will go for summit on 30th.

Majority of other climbers are currently in C1. Spanish team will be leaving for C2 from BC, tomorrow. Both these groups will reach C4 by April 30th afternoon and launch summit push that night. Weather is predicted to remain favorable from Saturday to Monday. “In any case, Carlos Soria will be confirming plans as weather forecasts are updated,” wrote the Spanish team.

Fatal Accident on Shisha Pangma, Two Casualties Reported

Tragedy strikes spring 2016 early in the season as two climbers are said to have died in a crevasse fall incident on Shisha Pangma. As per Rajan Pokhrel, Kathmandu based The Himalayan Times journalist, the accident took place on April 24th at around 6200m on the mountain. The deceased climbers have been identified as Swiss Patrik Mattioli and US-born Australian Jon Johnston. They belonged to Kobler & Partner team. Expedition leader Julian Beermann was also involved in the accident, however he has been safely rescued. Precise details about the incident are not available as of now.

The Himalayan Times report also mentions two casualties near Everest BC. A Japanese trekker Hidenori Hagi (67) died at EBC while a Korean trekker passed away after suffering altitude sickness on Lobuche peak. As we understand, both trekkers didn’t intend to climb Everest.Last direct communication from team dates back to April 20th, a day after they reached the Advanced Base Camp (5650m). Setting out from Lhasa on April 14th, they reached Chinese BC (at 4900m) on April 17th. The team spent two nights there for acclimatization. On 19th, they trekked to ABC. As per Julian Beermann, they were the first team to reach the mountain this year.

“In coming days, (for us) there is more acclimatization at BC, the Puja, a refresher course about roping on glaciers and crevasse rescue, and finally setting up Camp 1 at about 6200m on the program,” the expedition leader wrote on 20th.

Since then, at least one more team have reached Shisha Pangma Northside Base Camp. A five member French team wrote yesterday that they were at ABC, and hoped to start the climb soon. Note that Ueli Steck and David Gottler, who intend to open a new route on Shisha Pangma South Face, are on other side of the mountain.

As per Australian newspaper Herald Sun, American-born Jon Johnston wanted to climb attempt Everest after Shisha Pangma.

File photo of Jon Johnston.

Weather Forecast for Annapurna Summit Push

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