Annapurna Delayed Another Week, Bad News for Serial Summiters

Harsh conditions on Annapurna continue to mess with the hopes of a quick and uneventful summit. The rope-fixing team has managed to set up Camp 3 but did so at significant risk in unstable snow. The avalanche-prone mountain is not ready for dozens of climbers marching up fixed ropes. The most hazardous sections lie between Camp 2 and Camp 3.

So the summit push is delayed again, this time until the end of next week, according to Base Camp estimates. Check the conditions in these videos by rope fixers Suman Gurung and Tenji Sherpa:

Clients relax downvalley

The long spell of bad weather and ongoing poor conditions has been especially hard on those clients who first reached Base Camp over a month ago. Rather than waiting out the slow days in camp, most have flown downvalley to pass the time in hotels. For Naila Kiani, on her first trip to Nepal, this was a new experience.

“At first, I was hesitant to leave Base Camp,” she told ExplorersWeb. “Flying down to lower altitudes is not an option in Pakistan. But for me, it has made all the difference. I was having a tough time with a chest infection, and the days at a lower altitude have helped me recover.”

Kiani notes that nearly everyone on all teams (except for about four climbers), has retreated to town. Kiani and her Seven Summit Treks team will begin trekking back to Base Camp tomorrow.

The three climbers, dressed in bright trekking clothes, smile from a rooftop in Pohkara, the mountains in background behind the town's buildings.

Naila Kiani today in Pokhara, center, with fellow Pakistani Shehroze Kashif, right, and India’s Arjun Vajpai.


Bad news for would-be serial summiters…

After three weeks of waiting around Manaslu, which has experienced similar conditions, Kristin Harila changed plans. Tomorrow, she will head to some other yet unspecified peak.

At least three teams continue to wait on Manaslu: a Canadian group led by Dominic Asselin, a team by Summit Climb, and Adrianna Brownlee, with three Sherpas whom she originally shared with Harila. Snow continues to fall almost every afternoon and evening.

Most of those who arrived early at Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Manaslu hoped to do several 8,000m peaks in one season. This strategy requires good weather and conditions. Last spring, everything was nearly perfect, and several climbers accumulated three, four, or even five peaks in a row. Annapurna itself was also kind to climbers in the spring of 2021 when a record 68 climbers summited in a single day.

Annapurna, impressive under bright sun and blue sky

Annapurna today: good weather but risky snow conditions. Photo: Oswald Rodrigo Pereira


A serial-climbing plan typically starts with a “lower” 8,000er. Here, climbers get a first summit and acclimatize at the same time. Then they just fly to another base camp and push for the summit right away, taking advantage of already-fixed ropes. This is why nowadays, the season’s first commercial expeditions take place on Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Manaslu. Action on the higher peaks (Everest, Lhotse, Kangchenjunga, and Makalu) starts a month later.

…But good for skiers

Skier Bartek Ziemski and cameraman Oswald R. Pereira reached Base Camp today and will start gaining altitude as soon as possible. Before them, Luke Smithwick of the U.S. has also skied some peaks of the Annapurna range. He described the conditions: the nearly daily afternoon-evening snowfalls leave 15-30cm of fresh powder every day.

Skier Ziemski with his skis strapped to his backpack, Annapurna's snowy flanks in background.

Bartek Ziemski is ready to start his plan to ski Annapurna. Photo: Oswald Rodrigo Pereira

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.