Annapurna IV: Russians Ready for Summit Push

The large Russian team on Annapurna IV is preparing to launch a final summit push tomorrow.

The team had previously reached 6,500m, where they set up their fourth and final camp. On that spot, the team built some quite roomy snow caves. You can see these in the video below:

From Camp 4, there is a further 1,000 vertical meters to the summit. The expedition is on Annapurna IV’s east face but there is no detail on their exact route.

Climbers digging in fresh snow on Annapurna IV.

Team members digging snow caves at Camp 4. Frame from a video by Oleg Afanasiev.


Typically, modern teams are either huge commercial expeditions or small, fast, alpine-style teams. The Russians are neither. Rather, they have apparently stuck to the classic soviet style. They are a 14-member group from the official mountaineering team of the Krasnodar region. They are organized hierarchically: Ivan Aristov is the administrative leader and Alexander Eliseev is the climbing lead.

They climb in traditional style, acclimatizing as they work the route, fixing ropes and setting up camps. Yet, unlike classic expeditions of past eras, this time there will not be a chosen few aiming for the summit while others take on support roles. According to Elena Laletina of Russian Climb, all 14 members aim to summit.

After a long monsoon that seriously affected Nepal’s mountains throughout September and the first half of October, the weather has stabilized. Climbers are experiencing cold but sunny days as winter approaches.

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.