Annapurna: Pakistanis Back In BC — And The Rest?

Pakistani climbers Sirbaz Khan and Abdul Joshi are finally back in Base Camp after summiting yesterday. They left Camp 4 in the morning and reached the base of the mountain just before sunset.

Khan and Joshi have shared no details yet. Neither have any of the expedition operators, expedition manager Chhang Dawa Sherpa, nor the climbers (or their social media teams). By 10 pm Nepal time, there is no updated news about the whereabouts of the nearly 70 climbers who where supposed to descend from Camp 4 today.

Instagram post by the Pakistan team’s BC manager Saad Munawar


The only other exception is India’s Giripremi team, whose members passed Camp 2 at 1:30 pm local time.

“As the weather is turning bad with poor visibility and relentless snowfall, the team may stay up at Camp 1 and descend tomorrow,” their team’s post said.

The Indian climbers belong to a larger international team including (according to Giripremi: Indians Bhushan Harshe, Sumit Mandale, Jitendra Gavare, Yogendar Garbiyal, Sheetal; Americans Gina Marie, Christopher Warner, and Tracee Lee; and Nepalis Maya Sherpa, Dawa Ongju Sherpa, Mingmar Thindu Sherpa, Pasang Sherpa, Pasang Sherpa, Mingma Ongya Sherpa, Pasang Tenji Sherpa, Tamting Sherpa, Chhiring Sherpa,Pasang Sherpa, and Phurba Pasang Sherpa.

In addition, some climbers gave up on the summit two days ago after they were forced back when the rope-fixing team ran out of ropes. They then descended to Base Camp. One of them, David Nosas of Andorra, is far from happy.

“Annapurna has been summited today and all summits have been done with supplementary O2,” he wrote yesterday. “Those climbing without it have been forced to turn around, suffer frostbite, and are on their way. Hopefully, they will reach BC tomorrow [today].”

Nosas himself has mild frostbite. “It’s incredibly irresponsible to let people reach 7,400m knowing there isn’t enough rope,” he said.

As for the second night in Camp 4, he thinks it is not acceptable to have “dozens of people at -20ºC without knowing whether they have to go up or down.”

David Nosas of Andorra. Photo: David Nosas


Today, Nosas reasserted his criticism of the company. “I have only climbed on two 8,000’ers but some more experienced climbers agree that they have never seen something like this,” he said. “We know what we face by coming here, but it’s different to be thrown down the precipice.”

Nosas confirms that people are still up on the mountain and notes: “I am not bitter just because I didn’t summit; I am used to failing from time to time.”

The first Nepali women to summit Annapurna are on their way down. Above, Priyanka Mangesh Mohite, the first Indian woman. Photo: Lakpa Sherpa