Annapurna Update: Premature Notice but Ultimate Success

After some confusion, expedition managers have published a list of summiters.

The first summit news, announced by Viridiana Alvarez, was contradicted by the climbers’ own trackers, including hers, which showed them a little below the top. However, her tracker eventually showed progressive movement toward the summit. Expedition leader Dawa Sherpa, who remained in Base Camp, deleted his own posts of their success and only re-posted the summit announcement an hour later.

According to Kamran Ali from Pakistan, Mingma G and the rest didn’t set off until after 11 pm because of heavy snowfall and thunderstorms all evening. Dawa Sherpa’s forecast from BC announced improving weather, so he encouraged Mingma G to go for it. It turned out well: Ali said that it was sunny by the time they summited.

The list of summiters:

Lakpa Dendi Sherpa (Nepal), Viridiana Álvarez (Mexico), Uta Ibrahini (Albania-Kosovo), Mingma Tenzi Sherpa (Nepal), Chhangwa Sherpa (Nepal), Purnima Shrestha (Nepal), Pemba Sherpa (Nepal), Badia Bonilla (Mexico), Mauricio López (Mexico), Lhakpa Temba Sherpa (Nepal), Antonios Sykaris (Greece), Dawa Sherpa (Nepal), Jaroslaw Zdanowicz (Poland),  Waldemar Kowalewski (Poland), Lu Chang Han (Taiwan), and Gesman Tamang (Nepal).

Dawa Sherpa only confirmed Lu Chang Han and Gesman Tamang as no-O2 climbs, although he added that more details will follow. We’ve yet to learn who among the original no-O2 climbers changed their mind after the unexpected extra day at altitude.

Abdul Joshi (left) and Sirbaz Khan have become the first Pakistan climbers to reach the summit of Annapurna.


Mingma G also published his own list of summiters. Besides himself — he was on the frontline team fixing ropes — they were: Hong Dong Juan and Gao Li of China, Sirbaz Khan and Muhammad Abdul Joshi of Pakistan, Gina Marie of the U.S. (surname not given), and Nepalis Dawa Gyalje Sherpa, Dawa Yangjum Sherpa, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, Dabhuti Sherpa, Pasang Namgya Sherpa, Phur Gyalzen Sherpa, Tamting Sherpa, and Pema Tenzin Sherpa.

The Nepali summiters include a large number of women: Dawa Yangjum Sherpa, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita, Dabhuti Sherpa with Imagine Nepal, and Purnima Shrestha with SST.

In the Indian Giripremi team, summiters were Bhushan Harshe, Sumit Mandale, and Jitendra Gaware.

Other successful climbers belonging to smaller teams included Pioneer Adventure’s members Bhagwan Chawale and Priyanka Mohite of India, Hu Tao of China, and Nepalis Mingma Dorchi Sherpa, Sanu Sherpa, and Pema Chhiring Sherpa.

A number of today’s summiters have bagged first national ascents. Others have ticked off one more peak on their list of the 14 8,000’ers. And yet the failed attempt one day before, and most of all, the shocking use of a helicopter to resupply the expedition at C4 (at 7,000m!) has divided the audiences’ perception. Sincere congratulations are now mixed with ironic comments wondering where they will descent by themselves or be grandly conveyed down by helicopter.

The fact is, descending Annapurna is as dangerous as climbing it. Climbers are expected to spend tonight in Camp 3 or above in order to rest before tackling the avalanche-prone section. At 6 pm Nepal time, Viridiana Alvarez’s tracker located her near “lower” Camp 4 at 6,800m.