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Annapurna breaking news: 12 climbers on top, avalanche details

Posted: Apr 23, 2012 05:06 pm EDT

(Newsdesk/story updated) Dawa and his team summited Annapurna this morning at 10 am in a rare day of calm and blue skies Waldemar Niclevicz reports on his website. Summiteers are Dawa, his four Sherpas, Brazilian Cleo, two Chinese, two Indians and two Sherpas, a total of twelve people, all using bottled oxygen. Details are expected on the climbers' safe return to BC.

(Story updated May 03, 2012 11:31 am EDT: the summits remain unverified by AdventureStats.)

Avalanches aborted previous pushes

Annapurna summit push was the biggest story last week and the weekend has been filled with accounts of the events.

"Apparently, from the vantage point of Camp 2, the avalanche was so overwhelming that it rendered the climbers there absolutely silent," wrote Don Bowie.

"They stood completely still, watching in absolute horror as their team mates were engulfed in the billowing cloud. Swiss climber Guntis Brands, whose verbal response was clearly recorded on a Camp 2 video track, managed to perfectly sum up the event by expressing a single, broken word: 'Cojones!'"

Don't miss Don's two part report "The day the mountain fell" illustrated by incredible pictures shot by Tunc Findik.

(Ed note: story corrected, Don Bowie is Canadian.)

Brazilian Waldemar Niclevicz joined Canadian Don Bowie and Spanish Carlos Soria, 73 on the summit push. Mexican couple Badia Bonilla and Maurizio Lopez are on the peak as well.

Carlos Soria, Tente Lagunilla and their 4 Sherpas reported two avalanches and extreme weather forced a rapid descent from camp 3 at 6,400 meters altitude. "The first avalanche struck camp 3 during the night and the second reached them in full in the path of descent, just before camp 1, when the climb seemed to get easier." The mountaineers will recoup and hope for a weather window within the next week.

Sixty+ years after becoming the first 8000er ever summited (June 3, 1950, by French Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal), Annapurna is notorious for its danger. 

“Not one of my favorite mountains, I must confess. It's dangerous due to avalanche risk on the North Face…” said Iñaki Ochoa de Olza, before losing his life there. 

“Annapurna is on my mind all the time. It's hard and dangerous,” said Silvio Mondinelli whose friend was hit by falling snow and perished in his arms. Simone Moro was right behind Boukreev who died on Anna in an avalanche although being there in supposedly more stable winter snow conditions. 

“Annapurna has the most dangerous standard route of all 8000ers,” said Reinhold Messner.

The peak has killed mountaineers for 8 years straight, last Mr Park and his buddies and in terms of summits vs fatalities, while the risk level has dropped since 1985 from a near suicidal 91% to about 10% in the past decade, the mountain remains feared for its avalanches.


List of all expeditions

Everest & Himalaya 2010 Season’s End Chronicle, take 5: Special report--The Spring of Annapurna
#Mountaineering #topstory

Mere months ago Soria narrowly escaped this snow slide on another mountain notorious for its avalanches: Annapurna.
Image by Tunc Findik courtesy Tunc Findik/Don Bowie, SOURCE