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Climbers turn back short of summit on Annapurna

Posted: Apr 24, 2014 11:02 am EDT

(By Markian Hawryluk) A summit push on Annapurna launched late Wednesday night ended about 1,000 meters short of the summit as climbers were stymied by recent snowfall and aborted the climb. 


Norwegian climber Tore Sunde-Rasmussen reported the decision on his Facebook page after returning to Camp 3 Thursday morning.


Camp 3 had been established some 1,500 meters lower than expected, increasing the distance climbers had to cover to reach the summit, and snow has been an issue all week. Sunde-Rasmussen is striving for his fifth 8,000 meter peak. He nearly called off his climb after discovering his climbing jacket was not water resistant, but was ultimately able to continue using a spare jacket instead.


A team of climbers, including China's Liang Zhan and Yongzhong Lui, as well as Macedonian Zdravko Dejanovikj, guided by Mingma Gyaljie Sherpa, also reported leaving for the summit Wednesday night.


Meanwhile, a team of Romanian climbers are following in a second wave. Zsolt Torok and Cristian Tzecu arrived safety in camp 1 at 5,500 meters, while Catalin Neacsu was forced to turn back due to a leg injury.



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.

Up to 2012 the peak had killed mountaineers for 8 years straight, such as 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. The latest major avalanche was covered by Canadian Don Bowie in a two-part sequel named "The day the mountain fell"



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#mountaineering #annapurna

Tore Sunde-Rasmussen and Mingma Sherpa on the summit of Manaslu in 2012.
courtesy Tore Sunde-Rasmussen , SOURCE