Summits on Annapurna

After yesterday’s failed attempt due to insufficient rope to fix the route above 7,400m, climbers on Annapurna have finally reached the summit on their second try.

At 12:20pm, Viridiana Alvared texted that she was on top through her Garmin device (although her tracker located her 50 metres lower). Dawa Sherpa confirmed the summits from Base Camp 15 minutes later but has not yet provided any names.

The Pakistani team’s tracker located them at the same height as Alvared. The Indian team was 100m lower.

The Summit Push

According to Antonios Sykaris’ home team, the climbers were delayed by some 40cm of fresh snow. The Pakistani climbers had also mentioned snowfall and thunderstorms the day before.

At 9am Nepal time, expedition leader Dawa Sherpa reported that the entire team was on the final couloir to the summit and that summits were expected in one to two hours. In fact, the push took longer.

Viridiana Alvarez’s tracker located her at 7,900m at 12:15, Nepal time.

Juan Oiarzabal told ExplorersWeb yesterday that the final couloir was the only point above Camp 4 where ropes have always been fixed. This year, expedition managers have pitched Camp 4 lower down the route, and divided the tents into lower (at 6,800m) and higher (7,000m) sections.

After the couloir, climbers must navigate Annapurna’s summit ridge in order to find the actual highest point. In the past, finding the summit has been a confusing task due to several outcrops, but this has been cleared up by research completed by over several years.

Annapurna’s summit ridge with all the key points marked. The topographical summits are C2 (C for Cornice) and C3, although C1 is barely 8m lower and the altitude depends on the cornice’s current shape. Photo:

After several days at altitude, two of them at higher Camp 4, climbers now have a long trudge back.  Further details, about conditions found on the mountain, the climbers’ physical well-being, use of O2, and the logistical issues, are expected as climbers return to Base Camp.

Exhausted, climbers may not reach Base Camp today, preferring instead to rest before tackling the dangerous descent between Camp 3 and Camp 2.