Winter Annapurna: Waiting For Jet Stream Winds to Ease

The winter Annapurna team is ready for a final summit push as soon as conditions permit. But that may take a while.

They had considered to trying for the summit on their second foray up the mountain but the wind increased just as they headed to Camp 3. Until then, the weather had been quite good, for a Himalayan winter.

Alex Txikon had hoped to make the best of the early good conditions, fearing things could deteriorate in the New Year. Unfortunately for him, the wind came two days too soon, and the team faced strong gusts as they went up from Camp 2 (5,600m) to Camp 3 (6,400m). They didn’t spend a night there, but left their loads and retreated immediately back to Base Camp as night fell.

Txikon with a bunch of prayer flags in front and the mountain, eaturing a big wind plume on the summit, in background.

Txikon with a windy Annapurna behind. Photo: @navamuel.andres


Now, the weather is sunny in Base Camp, but the jet stream winds howl higher on the mountain, forcing patience.

“The wind at altitude will be around 100kph so we won’t go up for the moment,” Txikon wrote on social media.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.