Spring 2015 | Annapurna Keeps Spoiling Summit Push Schedules

There were some early - almost winter- ascents of Annapurna, this spring. Tragedy hit the summit party on descent as two out of thirteen summiteers couldn't make it back to BC. Several other climbers had also completed the acclimatization by end March and were waiting for weather window. The window that hasn’t arrived, yet. Bad weather, snowfall, wind and avalanches haven’t allowed anyone to reach C3 since then.

Annapurna BC under snow. Source

Avalanches Hitting Campsites
On the night of April 7th, an avalanche hit C1 but luckily no one was hurt. The avalanche, however, did sweep away gear and tents of Korean climbers. Al Hancock wrote from C1 on April 8th, “A lot of avalanches today, last night the wind from an avalanche destroyed our tent at camp one but my gear was still there, the Koreans were not so lucky , there two tents and gear were blown somewhere over the mountain I heard about USD 9000 worth.”

Meanwhile, there are also reports of a serac fall on C3 seriously damaging the provisioning.

Change in Summit Push Plans
Multiple climbers intended to go for summit on April 15th or 16th. Al Hancock ascended to C1 on 8th. Chris Burke and Lakpa Sherpa reached C2 on April 11th. Carlos Soria wanted to leave BC for a summit push on 16th.

However, a sudden change in weather and forecast of snow forced everyone to cancel the plans and retreat to BC. “There is forecast and warning of an increase in rainfall, which involves up to 1.5 meters of snow. Carlos Soria describes the conditions as very dangerous,” wrote the Spanish climber’s home team.

“Our planned summit push has been aborted for now due to higher than forecast snowfall,” Chris Burke and Lakpa Sherpa are also descending from the mountain.

Team meeting to discuss summit push plans;  Source

Alex Barber
American climber Alex Barber stayed in BC due to stomach illness, last week. His strategy was to climb to C2 on 12th and C3 on 13th to complete the acclimatization process. It’s not known whether the change in conditions affected his plan or not.

New Arrivals
Carlos Soria welcomed Don Bowie and Chang Dawa Sherpa at BC a couple of days ago. It appears that there are approximately three dozen climbers (foreigners and Sherpa) at Annapurna BC, these days.

Update: Tuesday 1200hrs Nepal Time
Alex Barber tweeted from BC a while ago.
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