Final Summit-Bid is Underway on Annapurna, Majority of Climbers Retreat

Summit window on Annapurna didn’t prove to be as auspicious as some of the climbers have been hoping for. Strong wind continues to blow up the mountain, as majority of summit push teams decided to retreat from C3 and C2, today. A few climbers, nonetheless, climbed to C4 and are launching the final summit-bid tonight.
Annapurna summit as seen from BC this evening. Strong wind sweeps the upper slopes; Source

Summit Push
Hungarian David Klein, German Jost Kobusch and Bulgarian Atanas Skatov are amongst the climbers who will be going for the summit. Atanas and Jost’s satellite tracker shows that the climbers stayed in C3 (6400m) till late morning and started the ascent at 9am local time. By late afternoon, they had reached C4 at around 7000m.

David Klein called his home team from C4, this evening. The team wrote, “David called; he arrived safely in C4 (7000m). Although most of the expeditions withdrew to BC due to bad weather, and will attempt summit push some other time. David and, as you know from his expedition logs, his climbing partner Jost have made the decision; they set out for the summit at night.”

There hasn’t been any communication from other climbers who were part of summit attempt. There may be a few other climbers who did not turn back and are in C4 now.
David Klein (second from left) and Jost Kobusch (third from left), together with other Annapurna climbers before start of expedition; Source

Carlos Soria Back in Base Camp
77 year old Spanish climber Carlos Soria, who was a day behind main summit push party, decided to cancel his attempt at C2 this morning. “Carlos Soria has decided to go back to BC after a deterioration in the forecast for the weekend, with winds in excess of 50 km/h near summit which are not feasible for summit attempt,” communicated the BC team. Two nights at 5700m, though, will help the team in retaining the acclimatization for next weather window.

The Spanish team was back in BC by afternoon. “Ending a day of difficult but correct decisions on Annapurna. Mountain demand and we have to wait.”
Spanish climbers return from C2 to BC this afternoon; Source

Earlier
Around three dozen climbers launched the summit attempt from BC on April 12th. Weather forecast wasn’t absolute, as wind recession was accompanied by heavy snowfall. However, after waiting in BC for two weeks, the climbers took the chance. They were in C3 by yesterday afternoon, after climbing on hard blue ice from C2.

The climbers leaving for summit tonight will be facing difficult weather, as -25°C actual summit temperature accompanied by 40-50 km/hr wind means chill down to -40°C.

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