Spring 2016 | Summit Window ‘Hide and Seek’ Continues on Annapurna, Alex Gavan Leaves

Ambiguous weather pattern continues on Annapurna, as climbers are still unable to proceed with summit push and acclimatization rotations to high camps. Sherpa have been trying to fix the ropes above lower C3 (6400m), although without significant development. Meanwhile, Romanian climber Alex Gavan, who deemed the route to be too dangerous, have decided to end his expedition.

In Search of Summit Window
Annapurna climbers have had multiple inaccurate predictions about summit window. They initially hoped to leave BC at the end of March and reach the top on April 4th. Good weather forecast, however, didn’t materialize. Weather reports have hinted about multiple small breaks since then, but only to be proved incorrect in actual. For now, the teams are closely observing a slight dip in hurricane winds at around April 11th-13th. Though, wind will still be at the edge of acceptable limit for summit-bid (somewhere around 30-40km/hr).

Teams of Carlos Soria and Chris Burke aren’t much worried, however a few others are getting frustrated by the delay. “We're not getting summit fever about it until we get a lot more data but some of the young climbers and climbers on a tighter schedule are.” Matt Du Puy commented in his blog post yesterday.

Some climbers acclimatized to C2 in past few days. Hungarian Klein Dávid, who reached BC a week ago spent a night in C2. He intends to reach C3 before summit push.
Spanish climbers trekking around BC to avoid 'rusting'. They decided not to go up the mountains in unpredictable weather. Source

Rope Fixing
Complications in finding a safe route beyond lower C3 stand unsolved as of now. On April 6th, rope fixing team went inside huge crevasse above C3 that blocked the path. They thought, “getting across / through the crevasse is achievable”. But strong wind forced them to turn back all the way to BC.

Sherpa remained at BC yesterday. Their plan was to go up today (April 8th) and complete the rope fixing through crevasse, onwards to Camp 4.
Matt Du Puy captured the lower C3 section of mountain using telescope from a ridge near BC. Source

Alex Gavan Leaves
Alex Gavan has been doubtful about route conditions above C2 since a while and has decided to call it a day. "It's over for now. Too much unpredictability, too much danger. Great moments and great work, nevertheless. Yesterday, while around 6.000m, half way up the ice wall under Camp 3, something did not feel quite right and I had the strong gut feeling I should not climb further. Just didn't feel the right thing to continue this time. And, over the years, I did understand and I did learn to listen to my inner self.”
Climbers in an easier snow section between C2 and C3; Source

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