Day 9, Annapurna

It’s been nine days since our team headed off for the Annapurna range to climb Annapurna II and IV.

The Annapurna massif carrying the peaks of Annapurna II and IV (7,937m) lies to the north of Pokhara in central Nepal. High up, below the summit of IV, an almost horizontal ridge runs for over two miles eastwards to II, connecting the two summits. Below these, there is a jumble of decaying icefalls, emptying down into the upper gorges of the Madi River. Annapurna II was first climbed in 1960 via the West Ridge, by a team comprised of Richard Grant, Chris Bonington, and Sherpa Ang Nyima. Coincidentally, Bonington was the same age then as Jamie is now, attempting the same summit.

The first days of long transfers took our team to Pokhara from where they started their assault on the mountain.
They are supported by our ops team back home, as well as an in-country agent and are in regular contact via sat phone for weather updates. There are clear and sunny days ahead, no fresh snow fall, extremely cold temperatures of -25C on the summit and -10 at their current camp at 4,900m. Worryingly high winds near the summit that were predicted over the next days moved back to later in the week. Hope is that the winds keep receding to offer a better window for a summit attempt.

Supported by 3 porters, our team has pitched an acclimatisation base camp. It’s a long carry to camp 1 at 4,900m, which was established a day later, followed by another rest day at Base Camp. So far in good spirits.
Today, Matt and Jamie have been for a recce up to 5,200m and plan to sleep at Camp 1 tomorrow night with a climb to Camp 2 the next day.

Jamie and Matt sounded in good spirits from the communications we have had, albeit a bit cold. They’re wearing everything they have, apart from the big 8,000m suits, which will come out on their push to Camp 2. They report that the mountain is steep but beautiful, with overhanging cornices and vertical faces.

Good luck for the next days!


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