Himalaya 2011: Annapurna Summit, Aborted Attempt On Lhotse

300px Annapurna I

Earlier today I posted an update on conditions around the Himalaya, particularly on Everest, with weather being the main focus. As I mentioned in that note, the region seems to be colder, windier, and and snowier than normal this time of year. But that isn’t stopping some of the climbers, as we have word today of a successful summit on Annapurna and a failed bid on Lhotse.

ExWeb has the details on both stories, with the biggest news being that Italian mountaineer Abele Blanc has topped out on Annapurna. Details are a bit sparse, but for Abele this is the final 8000 meter peak on the list, which he finally conquered after six attempts. ExWeb notes that he even lost his best friend on the mountain back in 2005.

Standing 8091 meters (26,545 ft) in height, Annapurna is the 10th highest mountain in the world. That said, it is considered by many to be the hardest of the 8000-meter peaks to summit, and has highest fatality rate of any of those mountains, including K2.

Congrats to Abele for standing on top at last! Well done!

The other news item of note is that Czech climber Radek Jaroš had climbed to Camp 3 on Everest and was attempting a summit push on Lhotse, but elected to retreat due to heavy snow high on the Lhotse Face. As most of you know, the Everest and Lhotse share the same route for much of their climb, diverging at Camp 4, and with the news that the Sherpas have fixed the ropes up to the Yellow Band, located at about 28,000 feet on Everest, Jaroš has hoped to make a summit bid. The weather has thwarted that attempt however, and he is already headed back to BC.

Kraig Becker