Himalaya Fall 2011: Annapurna Update

Annapurna South Face

There isn’t a whole lot of news from Annapurna yet regarding the Korean team that ran into problems on that mountain while making an ascent yesterday. ExWeb has posted an update to their story that does offer a few more clues however, and it isn’t sounding good.

That last we heard from the team of Park Young Seok, Dong-Min Shin and Gi-Seok Gang they were heading up the mountain and hoping to make a summit bid today. It is believed that they ran into bad weather however and decided to descend instead, but what happened after that is still unclear.

ExWeb reports that several Search and Rescue teams have traveled to Annapurna, where they have discovered a rope believed to have been used by the trio of Koreans, but as of now, there is no sign of the climbers themselves. While they haven’t given up looking for the men, the feeling is that they either fell into a crevasse or were swept off the mountain in an avalanche. You may recall that I noted in my original report on their climb that Annapurna is notorious for having frequent and powerful avalanches.

Either way, there is a good chance we’ll never know what happened to the missing climbers. While the SAR team is still holding out some hope of finding them huddled in a tent somewhere, that seems increasingly unlikely.

Sad news indeed.

Kraig Becker