Himalaya Fall 2011: Climbers In Trouble On Annapurna?

799px Annapurna I ABC Morning

Yesterday I reported that Explorers Web had the scoop on a late season attempt on Annapurna, in which a team of three Korean climbers were planning making a summit bid tomorrow. Today, it seems, the news from the mountain could be grim, as ExWeb now reports that the team’s leader could be missing.

The details are still a bit sketchy, but it seems that the team experienced bad weather on their ascent and elected to turn back. What happened after that remains a mystery at the moment, but local reports seem to indicate that Park Young Seok may have perished on the mountain. According to ExWeb, a rescue operation is underway and a helicopter has scrambled out of Kathmandu to aid in the search.

I mentioned in my previous post that Annapurna, which is the 10th highest mountain on the planet at 8091 meters (26,545 ft), is perhaps the deadliest of all the 8000-meter peaks. The fatality rate on that mountain remains quite high, with avalanches being a real danger, particularly at the higher altitudes.

Lets keep our fingers crossed that all is will with Mr. Park and his two teammates, Dong-Min Shin and Gi-Seok Gang, and that we’ll get a happy ending out of this story.

Kraig Becker