Himalaya Spring 2019: More Summits on Annapurna as Climber Goes Missing

There is good news and bad news to report from Annapurna today. Following the news of the first summits of the season yesterday, we now have learned that more climbers followed suit today, reaching the top of the tenth highest peak in the world. Unfortunately, one of those climbers has also gone missing on the descent as it appears the most deadly mountain on the planet may have claimed another victim.

Seven Summit Treks is reporting that it has now had 32 of its clients reach the top of Annapurna, with most coming later in the day yesterday. The first round of climbers went up with the rope fixing team, topping out not long after the lines were installed to the summit. The next group came later today, bringing the total to the current number. All of those climbers –– save one –– have now safely descended back to Camp 4 and will continue down to Base Camp tomorrow.

The missing climber is a Malaysian mountaineer by the name of Wui Kin Chin. He had been a part of the successful second wave on Annapurna, topping out earlier in the day. But something happened on his way back down to C4 and his whereabouts are unknown.

Mingma David Sherpa says that Seven Summit Treks has contacted Global Rescue to help with the search for the missing man, but so far there have been no signs of him. According to The Himalayan Times, Chin successfully climbed Everest last year and had moved on to Annapurna this season.

Meanwhile, over on Everest the teams continue their acclimatization efforts up the hill in Camp 1 and 2. At this point, it seems as if most of the squads have now gotten settled and have headed up to spend at least a night or two at altitude to let their bodies adjust to thinning air.

Those who were up high earlier in the week will now of course head back to Base Camp to rest and recuperate before starting the process all over again. Right now, the weather is reportedly good, although it is expected to deteriorate somewhat with snow moving into the forecast over the next few days.

There was a bit of excitement on the South Side yesterday with Garrett Madison is reporting that a climber fell into a crevasse somewhere between C1 and C2. As you can imagine, this created quite a stir, but fortunately there was plenty of help around at the time and they were quickly able to rescue the unnamed mountaineer.

The story was a sharp reminder that while we often think about the crevasse fields that exist in the Khumbu Icefall, there are other points on the mountain where these large cracks in the ice are prevalent as well.

Over on the North Side in Tibet the teams are on the move with the first climbers heading up to Advanced Base Camp over the past few days as well. Some stayed at what is known as “intermediate camp” around 5790 meters (19,000 ft) to start their acclimatization, while others have proceeded higher. In other words, it’s business as usual from that side of Everest as well with things clicking along right on schedule.

We’re still a couple of weeks away from actual summit bids getting underway and presently the climbers are doing all of the hard work to get ready for that. They’ll see those efforts pay off in due time. For now, they have to just run the Everest treadmill for awhile. More to come soon.

Kraig Becker