The cold and lonely summit of Annapurna
It's not something you hear or read about everyday but Chris Burke and Lakpa Sherpa have safely returned from the top of Annapurna the worlds 10th highest mountain and with a summit to fatality rate what I believe to be still above 30%, is the most deadly of the 8000's. Chris and Lakpa have continued to demonstrate their physical and mental strength in safely negotiating 8000 meter mountains. Their judgement calls regarding conditions and weather have gone to assist many more climbers than the ones just in their team and they have made numerous rescues of other party's climbers throughout their journey. Here is a brief post from Chris Burke and we will bring you more news as it comes to hand - Matt Eaton
I’m really excited (and completely exhausted) to say that at 10.30am local time on 1 May 2016, Lakpa, Pema, Matt and me reached the summit of Annapurna (Nepal).
It was an epic challenge. So many epic tales. Tiny summit, cornice, have to queue for photo. It was supposed to be a great weather day. It looked good on paper but 30th, 2nd or 3rd would have been much better for reduced winds. Today (3rd), you could almost sit a feather on the summit by the looks of things. But, on 1st, OMG, so, so cold and windy.Oh, and I thought once you got up the couloir, you turn left a bit and suddenly the summit is before you. Nooooooo. It is there, eventually, but way in the distance. Long way. On the summit, it was a case of ‘take a photo, go down’. So windy. So freezing. Not everyone was unscathed by the summit push but the mountain has allowed everyone to go home.
I can’t believe it at the moment. Huge team efforts up and down. I think there were about 26 summits this season. Thank you, Annapurna, for allowing us the honour to reach your summit and go home again. I will write more and post photos either today or tomorrow as we might have regular internet soon if the weather holds and we can all fly out.
Update on trail to this base camp: whilst we were on the mountain 75 village people came to camp and I am sorry we missed them. The trail is now complete to the glacial lakes about 30 minutes from camp. The village people think for trekkers it will be a 3 day walk from Tatopani village to this base camp. For people with only a short time to see this amazing part of Nepal, here is a good option to start investigating. For climbers, suddenly the option for climbing this mountain becomes more affordable, taking out the helicopter requirement to get everything into and out of base camp.
By Chris Burke