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Annapurna South fixing rope to camp 1
image story

Apr 6, 2005 16: 36 EST
North side climbers are expected to be climbing to C2 at this moment. Meanwhile, the South side just reported that they are fixing rope to camp 1.

This just in from Piotr:

"Good morning, this is mBank Lotto Annapurna South Face Expedition, greeting you from ABC. Yesterday we fixed ABC. The weather was very good, which is not very typical for Annapurna. Together with Piotr Morawski, we have also fixed 100 m rope on the pillar leading to camp I."

"Marcin and Vlado are working the wall, and we have just received the message that they have finished fixing the rope."

"The weather turned a bit worse today; it's foggy and colder than yesterday. However, it is still pretty good and if it stays like that, we migt settle camp I in two days. We all feel very well and really optimistic. Piotr Pustelnik"

Piotr now has 12 of the 14, 8000ers completed. Only Anna and Broad Peak remains. He has climbed Gasherbrum II twice (1990 and 1997), Nanga Parbat in 1992, Cho Oyu and Shisha Pangma Main in 1993, Dhaulagiri in 1994, Everest in 1995, K2 from the North in 1996, Gasherbrum I in 1997, Lhotse in 2000, Kangchenjunga in 2001, and Makalu in 2002.

Year after year, climbers return to Annapurna despite its reputation as a difficult, dangerous mountain (a reputation earned in large part due to the high risk of avalanche.) Annapurna (8,091 m) is statistically the most dangerous peak of all the eight thousanders. The overall summit/fatality rate is 40% (although not all climbers summit of course).

Annapurna was the very first 8,000m peak ever summited. In 1950, French climbers Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal used only a rough map as a guide, and picked their way up an untried route to the summit. Their descent turned into a hellish nightmare, leaving them near death, with their extremities completely deadened by frostbite. Herzog and Lachenal survived their ordeal, but too many others have tragically lost their lives over the years.

On Christmas Day 1997, Anatoli Boukreev was killed in an avalanche, an event that shocked the mountaineering community. In total, only 135 climbers have summited Annapurna - last year Ralf Dujmovits, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Hirotaka Takeuchi and Denis Urubko summited the mountain from the North side.

Image of last year's Annapurna South climb and C1, courtesy of Piotr.

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