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High winds hit Himalayan giants
image story

May 10, 2005 11: 45 EST
Earlier this morning, Silvio Mondinelli reported, “There is nothing we can do. We are blocked in Camp 3 due to strong winds.” Meanwhile on Dhaulagiri Iñaki Ochoa, Ivan Vallejo and Christian Stangl were setting off today, but they have decided to delay their bid due to the wind. The jet is right over the Nepalese Himalaya, creating hurricane-force winds on the upper slopes of the 8000ers.

Some teams are currently launching summit attempts on Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Cho Oyu. Skies are clear, but winds are holding back their progress, especially on ridges and exposed sections. The situation will improve in the next couple of days, but climbers need to be patient… if they can afford it.

Variable wind forces until Friday

The AdventureWeather forecast for Annapurna predicts high winds (25-30 m/s or 56-67 mph) at the summit Tuesday night through Wednesday morning. On Wednesday evening, winds should drop down to 15 m/s (34 mph); a significant decrease, although not ideal conditions.

However, the forecast shows the wind speed jumping back up to 20-25 m/s (45-56 mph) on the morning of Thursday, May 12. After that, the wind is expected to level off to 10-15 m/s (22-34 mph) from Thursday evening through Friday, May 13.

The question is: Can those teams currently high up on the mountains remain where they are, exposed to altitude, cold and exhaustion for three days? Can those in BC delay their bids without running out of time?

Image of Annapurna’s South side courtesy of Piotr Pustelnik
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