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Asia, Nepal, Annapurna II

Annapurna II. An expedition organized by the Services of Great Britain, Nepal and India and led by Lieutenant Colonel J. O. M. Roberts made the first ascent of Peak 26,041 feet in the central Nepal Himalaya, commonly known as Annapurna II, in the spring of 1960. The summit was reached at 4:30 p.m. on May 17 by Captain R. H. Grant, Lieutenant C. J. Bonnington and Lance Corporal Ang Nyima Sherpa of the British Army. Other members were Major G. Lorimer, Captain W. A. Cranshaw and Flight Lieutenant S. Ward, British; Captain Prabakar Shamsher and Lieutenant Gadul Shamsher, Nepalese; and Captains Jagjit Singh and M. A. Soares (Medical Officer), Indian. The route followed was from the north and had already been pioneered by several expeditions to Annapurna IV. (24,630 feet, first ascent by Steinmet’s German party in 1955. A.A.J., 1956, 10:2, pp. 140-141.) Camps I to IV were set up at 17,600, 19,000, 21,000 and 22,600 feet respectively. Camp V, at 23,850 feet, marked the farthest limit of exploration towards Annapurna II and it was from here that the summit trio set off on the morning of May. 17, using oxygen to traverse the remaining 2½ miles of narrow ridge leading to the foot of the final pyramid. Meanwhile two Sherpas carried forward Camp VI to 23,650 feet (the ridge descends from Camp V) and here the successful trio arrived as night fell after a day probably as arduous as any in the annals of safe and well ordered Himalayan climbing. On May 18 and 19, ascents were made of Annapurna IV. Although sponsored by the Services of Britain, Nepal and India, the great bulk of expedition finances were from civilian and private sources. The expedition arrived back in Kathmandu on June 3.

J. O. M. Roberts, Alpine Club