American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Annapurna III

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1981

Annapurna III. Our expedition was composed of Jean-Pierre Rieben, Bernard Polli, Patrik Gaillard, Bruno Vocat, Dr. Claude Pfefferlé, Jean-Claude Gay-Crosier and me as leader. Temba Sherpa was also a full member of the climbing team. Base Camp was established on September 28 at 13,125 feet, an hour and a half above Manang. After a brief reconnaissance of the three ridges in the northeast face, to gain the upper plateau, we decided to use the route situated slightly north of the one used in 1961 by the Indians. That is to say we climbed a couloir which gave access to the south ridge of Base Camp Peak (near the rightmost of the three ridges—Editor). Camps I and II were at 17,900 and 20,000 feet. Camp III was at 21,500 feet on a col on the great plateau. On October 14 Rieben and Temba reconnoitered the east ridge and on the 15th at four P.M. in eight-and-a-half hours they climbed to the summit. On the return they started down the Indian route in the northeast face, which was shorter but without tracks. They arrived back at Camp III at eleven P.M. after painfully reascending to the east col. On October 17 Gaillard, Polli and I climbed the 6900-meter (22,638-foot) point north of Camp III. The former two hoped to climb the east ridge to the main summit but a big wind storm arose on the night of the 17th and they withdrew everything from Camps III and II with the help of Dr. Pfefferlé and me who went up to help them. By October 21 all the camps and fixed ropes had been brought back to Base Camp. Storm winds still blew on the summits.

Denis Bertholet, Club Alpin Suisse

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