American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Annapurna I Attempt, East Ridge

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1982

Annapurna I Attempt, East Ridge. Our Swedish expedition was composed of Lars Back, Åke Back, Lars Cronlund, François Germain, Sten Göran Lindblad, Lennart Olin, Anders Thorbjörnsson, Ebbe Wahlund, Kenneth Westman and me as leader, Sherpas Pemba Lama, Chewang Rinja, Mingma Tsering and Sirdar Sarkay Tsering. We left Pokhara with 120 porters and arrived at Machapuchare Base Camp (11,500 feet) on March 29. Due to heavy snow, most of the porters could not continue. With 14 porters we ferried loads to Base Camp at 13,775 feet below the Annapurna West Glacier. Above Base Camp we established five camps, two on the glacier and three on the south face of Glacier Dome at 16,900, 19,200, 20,350, 21,825 and 23,250 feet, the latter just below the summit of Glacier Dome. On May 5 Cronlund, Germain and I reached this summit (7193 meters, 23,600 feet). Due to bad weather, we returned to Camp III. On May 12 Cronlund, Lindblad, Wahlund and I reached the summit of Glacier Dome. While Wahlund returned, we others traversed toward Roc Noir, making a provisional camp beyond a steep ice tower. On the 13th we moved camp to 23,800 feet, below the steep snow flank of Roc Noir. Cronlund and Lindblad reconnoitered the snow flank all the way to the east ridge of Annapurna. On May 14 we had been for two exhausting weeks above Camp III without oxygen and Annapurna’s summits were more than four kilometers away, but Cronlund and Lindblad were determined to have a try and I helped carrying equipment to the east ridge. We had to traverse a very steep ice slope to avoid the Roc Noir summit, for which we had no permit, and reached the east ridge at 24,550 feet. While I returned, Cronlund and Lindblad continued another 500 meters along the ridge and camped. The next day they attempted to reach Annapurna’s east summit but they gave up 200 meters from the summit slope. On May 18 we were all back in Base Camp.

Tommy Sandberg, Svenska Fjallklubben

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