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Asia, Nepal, Annapurna IV

Annapurna IV. We climbed the normal route, the north face and northwest ridge of Annapurna IV. From our 4800-meter Base Camp we placed three camps 5200, 5800 and 6360 meters. We two guides, Jean Frank Charlet and I, seven clients and Sherpas Mingma and Sundare were, after three weeks of fine weather, just a day from the summit when we were struck by a storm that obliged us to descend. The day after, again with lovely weather, Sundare, Charlet, Patrick Bouchet and I started back up and got to Camp III on the second day. Three of us reached the summit on November 7. Charlet had to turn back an hour from the summit, fearing frostbitten feet. The first part of the route is more difficult; we placed 500 meters of rope. If much snow fell there, one would risk being trapped high up because of avalanche danger. The route follows a very aesthetic spur which descends at right angles to the face. The second part is along the long ridge, easy if the snow is hard. This part is often wind-swept and subject to windslabs.

Michel Vincent, Club Alpin Fran├žais