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Asia, Nepal, Annapurna IV, North Ridge Attempt

Annapurna IV, North Ridge Attempt. Our expedition was composed of Curt Hewitt, Bob Wilson, Craig John, Ken Bures, Jean Ellis, Al Chambard, Richard Wright, Charles Peck, Dan Holle, LaVerne Woods, Jeff Shropshire, Paul Slota, Jan Cover, Bill Thompson and me as leader. We established Base Camp on September 29 at 15,500 feet after hiking in from Dumre. We were accompanied by a Nepalese cook staff but no Sherpas. The route to Camp I at 17,200 feet required 1000 feet of fixed rope on steep loose rock. Camps II and III were at 18,200 and 20,500 feet. We fixed another 1000 feet of rope above Camp I. We spent eight days at Camp III trying to get to our Camp IV site but were unable to do so due to continuous high winds, often over 70 mph. The high point was 21,500 feet. A severe storm hit us from October 17 to 19, which forced us to an epic retreat. It took two full days of plowing down the steep and deep snow to reach the valley, a trip that normally took three hours. Over six feet of snow fell at Base Camp. We had to wait twelve days before we could return to Base Camp to recover the equipment we had left behind there, a trip that took 18 hours in waist-deep snow.

Eric Simonson