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Asia, Nepal, Annapurna III Attempt

Annapurna III Attempt. A seven-man British expedition led by Mal Duff had great difficulties with the terrain on the approach up the Seti Khola. Their cook died of high-altitude pulmonary edema on September 12 before they reached Base Camp. After establishing Advance Base, they decided that the east ridge was the only suitable route on the south face of Annapurna III. The original objective, the southeast buttress, was rejected because of large avalanches that swept the lower half of the face. From the glacier a straightforward spur was followed to reach the ridge crest at about 6100 meters. A horizontal corniced ridge would then have led for a kilometer to the east face. This 1000-meter high face has a band of séracs threatening the lower half, requiring a rightwards traverse. This would gain the northeast ridge of the face. Easier slopes would lead some three kilometers to the summit. On October 2, Duff, Dr. Ian Tattersall, Andy Cave and Andy Perkins set out on an alpine-style attempt. On the 3rd, first Tattersall and later Perkins felt unwell and turned back, but the other two continued. On October 4, Duff and Cave climbed five pitches on the south side of the ridge to bypass an area of steep unstable rock and two pitches on the crest to 6450 meters, where they bivouacked. High winds and snowfall persuaded them to descend in the morning and give up the attempt. (This information was kindly supplied by Mal Duff.)