American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Annapurna IV Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1992

Annapurna IV Attempt. Our members were John McMenamin, Heather McComb, Ruth Gemperlein, Jim Tweedie, Base Camp Manager Pat Ballard and I as leader. Bad weather and deep snow severely hampered our efforts. Upon arriving on March 30 at Yak Kharak in the Sabje Khola valley on the northwest side of Annapurna IV, we encountered deep snow that extended down to 3800 meters which prevented our mule caravan from carrying loads higher. From a low Base Camp there, with a small porter contingent we were forced to ferry loads for five days to Advance Base at 4650 meters. On April 4, this was occupied on the south side of a high rock ridge on the Sabje Glacier. Crows were a problem to food and everything had to be securely covered. The campsite had obviously been used by other expeditions judging from the debris in the area. From Advance Base, it was an hour’s hike to the foot of the icefall leading to the dome on the northwest ridge. It took several days to fix the route to Camp I. We had to rebreak trail each morning in new or drifted snow. Two caches were set up along the way. Again crows were a problem. Camp I was set up on April 17 on a small ledge in the icefall. Above Camp I, the route became steeper and a long section of hard 50° ice had to be crossed. We got only to the site of Camp II because on the night of April 20 our tent at Camp I was destroyed by an avalanche. One member was in the tent at the time, but he was not injured. We then abandoned the expedition because of dangerous conditions and lack of time.

Richard Salisbury

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