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Asia, Nepal, Annapurna South Face

Annapurna South Face. Our expedition hoped to climb a direct route in the center of Annapurna’s south face alpine-style. The team was made up of Valentin Ivanov, Dr. Valeri Karpenko, Vassili Elagin, Vladimir Bashirov, Vladimir Obichod, Sergei Isaev, Nikolai Petrov, Alexander Sheinov, Vladimir Yanochkin, Dmitri Egorov, radio operator Maria Klochko and me as leader. The first attempt of nine climbers reached 6500 meters. On September 30, rockfall broke Karpenko’s leg and hit Egorov’s back. The rescue operation took 60 hours. The pair was evacuated to Base Camp at 4100 meters and helicoptered to Kathmandu. The second attempt of seven climbers got to 7350 meters in a 12-day effort. They climbed extremely difficult ice and rock and never found a bivouac site except for artificial snow platforms. On October 17, Sheinov fell ill from high-altitude sickness and the team brought him down. We had almost no more food and all were fatigued. Andy Lapkass of the American Annapurna Dakshin expedition provided us with some food. After meeting with Krzysztof Wielicki of one of the Polish expeditions on the 1970 British (Bonington) route, Bashkirov, Obichod, Isaev and Petrov left Base Camp on October 22 and climbed that route, reaching the summit on October 26 from Camp III at 7350 meters.

Vassili Senatorov, Periodicals Trading Service, Russia