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Asia, Nepal, Annapurna I Attempt

Annapurna I Attempt. Jean-Christophe Lafaille went back to the south face of Annapurna I where he had been with Pierre Beghin three years ago when Beghin fell to his death and Lafaille had an extremely difficult descent alone. Now he was on the Bonington Route, to the left of the line he and Beghin had been attempting, and he was trying to make the first truly solo ascent of the mountain from his first camp at 6200 meters to the 8091-meter summit. There was no one else anywhere on Annapurna I except his small film team at Camp 1. Though he had trained very hard and planned thoroughly for this climb, he was unlucky with the weather. Fresh waist-deep snow on the mountain and new snow and clouds every afternoon when he was ready to make his dash for the summit defeated his summit bid after he had already reached 7600 meters. He believed that at that point he had already surmounted all the difficulties. "I'm angry I stop at 7600 meters, but it's a game," he said. "It's a very nice route, not very dangerous, an interesting route."

Elizabeth Hawley