by Kuba Bogdanski 06/04/2016
Annapurna I: The 8000ers / eight-thousanders are the only mountains with a death zone, where the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere is insufficient to sustain human life, therefore called the death zone. About 30% of the oxygen you find at sea level. They are all are located in the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges in China, India, Nepal and Pakistan and are the only mountains in the world over 8000 meters.
Annapurna is a series of peaks that is 55 km long and with the highest point Annapurna I 8091 meters in altitude, making it the 10th highest mountain in the world. Annapurna is a Sanskrit name which means “full of food” , but normally is translated as Goddess of the Harvests. In Hinduism, Annapurna is a goddess of fertility and agriculture.
Each week we will present each 8000ers, and the reason behind this is our fascination climbing all the mountains on this list, something that has only been accomplished by 34 legendary mountaineers to date. 3 Polish and 0 Norwegians have completed this achievement. Mtxplore have not set a date when we will climb this mountain, it will probably be quite late on the list of 8000ers, due to the dangers of climbing this mountain.
Annapurna I – 10th highest mountain in the world
Elevation: 8,091 meters (26,545ft)
First summer ascent: June 3, 1950, by French Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal
First winter ascent: February 3, 1987, by Polish Jerzy Kukuczka and Artur Hajzer
Duration: 54 days
Annapurna I is the most dangerous mountain to climb in the world. If you look at the numbers in the end of 2009, there have been 157 ascents of Annapurna I, and 60 people have died on the mountain. This death-to-ascent ratio (38%) is the highest of any of the 8000ers. In particular the ascent via the south face is considered the most difficult of all climbs on any 8000 meter mountain in the world.
It was first ascended by a French expedition by Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal on 3th of June in 1950. It remained the highest ascent for 3 years until the first successful ascent of Mount Everest, 29th of May in 1953.
The Annapurna massif contains six major peaks over 7200 meters, Annapurna I (8091 m) / Annapurna II (7937 m) / Annapurna III (7555 m) / Annapurna IV (7525 m) / Gangapurna (7455 m) / Annapurna South (7219 m). The best months for climbing the Annapurna massif are in April/May and a good starting off point is Pokhara in Nepal. The closest airport is in Kathmandu.
In October 2014 at least 43 people were killed and around 175 injured due to snowstorms and avalanches around Annapurna. Trekkers from Nepal, Israel, Canada, India, Slovakia and Poland was injured or killed.
You can find a list of Ascents, deaths and other statistics of the 8000ers here.
1950: First Ascent
1970: South Face
1978: Female Expedition
A female expedition with Vera Komarkova and Irene Miller, and Sherpas Mingma Tsering and Chewang Ringjing reached the summit.
1987: Winter Ascent.
2007: First solo ascent
The first solo ascent of the south face by Slovenian climber Tomaž Humar
2013: One of the most impressive Himalayan climbs in history
Swiss legendary climber Ueli Steck soloed the Lafaille route on the highest part of the face in 28 hours.
Annapurna standard route is via the West face and the Northwest Ridge, which is a extremely challenging and demanding route as Annapurna being statistically the most dangerous 8000 meter mountain in the world. The most dangerous and difficult is a section between camp 1 and camp 2 with a extremely unstable and broken glacier with hanging seracs ready to crash down at you any time, being a major cause of death and also a huge avalanche danger.
Annapurna I Camps:
This is how the camps are normally placed up on the mountain.
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Normal Route Typical Itinerary:
This is an example of an itinerary would be on Annapurna I. Acclimatization, health and the performance of the expedition team may impact the actual schedule. High altitude mountaineering can change from day to day during an expedition.
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The approach to Annapurna Base Camp is a spectacular bonus trek through a world class trekking area. The peaks Dhaulagiri (8167 m), Tukuche Peak (6920 m), Nilgiri (6940 m), Varaha Shikhar (7847 m), Annapurna I (8091 m), Annapurna South (7219 m), Annapurna III (7855 m), Machapuchhre (6993 m), Annapurna IV (7525 m), Annapurna II (7937 m) and Lamjung Himal (6931 m) are the highlights of it. You would normally fly to Kathmandu first and then travel from there to Pokhara. The trek passes through Tatopani, Ghasa, Thulobogin, Thulobogin pass and Mristi Khola.
This list is a guide only. There is a huge number of brands, options and version of all the gear. This is the recommendations and suggestions from mtxplore from our own experience on the mountains. We would love to hear your feedback, so please do contact us if you have any feedback. We love to talk about gear hour after hour.
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A guided expedition will cost you around 20000 euros. More more details check Seven Summit Treks.
Mountains are the cathedrals where I practise my religion.