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Abele Blanc Annapurna 2003

Update 10/22/2003: Time to go home ! The mountain will still be there next year ! Abele Blanc, who has summited 13 of 14 8000 meter peaks and has only Annapurna finish the 14, is going home. Abele, clearly one of the best and smartest climbers in the world, he has made a good decision. He reports on his web site www.annapurna2003.com

"Hello friends, Annapurna finished, nothing to do, cause of the cold high wind..." The Sherpas agree, "very, very strong wind, Sir, impossible to go up more, sorry Sir." They have abandoned the rope cargo and after they have fought several hours in search of a shelter. 

Abele feared the icy and very strong wind from North-West. It is half a victory for the expedition after winning the technical difficulties of the wall, has been denied the top, but patience to the smart , the mountain will still be there...

k2d (2).gif (6712 bytes) Abele Blanc, who has summited 13 of 14 8000 meter peaks is attempting to finish the 14 this Autumn. He is on Annapurna with his friend Christian Kuntner and other 5 mountain guides from Aosta Valley (Italy).

Annapurna aka Morshiadi ( 8091 meters high; 26545 feet) is located on the Annapurna massif in North-central Nepal. Annapurna, the tenth highest mountain in the world, was first climbed in 1950 by the French expedition Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal on June 3rd, 1950. The first 8000 meter peak climbed, today it is arguably the most feared. Annapurna is translated " Goddess of the Harvests" or "the Provider".

The major peaks on the Annapurna range is Annapurna I (8091 meters high), Annapurna II (7937 meters), Annapurna III (7555 meters), Annapurna IV (7525 meters), Gangapurna (7455 meters) and Annapurna South (7219 meters).

Annapurna was the first 8000-meter peak ever climbed. The 1950 first ascent via the North Face was immortalized in the great Maurice Herzog's book "Annapurna". 20 years more it took for another team to succeed on the mountain. Chris Bonington's team 1970 ascent of the South Face of Annapurna was a landmark in the history of mountaineering. Two American women, Irene Miller and Vira Komarkova, have reached the summit via the North Face in October of 1978, making the first ascent by Americans! In May of 1988, American Steve Boyer, working with a large French expedition,  reached the summit, repeating the Bonington route on the South Face with a large French expedition.

Update 10/20/2003: After the first attempt that stopped at 7600 mt. on the 16th, tomorrow in the morning will start the second and, we hope, good one; six of the seven members of the italian expedition (Abele Blanc, Christian Kuntner, Marco Camandona, Massimo Farina, Alex Busca and Corrado Gontier) will leave for the camp 2; the following day they will move to camp 3 and finally on Thursday they will try the top! Much more news and beautiful photos here: http://www.annapurna2003.com/homediario.asp

Update 10/16/2003: Unfortunately the first attempt to catch up the summit through the wall south of Annapurna has not gone to good aim, the boys have had some difficulties to quota 7500 meters approximately. The wall was a lot exposed and unfortunately being remained without ropes they have not been able to continue to equip the way. They are all good, during the connection radio they have communicated that some come down to the base camp and others spend the night to camp two. Abele Blanc going for number 14 is in the second wave...

Update 10/15/2003: After installing the 3 camps on the Bonington route in the first days of October, yesterday has started the final attack; there are good weather conditions.

There are two groups: the first one, with 4 guides (Marco Camandona, Alex Busca, Corrado Gontier e Massimo Farina) has left the base camp yesterday morning and has reached the camp 2 (6100 m); today they are going to the camp 3 (6900m) and sleep there for the nignt; tomorrow they will try to reach Annapurna's summit.

The second group with the other 3 members of the expedition (Abele Blanc, who had some health problems during last days, Christian Kuntner and Adriano Favre) will leave the base camp tomorrow for their attempt to the summit. Good luck to everyone!

Update 10/8/2003: To the staff of everestnews.com,

Some more news about the Abele Blanc's expedition to the Annapurna. The 7 members of the expedition are following the Bonington's way on the south face of Annapurna. They have left Italy at the beginning of September and then they have reached the base camp (4300 meters) on the 12th; in the first days they have installed the camp 1 at 5000 meters, then they had bad weather conditions until the end of the month. Now in these first days of October they have installed the camp 2 at 6100 meters and today they are installing the camp 3 at 6900 meters just before the rock part of the climbing (the most difficult). David

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