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 Annapurna 2000 Coverage

In Spring of 2000, EverestNews.com will follow an International Expedition attempting the Summit of Annapurna. This is the Spring 2000 Annapurna Page where EverestNews.com will report News on this expedition and other Annapurna News.

Three Expeditions are expected on Annapurna this Spring 2000:

Royal Exp' Annapurna 2000 Spain Annapurna I North Face Josep A. Pujante Spain
French Annapurna I (GMHM) Exp'. Annapurna I North Face Thierry Bolo France
International Annapurna I Expedition Annapurna I  N. Face Edmund Viesturs USA
  • Annapurna Spring 2000: Dispatch One:

EverestNews.com will follow the attempt on Annapurna of a International Expedition; "International Annapurna 2000"

After five years of work, the " Expedition the International Annapurna 2000 " sponsored by the Port of Barcelona, will leave tomorrow for Nepal, the country in which the team will attempt  the ascent of the Annapurna, 8091 meters, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first ascent of a mountain greater than 8000 meters. The team has High Sponsorship of Carlos I of Spain and His Majesty Birendra Bir of Nepal and leadership by the mythical mountain climber and ex-French minister Maurice Herzog along with the Catalan Josep Antoni Pujante. The group will celebrate by climbing the most dangerous mountain of the 14 that are higher than 8000 meters, the feat that first occurred on June 3rd 1950 by the team of Maurice Herzog & Louis Lachenal.

The greatest enemy once at base camp will be the avalanches that with take place on Annapurna.  The avalanches have taken the lives of many of the climbers that have dared to reach its highest point. In order to minimize the danger, the climbers will study the daily itinerary in an attempt to follow the route that was completed in 1950 by the team of Herzog-Lachenal.

In addition to the climb, the team will seek to complete the management of the construction of a health center and the coordination of a search for a Catalan Joan Carrillo who disappeared the last December when solo ascending Cho Oyu. These are the objectives of the team formed in addition by the Turk Yasar Ugur Uluocak, the Basque Josu Feijoo, the Catalans: Jep Tapias, Joaquim Molins, and Xavier Arias, Paschal Borja of Madrid, climber from Nepal  Ang Phurba, Dawa Sherpa, Chuldim Sherpa and Dawa Sherpa. The team will be received in Kathmandu by His Majesty the king of the Nepal and once the official proceedings are complete, the team will start the approach towards the Base Camp, that will last about 8 days and that will allow for the initial  acclimatization.

Their web site:  www.interofer.es/annapurna2000

  • Annapurna Spring 2000: Second Dispatch

EverestNews.com will follow the attempt on Annapurna of a International Expedition: "International Annapurna 2000 Expedition"

Today the expedition started off for Nepal, with the objectives : to reach the top of first the 8000 conquered, to manage the construction of a health center and to search the mountain for a Catalan climber that disappeared while climbing Annapurna earlier. Maurice Herzog & Louis Lachenal first reached the Summit of Annapurna in 1950 .

  • Annapurna Spring 2000: Third Dispatch

EverestNews.com will follow the attempt on Annapurna of the "International Annapurna 2000Expedition":

The members of the expedition have been received in the real Palace of Katmandu by S. Magestad King Birendra Bir. He delivered them a flag of Nepal. The head of the expedition Pujante Josep gave to S.M. King Birendra Bir a letter that King of Spain Juan Carlos I, had trusted to him. The expedition gave some presents to King Birandra who paid tribute to the fact that the 3rd of June of 1950 marked a landmark in the history of the humanity. (The first Summit of an 8000 meter peak.)

Ugur Uluocak, a climber from Turkey, who is part of this expedition, has been delayed in arriving due to airline problems.

Their web site:  www.interofer.es/annapurna2000 with reports in Spanish, Pictures and more ! A very nice site.

  • Annapurna Spring 2000: Dispatch 4, Short and Sweet

EverestNews.com will follow the attempt on Annapurna of the "International Annapurna 2000Expedition":

The Annapurna Expedition is reporting in that they have reached a point where they can see mountain. Annapurna is "not loading with snow". They are very excited about this !

Their web site:  www.interofer.es/annapurna2000 with reports in Spanish, Pictures and more ! A very nice site.

  • In other Annapurna News:

Asian-Trekking is reporting that along the many expeditions that they are supporting this Spring 2000 is : "International Annapurna Expedition led by Ed Viesturs, 1 American + 1 Canadian + 1 Finish (Veikka Gustafsson)."

  • In other Annapurna News:

The Inurrategi Brothers (Alberto & Felix) will be on Annapurna this Spring with many other climbers expected, timed for the 50th anniversary of the first summit. The Inurrategi Brothers now plan to  Summit Manaslu, then Annapurna, and G1 & G2 this year completing the 14 8000 meter peaks. None of their Summits are disputed. In the next few days, EverestNews.com will post all climbers who have completed 10 or more Summits of the 14 8000 meter peaks.

  • Annapurna Spring 2000: 3/31/2000

The expedition of Port of Barcelona, completed a new stage.

Weather: sun and heat (35 Cs)

Location of Expedition: In Kopchepani, a village located on the Annapurna circuit

Next objective: Lete, last village on the trek to Annapurna

Today the day has begun, in Tiplyang.  We have followed the valley of the Miristicola river during an exhausting day of 10 hours. In the beginning of the day, we went with the connection official Mr. Bed Bahadur Karki with whom we will continue until we finish the expedition. Our objective today was Kopchepani. During the route we had the privilege to see Monte Ningiri and the imposing barrier of South Annapurna of almost 8000 meters. Taking advantage of the good temperature that the day offered us, while passing by Tatopani, we bathed in the thermal waters. It allowed time to relax for the members of the expedition, knowing the hardness of the days that still are to come.  From Kopchepani, Nepal, Namaste, Joaquim M. (Jake) i Gil

  • Annapurna Spring 2000: 4/1/2000

Title: The day ended in Lete, at 2400 meters of altitude

Weather: Sun and Heat (+35 Cs / + 5C)

Expedition Location: Resting in Lete after an pleasant day in which the group gained 1000 meters of altitude.

Next objective: To rest in Lete to regroup  the team.

Wstarted in Kopchepani and walked in the direction of our objective: Lete. Although we climbed almost 1000 meters in altitudeit was quite pleasant.  The route that begins to bring us closer our goal, Annapurna. Today, we saw the path to Thulobugin that we will need to follow in about two or three days. Tomorrow, (Sunday) we will remain in Lete, so that the porters can rest and to give time for the stragglers to reunited with the group. The weather is fantastic; quite fresh at night and very warm by the day. For that reason, we took advantage of the coolness and walked in the morning only until 1:00 in the afternoon to stop and eat during the hottest hours. The latest meteorological situation seemed to get worse, but the night has appeared with a sky full of stars. The barometer indicates a reduction of pressure which is the reason why we did not wait for great changes: Sun with temperatures of up to 35 Cs during the day and not less than 5 Cs during the night.  Although, we are still at only 2,400 meters. After the rest day, we will climb to Chhoya (3,600 meters) which is not on the famous Annapurna circuit.

Namaste Joaquim " Jake " Molins i Gil  

  • Annapurna Spring 2000: 4/2/2000

Day of rest  Weather: Sun and Heat (35 Cs) (-5 C)

Expedition Location: Lete, enjoying a rest day and recovering.

Next objective: Beginning of the three last stages towards the Camping Base.

The expeditionary members have dedicated the day to rest and regroup the porters. The rest will serve to save up energy for the last three stages that separate us from Annapurna Base Camp. This additional energy and the time becoming acclimated at 3000 meters will help us in the coming weeks. Joaquim "Jake" Molins, spokesman of the group is happy with the progress.

  • Annapurna Spring 2000: 4/3/2000

Title: Civilization to our Backs

Weather: Sun, Heat (35 Cs)

Expedition Location: On the way to Choya Deurali

Next objective: To camp at Choya Deurali

Today we will turn our backs to civilization and enter into the true kingdom of mountains.  With each step up the valley of the Annapurnaswe are moving  along the historical routes. There is considerable accumulated snow at 4300 meters. This is the level at which our base camp will be established. Due to this, we have had many porters leave the expedition. Our Sirdar, Mingma, has had to hire substitutes. We hope this does not mean delay.  After arriving at our destination, we will take the day to rest and wash ourselves and our clothes and mainly to contemplate the climb ahead of us. The French expedition, that had predicted to go to the mountain, postponed  its attempt and now it seems that they will return to try it in Autumn. 

We are going to be the only representatives of that French expedition that in 1950 conquered the mountain and in its honor we are going to reach the summit.

Tonight we sleep in our tents, the civilization is gone and now we live level with the ground.

If everything goes well, tonight we will camp in Choya Deurali.

Namaste!

Joaquim " Jake " Molins i Gil 

  • Annapurna Spring 2000: 4/4/2000

EverestNews.com will follow the attempt on Annapurna of the "International Annapurna 2000 Expedition": We think you will find these daily reports very interesting. Go to their site for the pictures and dispatches in Spanish. Their web site:  www.interofer.es/annapurna2000 with reports in Spanish, Pictures and more !

Title: The expedition is paralyzed because of a storm of snow, ice and wind

WeatherIntense Snow(-15ΊC)

Expedition Location: Reached 3,300 meters, inside the tents because of a storm.

Next objective: To cross the Tolobugin Pass at 4300 meters.

Update: An unexpected storm of snow, hail and wind, paralyzed the forward progress of the Expedition. This happened when the expedition planned to cross the Tolobugin Pass, located at 4300 meters of altitude. This pass must be crossed to reach Base Camp. These difficulties at the pass, caused many porters to abandon the expedition and turn around.  Josep Antoni, the leader of the expedition, ordered everyone to put up their tents and wait for improved weather and more porters to arrive. In the coming hours, when the snow and the wind (clocked at upwards of  60 km per hour) die down, the group will start off over the Tolobugin Pass, setting fixed ropes after the snow has settled.

In the official notice sent by Joaquim Molins via satellite, "The thermometers, inside the tents, have descended to 6 degrees below zero, a temperature that contrasts with more than 30 positives of just a few hours before."

  • Annapurna Spring 2000: 4/5/2000

Title: Problems are Accumulating for Expedition

Weather: Variable with abrupt variations of temperature.

Expedition Location: Camped near the Thulobugin Pass somewhere around 3,300 meters. 

Next objective: To recruit porters and to go through the Thulobugin Pass at 4300 meters.

Update: The problems continue to harass International Annapurna 2000 Expedition sponsored by the Port of Barcelona. The expedition is paralyzed at 3300 meters on way to the Base Camp.  Due to a lack of porters that would carry all the materials for the expedition, things are problematic. Dr Josep Antoni Pujante, leader of the expedition has received the high sponsorship of king Juan Carlos I of Spain and the King of Nepal, Birendra Bir, showed his worry today.  Although he remembered that in Nepal "The important thing is to arm oneself with a good dose of patience and to wait because in the end everything is solved ".  " The existence at 3300 meters, the height of the Aneto, on the foot of the Thulobugin Pass is a key point on the way towards Base Camp.  The main reason the porters abandoned the expedition is due to the dangerous slopes and a 2000 meter precipice that must be navigated to get through. The expedition's goods are currently divided into three parts, 18 cans in Lete, (waiting for porters) 20 camping near the pass, and another 18 near way of the pass, located to 4300 meters of altitude.

  • Annapurna Spring 2000: Continues

Title: Without news from the Expedition 

WeatherVariable temperatures. 

Expedition Location: Unknown 

Next objective: To cross the Tolobugin Pass at 4300 meters. 

Update: The lack of news makes us speculate that the team is crossing the Thulobugin Pass. The itinerary puts them at Base Camp after crossing this path so it is assumed the next communication will come from there.  In the mean time, we spoke with Antoni Villena, a Catalan mountaineer who knows the area around the pass like few others. He has visited there on two occasions.  He was also a member of the second Spanish expedition to Annapurna. He said "If the porters have left the team because of the adverse weather conditions near the ascent to the Thulobugin Pass, the complications will worsen in the climb out of the pass". Villena was in the pass last year, 25 after his first visit, on his way to Annapurna Base Camp.  The team's situation is not strange to him.  "It is normal that it snows during this time of year considering the altitude.  Additionally, when thinking of the steep entrance to the Pass, it is very dangerous". "The snow accumulates in the path which forces the team, in many cases, to install fixed lines to secure the section ". Antoni Villena, who will return to the Nepal to hike the Annapurna circuit, assures us that the complications are far from over. "The path to Base Camp of the north face of the Annapurna is without a doubt the most complicated of those to any of the 14 8,000 meter peaks. Thus, it is not a surprise that the porters would fear this route.". "Annapurna is a mountain of that is not journeyed to very much because of these difficulties and the avalanche danger, it is danger. ", explained prestigious the climber. Source: The Annapurna Web Site Editor.

  • Annapurna Spring 2000: 4/8/2000

Weather: Variable

Expedition Location: Base Camp !

Update: The Expedition has made Base Camp after crossing the very dangerous pass slowly and carefully. 

Update 4/9/2000: The snow and wind have delayed our arrival to base camp by three days. We need now to install the necessary equipment for scaling the mountain. Some equipment we are waiting for hopefully  will arrive tomorrow. We will then need to perform the mandatory religious ceremonies necessary in all base camps in the Himalayas. The altimeter that indicates that base camp is at 4180 meters almost 4000 meters below our objective. 

Update: 4/10/2000: Calm day today in Base camp. Joaquim Molins begins to write about the adventure against a scenery we could have only imagined during our four years that it took for us to get here! Now it is before our eyes. We hope to fulfill a dream in the days ahead. 

The main goal of the team is to acclimatize to the altitude at the moment. The hours on foot to get to this point were long and hard. The time is now to write, listen to music, and contemplate the mountain and imagine the top. Different routes are always intuited towards the top and each one tries to defend it technically. The truth will be when one steps on top and then returns safely from its slopes. 

  • Annapurna Spring 2000: 

Date: 4/14/2000

Title: The snow has stopped progression to Camp II

Weather: Instable

Location of Expedition: Group I is at Camp I (Dr. Pujante, Feijoo, Ugur) as is Group 2 ( Tapias, Arias and Pascual) and Group 3: 2 Sherpas. Base Camp: Molins and the rest of the Nepali members

Next Objective: If the weather does not permit moving up to Camp II, the groups will come back to base camp.

Update: "Cold, very cold" is how Joaquim Molins describes the weather on the mountain. A cold front has suddenly changed the weather in the Himalayas and has stopped the teams from progressing to Camp II. They are staying in their tents, taking advantage of the time to acclimatize. The thermometers have descended to -9 C inside the tents at Camp 1 and up to -4 C in Base Camp. In addition, there was a small incident where the garlic sausage or salchichσn disappeared, leaving to the climbers without an important and flavorful part of its food. Tomorrow, if the weather improves the team will continues towards camp II. However, if the adverse conditions do not improve, the team will return to base camp which is much more comfortable.

  • 4/15/2000 Dispatch

Title: The expedition is paralyzed

Weather: Intense Snow (temperature at C1 is -9 C inside the tents)

Location of Expedition: On the mountain

Next Objective: Waiting for improved weather

Update: The intense snow that has left almost a half meter of snow. This is preventing to the climbers from leaving their tents. They are hearing considerable amounts of avalanches although they are happening far away from their tents. An American expedition is isolated at camp II at 6000 meters. In the next hours the climbers at Camp I will decide if they stay there hoping improved weather or descend to base camp.

  • Date: 4/16/2000

Title: The expedition is gathering at base camp

Weather: Snowing (with improvement expected in the coming hours)

Location of Expedition: Base Camp

Next Objective: Study the route to Camp II at 6000 meters

Dispatch: The adverse weather conditions in which the Annapurna region has sunk into, has forced the expedition members to return to base camp. This was done by rappelling on the ropes installed by many teams. At the same time, the Americans returned to base camp after deciding not to follow the French route that looks too dangerous. The snow storm, according to the forecasts will stop in the next hours and lead to three or four days of favorable conditions. However, this may not lead to good climbing due to the avalanche danger from the recent snows.

  • Dispatch 4/17/2000

Title: Everyone in very high spirits

Weather: Snowy and Clear 

Location of Expedition: At base camp with hopes for favorable conditions to climb until camp II at 6000 meters. 

Next Objective: Patience, much patience. 

Dispatch: "Patience, much patience is what we must have." Is what Dr Josep Pujante Antoni explained from base camp at 4180 meters of altitude via sat phone. The intense snow and cold has forced a gathering of all the expedition members in their tents at base camp.  This includes the last of the Sherpa climbers who finally arrived today. The third and final expedition attempting Annapurna this spring is supposed to arrive tomorrow at base camp.  It is a French-Nepali military expedition. The camp will then be abuzz with discussions of the weather and the climb to the summit.  During the day, the expedition member's relaxation is only broken when it is necessary to remove snow from the tents.  Additionally, the expedition anxiously awaits chairs, which are supposed to arrive tomorrow.  Letters, music, reading, games, and talking to fellow travelers in the long hours is what is happening to pass the slow time.

  • Annapurna Spring 2000: 

Title: New arrivals at Base Camp

Weather: Partly Cloudy

Next Objective: Climb to Camp 2

Update: Today the base camp increased its population. The final expedition will attempt Annapurna this spring installed its tents today with the help of two helicopters that transported their materials.  This is a French-Nepali joint military expedition.  As the new expedition arrived, the  American team announced that they will leave the French route.  According to its leader, Viesturs " We have decided to avoid all the dangerous areas of the mountain, those most exposed to avalanches ". Tonight the sky around Annapurna was lit by a new moon, a good omen. However, this is not sufficient because we must only hope that the newly fallen snow compacts quickly.  This will not endanger the climbers along the slopes of this colossal mountain. The news of the day is that one of the Port of Barcelona's tents was destroyed by a helicopter blade.  'Jake' Molins said, "I had a small scare and the tent can be replaced ". In the hours before the supper, Feijjo, gave an interview to the show "Onda Rambla - Onda Cero.  He displayed from the base camp his poster and confessed that he loves the Atlιtic of Bilbao soccer team.

  • 4/19/2000 Update

Title: The avalanches restrain the progression.

Expedition Location: Base Camp at 4180 meters

Next Objective: Climb to Camp II to study the snow

Update: The expedition saw one more day affected by the snow conditions that prevent us from climbing to Camp I.  Today, the climbers planned to climb with the Americans to Camp I.  However, we observed avalanches occurring 2000 meters directly above the route.  We met and decided to postpone any planned activity planned. The risk is too high to undertake any climbing. The weather is still adverse. It snows every day in the afternoon and during the night. The high temperatures during the day, cause the snow pack to become unstable. " In spite of our desire to climb, prudence prevails", it explains Joaquνm ' Jakι Molins, via satellite from the base camp.  

  • Annapurna Spring 2000: 

EverestNews.com will follow the attempt on Annapurna of the "International Annapurna 2000 Expedition": We think you will find these daily reports very interesting. Go to their site for the pictures and dispatches in Spanish. Their web site:  www.interofer.es/annapurna2000 with reports in Spanish, Pictures and more !

Update: 4/20/2000 The team returns to load-carrying and climbs to Camp II at 6000 meters.

Weather: Sun during the day and snow at night.

Location of Expedition: Josep A. Pujante, Jep Tapias, Borja Pascual, Xavier Arias, Jep Tapias and Yasar Ugur are at Camp I.  The rest of the expedition are at Base Camp being coordinated by Joaquim 'Jake' Molins.

Next Objective: Decide the climbing route.

Dispatch: The expedition, in spite of adverse weather conditions, follows the planned schedule.  "Team One" made up of Dr Josep Pujante Antoni, Paschal de Borja (from Madrid) and the Yasar Ugur (Turkey) reached 6000 meters, where CII is located. The team then returned to the CI.  Tomorrow, they will decide whether to continue on the French route or follow another less-dangerous route to the summit.  This decision was already made two days ago Dispatch: The expedition, in spite of adverse weather conditions, follows the planned schedule.  "Team One" made up of Dr Josep Pujante Antoni, Paschal de Borja (from Madrid) and the Yasar Ugur (Turkey) reached 6000 meters, where CII is located. The team then returned to the CI.  Tomorrow, they will decide whether to continue on the French route or follow another less-dangerous route to the summit.  This decision was already made two days ago by the American expedition. The high temperatures during the day and the cold and snow during the night has caused the route to become very instable and prone to avalanches.  This is especially the case near CII.  While "Team One" ascended to the CII,  "Team Two" formed by Basque Iosu, Feijoo and Xavier Arias and Jep Tapias fixed ropes in sections between the base camp and CI.  Both teams met in CI in the afternoon. According to Dr Pujante "We had a very hard day.  We climbed for 13 hours to CII and then descended to CI in bad weather." The American and Military expeditions are looking to team-up and combine efforts to complete the ascent of the mountain.

NEWSFLASH 4/21/2000 7:47 pm EST

ANNAPURNA:

Communication from the International Expedition to Annapurna 2000 via Airtel from Camp I at 5000 meters. 

"Team One" formed by Ugur Uluoak, Paschal Borja and myself, yesterday reopened the route between Camp 1 to Camp 2.  The route had become impassable after several continuous days of falling snow and subsequent avalanches. Returning to Camp 1 to spend the night with to the "Team Two" formed by Jep, Iosu Aryan Feijoo and Xavier.  They had installed prudent fixed ropes between Camp 1 and BC.  Today, they were to have installed fixed ropes between Camp 1 and Camp 2.  However, at midnight, an immense avalanche, coming from the level 7500 meters, caused an enormous roar and later a powerful expansive wave. The avalanche strongly shook the tents at Camp 1 and awoke everyone.  Everyone then scrambled to refuges before the imminent arrival of the snow.  This sprinkled the level platform of Camp 1 following the explosion that has lasted almost a minute. This morning, we prepared the loads that Sherpas should have transport to Camp 2.  This included ropes, stoves and food that they were to put in the tents. Minutes afterwards, when studying the route, we saw that the avalanche of the previous night literally swept all but 400 meters of the route to Camp 2.  This is the exact route that we followed yesterday.  The avalanche wiped out the route towards Camp 2. Immediately afterwards, as the expedition head, I had to order that neither Sherpas nor the climbers accept the to risk and cancelled the plans for the day. I have ordered the Sherpas to descend to the BC. The climbers, at the moment, are here at Camp 1. The American expedition, led by Ed Viesturs, who also was in the Camp 1 and has immense experience in the Himalayas, at sight of the circumstances, decided to definitively abandon their ascent of Annapurna. The French military expedition, did not climb to Camp 1 as was planned. We are therefore alone at Camp 1 and in good conditions. As the route to Camp 2 has been destroyed and the atmospheric conditions are not good, we will stay here a few days awaiting better conditions. The patience, the prudence and the tenacity, must be united to attempt to ascend Annapurna. 

Jose Pujante, leader of the Expedition the International 2,000 Annapurna / Port of Barcelona

4/21/2000 A huge avalanche has devastated part of the route to camps I & II.

Weather: Sunny during the day, snowing at night.

Expedition Location: At Camp 1:  Pujante, Ugur, Tapias, Paschal, Feijoo and Arias. In Base Camp: Molins, Dawa and Phurba Chuldim.

Next Objective: Climb to Camp 2 with Supplies

Dispatch: Dr. Josep Antoni Pujante called via satellite from Camp 1 at 5000 meters.  The team made up of Ugur Uluocak, Borja Pascual and myself re-opened the route between Camp 1 and Camp 2.  The route had been blocked by continuing snow and avalanches.  Descending to Camp 1 to sleep with "Team Two" composed of Jep Tapias, Feijoo &  Arias. They had spent the day reinforcing the fixed ropes between Base Camp and Camp 1.  Today, we were to have installed Camp 2 to sleep there.  However, during the middle of the night, an intense avalanche starting at 7500 meters blew through and dusted the platform where Camp 1 is located.  It lasted a few minutes.  This morning, we prepared our loads for the Sherpas to transport to Camp 2 made up of ropes, tents and food.  Minutes afterwards, when studying the route, we saw that the avalanche of the previous night literally swept all but 400 meters of the route to Camp 2. This is the exact route that we followed yesterday. The avalanche wiped out the route towards Camp 2. Immediately afterwards, as the expedition head, I had to order that neither Sherpas nor the climbers accept the to risk and cancelled the plans for the day. I have ordered the Sherpas to descend to the BC. The climbers, at the moment, are here at Camp 1. The American expedition, led by Ed Viesturs, who also was in the Camp 1 and have immense experience in the Himalayas, at sight of the circumstances, decided to definitively abandon their ascent of Annapurna. The French military expedition, did not climb to Camp 1 as was planned. We are therefore alone at Camp 1 and in good conditions. As the route to Camp 2 has been destroyed and the atmospheric conditions are not good, we will stay here a few days awaiting better conditions. PATIENCE, PRUDENCE AND TENACITY MUST BE UNITED IN ORDER TO ASCEND ANNAPURNA!!! 

4/22/2000 "Team Two" Sleeps at Camp 2."Team Two" Sleeps at Camp 2.

Weather: Sun in the day and snow at night

Location of Expedition: Camp 2: Xavier Arias, Borja Pascual and Ugur Uluocak.

Camp I:  Josep A. Pujante, Jep Tapias, Dawa and Phurba. Base Camp: Joaquim Molins and Feijoo.

Next Objective: Supply Camp 2 and study the route to Camp 3

Dispatch: This morning at 9:30AM Nepal time, five members of "Team Two" took advantage of a slight improvement the weather.  They ascended to Camp 2, carrying tents, climbing equipment and food, without the support of Sherpas.  The intention was for three team members (Xavier Aryan, Paschal Borja and Ugur Uluocak) to spend the night at Camp 2.  They are acclimatizing and will study the route to Camp 3 in the morning. "Team One" made up of Dr. Jose A. Pujante and Jep Tapias are to head to BC to  re-energize.  If this is not possible due to bad weather, they will stay at Camp 1.  Our formidable team of Sherpas climbed today to Camp 1 with the intention to climb to Camp 2 tomorrow to collaborate with the members of the expedition in the establishment of this camp. At 14:15 (Nepal time), the weather at BC is not very encouraging.  A cloudy front coming from the west, originating in the Valley of Lete, has blown into the base camp area of Annapurna.  This phenomenon has become habitual since our arrival to the Himalayas.  The storms unloading snow and the temperature descends. The combination of afternoon snows and lower temperatures at night makes it enormously difficult for our teams to make progress.  This is due to the avalanches of accumulated snow on our routes.

Joaquim M. "Jake" Molins, from Annapurna BC

4/23/2000 Team member leaving

Dispatch:  Feijoo will leave Annapurna base camp tomorrow to go to Everest to fulfill his commitments as the head of the Basque expedition.  The expedition is looking to ascend to the ceiling of the world! He will take advantage of the American expedition's trek led by Ed Viesturs to descend with them until Kathmandu. Today, the expedition sponsored by the Port of Barcelona has not emitted any official notice from the base camp. This could be caused by a technical problems in the mail server that we hope will be solved in the next hours.

4/24/2000 A storm whips the mountain.

Location of Expedition: Seeking Refuge at Base Camp

Next objective:  Wait, wait, wait

Dispatch: Annapurna is being whipped by inclement weather since yesterday afternoon. After 14 hours of uninterrupted snow, BC has been swallowed with almost half meter of snow.  The slopes of Annapurna, especially the North face's glacier (where the climbing route is located) have been dangerously loaded with snow. With complete certainty, the route could not be climbed for another three or four days because of the avalanche danger. The mountain has disappeared before out eyes.  The visibility is little and the landscape presents/displays a monotony of the thick whiteness that surrounds us. We see only snow and fog. The good news is that the teams returned from Camp 1 and Camp 2 yesterday to BC.  The team climbing down from Camp 2 was surprised by the storm. If the two teams had not descended yesterday, the climbers would have been in jeopardy because both of the camps are now isolated. All the expeditionary members are, then, in the BC and in perfect state. The North American expedition that already decided to leave must now wait at the BC for the weather to improve.  The French military expedition decided today to not climb Annapurna.  This was communicated by their leader, Captain Thierry Bolo. The causes are identical to those which motivated the American equipment led by Ed Viesturs. The Expedition of the 50th anniversary will hope to resume the climbing activity when time and prudence advise it. Both high camps are perfectly installed and equipped. Meanwhile, it continues to snow. The snow is white, but the panorama is black.

J. Pujante, Head of the Port of Barcelona Expedition.

Update 4/25/2000 Snow covers the entire mountain with white.

Weather: Snow, with improvement expected in the next hours.

Location of Expedition: Base Camp

Next Objective: Climb to CI and CII

Dispatch: A front of clouds the covers the bulk of Annapurna. Since we arrived, it has snowed every afternoon. Although there is a risk of avalanche, tomorrow all climbers will go to CI with the intention to climb to CII the next day.  The members of the French military expedition will try to climb Tilicho Peak (7,140 meters) and then to CI.  We know that our CI has been affected by the snow, making the tents into snow-white forts.  We are concerned with the loss of important climbing materials. Of course, the same can be said of CII.  We will not know anything about the status of our materials there until we climb there.  We are prepared for the worst.

Cordially from all team members,

Joaquim 'Jake' Molins

NEWSFLASH 4/26/2000 8:48AM EST

Alberto and Felix Inurrategi with Pepe Garces reached the Summit of Manaslu on 4/25/2000 which is believed to be the first Summit of the Year 2000 for a 8000 meter peak.

Alberto and Felix Inurrategi are attempting to finish the 14 8000 meters peaks this year. They now will be off to Annapurna !!! These guys are special.

You will recall Pepe from EverestNews.com coverage of K2 the last two years where Pepe has been an Expedition member. Pepe has also joined the Quest for 8000.

Update: 4/26/2000 Alone. Americans and French say "Adios"

Weather:  Small Improvements Predicted

Location of Expedition:  Distributed between Base Camp (4180m) and CI (5000m)

Next Objective: Climb to CII at 6000m.

Dispatch: Today, the members of the Expedition took advantage of a window of good weather. Although there is no way to guarantee that the weather will stay this way. Today, in preparation for a supposed slight improvement of the weather, some of the team ascended to CI (5000 m). When they reached CI, they verified the damages from the intense snow and avalanches of the last days. Luckily, although some of the equipment was damaged and lost, we reestablished CI. With the hope of a stable morning we will initiate the ascent to C II. We hope to evaluate the damages and reestablish that camp. Once we have reconstructed the camp, we will check on the conditions to CIII. The American Expedition, led by Ed Viesturs, left the BC yesterday in the direction of Katmandu. The same for the members of the French Military Expedition. They disassembled their Camp I on Annapurna. We are alone.

Namaste,

Joaquim M. "Jake" Molins Gil from BC at 4180m, Nepal 

Update 4/28/2000

Title : Climbers in Camp II, 2000 meters from the summit.

Dispatch: Today, the members of the Expedition took advantage of a slight improvement the weather. Still far from the most desirable weather, they climbed to CII, accompanied by Sherpas. "Team Two" formed by Xavier and Ugur Uluocak and "Team One" with Dr Pujante and Jep Tapias, are both rebuilding CII at the moment.  CII was damaged by the snow and avalanches previous days.  They have also been able to locate an important cache of climbing materiel that was presumed lost.  Without these materials, it would have been more difficult to make progress up to CIII.  Tomorrow (29th), the teams will wait for the weather to calm and then climb up the German route to CIII.  After multiple observations, this route appears to be safe. The technical difficulty of Annapurna, the severe and inhospitable climatic conditions and the losing materials due to avalanches are all part of climbing this mountain of 8091 meters. The messages of luck from relatives, friends and mountaineering fans received here at this base camp, thanks to Airtel, are at the moment the main motivation of us.

Joaquim M. "Jake" Molins Gil from BC at 4180m, Nepal 

Their web site:  www.interofer.es/annapurna2000 with reports in Spanish, Pictures and more !

Update 5/1/2000

Title : The German Route: Impossible

Location of Expedition: CI and BC

Next Objective:  Study a new route.

Dispatch: After the attempt to open the German route on the 29th, the climbers decided abandon the route due to poor conditions.  It was impossible to climb this route with guarantees of safety.  The weather is also very unstable. We still have not yet seen one full day of good weather.  The fronts of low pressure settle in every noon on North face and unload snow.  Additionally,  in the last days with electrical activity.  This, together with loss of material, makes difficult the progress. After yesterday's attempt, the climbers descended to C I, to spend the night and to rest. Today, April 30th, with the aid of Sherpas who are climbing to CI,  the team will try to study the possible alternatives for the ascent and installation of C III.

Joaquim M. "Jake" Molins Gil

Dispatch: 5/2/2000

Title: Technical difficulties in communication

Location of Expedition: Unknown at this point

Next Objective: Study possibilities for a solution to the technical problems

Dispatch: The BC communicated that they are having technical problems with the communications equipment.  As was discussed in the last dispatch, the expedition abandoned the German route, as the Americans and French did.  The accumulation of snow makes the route too risky.  Next Thursday (4 May) the technical problems will have been fixed and we await communications from the team, then.

Update: The Expedition is Over !!!

Their web site:  www.interofer.es/annapurna2000 with reports in Spanish, Pictures and more ! A very nice site. 

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