ExWeb a team of very talented international climbers has joined forces to make a summit bid on Annapurna today and if the weather holds they could stand on top by the end of the week. The team will include Canadian Don Bowie, Brazilian Waldemar Niclevicz and Spaniard Carlos Soria.
The trio reportedly set off on their attempt this morning and are eying a possible summit on Friday. They'll be keeping close watch on the weather as they go, but the forecast looks good with conditions improving as the week goes along. You may recall in my Himalaya update yesterday Bowie reported that the trail up to Camp 3 was highly unstable last week and he witnessed several avalanches in his attempt to climb to that spot on the mountain. Apparently the team feels that those conditions have improved enough for them to begin this push today.
Standing 8091 meters (26,545 ft) in height, Annapurna is the tenth highest mountain on the planet. It was the first of the 8000-meter peaks to be climbed but it is far from the easiest of those mountains. Annapurna is considered to be on of the more challenging and dangerous climbs in the world mainly due to the heavy accumulations of snow on the higher portions of the mountain. Those snows are notoriously unstable and avalanches are a common occurrence. While safety has improved on the mountain in recent years, ExWeb notes that it has claimed at least one life every year for the past eight years.
Let's keep our fingers crossed that 2012 is the year that streak comes to an end. Good luck to Don, Waldemar, and Carlos!