Annapurna 8091 m
Summit reached on 20.10.1996 by a new route along the North-West Spur as a member of the Polish International Expedition.

There was so much snow on the slopes that to go by the normal route was madness, so we were forced to chose a new, safer way. On 90% of the route I was the lead climber; the rest of our way was tracked first by my partner Anjey Marcenyak. It was epic work! We lived on this mountain for two months, working hard on the route every day. It was extremely intensive labor. Ten members of the Gdansk expedition failed to deliver climbing supplies for us in time. On October 20 at 15.00, in extremely difficult weather conditions, we reached the summit at 8091m. There, I searched for some sign of the members of the Ukrainian expedition who were climbing from the south. It would be exciting to embrace friends here, I thought. But I did not meet them. They happened to arrive at the summit a few minutes later. Incredible!

Vladislav Terzyul:

REPORT ABOUT EXPEDITION (1996).
New route, Annapurna Main, North-West Spur.
Expedition Annapurna-96 (city of Gdansk, Poland).
Members of the expedition - 12 participants (10 - Poland, 1 - USA, 1 - trough Ukraine).



Head of organisational committee - Khristof Tarasevich
Expedition Leader - Valdek Soroka
Lead Climber - Vladislav Terzyul
Region - Central Himalayas
Class of climb - high-altitude-technical
Mountain - Annapurna Main (8091m) via North-west spur

——- classical route, M. Ertsog, L. Lashenal, 1950.
——- new route

Relief - snowy-icy spur with zones of rocks cleared by wind at 7500-7600m, inclination 60°-90°.
Base Camp (BC, 4300m, 06.09.1996) was located on the right moraine of the north glacier in grass zone.
The way from BC to the first camp (C1, 5200m) ascends through the icefall of unstable rocks (5-6 hours) - fixed 200m of safety ropes. C1 was set on the right stony slope of the glacier (08.09.1996).
It took us 4-6 hours to travel from C1 to C2. The flat cracked glacier had to be passed in the direction of the middle rocky ridge. We ascended a crumbling ridge upward (it was necessary to fix 100m of safety ropes to ascend.). At the end of rocky ridge, we went to the right, passing across a snow and ice slope. C2 (5700 m, 09.09.1996) was set up in front of the steep north slopes, using the seracs there as protection.
We started upward from C2 before sunrise, first crossing over a flat glacial plateau and winding around partially covered crevasses, moving roped together. After reaching the plateau we moved to the west, using the rocky fragments as our target. To get from C2 to a steep snow slope beneath the rocks took around 1-2 hours. Then we traversed along the lower edge of the rocks into an icy couloir ( 50m of fixed rope). Where the couloir became less steep it was necessary to cross into an inclined snow plateau, which culminated at a steep snow slope of about 50°. There we found an absolutely protected snow trough - a safe place for C3 (6200m). The ascent between C2-C3 took 4-6 hours.



From C3, we moved up the steep ice and snow wall (60-90). Our target was a snow ridge, requiring 150m of fixed rope to reach. It was necessary to cross this slope vertically because of avalanche danger! Further along there was 500m of difficult snow ridge consisting of seracs. It took 2-3 days to fix ropes across this section. Ropes had to be fixed every 30m. We had to use both sides of the ridge (on the face of the seracs we set ice screws and snow hooks). Then the ridge became flatter and easier. It took 3-5 hours to get from C3 to C4 using the fixed ropes (600 m). C4 (6500 m) was located under the left wall. This campsite was inconvenient: there was no sunlight during daytime.




Above C4 there were ice-crusted snow-covered cliffs along the rocky spur; we moved to the right side. A constant west wind had removed the snow from the surface of the rocky spur. The relief was firn with an inclination of 30-70. It took us 2-3 days to secure and pass this part of the route. For a big expedition like ours, it was necessary to secure this section with fixed ropes. This made it easier to move in a caravan descending from the summit (700m). To get from C4 to C5 took 4-7 hours over a well tracked and fixed route. C5 (7100m) was set up on a inclined snow plateau.
After two more days of work, a rocky strip was passed. The terrain was firn, ice, and rocks at 40-60. Further on we crossed over unstable rocks, going upward to the left to a small rocky shelf before wall




At 7500m there was 50m of difficult rock climbing. Firm rocks inclined 70-90 and small parts were covered with ice ( we used 15 hooks, 5 ice screws). After the rocky strip there were no technical difficulties. It was necessary to mark by landmarks the place of exit from the rocks. Further on we went up to the left over the snowy, icy slopes (20°-50°). Our target was to the left of the snow couloir which came out on to the summit (we ascended along the unstable rocks along the side because the couloir was prone to avalanche).




The summit was a 300m-long snow ridge with cornices to the south. The top of Annapurna is located on the west part of the ridge.
Schedule of the summit climbing day:
05.00 - get up (7100m)
07.00 - start climbing
10.00 - passed the rocky strip
10.00 - start moving roped (the relief was not difficult but very firm ice - difficult to arrest in the event of falling therefore we had to untied)
13.00 - We arrived at the base of the snow couloir (7800m)
15.00 - Vladislav Terzyul - Ukraine, Anjey Marchenyak - Poland arrived at the summit of Annapurna, we took photos and filmed.
16.10 - Started on the way down
18.00 - Arrived at C5
The ascent was accomplished keeping a moderate pace because of strong wind. It is proposed to start climbing 2-3 hours earlier.

Vladislav Terzyul.

 

 

Anjey Marchenyak.