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Ueli Steck Makes A Third Attempt at Annapurna

Annapurna SouthfaceThe summer comes to an end – and the Himalaya season begins. Annapurna is the least climbed summit of any mountain over 8,000 meters. Until the very end of 2008, only 154 climbers reached its summit. 60 alpinists died, two thirds of them were victims of avalanches. At 8,051 meters, Annapurna belongs to the small eight thousand summits. On its south side, the mountain falls straight down to the south face. It becomes a complex face of rocks and ice at 2,500 meters. (Image: Annapurna Southface)

Annapurna GlacierI attempted to climb this face in 2007 and 2008. Unfortunately, I didn't find much success. Both expeditions took place in the pre-monsoon period in April and May. In the south, the Annapurna is not boarded to any other mountain chain. This means that the wet air is unimpeded, which constantly leads to precipitation. With such a face, 10 centimeters of snow can have catastrophic consequences. Avalanches reach unimaginable dimensions. (Image: Annapurna Glacier)

Ueli Steck approaching Annapurna SouthfaceThe post-monsoon period brings mostly – in contrary to spring time – more stable weather. The days are shorter and it gets colder, which can be advantageous on the south face. The sun is less intense and has less strength, which softens the snow mantle. On the other hand, the rock is not so warm anymore, and you get cold fingers if you climb without gloves. (Image: Ueli Steck approaching Annapurna Southface)

Annapurna Base CampAdventures stand out because you can never calculate in advance what might happen. You can take a guess as to what could be expected, but nothing is certain. Walking comfortably through life is not my goal. This is why I want to try to climb Annapurna for a third time. I would like to implement my dreams and visions into reality. Annapurna is one of them. (Image: Annapurna Base Camp)


Annapurna SouthfaceWe'll start the expedition on September 16, 2013. Through Quatar Airways we will fly to Kathmandu. After 2 to 3 days, we will continue our journey to Pokhara. From there – after a short bus ride – we will trek to Annapurna's base camp. Base camp is located at 4,100 meters, on a moraine of the glacier, which goes to the south face. It is a comfortable place in the green. The way to the face from there is quite long. The foot of the face is at about 5,500 meters. To get acclimatised, we will carry all of our equipment to the foot of the face, where we will install our starting point. We will decide which route we will take once we get to that point. Conditions and weather will be a deciding factor. (Image: Annapurna Southface)

Ueli Steck on the Annapurna Southface in 2007Canadian alpinist, Don Bowie will accompany me on this expedition. After our expedition of Tibet in 2011, we had been looking forward to another expedition together. We will have approximately two months time for this expedition – which brings us to November 15, 2013. Janine and Dan Patitucci will ensure that the expedition is quite visual, with many images available at www.patitucciphoto.com. (Image: Ueli Steck on the Annapurna Southface in 2007)

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