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Annapurna 1995

Slovenian team

Annapurna 1995

BC at normal site.

No attempt on NW Buttress because frequent snowfall made it too dangerous. Dutch Rib not possible approach, very dangerous (ice avalanches) and upper part all broken with over hanging serac preventing passage to face.

This team had avalanching from below C2 seracs and snow avalanches between C2 and C3 (which hit 2 members but they were not hurt); almost broke fixed ropes. Also avalanches from hit 2 other men (this the most dangerous part) and destroyed (buried) C3 by the time Humar descended there. Ski descent by Karnicar brothers began at 9:15 am at 1200m below and followed ascent route; at c100-150m below C3 Davorin in lead passed OK, but Andre (Drejc) skied into fixed rope which got entangled around one leg at very steep place, rope stopped him and made him fall on his side; he cut rope with very sharp edge of ski and carried on; stopped skiing at c4200m where morning began. 2 men kept no more than 50 lines meter apart; used alpine touring skies; arrived at 4200m at 3:30 pm; paused for 15 minutes at C4, at C3, below C2 at C1. Andre very tired at end and had frostbitten toes (will lose ends of 2 toes).

Ascent delayed by daily changing of weather with frequent snowfall. Arjun Tamang went up with Humar from C3 but did not want to summit so waited in C4 while Humar went to top alone.

In 1979 French skier started not from summit but 200m below it, below rock section. Slovenes, very expert started from 2m below top, descended by ski down couloir to west of rock section just east of West Face. Also French did not use skies in section below C3 at 2-3 times, 10-20m each but Slovenes did; both stopped ski descent 100m above BC because of moriane.

Carsolio: face "extremely dangerous"; "most dangerous climb I have ever been." Climbed with Slovenes as one team. Reached BC 9:00 pm of 29th (skiers at 4:00 pm) alone with 3 porters.

Important dates:

12 Apr:  BC at 4300m

14 Apr:  C1 at 5100m established by Andrej and Davorin Karnicar,

         Janko Opresnik, Tomaz Humar, Carlos Carsolio, Arjun Tamang,

         Zen Zen Bhote and Dawa Phuri.

         200m fixed rope was used between base camp and C1. It was

         temporarily dangerous from big avalanches of seracs and powder snow.

18 Apr:  C2 at 5800m by Tomaz Humar, Janko Opresnik, Carlos Carsolio,

         Arjun Tamang, Zen Zen Bhote and Dawa Phuri Sherpa. The way

         between C1 and C2 was very difficult due to new deep snow

         and dangerous because of falling of ice from seracs.

26 Apr:  C3 at 6600m by Andrej and Davorin Karnicar, Tomaz Humar,

         Carlos Carsolio, Arjun, Zen Zen and Dawa Phuri.

         Route between C2 and C3 led on glacier and snow buttress with

         many seracs and with the presence of dangerous snow

         avalanche, on this section we used 300m of fixed rope and

         lost 6 loads in the avalanches.

28 Apr:  C4 at 7400m by Andrej and Davorin Karnicar, Carlos Carsolio;

         weather was fine.

29 Apr:  Before midnight they left C4 and without moonlight and

         before sunrise they reached the last rock part 200m

         below the summit. On the far right side they found a narrow

         couloir and at 8:25 am. They finished their ascent on the top

         of Annapurna I at 8091m. Weather was nice and the climbers

         stayed on the summit for one hour. After that Karnicar

         brothers put their skis on and then made the first ski

         descent from the summit of Annapurna I and continued to the

         last snow before base camp, about 4500-4600m. They took only

         short rest at C4, C3 and C1 and reached base camp at 6 pm.

         Carlos Carsolio descended to BC at 9:30 pm. Next day we found

         that Andrej Karnicar had frostbite on his toes and we called

         for a rescue flight by helicopter.

01 May:  Viki Groselj and Stipe Bozic reached C4 late evening and there for

         for 3 days because it was windy and snowing. Stipe Bozic became sick.

04 May:  Viki Groselj tried to make ascent alone but after two hours he

         abandoned and both left C4 for the base camp.

         Same evening in bad weather condition (foggy, deep snow) Tomaz Humar

         and Arjun reached C4. They were tired and waited there for one day.

06 May:  Tomaz Humar left C4 at 9:20 am by himself, leaving Arjun at C4.

         Climbing on deep snow he reached the summit at 7:00 pm and stayed

         10 minutes on the summit for photograph. He returned to C4 at 9:30 pm.

07 May:  Both (Humar and Arjun) reached base camp at 6 pm. In the

         meantime C3 disappeared under new snow and small avalanches.

08 May:  At base came landed a big Asian Airlines Helicopter MI-8 and

         lifted Andrej Karnicar, Dr. Damjan Mesko and Stipe Bozic to KTM.

10 May:  Rest of the expedition team left base camp for Deurali.

15 May:  Arrived back in KTM.


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