Snowfalls in the last few days have increased the avalanche risk on Annapurna north side. High winds are sweeping the mountain and will hit hard at least until Saturday. Patience is key now, Edurne Pasaban concludes. But the work on the route is virtually done.
During three weeks Pasaban and the Al Filo team have fixed the route up to C3, where they left two tents. A huge serac remains to be to fixed, but the Spaniards might give the summit a shot next time they go up, Edurne told ExWeb from BC.
ExplorersWeb: When do you plan to move up again?
Edurne: According to out meteorologist Vitor Baia, winds will hit the upper sections hard at least until Saturday. We will go up again as soon as conditions improve.
ExplorersWeb: Are you considering a summit attempt then?
Edurne: Well, the most delicate sections are fixed and weve got three camps already set up. Weve also been observing the serac (headwall) above C3 through the zoom lens and it looks pretty good actually. So, conditions permitting yes, I think we will give the top a shot.
ExplorersWeb: The ropes you had deposited to fix the serac were swept off by an avalanche last week, did the replacement line you ordered arrive?
Edurne: No but we solved the problem anyway. We tried to order 600m of ropes to be delivered in the chopper transporting Juanito Oiarzabal, but it was too late by the time we called. Then Carlos Pauner offered to lend us 400m of his Korean rope which we accepted.
ExplorersWeb: Whats the climbing plan exactly?
Edurne: Our idea is, all going well, to climb up to C2 on the first day. Then to C3. On the third day we would fix the serac and return to C3 for the night. Then we would pitch a fourth camp on the following day.
ExplorersWeb: Any expected date for departure?
Edurne: Not before Saturday (April 10th). Wind will be too strong until then, according to forecasts.
ExplorersWeb: Youve been the only climbers on the route yet. Juanito-Pauner and Miss Oh expeditions hit BC only some days ago while most other climbers have been acclimatizing in the area. Do you expect any other climber/team to join you guys on the upcoming push?
Edurne: I don´t think so. Right now, only Juanito has gone up on an acclimatization trip to C2; no one else has left BC yet. (Ed.Note: Martin Ramos and Jorge Egocheaga also planned a C2 trip today, according to Martin).
Apendix: Who said rivals?
Edurne and Miss Oh met over tea yesterday, discussing route details and comparing current conditions to the difficulties Eun-Sun found in her 2009 attempt. Miss Oh also explained how the 30-member TV crew hopes to cover her summit day in a live, 8 hour-long broadcast.
It was a great chat, we had a very nice time, Edurne said. Miss Oh asked how could she contribute in exchange of using our fixed ropes; we answered it was OK we had fixed the route simply because we got there first. Oh Eun-sun was extremely grateful, and by the end of the meeting said we could count on her for whatever we might need.
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