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About Annapurna

Annapurna is a section of the Himalayas in north-central Nepal that includes 8,091 m Annapurna I, thirteen additional peaks over 7,000 m and 16 more over 6,000 m. This section is 55 km-long massif enclosed by the Kali Gandaki Gorge on the west, the Marshyangdi River on the north and east, and Pokhara Valley on the south. Annapurna I is tenth among Earth's fourteen eight-thousanders. 8167 metre Dhaulagiri I rises 34 km to the west across the Kali Gandaki Gorge, considered Earth's deepest canyon.

Annapurna is a Sanskrit name which literally means "full of food" (feminine form), but is normally translated as Goddess of the Harvests. In Hinduism, Annapurna is "... the universal and timeless kitchen-goddess ... the mother who feeds. Without her there is hunger a universal fear: This makes Annapurna a universal goddess ... Her most popular temple is located in Kashi, on the banks of the river Ganga." Her association with the giving of food (wealth) led her in time to be transformed into Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth.

The whole massif and surrounding area are protected within the 7,629 km2 Annapurna Conservation Area, the first and largest conservation area in Nepal. The Annapurna Conservation Area is home to several world-class treks, including the Annapurna Circuit.

The Annapurna peaks are among the world's most dangerous mountains to climb. As of the end of 2009, there had been 157 summit ascents of Annapurna I, and 60 climbing fatalities on the mountain. This fatality-to-summit ratio (38%) is the highest of any of the eight-thousanders.

Climbing Expeditions

Annapurna I
Annapurna I was the first 8,000-metre peak to be climbed.Maurice Herzogand Louis Lachenal, of a French expedition led by Maurice Herzog (including Lionel Terray, Gaston Rébuffat, Marcel Ichac, Jean Couzy, Marcel Schatz, Jacques Oudot, Francis de Noyelle), reached the summit on 3 June 1950. Its summit was the highest peak attained on Earth for three years, until the first successful ascent of Mount Everest.

The south face of Annapurna was first climbed in 1970 by Don Whillans and Dougal Haston, members of a British expedition led by Chris Bonington which included the alpinist Ian Clough, who was killed by a falling serac during the descent. They were, however, beaten to the second ascent of Annapurna by a matter of days by a British Army expedition led by Henry Day.

In 1978, the American Women's Himalayan Expedition, a team led by Arlene Blum, became the first United States team to climb Annapurna I. The first summit team, comprising Vera Komarkova and Irene Miller and Sherpas Mingma Tsering and Chewang Ringjing, reached the top at 3:30 p.m. on October 15, 1978. The second summit team, Alison Chadwick-Onyszkiewicz and Vera Watson, died during this climb.On 3 February 1987, Polish climbers Jerzy Kukuczka and Artur Hajzer made the first winter ascent of Annapurna I.

The first solo ascent of the south face was made in October 2007 by Slovenian climber Tomaž Humar; he climbed to the Roc Noir and then to Annapurna East (8,047m).

On 8 and 9 October 2013 Swiss climber Ueli Steck soloed the Lafaille route on the main and highest part of the face; this was his third attempt on the route and has been called "one of the most impressive Himalayan climbs in history", with Steck taking 28 hours to make the return trip from Base Camp to summit and back again.


The Annapurna massif contains six major peaks over 7,200 m (23,620 ft):

Annapurna I (28.595°N 83.819°E)
It is located at an elevation of 8,091 m. Ranked 10th, Prominence is 2,984 m.

Annapurna II (28.539°N 84.137°E)
It is located at an elevation of 7,937 m, Ranked 16th; Prominence is 2,437 m.

Annapurna III (28.585°N 84.000°E)
It is located at an elevation of 7,555 m, Ranked 42nd; Prominence is 703 m.

Annapurna IV (28.539°N 84.087°E)
It is located at an elevation of 7,525 m.

Gangapurna (28.606°N 83.965°E)
It is located at an elevation of 7,455 m, Ranked 59th ; Prominence is 563 m.

Annapurna South (28.518°N 83.806°E)
It is located at an elevation of 7,219 m, Ranked 101st; Prominence is 775 m.


The Annapurna Conservation Area is a famous trekking region.There are three major trekking routes in the Annapurna region: the Jomson Trek to Jomsom and Muktinath; the Annapurna Sanctuary route to Annapurna base camp; and the Annapurna Circuit, which circles the Annapurna Himal itself and includes the Jomsom route. The town of Pokhara usually serves as a starting point for these treks, and is also a good starting place for other short treks of one to four days, such as routes to Ghorepani or Ghandruk.

The Mustang district, a former kingdom bordering Tibet, is also geographically a part of the Annapurna region, but treks to upper Mustang are subject to special restrictions. About two-thirds of all trekkers in Nepal visit the Annapurna region. The area is easily reachable, guest houses in the hills are abundant, and treks here offer incredibly diverse scenery, with both high mountains and lowland villages. Also, because the whole area is inhabited, trekking in the region offers unique cultural exposure and experience.

Fatality Rate

Annapurna I
Annapurna I has the greatest fatality rate of all the 14 eight-thousanders: as of March 2012, there have been 52 deaths during ascents, 191 successful ascents, and nine deaths upon descent, which means that "for every three thrill-seekers that make it safely up and down Annapurna I, one dies trying." That same ratio is at or above six-to-one for all of the other eight-thousanders, except for K2 and Nanga Parbat. Climbers killed on the peak include Russian Anatoli Boukreev in 1997, Spaniard Iñaki Ochoa in 2008, and KoreanPark Young-seok, lost in 2011.

Annapurna II
Annapurna II, the eastern anchor of the range, was first climbed in 1960 by a British/Indian/Nepalese team led by J. O. M. Roberts via the West Ridge, approached from the north. The summit party comprised Richard Grant, Chris Bonington, and Sherpa Ang Nyima.

Annapurna III
Annapurna III was first climbed in 1961 by an Indian expedition led by Capt. Mohan Singh Kohli via the Northeast Face. The summit party comprised Mohan Kohli, Sonam Gyatso, and Sonam Girmi.

Annapurna IV
Annapurna IV, near Annapurna II, was first climbed in 1955 by a German expedition led by Heinz Steinmetz via the North Face and Northwest Ridge. The summit party comprised Steinmetz, Harald Biller, and Jürgen Wellenkamp.

Machapuchare (6,993 m or 22,943 ft) is another important peak though it just misses the 7,000 metre mark. Machapuchare and Hiunchuli are prominently visible from the valley of Pokhara.

Hiunchuli (6,441 m/21,126 ft) is a satellite peak extending east from Annapurna South, Hiunchuli was first climbed in 1971 by an expedition led by U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Craig Anderson.

Annapurna South
Annapurna South (also known as Annapurna Dakshin, or Moditse) was first climbed in 1964 by a Japanese expedition, via the North Ridge. The summit party comprised S. Uyeo and Mingma Tsering.

Gangapurna was first climbed in 1965 by a German expedition led by Günther Hauser, via the East Ridge. The summit party comprised 11 members of the expedition.



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