KATHMANDU: Nepal on Sunday recorded the first successful summit to the mountain above 8,000 m in this spring season.
With 14 foreigners and their 16 high-altitude Sherpa workers reaching the summit of the Mt Annapurna, the Himalayan nation is hopeful of more successful expeditions on other mountains.
Spanish climber Carlos Soria Fontan (77) became the oldest person to climb the Mt Annapurna (8,091 m), after 30 climbers successfully stood on the summit of the world’s tenth highest peak this morning, according to the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.
“Successful summit on the Mt Annapurna sends a positive vibe to the world climbers who are attempting to climb other mountains as the mountaineering sector faced back-to-back disasters in the last two years,” Gyanendra Shrestha, a DoT official said, adding that Soria, born in February 1939, became the oldest climber to climb the Mt Annapurna so far.
According to Pemba Sherpa, Manager at the Seven Summit Treks, after nearly 10 hours of struggle in the higher camps, the 77-year-old Spaniard and other 29 climbers reached the summit at around 10:00am.
At the age of 51, Soria had summited Nanga Parbat, his first eight-thousander while the 2001 Mt Everest summiter also held the age record there as well as on the Mt Kanchenjunga (75 years), the Mt Lhotse (72), the Mt Manaslu (71), the Mt Gasherbrum I (70), the Mt Makalu (69), the Mt Broad Peak (68) and the Mt K2 (65).
After completing a bid on the Mt Annapurna, the 12th peak above 8,000 m he climbed, Soria is all set to leave for the Mt Dhaulagiri to try to complete two eight thousanders in the same season while he has also announced to attempt to climb the Mt Shisha Pangma next season to be the oldest mountaineer to complete all 14 eight-thousanders.
Bulgarian zoologist and climber Boyan Petrov Petrov first reached the summit while others made it to the top of the mountain a few hours later, Sherpa said, quoting the team leader Mario Vielmo from the Camp III. Two female climbers – Christine Patricia Burke (Australia) and Luo Jing (China) – also successfully summited the mountain.
Italian climber Vielmo, Mathew Woodruff Du Puy (US), Nadav Ben Yehuda (Israel), Jost Kobusch (Germany), Guntis Ivars Miko Brands (Switzerland), David Klein (Hungary), Atanas Georgeiv Skatob (Bulgaria) and Spanish climbers Luis Miguel Lopez Soriano and Carlos Vicente Sanohez also successfully ascended the mountain, Sherpa said. He added that they were on the way back to the base camp.
According to Wanchu Sherpa, Managing Director at the Trekking Camp Nepal, South Korean Climber Migon Kim along with Pasang Nuru Sherpa and Sanu Sherpa also successfully climbed the Mt Annapurna. “It is Kim’s 13th eight-thousander in the list,” he said, adding that Kim would try to climb Nanga Parbat next year. Earlier, a strong wind and snowstorm deferred a couple of summit pushes on the mountain.
“It was a kind of victory on the Mt Annapurna this season,” Temba Tsheri Sherpa, the youngest person ever to climb the Mt Everest reacted.
The DoT has issued climbing permits to two expedition teams ( 15-member SST Expedition and 10-member Dream and Challenge Expedition) for the Mt Annapurna by charging USD 1,800 from each foreign climber this season while Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki also headed to the Mt Annapurna in his solo attempt to climb the mountain from the difficult southwest face.