Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The winds have shut us down.

Pictures: Pretty clouds = evil winds


Today we commissioned via Andy Houseman in Kathmandu a specialist mountain forecast from a meteorologist in Switzerland (the joys of Satellite communications!) which was reviewed by Everest guide and 8 times summiteer Kenton Cool (who should know a thing or two about Himalayan weather), and it is not good.


There is a very active and consistent westerly air stream which is predicted to blow at 50 mph above 7000m for the foreseeable future with only a brief lull in 36 hrs time.  Given that the temperatures above 7000m are -20C, you can see why we are not racing back up to get frozen.  Kenton says that he has never seen such a consistent and strong air flow, which we have seen for ourselves today while watching the snow plumes blow off Annapurna 3.

Our lift out of here is booked for the 15th, and we are low on food, so there is no time to wait for the winds to drop; we have given it long enough.  There will be no summit for us this time, but an expedition like this is not just about getting to the summit...

Today we went for a wander to look at a line on the South ridge of Annapurna 3 which tops out at around 6000m, but the ice lines are melted out at the bottom and the glacier approach is something out of a computer game with some grotesque giant hurling boulders down the path you would like to climb. 

So we have a few days to relax in the sun (base camp is a different world meteorologically speaking to the summit of A3) and take in the stunning scenery of this remote and wild place for the last few days of our expedition. 



  1. Tough luck guys. Mother nature always dictates.

  2. Bummer boys least you got a nice sun tan and your own cook have a fun last few days jb

  3. Good effort boyo, shame about the weather gods! Safe trip home, Dan and Claire x

  4. sorry to hear you're having to leave the attempt, but very happy to hear you'll all be coming back safely :0) your loss is our gain I guess. Have a good few days chilling out, and a safe trip back.
    Hope to see you in Kendal? looking forward to hearing about it all in person, big hugs kt & the golden wookie xx

  5. Hi guys,

    Just a note to say that I've enjoyed following your blog. Recently visited ABC on a trek and have loved reading about your expedition. Shame it's not worked out but there will always be other days, other years.

    Good luck with your future expeditions!

  6. Bet your fingers and toes are glad about the decision. Don't let the frustration spoil your remaining days somewhere that looks so amazing - enjoy.

  7. Sorry to hear that. We've been following your blog since Jo, Alastair and Alexandra came to visit us in Basel the week before last, and told us about your endeavours. Much admiration for what you have achieved. J G T and M x