Team Giripremi reached basecamp. The expedition is successful! 8th in a row of ‘Quest of 8000ers’!
On a historic day of 16th Apr 2021 almost 70 summits (exact figure is yet to come) occured at Mt. Annapurna I where climbers from various countries including Sherpas of Nepal made a successful summit bid and descended safely to camp 4.
Expedition Leader – Umesh Zirpe
Team Members & Summitters:
What an astounding feat Giripremi achieved today!!
Giripremi’s team – Bhushan Harshe, Dr. Sumit Mandale, Jitendra Gaware, led by Shivcchatrapati Awardee Shri. Umesh Zirpe makes it to the top of Mt. Annapurna I (8091 m), 10th highest mountain in the world.
After a spell of terrible snowfall and bone chilling cold winds at night, determined and braveheart Giripremians make reached to the top of the peak on 16th Apr 2021. This marks Giripremi’s 8th successful 8000er expedition after a series of Everest (2012), Lhotse (2013), Makalu (2014), Cho Oyu & Dhaulagiri (2016), Manaslu (2017), and Kangchenjunga (2019).
This impressive success which yesterday morning seemed quite distant due to unprecedented drama of shortage of rope in route opening, has come to fruition; thanks to Giripremi expedition leader Umesh Zirpe and Sherpa Sirdar Chhang Dawa, who on a warfooting efforts arranged the necessary gear all the way to Camp 4 yesterday afternoon.
Thus, the second attempt of route opening began yesterday night (15th Apr 2021) and along with them, all the climbing teams followed route opening team. In the cold nights with snowfall till late night, Giripremi team set forth for the final push from camp 4 (7000 m). Team had a mountainous task of scaling 1100 height gain. Entire night team has been trudging upwards. By 11:00 AM, team reached below a steep culoir, a crux before the final summit. Above the culoir, it was just 50 m gain with moderate elavation which team negotiated quickly.
Mingma Tenzi stands atop Annapurna I. He is reportedly the first from route opening team to reach to the top.
Followed by route opening team, Bhushan Harshe, Dr. Sumit Mandale, and Jitendra Gaware made it to the top of Annapurna I and brought Giripremi the glory it deserves. 8th and one of the most formidable 8000er – Mt. Annapurna is summitted!!! What a moment for Giripremi! For Pune! For Maharashtra.. and nonetheless INDIA!! Tricolour fluttered at 8091 m and the wibes of the success rippled across the globe!
This success has just been possible due to immense support and blessings from countless mountain lovers and Giripremi believers. We sincerely explress our thanks to all of you for standing firmly by Giripremi’s side.
First summit of Annapurna I just happened by a Mexican lady Viridiana Chavez. Giripremi team is just 100 m below the summit. They should be on top within an hour. Stay tuned for latest updates.
After a tremendous efforts from Giripremi expedition leader Umesh Zirpe and Sherpa Sirdar Chhang Dawa, adequate rope was arranged and the much awaited summit push by route openers began at around 10:00 PM on 15th. The weather in the evening was hampered due to snowfall and some lightning. Some of the teams were heard to have quit. Exact details are yet to arrive. However Giripremi team and a few others have displayed patience and perseverance. Finally by 11:00 PM, Giripremi team left camp 4. At 6:30 in the morning of 16th, Bhushan Harshe had a call with Umesh Zirpe and he mentioned that the weather was clear with no winds and the team is expected to reach top by 11:00-11:30.
All thanks to Giripremi expedition leader Umesh Zirpe and Sherpa Sirdar Chhang Dawa, required length of rope was brought by helicoptor and sent directly to camp 4 in the afternoon.
Giripremi team has reached lower camp 4, just 200 m below the actual camp 4. Tonight by 8:00 PM, they will make a final dash to the top.
As the march towards the summit begins, so does the typical drama of 8000ers begin to take off.
Giripremi team yesterday reached successfully to Camp 3. The camping place was so terrific that the team could hear the mvoement of glaciers beneath. Team rested well and ensured proper hydration for the next penultimate march to Camp 4.
Up on the camp 4, the situation was different. Around 25 members were getting ready for the summit push. Mountain kept giving intermittant weather suprises with snowfall, clouds and some lightning. Route opening sherpas began to open the route above camp 4 to the summit by 9:00 PM on 14th Apr. By that time the weather had calmed and conditions were favaourable for climbing. But the real drama was yet to unleash. Around at 7400 m, the fixing rope fell short and all the members and the Sherpas were left with no option but to retreat as the further climb was on hard blue ice. Tired and dissasppointed, they all decided to come back to camp 4.
Meanwhile, Giripremi expedition leader Umesh Zirpe coordinated with Kathmandu for additional supply of rope, Oxygen cylinders and Food supply. It will be transported now to camp 3 and from there the Sherpas will carry it further to camp 4.
Tonight from camp 4, all teams including Giripremi, will go for the final dash to the summit while route opener Sherpas will go 1-2 hrs ahead for the remaining route opening.
Conditions are the most favourable for today’s climb and we are all hopeful that all will make it to the top and come back down safely in time.
After a well deserved rest for an overnight, today on 14th Apr 2021, team has left for Camp 3 at 6:30 AM.
The route from camp 2 (5500 m) to camp 3 (6500 m) is the most challenging with over 1000 m height gain in a single day. This very region is avalanche prone and involves near vertical ascent in some sections. Highly experienced Giripremi team is all set to make a move further to camp 3. The team should reach to the camp by 3:00 PM.
After a well deserved rest of 3-4 days at basecamp, the team is all set to march for the summit push. The team plans to reach camp 2 today. As per the weather forecast, most of the teams at Annapurna basecamp have departed for the summit push yesterday and are eyeing for the summit window on 14th morning. Giripremi team will take the next window of 16th morning.
Recent updates from Annapurna suggests that this year alternate route has been adopted as the regular Dutch ridge route has witnessed challenges of overhanging glacier. So to avoid that dangerous zone, Sherpas have managed to figure out an alternate route.
On 7th Apr team geared up for yet another acclimatization rotation. This time they decided to climb beyond camp 1 and then to camp 2. Yesterday, the team rested at camp 2 and today morning, climbed above camp 2 for 200-300 m.
The route above camp 1 had a steady uphill march through the maze of crevasse on the glacier. The team witnessed a moderate level avalanche en route to camp 2. This section of Camp 1 till Camp 3 is an avalanche prone terrain. Climbers need to be watchful as they make movements.
Weather updates play a crucial role in deciding the movements here. Giripremi’s experienced team is daily observing, analyzing the weather forecast and sharing the precise details to the team via messengers.
Today with the clear weather, team marched to camp 1 early in the morning.
The route to camp 1 goes through morrain followed by contouring along the glacier upto 5050 m altitude.
Morrian route will be full of loose rocks, scree and some steep ascent in between. The location of camp 1 is relatively flat with the towering Annapurna North face in front. Staggering Tilicho Peak (7134 m ) stand right behind the camp 1.
After concluding the pooja ceremony well, Giripremi team for the first time ventured on the slopes of Annapurna. The terrain was mostly full of morraine. At some sections, the route was through complicated land slide sections. The team managed to gain around 1100 ft height gain before arriving at the basecamp.
This was indeed a confidence boosting rotation and in the next, they plan to go to Camp 1 for overnight stay.
Based on the weather report, they will make their next rotation.
Today was the second day at Annapurna basecamp.
Team had safely reached yesterday and settled. The weather has been snowy whole day and the night was relatively colder. Due to quarantine days in KTM, team was already behind the schedule, so without spending much time for settlement and getting used to basecamp, today Giripremi team performed Mountain pooja. With her blessings, tomorrow the team plans to acclimatize upto Camp 1 (5000 m).
Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, the there is a chance for a good weather.
Yesterday, the team could not fly as the weather was cloudy at Dana and it snowed heavily at the basecamp. But today, early in the morning, the skies got clearer and Giripremi team managed to fly to the basecamp. By 10:00 AM all reached safely to the basecamp.
We are now highly excited to hear their next updates as the mountain days have begun.
We pray HER grace for the blessings to our team members for their higher climbs.
Finally, the long lasted travel part will be finished today as the team flies to the basecamp of Annapurna I.
Yesterday, team had a long 15 km trek to the last village called Dana. The team rested well in the comfortable wooden lodges for one last time as today they have left for the basecamp.
With the blessings and best wishes of all the Giripremi supporters, team shall unfurl the Tricolour on top of the 10th highest mountain.
The road from Jomsom to Ghasa was under construction at some places. So the members had to transport the luggage on their own and find an alternate trail to negotiate the section. It was a similar situation Giripremi had faced in Mt. Kangchenjunga Eco Expedition 2019, where the bus could not cross the narrow bridge. Hence, the team had to transport all the luggage across the bridge on their shoulders.
Situated on the banks of Kali gandaki river, this drive has some historic memories. Back in 1050s during the first successful expedition to Mt. Annapurna I, French team had a series of reconnaissance in this region. Hopefully the villegers would have some interesting stories of that Golden era to share with our team!
With the clear weather, there is a chance that they can get some glimpses of Annapurna massif.
Team Annapurna is now in the region called Jomsong. They flew from Pokhra to the North side of Annapurna in a region called Jomsom. At Jomsong they greeted a celebrity sherpa mountaineer – Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, the summitter of Everest, K2, and Kangchenjunga.
The region is surrounded by snow capped mountains and offers opportunities for acclimatization around. Jomsom region has an ancient village with buddhist culture called Kagbeni. An ancient 585 yrs old monastery allures the visitors with its jaw dropping architecture.
Kali Gandki river, famous for fossils (shaligram) snakes through this very region.
The team visited these places and went for an acclimatization walk to Muktinath which is situated at an elevation of 3800 m.
Today, the team visited Lord PashupatiNath temple in the central part of Kathmandu. It has been a tradition of Giripremi to visit and pay respect to the Lord Pashupatinath, before heading for the expedition.
The team is almost set to leave for the climb as their quarantine in Nepal is finished today. All the equipment, first-aid, logistics are in place. Sherpa team is excited for a new season after a climbing drought last year due to Pandemic. Giripremi team is high on energy and hopeful for their 8th big ascent.
At KTM, the team busied themselves in sorting and packing the expedition equipment.
Expeditions to 8000er peaks are unique in theselves. Along with climbing skills and experiences, the success depends a lot on seamless planning and meticulous preparation.
Special equipment such as High Altitude sleeping bags, Down suits, Oxygen cylinders Mask, Boots & Crampons are vital. Giripremi had reserved a couple of days as preparatory days.
Giripremi team left for Kathmandu on 14th Mar 2021.
Girirpemi office was flooded with supporters and well wishers to bid the team farewell for the climbing journey. On 14th evening, team reached Delhi and flew to Kathmandu on 15th Morning.
Due to new Covid-19 regulations in Nepal, team will undergo 7 days period of quarantine in Kathmandu, before proceeding for the climbing.
In an auspicious ceremony at Nehru Auditorium Ghole Road Pune, Giripremi’s 8th consecutive 8000er expedition to challenging Mt. Annapurna I is flagged off on 7th Mar 2020. However due to the pandemic, expedition could not take place in that season.
In 2021, with new hope and high on energy, Giripremi’s compact but highly experienced team of four mountaineers under the leadership of Shivchhatrapati Awardee Shri. Umesh Zirpe is set to climb world’s 10th highest and one of the most difficult mountains, Mt. Annapurna I (8091 m). The team will depart to Kathmandu on 14th Mar 2021.
Giripremi’s team comprised of Dr. Sumit Mandale, who has climbed two 8000er mountains Mt. Cho Oyu & Mt. Kangchenjunga; Bhushan Harshe, summitter of Mt. Everest, Mt. Kangchenjunga. And Jitendra Gaware, who has summitted Mt. Kangchenjunga, Mt. Ama Dablam. The team is led by Shri. Umesh Zirpe, who has been a successful leader of Giripremi’s seven consecutive 8000er expeditions including Mt. Everest and Mt. Kangchenjunga.