Breaking news: Mondinelli SUMMITS Annapurna!
(MountEverest.net/Madrid) After two previous attempts, a tragic experience last year and a great deal of suffering – Silvio ‘Gnaro’ Mondinelli has made it! The Italian climber reached the summit of Annapurna at 11.30 am local time, together with Lhakpa Sherpa. One hour later Gnaro called home again: “I’ve walked along all summit points – to make sure I’ve reached the actual main summit,” he told his wife Idel. Mondinelli also said he could see his mates Marco Confortola and Marco Camandona far below. “They are climbing up, but still two or three hours away from the summit.”
Descent in deep snow
Gnaro started descending right away. “We need to go down slowly and carefully – there is a lot of deep snow, pretty inconsistent in some sections, and we haven’t fixed ropes from C3,” he reported.
Luckily, wheather conditions have improved since yesterday. Wind was still blowing when the climbers set off earlier this morning, but not as strong as in previous days. The Italian team has spent two days in C3, waiting for the wind to drop in order to attempt the summit.
Gnaro's lucky 13th
Mondinelli plans to stay in C3 tonight, and resume the descent back to BC tomorrow.
This is Gnaro’s 13th 8000er. Only this year he has summited Shisha Pangma Main, Lhotse and Annapurna. Next and last in his 14x8000er quest is Broad Peak, in Pakistan.
Update: 07:00 am - Marco Confortola and Marco Camandona have also reached the summit. They have met Mondinelli back in C3. Then the climbers have decided to proceed all the way back to BC - arrival is expected today by 8:00 pm, local time.
Mondinelli has attempted Annapurna twice before. On his last expedition in 2005 he narrowly escaped a falling serac which killed Christian Kuntner and left other three climbers injured.
Silvio Mondinelli was born in Gardone (Italy) in 1958. A devoted climber since the age of 18, he has been a member of several major expeditions all over the world, including 13 8000ers.
About Annapurna: Curiously enough, the most awe-inspiring of the 8000ers was also the first to be summited.
In 1950, French climbers Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal used only a rough map as a guide, and picked their way up an unattempted route to the summit. Their descent turned into a hellish nightmare, leaving them near death, with their extremities completely deadened by frostbite. Lachenal lost all his toes. Herzog lost all his toes as well as all his fingers.
Herzog and Lachenal survived their ordeal, but too many others have tragically lost their lives over the years. On Christmas Day 1997, Anatoli Boukreev was killed in an avalanche, an event that shocked the mountaineering community. The strong climber had survived the deadliest season on Mount Everest the year before, and aided three other climbers to safety in a brutal storm.
In 2005, a falling serac killed Italian Christian Kuntner, who had already summited 13 8000ers. Three other climbers were severely injured in the accident.
Before Mondinelli's this year Annapurna had been summited only by Peter Hamor, member of Piotr Pustelnik’s team, and by Kazakh climbers Maxut Zhumayev and Vassiliy Pivtsov.
At 8,091m, Annapurna I, most commonly known as Annapurna, is number 10 on the list of the fourteen 8,000m peaks, and is the ninth highest Himalayan peak in the world. It is located in north central Nepal, flanking one end of the Annapurna massif which includes Annapurna II (7937m), Annapurna III (7,555m), Annapurna IV (7,525m), Gangapurna (7,455 meters) and Annapurna South (7219 meters).
Further information at: http://www.mounteverest.net/news.php?news=15169