Annapurna: The First Conquest of an 8000-Metre Peak
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One of the great works of mountaineering literature
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY JOE SIMPSON
In 1950, no mountain higher than 8,000 meters had ever been climbed. Maurice Herzog and other members of the French Alpine Club resolved to try. This is the enthralling story of the first conquest of Annapurna and the harrowing descent. With breathtaking courage and grit manifest on every page, Annapurna is one of the greatest adventure stories ever told.
As well as an introduction by Joe Simpson, this new edition includes 16 pages of photographs, which provide a remarkable visual record of this legendary expedition.
The distinguished French mountaineer Maurice Herzog was leader of the 1950 expedition to Annapurna. He was one of the two climbers to reach the summit.
operation. Perched up on our mounts we tried to avoid getting our boots wet, and might have managed it if we had not been obliged to keep close to our horses’ heads to guide them firmly through the rushing river, and if the local saddles had not had the disagreeable habit of slipping round the animals’ bellies, or the over-taut girths had not chosen the most inconvenient moments to give way. Rébuffat, who has long legs, crossed over boldly, with his feet in the water. ‘It’s better to get your
with their loads. Rébuffat and I did not hesitate: we would take the stuff over ourselves. Now Rébuffat was transformed into a porter; he had the straps supporting the containers placed round his forehead, and his head, his neck and his long body swayed dangerously. He approached the torrent, started across with Couzy’s support, then balancing by himself took a few steps over the foaming water, and stretching out his arms reached me where I was standing on a boulder sticking out of the water:
Noyelle was awaiting them impatiently, for he, too, was very keen to go to Muktinath. His turn came next day, with G. B. Rana. Then on May 20th at 9.30 Angdawa and Dawathondup arrived, bringing the message written at the Base Camp near the spur, after Lachenal and Terray had come back from their reconnaissance. 1 Rocks are graded according to their difficulty from grade 1, the easiest, to grade 6, the hardest, reaching the limits of the possible. Only very few climbers get to grade 6. Most of
camera-man: Marcel Ichac indeed was one of our trump cards. He had already been to the Himalaya, in 1936, and had taken part in a great many expeditions. As soon as he arrived I should have the benefit of his advice, but just now he was in Greenland with Paul-Emile Victor, and immediately afterwards he would be off to the USA to film the world ski championships, at Aspen, arriving back only a few days before we left for India. He would have several jobs to do. Not only would he film the
seen. The camp was becoming more and more like a hospital: everybody’s thoughts and actions were dictated by the condition of the casualties, and everybody hung on the surgeon’s lips. From now on his word was law. That same day began the incredible work of transporting the injured, which ended only after a long and painful retreat, lasting five weeks, beneath torrential rain and over dangerously steep ground. This retreat, during which all the injured slowly recovered, will for ever remain an