First summit successes of the season on Makalu and Annapurna I

Makalu in first daylight, from Gokyo Ri (in 2016)
Makalu (seen from Gokyo Ri)

The commercial climbing season on Nepal’s eight-thousanders has begun. The first summit successes of the spring were reported from two mountains higher than 8,000 meters – in both cases it was initially the teams of local climbers who fixed the ropes to the highest points.

According to Mingma Sherpa, head of Nepal’s largest expedition provider Seven Summit Treks (SST), an eight-man team led by Lakpa Sherpa reached the summit of Makalu at 8,485 meters yesterday, Thursday. The eight-thousander not far from Mount Everest is the fifth highest mountain on earth.

Eleventh eight-thousander for Nepalese teenager Nima Rinji Sherpa

This Friday, the four-man rope-fixing team led by Mingtemba Sherpa summited Annapurna I in western Nepal. According to SST, a total of twelve climbers reached the highest point at 8,091 meters, including the first clients.

Nima Rinji Sherpa was a member of the rope-fixing team and climbed without bottled oxygen, it said. Annapurna was the 17-year-old’s eleventh eight-thousander. Nima Rinji is the son of Tashi Lakpa Sherpa, the managing director of SST. As a mountaineer, Tashi Lakpa, among others, stood on the summit of Mount Everest nine times.

The Nepalese Ministry of Tourism has so far (as of 10 April) issued 380 permits for eight-thousanders for this spring season : 209 for Everest, 55 for Lhotse, 45 for Makalu, 31 for Kangchenjunga, 25 for Annapurna I and 15 for Dhaulagiri.

Update 14 April: According to Seven Summit Treks, Australian Allie Pepper and Peruvian Flor Cuenca, who lives in Germany, also scaled Annapurna today without bottled oxygen. They were accompanied by Mingtemba Sherpa and Ngima Wangdak Sherpa, who were using breathing masks.

Update 16 April: As Norrdine Nouar announced on Instagram, he also reached the summit of Annapurna I at 8,091 meters without bottled oxygen on 14 April. In spring 2023, the German mountaineer from the Allgäu region, born in 1987, scaled his first eight-thousander, Lhotse, also without breathing mask.

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