Annapurna: The First Conquest of an 8000-Metre Peak

One of the good works of mountain climbing literature

WITH AN creation by way of JOE SIMPSON

In 1950, no mountain greater than 8,000 meters had ever been climbed. Maurice Herzog and different participants of the French Alpine membership resolved to attempt. this can be the enchanting tale of the 1st conquest of Annapurna and the harrowing descent. With breathtaking braveness and grit happen on each web page, Annapurna is likely one of the maximum experience tales ever told.

As good as an creation via Joe Simpson, this re-creation comprises sixteen pages of photos, which supply a amazing visible checklist of this mythical expedition.

The exclusive French mountaineer Maurice Herzog used to be chief of the 1950 excursion to Annapurna. He used to be one of many climbers to arrive the summit.

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Aah … aah! ’ used to be it a groan or a choice? I accumulated my energy for one cry: ‘They’re coming! ’ The others heard me and shouted for pleasure. What a dazzling apparition! ‘Schatz … It’s Schatz! ’ slightly 2 hundred yards away Marcel Schatz, waist-deep in snow, used to be coming slowly in the direction of us like a ship over the outside of the slope. i discovered this imaginative and prescient of a powerful and invincible deliverer inexpressibly relocating. I anticipated every little thing of him. The surprise was once violent, and really shattered me. loss of life clutched at me and that i gave myself up. while I got here to back the desire to dwell back and that i skilled a violent revulsion of feeling. All used to be now not misplaced! As Schatz got here closer my eyes by no means left him for a moment – twenty yards – ten yards – he got here immediately in the direction of me. Why? with no be aware he leant over me, held me shut, hugged me, and his hot breath revived me. i couldn't make the slightest circulate – i used to be like marble. My center was once beaten by way of such great emotions and but my eyes remained dry. ‘Well performed, Maurice. It’s marvellous! ’ 15 The Avalanche i used to be CLEAR-headed and delirious by way of turns, and had the queer feeling that my eyes have been glazed. Schatz taken care of me like a mom, and whereas the others have been shouting with pleasure, he positioned his rope around me. The sky was once blue – the deep blue of maximum altitude, so darkish that you can nearly see the celebrities – and we have been bathed within the hot rays of the solar. Schatz spoke lightly: ‘We’ll be relocating now, Maurice, previous guy. ’ i couldn't aid obeying him with an excellent grace, and together with his information I succeeded in getting up and status in stability. He moved on steadily, pulling me after him. I looked as if it would make touch with the snow via unusual stilt-like gadgets – my legs. i may not see the others; i didn't dare to show around for worry of wasting my stability, and that i used to be dazzled by way of the mirrored image of the sun’s rays. Having walked a couple of couple of hundred yards, and skirted around an ice wall, with none type of caution, we stumbled on a tent. We had bivouacked 2 hundred yards from the camp. Couzy bought up as I seemed, and with out conversing held me shut and embraced me. Terray threw himself down within the tent and took off his boots. His toes, too, have been frost-bitten; he massaged them and beat them unmercifully. the need to stay stirred back in me. i attempted to soak up the placement: there has been now not a lot that lets do – yet we must always need to do no matter what used to be attainable. Our in basic terms desire lay in Oudot; in simple terms he may retailer our ft and fingers by way of the right kind therapy. I heartily agreed to Schatz’s recommendation that we should always cross down instantly to the decrease Camp IV which the Sherpas had re-established. Terray desired to stay within the tent, and as he flailed his toes with the strength of melancholy he cried out: ‘Come and fetch me day after today if valuable. i need to be complete, or lifeless! ’ Rébuffat’s toes have been affected, too, yet he most well-liked to move all the way down to Oudot instantly. He began the descent with Lachenal and Couzy, whereas Schatz persevered to seem after me, for which i used to be deeply thankful.

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