Annapurna Range

The conquest of Annapurna I was remarkable in many ways. For a start, the French climbers spent weeks just trying to locate the mountain as it was still unexplored. It was the first eight-thousand to be climbed and even more remarkable was the fact that they did it on their first attempt. This was highly unusual as on most mountains of this size, many exploratory teams went up to study the possible routes up to the summit. Only after several expeditions had tried and failed would one eventually succeed. When Annapurna I was climbed, Nepal was still under Rana rule and the country was strictly closed to outsiders. The climb made Maurice Herzog, the expedition leader very famous, this being the first eight-thousander to be climbed. No expeditions had taken to the mountains from Nepal before this team and so sherpas had to be hired from Darjeeling from where many expeditions were launched via Tibet. Even before the team arrived in Nepal, they had given themselves two options: Climb Dhaulagiri or Annapurna. Finding the former too difficult to climb, they turned their attention to the latter.


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