HOW MANY BODIES LIE BURIED ON THE SLOPES?
Annapurna is a life-taking mountain, and climbing it depends on luck and hard work,” writes mountaineer Mingma Sherpa. As every serious climber knows, there are nine peaks higher than the 26,545-foot summit of Annapurna, but it’s considered the most difficult one of all and it is also the deadliest. The fatality rate is 38%; Mount Everest’s is less than 4%. As of March 2020, 157 climbers have successfully climbed to the summit, but 60 others died while making the attempt. Many of their bodies lie frozen on the icy cliffs, and recovering them would simply be too dangerous. It was not until 1970 that a team successfully made it to the summit of Annapurna via the extremely difficult South Face, and one of those climbers was killed by a falling pillar of ice on the lower slopes. A storm in October 2014 was the worst one in decades, bringing almost 6 feet of snow in 12 hours. It cut off electricity and phone service, making rescues unusually difficult. Around 400 people were rescued, but more than 40 others were lost.