Alpinist has received confirmation that Tomaz Humar has summited Annapurna (8091m), crowning a four-day solo mission on its 3000-meter south face. He reached the top on October 28. [It is still being confirmed whether he reached the main summit or the south summit. –Ed.]
Humar’s exact line of ascension is unconfirmed. [Alpinist first reported that Humar climbed the western side of the south face, in the vicinity of the unprecedented 1970 British expedition; however, other sources have reported conflicting corroberation. A NewsWire update is forthcoming. –Ed.] The face remains “a testing ground for the most ambitious Himalayan climbers”; it was completed first by legends Chris Bonington, Dougal Haston and Don Whillans–“after many weeks’ effort by a team of eight climbers, supported by high-altitude Sherpas, supplying six camps along a continuous line of fixed rope,” states Himalaya Alpine-Style. Needless to say, Humar has applied a consummate, contemporary approach to one of last generation’s greatest challenges.
Earlier this year, Ueli Steck made a similar solo attempt on Annapurna’s south face. Three-hundred meters up, rockfall tossed Steck from the wall; incredibly, he survived the 1000-foot fall (see the May 29, 2007 NewsWire).
Humar is known for his impressive first ascents and solo attempts on some of the world’s most severe Himalayan faces–particularly his 2005 attempt on a new route up Nanga Parbat’s Rupal Face, where bad weather trapped him on a small ledge at ca. 6000 meters for six days. Eventually he was rescued by helicopter after poor weather thwarted numerous attempts to reach him.
Alpinist.com will be posting a more comprehensive report when more information becomes available.