Solo New Route on Annapurna South

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The line taken by Slovakian Dodo Kopold on the southeast side of Annapurna South (7,219m). Arrows mark his descent route. The true summit is to the left, marked by a small red dot. Photo by Dodo Kopold.

The line taken by Slovakian Dodo Kopold on the southeast side of Annapurna South (7,219m). Arrows mark his descent route. The true summit is to the left, marked by a small red dot. Photo by Dodo Kopold.

The Slovakian Dodo Kopold has soloed the southeast side of 7,219-meter Annapurna South (Annapurna Dakshin) in a 40-hour continuous push. Kopold had traveled to Nepal to attempt the south face of Annapurna with Martin Minarik and Elisabeth Revol, but conditions were too snowy for a safe ascent.

Instead, Kopold soloed the steep southeast ridge of a 7,100-meter sub-summit of Annapurna South. He traversed a ridge to the west to reach the main summit, and then returned to the saddle and descended steep snow and ice slopes to the south. Kopold carried only a 40-meter 6mm rope, eight pitons, eight ice screws, 10 quickdraws, three energy bars, some dried meat, and a stove for water. He said the 2,300-meter climb’s grade was “something like VI/6 5+ M5 ABO.”

Several expeditions had attempted a line on the “south face” of Annapurna South, and a Russian team completed the line in winter in the mid-1990s. However, the Russian line appears to have been far to the west of Kopold’s ascent, possibly more on the western aspect of the main peak than the south.

Date of Ascent: April 2009

Sources: Dodo Kopold, American Alpine Journal

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