The British-Indian-Nepalese service expedition - first-time conquerors of Annapurna II (27,041 ft) May 17 - received a welcome with garlands on their return to Katmandu(Nepal) Airport June 6.
LV PLANE TAXIES IN
SV ROBERTS LEADS PARTY FROM PLANE
SCU ROBERTS AND PARTY GREETED
SV PARTY RECEIVE GARLANDS
FULL CU ROBERTS
SCU EXPEDITION MEMBERS GRANT BONNINGTON AND ANG NYMA SHERPA
LV ALL MEMBERS POSE
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The British-Indian-Nepalese service expedition - first-time conquerors of Annapurna II (27,041 ft) May 17 - received a welcome with garlands on their return to Katmandu(Nepal) Airport June 6.
The expedition's leader, Captain J.O. M. Roberts, led his team from the aircraft. Posing for a group photograph after a welcome of garlands by embassy and military officials of the three nations were the three successful climbers of the expedition: Captain R.H. Grant of the Royal Marines; Lieut. C.J.S. Bonnington of the Royal Tank Regiment; and Lance-Corporal Ang Nyma Sherpa of the 10th Gurkha Rifles.
The three men made the final assault on the peak from a camp at 23,850 ft - thereon it entailed the traverse of a narrow and exposed ridge two miles long followed by nearly 2,500 ft of difficult climbing over steep snow and rock.
Next day May 18 unbeknown to the summit trio, two of the six Sherpa porters climbed neighbouring Annapurna IV (24,630 ft) "just for the fun of it." The peak has been climbed twice before in the last five years. Four other members of the expedition - according to plan this time - scaled the peak may 19, and found at the summit a dirty handkerchief hoisted there by the two Sherpas as a mark of their secret conquest.
Before the services expedition set out for the Annapurna range - their leader said on return to Katmandu - a court of five drunken men imposed a fine of about GBP3 15s on the expedition at a village on the Nepal-Tibet border. The climbers paid only GBP2 5s of it -- they said they refused to hand over the full amount when they discovered two of their tents had been looted while they were appearing before the court. The charge against the climbers: Smoking near sacred mountains and shooting dear and stags.