Join local author Kelvin Kent as he recounts his experiences working with the 1970 Annapurna Southwest Face Expedition in Nepal.
In 1970, the South Face of Annapurna 1 was considered the hardest climb in the Himalayas. It had not been climbed and posed a set of problems which many thought of as impossible.
The famous British climber, Chris Bonington put together a team which included legendary climbers like Don Whillans, Ian Clough and Dougal Haston. Kelvin Kent was selected to head the logistics and communications – all well before the advent of satellite and cell phones, internet and pre-arranged Base Camp set-up. About 13 tons of equipment had to be carried over 100 miles from Pokhara to the base of the mountain.
To this day, the South Face (one of the 8000 meter peaks) is still regarded as the most dangerous of Nepalese Himalayan mountain climbs.
Kelvin Kent came to Montrose in 1976 where he operated small businesses and became very active in the community. Prior to that he underwent corporate training in London and was a commissioned officer in the British army for 16 years. He now lives in Ridgway for the summer season and southern Arizona in the winter. Other expeditions he has either led or been a member of include the Southwest Face post monsoon Everest expedition of 1972, The British Trans Americas expedition, (from Alaska to Southern Chile via the Darien Gap), driving from the UK to Calcutta via Europe, Turkey, Iran. Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal, plus numerous treks in Nepal and many visits to India and Tibet.