Death of my Friend: Samuli Mansikka on Annapurna – Updated

Samuli Mansikka
Samuli Mansikka

Tragic news of the deaths of my friend Samuli Mansikka, 36, and Pemba Sherpa, 35, while descending from a successful summit of Annapurna on March 24, 2015.

There were 13 summits Annapurna on March 24. Conditions were reported good but avalanches were prevalent as is the case on Annapurna. It is the most deadly of the 14 mountains above 8000 meters with 191 summits and 67 deaths or 35%.

I have little information on Pemba was from Makalu 5, Sankhuwasava, Nepal date of birth 1908-02-08. He was known as “Technical Pemba”.

Details unclear but Sammy’s website mentions there was a fall.  He was climbing on a permit from Dreamers Destination which posted this on their site:

25th March, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa (team guide). Yesterday, we all whole team made it to summit of Mt. Annapurna. We had a good weather with little cold wind on summit. On the way back to last camp, we lost one foreign climber and good Nepali friend. Foreign climber was part of our expedition team. We had agreement of giving service in Base camp only. He was climbing without Sherpa (support climber). I don’t how they slipped. We had lot of plans together because they both were good and close friends of mine. May their souls rest in peace and gods give their family the strength to overcome this grief. Om mani padma Hu.

Sammy had climbed Kangchenjunga & K2 in 2014, Makalu in 2013, Dhaulagiri in 2011, Gasherbrum 2 in 2010, Everest & Manaslu in 2009, Lhotse in 2008, Cho Oyu in 2008 & 2006 & Annapurna 1 in 2015.

He had made these Tweets from Annapurna:

At camp 4 (7000m) on Annapurna North-face! Spectacular! Last night was terrible with just as much snow inside the tent as outside!

Annapurna showed today that it really is’ dangerous! Anyway got through the icefall and am now at above 6700m looking at Dhaulagiri!

There’s this one hanging glacier and couloir that wants to kill you! Shoot a fair size avalanche on us today. Didn’t hit but dusted us good!

Got myself to Camp 2 (5700m)! Amazing

I climbed Alpamayo and K2 with Sammy. He was on a very successful path to summit all 14 of the 8000m mountains solo and without Os. As I fought to summit K2 with Os, I climbed almost beside Sammy from the High Camp to the summit, him with no Os. I could barely keep up.

He was the President of the Finish Alpine Club and member of the Explorers Club. His competence, sense of humor and grin will be sorely missed by all.

Climb On My Friend,
Memories are Everything

Update: their bodies have been recovered from 7000 meters per the Ministry of Tourism.

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14 thoughts on “Death of my Friend: Samuli Mansikka on Annapurna – Updated

  1. It is with great sorrow that I heard of the loss of Samuli and Sherpa Pemba. Sammy seemed to me a true ambassitor of climbing. He was so strong and talented yet easy going and down to earth. He was a very genuine person. I feel fortunate to have met him.

  2. I send my condolences to you, Mr. Arnette. How very sad to hear this news at the beginning of the season. May the souls of both climbers rest in peace.

  3. We are saddened to learn that our great friends Mansikka Samuli and Pemba Sherpa have passed away in the tragic accident at Annapurna. It is indeed shocking news for the mountaineering community, their friends and family. Both were very strong mountaineers and great human beings. Our deepest condolences go out to their families. May their souls rest in eternal peace!

    Ashraf Aman/Naiknam Karim
    & ATP Team

  4. Alan, this is devastating news. Samuli was a world-class Himalayan climber and from everything I’ve heard, a wonderful person. My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends. We lost a great one this week.

  5. Thanks for the tribute, Alan. There are some people who seem to live charmed lives and you think they will survive no matter what. Sammy was one of these for me. I even tweeted him my congratulations when I heard he reached the summit. A reminder it can happen to any of us … RIP Sammy, you will be sadly missed 🙁

    1. Very well said, Mark, thanks for those comments. I have enjoyed following your Himalayan climbs.

  6. I am saddened by this news, and altho I did not know him, my heart breaks for his family and friends and fellow climbers.
    I pray that no more precious lives will be lost, it is so early in the new season, so my prayers will undoubtedly not be answered.

  7. It is really tragic to learn about the death of Finnish Climber Sammy & Pemba Sherpa at Annapurna. Annapurna claims its tolls almost every year & most dangerous of all the 8000-ers . May their soul rest in peace & deep condolence to their family.

  8. Sorry to hear this news. Thinking of you and their families during this incredibly difficult time.

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