Stikkordarkiv: klatre høye fjell

Diran Expedition 2016; Preparation and training in Slovenia

diranMy next expedition to Diran 7266m (23,839 ft), Karakoram range in Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan, I will be climbing with my good Slovenian climbing friends Irena, Mojca and Tomaz. We first met at Mt Makalu Base camp at 5800m and spent a lot of time together there. All the three of them have climbed several peaks in Pakistan before so I am so happy to be in the team now. It will be loads of things to learn and to experience together!
But first we needed to get together and set all the logistics; we had to plan concerning gear, food and schedule.
Early May I found myself  a cheap ticket to Ljubljana, Slovenia. Very easy…no…So for all of you: if you want to keep the costs down you actually fly all the way over to Istanbul, Turkey and then return to mid Europe: Ljubljana, Slovenia….I felt bad concerning the environment :(
So, after one day travel I finally arrived and was picked up by my dear friends at the airport.
​And who could come up with a better place to do our planning then this place up in the Slovenian Alps!!! Check out my bedroom!!!!

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We had some great days planning. We sorted out everything concerning gear and food; who brings what? how many slings, ice screws, shuffles….? how many tents for which camps? what kind of food and how much? Then we planned for our tickets to Islamabad and we filled in our applications for visa. This all to be sent off so we could get our «letter of invitation». Which all have to be attached when we apply for visa at our respective embassies.
Then after sorting out all the planning and going through all our gear, we needed to start the paper work and emails. Now we had to try to get sponsors ….a very difficult job. So we all agreed to do our efforts in following weeks. First we need a tent, maybe we can borrow it from some climbing friends…. Lets see what we manage. Still working on that!!! Do you have a tent for us ? :) :)
Then we needed base layers. And we are so super happy to get ACLIMA onboard: we are so proud to announce that ACLIMA AS are sponsoring all of us with everything we need concerning base layers and wool!!! During our expedition we will do thoroughly testing of all the great gear we received!
Thank you ACLIMA!!
In between the planning we got the time to enjoy the Slovenian Alps :)
For breakfast Irena invited me to run up the little bump behind her place…only 1000meter up up.
​An excellent way to celebrate my birthday-breakfast :)
And of course we did a 2000m peak near by. In lovely weather we enjoyed it!
…little did I know who was invited: Irena was actually asked to guide the US ambassador to Slovenia.
We had a really fun and nice climb!!!

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And the following pictures are to inspire all of you to come to Slovenia and enjoy this beautiful country! Fantastic mountains, picturesque small villages, charming restaurants, welcoming and hospital people, and everything within short driving (or bicycle) distance. You have it all: interesting history and geography, mountains, cost line, lakes, very tasty food and the charming capital Ljubljana.
Here is to tempt you: Enjoy the pictures!

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Turning the expedition into relief work, Part 2

Turning the Everest – Lhotse Expedition into Earthquake relief work, Part 2

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I have been involved in projects in Helambu, Gorkha and Sindhulphalchok with Hillary Relief Collective, Karmaflights and my own private initiative.
The shelter project for Kutumsang (and surrounding areas) which is one of my own projects, is still ongoing. Supplies have been purchased with the money you my friends have been so generous to donate.
I am humbled and impressed with the generosity of those who have supported our efforts.
Thank you! Tusen takk! Danke! Grazie! Gracias!

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Her are some of the stories and how it all started.

After helping my team’s sherpas and porters cleaning up in Base Camp, I started my walk down the Khumbu Valley to Lukla. On my way I saw minor destructions. Luckily there were not many buildings totally destroyed. Some just needed a lot of repair. I stopped in Pengboche and visited our beloved sherpa Kami and his family. Luckily his house had only minor damage at second floor. I also visited a family who my dear climbing friends Andrea and Karl are supporting their son with education and work. I decided to support his sister: so now I am proudly paying for her next 5 years of school.

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After a couple of days in Namche Bazar Andrea, Karl and I literally ran down to Lukla to catch a plain to Kathmandu. We heard a lot about how it might be in Kathmandu, but to my surprise it was not so different from before. I only saw some buildings totally collapsed. But many stores were closed and the city was very quiet. And people had moved out, living under tarps in their gardens or at all open spaces in town.

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The people in the streets had changed from climbers, trekkers and other tourists to aid workers. We gathered at some hostels and some coffee shops and discussed how to help in the most efficient way.

I very quickly understood that I had to go out in the field. I volunteered for Hillary Relief Collective and Karmaflights and went out to the Helambu province where we established our FOB (forward operation base) in Timbu.
The first days were focused on delivering out needed food and materials such as rice, oil, blankets and tarps.

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Then we went on 3 days patrols to spread the word where everyone could come to collect what they urgently needed. And people were coming form a far. Some walked for days, and carried sacks of rice with them home, – with a big smile and a warm «thank you»

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At one of the 3 days patrols I went on, I came to Kutumsang. What I saw there, and on my way up to Kutumsang, was massive destructions. All buildings were totally collapsed. Brave families had tried to save as much as they could and had started sorting out the rubble. They are amazing in their ability to continue their lives and look forward!

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The 7th of May I celebrated my birthday under a tarp with a kitten on my lap and a warm cup of nepali tea in my hand, surrounded by wonderful people. I will never forget this birthday.

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The 12th of May was another strange day:
We had just closed our distribution-room to take a lunch break and were heading back to our little tent camp. We had only walked 20 meters when the ground started shaking. And this was not tremors or aftershocks. A new earthquake had hit Nepal hard.
I had to grab some kids trying to run into their houses to seek for their parents. I hold them tight while they were screaming. We were surrounded by collapsing buildings. Around us and high up in the hillside we could just watch the dust clouds rising from collapsing houses and huge landslides.

We gathered in our tent camp and set our strategy; we couldn’t get hold of a group of our own volunteer who had left for Kathmandu only 30 minutes before the earthquake, so we sent out a patrol to check the road. Later we got news they had safely arrived Kathmandu.
Then our little Aid Post got busy: a 67 year old man was carried down to us. He had broken off humerus (upper arm bone) and torn off his brachial artery. We had to act fast. I was working together with a nepali doctor and a nurse from US. We managed to control his bleeding until we finally got him helicoptered out after 2 hours. Later we got news that he had survived and were in good conditions at the hospital.

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We continued our work out in Timbu, and delivered out both food, hygiene articles, mattresses and clothes, but now it shifted to also deliver out materials to rebuild, such as hammer, nails and corrugated steel.
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Then I headed back to Kathmndu, but only for a couple of days to get a proper shower and do some laundry. Then I headed out on my next project: out to the epicentre in Gorkha. And what awaited me there can not be described in words. Everything was rubble, nothing was left standing….not a single thing, not even a stable or an outhouse.
We were welcomed with open arms, big smiles and several cups of tea. I stayed for some days making sure supply arrived and starting building temporary shelters together with the villagers before heading out for the next village, and the next village, and then the next school and the next health post….
This were really busy times, trying to get the maximum out of my time and the materials we managed to provide.

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At one of the villages I managed to get a bad stomach infection and had to get back to Kathmandu for a couple of days rest (and easy access to toilet). Then I headed out again for more rebuilding projects. This time back to Helambu and Kutumsang. Here I started my own projects with invaluable help from Laki. He and his family who lives in Kutumsang has become my family over here. The only thing missing is my nepali language skills…..working on it :)

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In Helambu we started building temporary shelters for the health post in cooperation with my dear friend Lizzy. Then we continued with facilitating building temporary shelters for 5 different schools, one more health post and 5 villages. I got fantastic help from Sudip, Kashmir and Mewack; 3 engineer students from Kathmandu. And how did we manage; well we got the materials and tools out there, the villagers came walking, some 3 to 4 hours walk, to learn how to build and to carry home the materials. Laki has been following up on these projects all the time, running from village to village providing me with reports and photos. And the results are so rewarding to see. If it wasn’t for this effort, approximately 800 children would have been without any school, 7000 villagers would have been without any health post and 250 villagers would have been without proper shelter.

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My last project before leaving Nepal after more then 3 months work, was with Remote Access Operation (RAO) for World Food Program (WFP). They needed mountaineers to help getting supplies into remote areas that were cut off by landslides due to the earthquake.
I worked together with the local mule drivers to open the Larke Pass at 5100m to get rice and oil over the pass and into the remote areas in upper Gorkha. These villages have normally supply carried in by 1000 mules – daily! Now they were totally cut off. We had to work on the pass for 3 weeks before it was possible to start the mule trains going over the Larke Pass supplying 20000 households with 65 tons of rice.

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At the last little village I visited at the other side of Larke Pass, I found Pemba; a low-cast man who was paralysed and just waiting to die. He was a father of 7 and his wife was pregnant with their 8th child. I could see right away that this man needed to be evacuated and with the great help from Isabella Messanger and her organisation KarmaFlights, we managed to helicopter him out the same afternoon. And I am so happy to tell you that his wife gave born to a perfect little baby girl 5 days after Pemba got evacuated. And now 2 months later, Pemba is ready to go home to his family and see his daughter for the first time.

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As of mid August 2015, over 390 aftershocks have occurred.

I returned back to Norway but not for long. And now I am back in Nepal to continue the work with all this different projects that we started before the monsoon.

My last expedition to Khan Tengri was dedicated to support our earthquake affected brothers and sisters in Nepal.
Stay tuned here to see my updates from my work in Nepal and from my Khan Tengri Expedition.

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Take care of your self – and others!
Vibs / Team Jentesport

Aconcagua, Januar 2015: Del 1 Mendoza – Base Camp

Summit Acon2015

Aconcagua, Januar 2015:
Del 1, Mendoza – Base Camp

Ja, da er jeg tilbake etter en fantastisk måned i fjellene i Argentina. Første gang jeg var her var i 2011, og det var deilig å være tilbake igjen. Denne gangen guidet jeg en gruppe opp til toppen av Aconcagua som er det høyeste fjellet utenfor Himalaya. Det er også det høyeste fjellet i Sør-Amerika og således et av «The 7 summits».

Jeg vet at det er mange av dere som har et ønske om å bestige Aconcagua og jeg vil derfor gi dere min historie med bilder her. Les og kos dere :) og bli med så raskt du finner muligheten til det!

Vi møttes alle sammen i Mendoza som er en «liten» by på ca 1,7 millioner. Her hadde Garrett og jeg forberedt for turen med innkjøp og pakking i et par dager før alle var samlet. Men det er jo ikke by-liv, vin-smaking og basseng-kant vi er kommet hit for…
Vi tar buss til Penitentes som er det siste tettstedet før vi starter vandringen innover Vacas-dalen. Ja denne gangen skal vi gå inn Vacas-dalen og ut Horcones-dalen (Horocones-dalen regnes som «normal-ruten»).
I Penitentes får vi en deilig middag, god seng og siste dusjen på lenge før vi drar i vei inn mot fjellet.

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Dag 1: Punta de Vacas 2400m – Pampa de Lena 2800m
Vi våkner til strålende solskinn og nesten ingen vind. Vi registrer oss inn i nasjonalparken og starter vår vandring langs elven innover Vacas-dalen. Dagen i dag er en meget rolig og god start. Når vi kommer til leiern våres Pampa de Lena setter vi opp telt og starter på middagsmaten. I dag lager vi bare en salat for muldyr-førerne, våres kjære cowboys, griller oksekjøtt til oss alle. Det er det beste kjøttet jeg har spist. Det er god stemining rundt leirbålet. Og den blir ikke dårligere når jeg serverer stekte bananer :)

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Dag 2: Pampa de Lena 2800m – Casa de Piedro 3200m
Nok en fantastisk dag med strålende sol og ingen vind. Her er det rom for å bli solbrent!! Den høyeste solfaktoren jeg fant i dag var å kline sandstøv i 50-faktoren min. Dagen i dag er også en rolig dag langs elven. Og like før vi kommer til camp kan vi se Aconcagua for første gang på turen. Det er alltid et høydepunkt!!!
Våre cowboys griller kylling til oss i kveld før vi koker vann og finner teltet under en billion stjerner.

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Dag 3: Casa de Piedro 3200m – Plaza Argentina 4200m
Vi startet dagen med en liten ridetur!! Vi fikk skyss over den isklade elven, og det var vi glade for. Vi startet i dag endelig med å få litt mere høyde. Det er flott å gå hele dagen opp Relinchos-dalen med vakre Aconcagua fremfor oss. Vi har lunsj midtveis og nyter synet av ville guanacos (lama-familien) i fjellsidene før vi vandrer videre mot Base Camp Plaza Argentina.
Det er som å komme til en by; her er det utrolig mange team, noen på vei opp og andre på vei ned. Nå er vi her, og i morgen skal vi ha hviledag :)

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Makalu Expedition 2014 – toppstøtet er i gang!

En god bit in i oktober – og mye har skjedd på Ekspedisjonen til Makalu!
Her kommer litt oppdateringer fra Madison Mountaineering:

«7th October 2014
After moving base camp 5.5 miles and 3,100 vertical feet up the Barun glacier and then climbing up to Camp 1 at 20,100 ft. on the Makalu standard North West route, today the team established Camp 2 at 21,210 ft. Garrett called in the following dispatch via satellite phone.
Hi, this is Garrett Madison calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Makalu expedition. Today is Tuesday October 7th. It’s 6:30pm and we are tucked in up at our Camp 2 on Makalu. Beautiful day climbing up from Camp 1 to Camp 2! We had clear skies. We could see for miles and miles in every direction and we are the only ones up here right now. Here’s a few down at Camp 1. But great to be up here on the mountain having a fantastic time. We are going to climb up towards Camp 3 tomorrow, probably come back down to this camp and then head down the following day. Everything’s going great and we’ll check in soon.»

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Og så har de kommet seg tilbake til Base Camp for å planglegge turen videre – her er en oppdatering fra dem derifra:

«11th October 2014
After a few nights up high on Makalu at elevations of approximately 21,000′ we are now back in base camp relaxing and enjoying the comforts of our camp. We accomplished our goal of stocking camps with gear and food, as well as acclimatizing to the higher altitudes.
We experienced perfect weather thus far, but we hear from our forecasting service that the weather is about to change. Apparently a storm is brewing in the bay of Bengal, and is moving north towards us, reaching our area on October 14th. We could have up to 12 inches of snow per day during this time. We are crossing our fingers and hoping a strong wind will appear and blow this low pressure system off track before it reaches us. The benefit of this storm is that it may push the jet stream (high winds), currently over the summit preventing a summit bid, north away from the mountain so that we have calm conditions for an extended period.
Our plan will be to rest a few days in base camp and see what happens…»

I Base Camp ble de fast noen dager i vente på godt vær…

«15th October 2014
Greetings from Makalu base camp!
The forecasted storm came and deposited about 30 centimeters of new snow in our base camp.
Currently the winds are still very high, we hope they will drop in a few days. We are waiting patiently here in base camp, enjoying the clear blue sky and sunshine during the day, and if the weather cooperates soon we will make our summit push.
Everything is good here, as we have plenty of nice food, books, movies and some very friendly Slovenian climbers to share the time with.
We will check in again soon,

Garrett Madison»

Så ENDELIG har det fått et værvindu – og igår startet de selve toppstøtet!

«18th October 2014
Here we go! The summit push is on! We spoke with Garrett a little while ago from Makalu base camp. According the tracking map, the team has just left base camp and is heading up to Camp 1 (6150m / 20,177ft.). Weather and conditions pending, the rough target for summit day is currently October 24th. Follow along with the team by visiting this dispatch page and monitor the real-time RainOn tracking. More details as we get them.»

Makalu kart okt 19

Følg med videre på denne spennende ekspedisjonen!

Maria for Vibs
Team Jentesport

Makalu Expedition 2014 – ny oppdatering!

Det er på tide med en liten oppdatering på Vibs sin ekspedisjon til Makalu!

I slutten av september hadde de sin Puja-seremoni etter noen akklimatiseringsturer og søk etter en plass å etabelere neste camp. Daten etter seremonien var planen om å flytte opp til denne campen.

«29th September 2014:

Yesterday we went for an acclimatization hike up to 19,000′ and found a good location for our advanced base camp on the South-East Ridge route. The hiking was mostly on rock and scree and we reached the snowy ridge line where we took a break before heading down.

Today we had our Puja ceremony in base camp. We built a small stone altar and burned juniper at it’s base; asking the mountain for safe passage. This ceremony is an essential part of any Himalayan climbing expedition in Nepal or Tibet and sometimes Pakistan as well, depending on who is on the climbing team. Now that we have completed this important ceremony we can begin climbing the mountain.

Tomorrow, our plan is to rest and organize equipment, then the following day move up to our advanced base camp (ABC) to spend a night or two to begin acclimatizing.

Garrett Madison / Madison Mountaineering»

Puja-seremoni

Etter noen bra dager i ABC-campen har de nå besluttet å endre rute for bestigelsen av Makalu. De kommer derfor flytte sin nåværende camp ca 760 meter høyere opp. Her ser de frem til å utforske den andre siden av fjellet og fra denne camp vil de ha flere valgmuligheter til den videre klatringa til topps.

«2nd October 2014:

We had a great time the last few days up at our advanced base camp on the South East Ridge. Great views of the surrounding peaks and fun climbing on the ridge line! We are now enjoying a rest day in base camp, with hot showers and great food!

We have decided to change our climbing route to the Northwest side of the mountain or what is the normal route via the Makalu La. This means we will move our base camp tomorrow up the Barun Glacier about 2500′ higher than our current camp, to approximately 18,500′ (5639m). We are looking forward to exploring this side of the mountain as we have not yet seen it from this angle. It’s great that our climbing permit allows us to climb on both sides.

We are doing well, the days are typically sunny and clear in the morning with clouds and some snow in the afternoon / evening.

We will check in again soon!
Garrett Madison / Madison Mountaineering»

Advanced camp

Vibs hilser så godt via Garrett og vi ønsker lykke til videre på den spennende ekspedisjonen!

Map Makalu Expedition 2014
Dette kart viser hvor Vibs er akkurat nå.

Makalu Expedition 2014 – Vibs rapporterer fra Base Camp

Lørdag formiddag dumpet det in en epost fra Vibs!
De har nå kommet seg til Base Camp Makalu og her følger en oppdatering fra turen så langt:

Makalu Base Camp - photo Garrett Madison

Her kommer en hilsen fra Base Camp Makulu 4865 m. Vi kom oss endelig over skydekket som vi har vanket rundt i en uke. Det var fantastisk å komme over skylaget og endelig få se de fantastisk vakre fjellene!

Vi har hatt en helt utrolig uke gjennom helt øde områder. Kan ikke tro at det bare er en uke siden vi fløy fra Kathmandu. Deretter kjørte vi i o dager på nesten ufrekomelige veier. Til slutt var de bare krøterstier igjen og vi startet fra 500 m og har steget jevnt opp hit til Base Camp på 4865 m.

Vi har vandret gjennom tykk regnskog og blitt spist av blodigler. Vi er de eneste ikke-lokale her og det har vært en opplevelse å bli invitert inn i steinhyttene deres og bli servert fersk yak-melk, yak-ost og nypoteter. Og langs hele ruten får vi stadig velsignelser og lykkeønsker. Vi har hatt regn det meste av vandreturen inn hit, så da vi endelig kom over skydekket og så fjellene var det helt magisk!

Igår hadde vi en deilig middag her i BC og vi fikk takket våre portere som nå drar hjem, og så rigget vi opp og hadde filmkveld i spiseteltet. Våre nepaesiske venner valgte film og det ble et herlig gjennsyn med Top Gun. Etter filmen kunne vi pusse tenner under en helt fabelaktig stjernehimmel med mange stjerneskudd.

Idag har vi hatt en hviledag her i BC. Vi har installert oss, vasket klær og kommet oss i orden. I morgen tar vi en liten akklimatiseringstur i nærområdet og mandag har vi Pudja-seremoni. Dette er en fin tradisjon for å be fjellets guder om tillatelse til å klatre det. Seremonien holdes av en lama.
Tirsdag satser vi på å klatre til Camp1 på ca 6000 m og muligens ha en natt der før vi kommer ned hit til BC igjen.

Vi er i god form og gleder oss!

Take care peeps!
/ Heia fra Vibs

Makalu Expedition 2014 – Vibs rapporterer

Det har nå gått noen dager og Vibs sammen med Garrett fra Madison Mountaineering har kommet et stykke på vei.

Her kommer en kort rapport:

«After flying from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar and then travelling 32 miles overland by jeep to the village of Num, the team finally hit the trail. Today’s first segment of the trek to base camp started with a 2,400 ft. downhill hike to bottom of a river valley, cross the river and then a swift 2 mile climb back up 2,900 ft. to the village of Seduwa (1646m / 5,400 ft.). Over the course of the next three days, the team will trek to a high pass of 4237m / 13,900 ft. before descending into Barun River valley to spend a few more days trekking up to base camp at 4630m / 15,190 ft.»

Uten navn

Makalu Expedition 2014, South East Ridge; Khandbari

map study

I dag er vi endelig igang :) Det føles godt å være ute av Kathmandu og komme oss et godt stykke inn i det ekte elementet!
Vi fløy fra Kathmandu til Tumlingtar hvor vi møtte våres sherpa Lhakpa. Fra Tumlingtar kjørte vi opp til Khandbari hvor vi tilbrakte resten av dagen på å studere kart og forbrede turen videre.
Vi har hatt fint flyvær i dag, men på ettermiddagen bygde skyene seg opp og vi hadde et voldsomt tordenvær her i kveld.
Vi bor her på et veldig fint Te-hus, og spiser fantastsik god nepalesisk mat!! Nå er det godt at den harde jobbingen snart starter for nå har det vært mye god mat :)
Nå regner det masse utenfor og vi er ganske fornøyde med å bo på te-hus og ikke i telt. Den kjøreturen som normalt sett tar 4 timer kan nok fort bli dobbelt så lang i morgen.

I morgen kjører vi til Num og starter vandringen fra Num inn til Base Camp. Vi regner med å bruke en uke på å komme oss til Base camp på ca 4800m.

Vi gleder oss masse til å komme oss innover i dalen og vinne litt høyde nå.

Vibs

Makalu Expedition 2014, South East Ridge; waving goodbye

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We are waiving goodbye!
Best way to follow the expedition progress is to «like» Madison Mountaineering på Facebook.

We will be posting regular dispatches to www.madisonmountaineering.com:Makalu 2014 expedition dispatch page with text, audio, real-time RainOn expedition tracking, and photos during our journey. Stay Tuned!

Vibs

Makalu Expedition 2014, South East Ridge; The mountain and our plan

Makalu Title

MAKALU 8463m
Makalu, the world’s fifth highest peak rising to 27,765 feet (8,463 meters) situated just 14 miles east of Everest in the Khumbu region. Its size alone is impressive, but its perfect pyramid structure with four sharp ridges makes this mountain all the more spectacular. It is interesting to note that the summit ridge is the demarcation point indicating the border between Nepal on the Southern side and Tibet to the North.

The name of the mountain was probably taken from the Sanskrit word Maha-Kala, which means Big Black and is a by-name of Shiva – one of the most important gods of Hinduism. Shiva is sometimes an evil, cruel destroyer but at other times he tends to be gentle and kind-hearted. The mountain has another name in the local dialect – Kumba karna, which means The Giant.

Makalu has proved to be a challenging climb, as only five of its first sixteen attempts were successful.There are no easy routes on the mountain with the South East Ridge being one of the most dramatic and challenging. At over ten kilometres long and with much of the ridge knife-edge, it presents a challenge to rival any on the 8,000m summits.
In 1970 a Japanese team were the first reaching the summit via the South East Ridge. In 1976 a Spanish/ Czech team climbed via the  South-West buttress and continued along the South East Ridge to the summit.

Madison Mountaineering with Garrett, myself and our sherpa will climb parallel to a british team at the mountain. This is a bigger team which we are dependent on especially in terms of logistic. We will follow their rhythm at the mountain. 
The approach to Base Camp will involve an internal flight from Kathmandu to the airstrip at Tumlingar (510m) followed by a 7-10 days trek through the rugged and remote foothills of the Makalu-Barun region. So begins the all important acclimatisation process, gaining height steadily until Base Camp is established at 4,800m.

Once at base camp, several days will be spent acclimatising before an Advanced Base Camp (ABC) is established on the ridge at 5800m. From here we will get our first views of the route ahead as well as the peaks of neighbouring Tibet.  Three further fixed camps will be established as we move up the mountain, the highest of these being at the col at 6700m. Beyond this point we will climb alpine style, carrying sufficient provisions and equipment to support an extended period above 7000m as we push for the summit.

Guarding the route to the summit at 7500m is the Black Gendarme; a steep and formidable rock buttress that straddles the ridge. It is the key to the ridge and summit slopes beyond. Here the climbers will be exposed to freezing temperatures and the full force of the unrelenting winds, resting only at two high altitude bivouacs before climbing the final ridge that rises steeply to the summit at 8463m.

We will be posting regular dispatches to http://madisonmountaineering.com/makalu-2014-launched/ : Makalu 2014 expedition dispatch page with text, audio, real-time RainOn expedition tracking, and photos during our journey.  Stay Tuned!