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Makalu 2011 Update 16 'The Summit Push'
Robert Anderson called the Jagged Globe office this morning to report that he, Adele, James and Jim are in Camp 4 on Makalu at 7,600m with 5 of the Sherpas. They (the Sherpas) have fixed ropes part way to the summit today, along with a couple of Sherpas from a Korean team.
The weather has been a little windy this afternoon, but everyone is in good shape and they plan to leave at 2130 this evening for the summit push.
Posted on 16 May 2011 by adele
Makalu 2011 Update 15: 'On the move'
This morning the Puja Fire was lit as members of the Makalu expedition left Advance Base Camp for Camp 2. There appears to be a narrow weather window before heavy snowfall is expected in the Himalaya by the middle of next week. By moving to Camp 2 the team can exploit this window if it remains intact, or retreat relatively easily if it closes.
One advantage of this route on Makalu is the relative ease with which descent can be made. The (westerner) record for descent from C2 to ABC is 3 hours. The Sherpas can, of course can accomplish it much more quickly!
Most of Friday 13th was spent huddled around the computer looking at the weather predictions and wind speeds at different altitudes. However as with all weather forecasts, they don't always turn out as predicted and ultimately the decision on what to do has to be made on the mountain, using experience and common sense. Fortunately the team collectively have this in abundance.
If all goes to plan the summit day is tentatively expected to be the 17th of May if the Weather Gods permit.
Posted on 15 May 2011 by adele
Makalu 2011 Update 14
Adele e-mailed from ABC yesterday:
Well we are off tomorrow 6am. The weather window is marginal so we may be retreating back down like the Everest team had to.
If all goes to plan and the weather is kind we should be back down on the 19th.
Posted on 13 May 2011 by adele
Makalu 2011 Update 13
Adele has e-mailed the following dispatch from Makalu Advance Base Camp:
Our final acclimatisation cycle is over after three nights at camp 2. Our first attempt to ascend the Makalu la was fraught with the wind that had battered the tents all night. As the sun rose we thought the wind would drop but even at 10am there were no signs of it abating. Our decision was to stay put, despite our heroic Sherpa's who managed to carry a load up to the La. We can only be described as soft Westerners.
The following morning dawned more quietly and we gingerly left the tents at 7.00am. It was bitterly cold, as we curled our fingers up inside our gloves to try and retain some heat. After an hour, with feet and hands so numb, it was time to stop and find the down mitts. There were nearly tears but not quite and after another hour the sun began to thaw the hands and feet as the steeper section of the ropes was reached. Within minutes the temperature rose through the roof and we began to strip off layers. Ascending up the ropes was hard work but exhilarating as the views unraveled. At 7200m I was feeling good and met the sherpas returning from their days work. Offering the Sherpa's some tea they happily accepted and I waited to follow them down the ropes back to camp 2. Robert continued higher and reached the La a place I remember far to well after last year. On returning to camp Bunter made me some soup which was accompanied by a packet of Mr Porky ( pork scratching's). Eating anything at 6700m is a bonus and after a few more drinks it was time to settle down for another night.
Putting us to shame we were woken at 6am by the sherpas wanting gas cylinders to take to camp 3 and camp 4. Passing over the cylinders we started our first brews of the morning and were ready to descend by 9am. Just three hours saw us back to ABC where a delivery of fresh vegetables, meat from Kathmandu and Pringles added to our comfort.
It is now time to rest and eat for a few days as we wait for our summit weather window.
Adele collecting snow at Camp Two in her new down suit. Everest in the background( Thank you PHD designs)
Posted on 12 May 2011 by adele
Makalu 2011 Update 12
With oxygen masks and regulators tested, it was time to move higher up the mountain. Yesterday (07/05/11) the team left early for Camp 2. After an overnight there they will set off with the objective of reaching the Makalu La on the border with Tibet at 7,400m. It's then back to Camp 2 and back down to ABC on Monday. At this point they should be looking for a weather window and a summit bid slot mid May.
Posted on 08 May 2011 by adele
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