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Makalu 2011 Update 19 Kathmandu
After over 35 days at Advanced Base Camp the Team set off back down the trail to lower Base Camp. After all the climbing on Makalu, it should have been easier, but with rock falls and rugged underfoot conditions it was a long 6 hours back down the glacial moraine to the valley.
It was good to sleep in the thick air of 4700 meters, and the next days gentle moraine and a real trail led alongside the glacial river. By three o'clock they were in the Yak pastures of Yangle Kharka and their Camp for the night.
The chopper was scheduled for 8:15am but at At 6am the classic sounds of the engine and blades brought the team from their tents the pilot landing down amongst the Camp to scrounge a coffee and to apologise for his early arrival.
Makalu rose over the right hand side of the aircraft, then Kangchenjunga framed the horizon, and finally past Everest having flown past 4 of the worlds 5 tallest mountain in the first hour of the day. For Adele it was a very different feeling from the Cas Evac flight of the previous year off Makalu and the defeat of some very personal demons.
By 10am they were in the Lukla coffee shop eating cakes and having lattes, before taking off again to start the long downward glide into the Kathmandu Valley.
By 1pm the team were back at the Summit Hotel, cold beers on order.
Adapted from Robert Anderson's Jagged Globe dispatch.
(Photo Robert Anderson)
Posted on 25 May 2011 by adele
Makalu 2011 Update 18 Packing Up
22nd May - Packing up and flying out.
Ron and Mark have gone to explore Yangle Kharka and to enjoy the Yak pastures below.The rest of The Team have just finished packing, after 35 plus days at 5700+ meters, there is no more resting and everyone is eager to see some green grass and breathe air that contains oxygen that sustains the body.
The Team has opted for a helicopter flight out, the thought of a week's walk up and down the hills of Nepal not being too appealing to anybody now.
With good weather the team should be in Kathmandu for a late lunch on 25th May toasting the expedition success.
Posted on 22 May 2011 by adele
Makalu 2011 Update 17 'Success'
Jagged Globe report that Adele, Robert, and James summited Makalu (8,463m) with 4 Sherpas on Tuesday 17 May at 11:25 local time. Jim left Camp 4 and reached 8,100m before descending. They had a 19 hour round trip to the summit and back to Camp 4. The team are now safely back in ABC.
The success of this trip will be especially sweet for Adele after the traumatic trip this time last year which left her seriously ill in hospital when she returned to the UK.
More to follow when Adele reports in.
Adele on the Summit of Makalu, her 5th time atop a 8000m+ summit.
Photo by Robert Anderson
Posted on 18 May 2011 by adele
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
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