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Makalu Press Release – Summit Conquered 17th of May 2014



The Summit of Makalu
The Summit of Makalu

17.05.2014 – Nepal. On the 17th of May 2014, South African Explorer Mike Horn and Swiss mountain guide/alpinist Fred Roux reach the summit of Makalu without the use of additional oxygen or high altitude porters.

Mike Horn and Fred Roux left Makalu Advanced Base Camp at 5’700m at midday on the 16th of May and climbed that afternoon to their first camp at 6’800m. The following day they climbed up to 7’500m, stopping for some hours rest before doing the summit push to 8’463m in the early hours of the 17th of May.

The two men took on their own rhythm during the ascent, eventually separating and continuing on their own. Fred Roux reached the summit first at 10:30 local Nepalese time, some hours before Mike, who arrived at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Yet another full day was ahead of them as they started the descent and eventually the exhausted but happy team greeted each other once again in Makalu’s advanced base camp.

Mike Horn and Fred Roux are the first men to successfully climb a Himalayan summit over 8’000m in the Nepal 2014 climbing season and are just a small handful of men who have summited this mountain without the use of additional oxygen.

“The climb was particularly grueling for both of us. We were both very fit and well acclimatised after 3 weeks of waiting for a good weather window, but the mountain is extremely exposed and challenged us with its strong winds and very cold temperatures. We are thrilled to have both reached the summit. It’s a great achievement of physical and mental endurance and we are thrilled to be rewarded with this magnificent victory” says Mike.

The Makalu Expedition proceeds the Expedition Pole2Pole 360° which will kick off in September 2014. Mike Horn embarks on another massive expedition of one year duration, the circumvolution of the world on the longitude, traversing the South Pole, North Pole and Greenland on foot and kayak and joining the continents with his sailboat, Pangaea.


  • Mike Horn, climbed his first 8,000m peaks in 2007, Gasherbrum I (8,068m) and Gasherbrum II (8,035m) with team members Jean Troillet, Fred Roux and Olivier Roduit. Later in 2010 he summited Broad Peak with Köbi Reichen, alpinist from Lauenen, Bern, Switzerland. Last year in 2013 he attempted to summit K2 with both Fred Roux and Köbi Reichen but due to bad weather conditions the attempt was unsuccessful. Today Mike adds Makalu to his list of success stories bringing his total of Himalayan summits reached without additional oxygen or high attitude porters to four.
  • Fred Roux from Vollèges, Valais, Switzerland is an experienced alpinist who has previously summited five 8,000 meter Himalayan summits without oxygen or additional porters; Mount Everest (8,848m), Gasherbrum I (8,080m) and Gasherbrum II (8,035m), Shisha Pagma (8,013m) and Cho Oyu (8,201m). Fred attempted to summit Makalu 15 years ago but unfortunately due to strong winds was forced to abandon the climb. Today with Makalu (8’463m) finally conquered, Fred Roux has six Himalayan summits to his name.
  • Makalu is the fifth highest mountain in the world at 8,463 meters (27,766 ft). It is located in the Mahalangur Himalayas 19 km (12 mi) southeast of Mount Everest, on the border between Nepal and China. It is one of the harder eight thousanders and is considered one of the most difficult mountains in the world to climb. The mountain is notorious for its steep pitches and knife-edged ridges that are completely open to the elements. The final ascent of the summit pyramid involves technical rock/ice climbing. To date, there have been a total of 206 successful ascents of Makalu and a total of 22 fatalities. (Wikipedia)








Makalu News – Mike reaches the summit!

Mike calls at 6 am local time to say he reached the summit around 5pm last night!

It took him a great deal longer than expected and needed to stop for a rest on the descent at 7’800m once the night settled in.

When he rang this morning he was beginning his ascent down from 7’800m to base camp. We expect t0 hear a more about his gruelling venture once he has arrived at base camp, eaten and rested a little.

No news from Fred since yesterday afternoon after his ascent of the summit. He was already coming down in altitude yesterday afternoon so we imagine he rested in Camp 2 last night and will be back at base camp early this morning.

Well done guys!! What a feat!!


Makalu Summit Push – News!

Fred Roux with Makalu in the background
Fred Roux in front of the summit of Makalu

At 10 am local time Fred Roux arrives at the summit of Makalu at 8’463m!

Unable to call from the summit because of extreme cold temperatures Fred calls on the way back down the mountain, at around 8’000m.

Mike and Fred left for the summit push early this morning, the 17th of May. The winds had calmed and visibility good.

Mike and Fred separated during the climb. At this stage we are awaiting news from Mike and are assuming that he too is also on his way back down the mountain.

We will update you as soon as possible!

Makalu Summit Push – another 1’000m to go

Mike Horn's tent on Makalu
Mike and Fred have arrived at 7’500m!

The strong winds, blowing snow and bitter temperatures have made it a gruelling climb for Mike and Fred but now they are sheltered in a small tent, cooking some soup.  Here they will take some time to rest as their bodies need to recuperate before they engage is the last leg of the summit push. Mike and Fred intend to leave the tent this evening, climb through the night, reaching the summit tomorrow morning, 17th of May.

Click here to hear their latest voice mail message…

Makalu Summit Push

Mike and Fred had a long difficult windy night in the tent at 6’800m. They hope it will stop blowing soon and the summit push can continue. But for now it’s time for a good breakfast and after they will continue their ascension up to Camp 2 at 7’500.

Click on this link to hear the latest voicemail update from Fred Roux

Makalu Summit Attempt – Voice Mail – 16:00 15th May

After 4 hours climbing Mike and Fred arrive at Camp at 6’800m. Conditions are good, slightly cloudy with scatterings of snow.

Listen to the latest voice mail message from Fred.

For those who don’t speak French …

“Mike and Fred have arrived at their tent at 6’800m. They have ascended quite a bit in altitude. The weather is a little overcast and it has snowed a bit. This has been good as it has kept them cool. In their tent ‘delux’ they are in good form, are happy, and will now enjoy a hot chocolate. “

Makalu Summit Attempt – Voice mail – Midday 15th May

At midday Nepalese time, Mike and Fred leave Advanced Base camp for what will be a gruelling climb to the summit of Makalu. The guys are fit, well acclimatised and the weather window is good for the next few days with clear skies, relatively calm winds around 20-35km/hr  and a wind chill of -30°C (summit readings)

Here is Mike’s message just before he left (midday Nepalese time)

Finally the summit push!

Windy Makalu mountain
Strong winds on Makalu

We have decided its time to do the summit! Yeah – the weather window is good for the next few days with light winds and clear skies!

We will leave tomorrow, the 15th of May. Our plan is to climb to our camp at 6’700m, spend one night there and on the 16th, climb to 7’600m. At 7’600m we will rest 4 hours in our small tent and at about 10pm we will leave the tent, climb through the night and get to the summit early morning on the 17th of May.

After reaching the summit we will try and get all the way back down to base camp. It will be a very long and tiring climb but it will be the safest climb.

Mike and Fred will try and call whilst on the climb and from the summit. We will be waiting impatiently for their news and hope that nature and mountain will allow them the huge privilege of reaching its magnificent summit.

Soon the summit!

Looking up at Makalu peak
Blue ice and steep slopes

And a good weather window is finally on its way!! Mike and Fred are planning to summit around the 16th – 18th of May.

We are expecting more information before Mike and Fred leave but in the meantime can feel the excitement of anticipation in Mike’s messages.

Climb to Camp 2

Sending news home
Mike sends news from base camp

We have had very strong winds on Makalu the past 3 days. Yesterday myself and Fred climbed to Camp 2 to check our tent. We found our tent still standing which was great news because all other equipment we need for the summit push is in the tent.

The climb went very well and we feel well rested and acclimatised. the only thing we need now is good weather.