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.
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.
After our acclimatisation climb to above 7’500m, Fred and myself decided to walk down to 4’800m to recuperate. Eat, drink and rest has been on our agenda for the last 3 days.
Unfortunately we received very bad news while down in lower base camp. One of our friends Yannick, lost his life on Makalu. My sincere condolences go to the family, friends and loved ones. His company in base camp and on the mountain will be sincerely missed.
The weather has turned as well and snow has been a daily event. Any attempt to the summit has been put into the back pocket for the time being. As we are we are still in the recuperation stage, it does not matter a great deal to us but deep down we would like better weather and to know we would be able to climb very soon.
Down in lower base camp we had the luxury of eating rice, potatoes, lentils, chicken, yak and pork. Fresh products are very difficult to get your hands on here and to compensate for the fresh products we had popcorn. What a treat!
Makalu is a huge mountain. It is not as steep as K2 but very exposed to wind and that makes it a very cold climb. A steep climb in-between camp 2 and 3 can be challenging in bad weather, but from camp 3 to camp 4 above 7’500m it flattens out before the last famous French corridor and then the ridge to the summit.
On our acclimatisation climb we had very strong winds at 7’600m and without supplement oxygen it becomes very difficult to breath and very cold. The wind chill factor plays an important role on our survival where we breathe only 7% oxygen. At these heights we move only 60-100m per hour and the longer we stay up there the less chance we have of getting back down.
We must never forget that the summit is only half way there.
Mike is in a constant state of travel and adventure , so keep up to date on all his expeditions !