Tag: summit

Final Report from K2 – On Turning Back from “the Mountain of Mountains.”

We are back down from our summit attempt.

Last night I was sitting in front of my tent looking up at the mountain that stamped its effect on my life.

Base camp is not exactly where we want to be, but I am satisfied that we gave it our best shot. Even more important, we tried with everything we had.

I often speak of failure as a big part of my life. Nothing I do is a sure thing, otherwise I would not be doing it; not knowing if, or if not, is the most exciting aspect of my life, In fact I have built my life on the chance of failure, because then, each time you do something, you have to do your best!

Maybe one day I must halt trying, then and only then will I cease failing but I will also terminate the chance of success.

How can man fall asleep if so many unsure dreams elude him?

— Mike

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 Makalu

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.

Waiting in style Waiting in style

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.

Steep slopes on makalu Steep slopes on makalu

Makalu – our last acclimatisation climb

Steep slopes on Makalu
Steeper and Steeper!

We had the summit just above our heads but strong winds and snow made us turn back.

Mike and Fred climbed to 7’700m and spent a very cold evening in the tent with freezing temperatures and extremely strong winds.

On the descent they passed sherpas who were coming up, fixing lines for other climbers – they assume the overload from climbers who have been forced away from this years climbing season on Everest.

Mike and Fred are now back at Advanced Base Camp at 5’700m where they will have a much deserved rest. Tomorrow they will head down to base camp at 4’800m where they will wait for the bad weather to pass.

We feel great, strong and well acclimatised.  As soon as we get the next good weather window  we’ll go for the summit!



Training day for Fred and Mike Training day for Fred and Mike

Makalu – getting closer

Training day for Fred and Mike
Osprey bags packed and ready to go!

Today Fred and I will leave advanced base camp for two days. Our plan is to get up to 7’500meters and set up camp there for one evening. The following day we will try and ascend to 8’000meters , stay one more evening at 7’500m and then descend back to advanced base camp the next day. After this climb we should be well acclimitised and ready to attack the summit as soon as the next good weather window arrives.



Makalu Base Camp

Makalu with base camp in the foreground
Makalu with base camp in the foreground

Yes!! We arrived safe and sound at the lower base camp of Makalu at 4’800m. Our tents are pitched in front of Makalu and I feel dwarfed by its size towering out far above us at 8’463m.

From here we will finalize and repack the equipment we will need at high base camp. The sherpas are still with us and will stay until we reach the high base camp, 1’000m higher in altitude. Once there, we will install our permanent camp for the next 6 weeks.

Fred and myself have adapted well to the altitude. We will stay here for 1 day longer to acclimatize before we head up any further to our permanent Base Camp at 5’800m. Our bodies need to create enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to our muscles, brain and organs to be able to function at these higher altitudes.

Our tents are pitched in front of Makalu and I feel dwarfed by its size towering out far above us at 8’463m.

Markus and Adrian will stay one day longer before they decide to move any higher. At these altitudes time and patience are the key to success.

The weather has not been great but it does not matter because we cannot climb at the moment. I prefer to have better weather when we will start our climb by mid next week.

No better place to be! The food is good, the company is great and I wake up excited about the challenge that lies ahead of me every morning.

Keep on watching this space for daily news updates as we make our way higher up in altitude.


Mike is in a constant state of travel and adventure , so keep up to date on all his expeditions !