American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Makalu, South Face Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1975

Makalu, South Face Attempt. A strong Austrian team failed to climb the 10,000-foot south face of Makalu, previously attempted by Yugoslavs. The leader was Wolfgang Nairz; other members were Horst Bergmann, Yves Buchheim, Walter Almberger, Helmut Hagner, Josl Knoll, Gerhard Markl, Reinhold Messner, Dr. Oswald Ölz and Albert Precht. The whole expedition was at Base Camp at 16,000 feet by March 22. Camp I was placed at 19,350 feet on March 28. Above, an icefall led to two steep pitches, where ropes were fixed. Camp II, at 20,675 feet at the beginning of a steep ice ridge, was established on April 1. After a storm, work went forward on the ice ridge, where some 2500 feet of rope were fixed. Camp III was placed at 22,650 feet on April 16. The climbing towards Camp IV was difficult and the weather poor. Ip early May Messner and Markl were continuing to push the route higher and reached 24,600 feet on May 9, but persistent unsettled weather and difficulties counselled abandoning the expedition.

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