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Asia, Nepal, Makalu, South Face

Makalu, South Face. The sixth Yugoslav Himalayan Expedition left Dharan on August 19 and traveled through Dhankuta, Hile, Tumlingther, Khandberi, Sedus, the Kiki La to reach Base Camp at 16,250 feet on September 5. Camp I was pitched on the 7th at 19,200 feet. On the 9th we placed Camp II at 20,675 feet at the foot of the south face, first with tents and then, due to avalanche danger, in snow caves. On the 13th bad weather and avalanche danger stopped the work of fixing ropes but on the 14th we pitched the Bivouac at 21,650 feet. On September 16 Camp III was installed at 23,000 feet. When the camps were consolidated, we started to fix ropes towards Camp IV, which we established at 24,600 feet on September 23. On September 25 heavy snowfall blocked all progress. Avalanches tore Camp IV apart. All members returned to Base Camp. Camp III was reoccupied and rebuilt on October 1 and Camp IV on the 2nd. More rope was fixed and on the 4th Camp V was reached at 26,400 feet; the assault team had enough material to fix ropes to the top of the face and to proceed to the top. They completed the rock climbing and fixing of ropes on October 5. Malfunctioning oxygen apparatus forced them to continue without it. October 6 was fair. Stane Belak and Marjan Manfreda reached the top of the south face at 11:15 and proceeded along the summit ridge to reach the top at four P.M. Three more assault teams were ready. On the 8th four more set out. Cedilnik was hit on the left knee by falling ice and Robas had difficulty breathing and so they returned. Nejo Zaplotnik and Janko Ažman reached the top. While preparing for the third assault, Boris Erjavec was hit by a falling rock. He was saved from serious injury by his helmet but fell unconscious onto the fixed rope. He had to be escorted back to Base Camp. His companions, Ivc Kotnik and Viki Grošelj proceeded to the summit on October 10 in strong wind and snow. On the 11th Janez Dovžan and Zoran Brešlin started for the top. Dovžan reached the summit and returned safely, but Breslin had troubles and got only to within 35 feet. He had to spend the night out and returned to Camp V the next day.

Aleš Kunaver, Planinska Zveza Slovenije, Yugoslavia