American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Makalu, West Buttress Attempt and Tragedy

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1984

Makalu, West Buttress Attempt and Tragedy. New Zealanders Peter Hillary and Bill Denz and Australians Mark Moorhead and Fred From attempted to climb the west buttress of Makalu. They pitched three camps above Base Camp. The death of two of the four put an end to the climb. On October 3 Denz was killed in a windslab avalanche. The other three returned to the attack but on October 15 Moorhead died in a fall. Hillary had no heart to continue and From’s fingers and toes were too “frost-affected” to attempt a solo ascent of the route already fixed to their high point of 24,950 feet reached on October 15 by From and Moorehead.

Michael J. Cheney, Himalayan Club, and Elizabeth Hawley

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