American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Makalu Winter Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1986

Makalu Winter Attempt. Reinhold Messner and Hans Kammerlander tried to make the first winter ascent of the world’s fifth highest mountain but failed. They made three attempts on the northwest ridge, the Kukuczka route, reaching 7500 meters on the third try. “Storms and poor visibility forced us to retreat,” said Messner at a press conference in Kathmandu on February 12, 1986. They had flown to Kathmandu from Base Camp by helicopter. The two South Ti- roleans made a sad discovery, finding on the slopes of Kangchungtse (Makalu II) the bodies of the French climbers, Pierre Demolombe and Marcel Margaine, missing since November 2. Their bodies were found at 7100 and 7450 meters. According to Messner, the lower man had obviously fallen. “He had his rucksack on his back, his fingers were frostbitten and the body had some color.” Makalu and Lhotse are the last two 8000ers not yet ascended by Messner.

Józef Nyka, Editor, Taternik, Poland

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