Asia, Nepal, Makalu West Buttress, One-Day Solo Ascent

Publication Year: 1989.

Makalu West Buttress, One-Day Solo Ascent. I spent from April 8 to 25 with Iman Gurung and Onggel Sherpa fixing rope on the west buttress of Makalu up to 7750 meters. I left my Base Camp at 4950 meters at two P.M. on April 26 for the final climb. I halted for an hour in the Base Camp of the Germans and Swiss at 5200 meters. Onggel Sherpa accompanied me to the dump at 5800 meters, where he waited in case I should return by the same route. I spent an hour there, from six to seven P.M., to equip myself and to eat. Having passed the snow cave, which was Camp I, at midnight I got to the second snow cave, Camp II at 7300 meters, where I slept for two hours. I left Camp II at 2:30 A.M. by the light of my headlamp; it failed just before dawn. I got to the summit at 9:45 A.M. on April 27. There I found set in the hard snow a yellow oxygen bottle left last year by the Americans. The descent was difficult because of wind-driven sleet. I returned on the standard route via Camps III and II (7400 and 6800 meters) of the other expeditions. I reached the latter at three P.M. on April 27 and slept there.

Marc Batard, Club Alpin Français