American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Makalu Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1989

Makalu Attempt. Our expedition consisted of Germans Michael Dacher, Ralf Dujmovits, Richard Koller, my wife Gaby and me as leader and Swiss Norbert Joos, Luis Deuber, Peter Weber and Fredy Graf. We were disappointed with our liaison officer, who did not even go to Base Camp with us and left the expedition early. After flying to Tumlingtar, we took eleven days to Base Camp at 5250 meters, which we reached on April 13. The next day, Koller had to leave with altitude problems and infected kidneys. Camps I, II and III were set up on April 16, 22 and 30 at 6050, 6800 and 7400 meters, the latter on Makalu Col. On May 6 the whole team set out on the first summit attempt and climbed to Camp II. The next day Deuber and Joos gave up because of the cold, but the rest of us ascended to Camp III with Sherpas Ang Chopal and Pemba. On May 8 we went to Camp IV at 7800 meters and the Sherpas descended to Camp III. That night the wind rose to hurricane force and the Swiss tent was destroyed. We all went back down to Base Camp with the greatest difficulty and effort. The Swiss left the expedition because of the bad weather the next day. We could not climb again until May 15. In their attempt to reach Camp II, Dacher and Dujmovits had to give up because of illness. On the 16th, my wife and I had to abandon our attempt to get to Camp III because of new snow and high winds. We decided to end the expedition.

Sigi Hupfauer, Mountain Guide, Deutscher Alpenverein

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