American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Makalu Ascent and Tragedy and Kangchungtse

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

Makalu Ascent and Tragedy and Kangchungtse. The Polish Makalu Expedition consisted of Krystyna Palmowska, Amalia Kaploniak, Jolanta Patynowska, Dr. Ryszard Dlugolecki, Tomasz Kopys, Ryszard Kolakowski, Zbigniew Kacuga and Zbigniew Skierski and me as leader, all Polish, Basque Koldo Aldaz and Austrian Bernard Letz. We intended to climb the Kukuczka route but bad snow conditions shoved us onto the normal route. Base Camp was established on September 5 at 5400 meters. On the 7th, we placed Camp I at 6000 meters and on the 12th, a temporary camp at 6500 meters. On September 14 and 25, Camps II and III were made at 6900 and 7400 meters, the latter on Makalu Col. On September 28, Aldaz soloed Kangchungtse (Makalu II). On October 3, Palmowska, Kopys, Kolakowski and I set up Camp IV at 7900 meters. On October

4, Kolakowski and Kopys left Camp IV at eight A.M. Kopys managed to get to the summit at four P.M. During the descent, he met Kolakowski ascending slowly; he refused to withdraw and continued the climb. He probably reached the summit because at about ten P.M. a headlamp was seen in the summit area, but he did not return to Camp IV, where Kopys waited for him. A thorough search produced no sign of him.

Anna Czerwinska, Klub Wysokogórski Warszawa, Poland

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