AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Asia, Nepal, Makalu, West Buttress Attempt

Makalu, West Buttress Attempt. Our expedition, composed of Atxo Apellaniz, Juan Oiarzabal, Kike de Pablo and me as leader, began our approach march from Hille, which was made difficult because of snowstorms on the Barun La. We set up Base Camp and Camp I at 5400 and 5950 meters on April 2 and 7. Much wind and ice obliged us to fix 1200 meters of rope toward Camp II, which we established on April 20 at 6550 meters. On May 4, we got to Camp III at 7350 meters. Having fixed the route to 7650 meters, we set out from Camp III on May 17. It took us three hours to surmount a difficult wall at 7700 meters and at sundown we got to the top of the buttress at 7800 meters, where we rested for several hours. We had only a bivouac tent and no sleeping bags. At one A.M. on the 8th, we headed for the summit and got to the sunny southeast ridge at six A.M. A bit later, at 8350 meters, the dangerous conditions and the lack of technical gear forced us to give up our attempt. We came across the body of the Czech climber, Karel Schubert, who died in 1976. We were back in Base Camp on May 19.

José Luis Zuloaga, Euskal Espedizioa, Spain