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Asia, Nepal, Makalu Attempt

Makalu Attempt. We were a group of seven climbers organized by the guide service we direct. On September 22, we arrived at Base Camp at 17,400 feet at the junction of the Chago and Barun Glaciers after a 12-day approach. After ferrying food and gear to a deposit site at 19,000 feet, on October 2 we climbed to Camp I at 20,700 feet, where we spent another nine days acclimatizing and carrying supplies. We attempted to climb alpine-style from there and ascended to Bivouac I at 21,900 feet, where we could either climb the Great Couloir to Makalu La or the route to the right to avoid the avalanche-prone slope and couloir. Snowfall and wind drove us back to Camp I and Base Camp. After we moved back to Bivouac I, we judged that not too much new snow had fallen to take the Great Couloir. We chopped tent platforms to the right of the base of the couloir to make Bivouac II. The following morning, October 17, we began up the 3000-foot-high couloir and arrived at Bivouac III at 7400 meters with very strong winds. After a relatively good night in high winds that did not subside the next day, we descended to Camp I. With no change in the northwest wind, we cancelled any further attempts.

Bela and Mimi Vadasz, Alpine Skills International