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Asia, Nepal, Makalu, Ascent of the West Pillar and Tragedy

Makalu, Ascent of the West Pillar and Tragedy. A Spanish expedition led by Carles Vallès was further composed of Manu Badiola, Joan Jover, Gerardo Blásquez and Dr. Rafael Martínez. During a period of 50 days, the group worked its way up the very difficult west pillar. They established Camp III at 7350 meters and fixed rope up to 7700 meters, where Vallès and Badiola bivouacked on September 30. On October 1, they again bivouacked at 8000 meters. They had agreed to join forces with the Swiss pair, Loretan and Troillet. After the arrival of the latter at one A.M. on the 2nd, all four set forth. Around 8200 meters, they encountered a difficult rock section. The Swiss pair moved ahead of the Spaniards. Some time after the Swiss, the Spaniards completed the sixth ascent of the route; for Vallès, this was his fifth 8000er. On the descent on the difficult rock section at about 8300 meters, Badiola tragically fell to his death.

Trevor Braham, Alpine Club