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Asia, Nepal, Makalu Attempt

Makalu Attempt. The great west face of Makalu had defeated top-class alpinists with its extreme difficulty at very high altitude. This season, a well- publicized, massively financed group of eight British members and one Australian under the leadership of Nick Mason did not make a fast alpine-style attempt but rather adopted the traditional siege tactics of Himalayan climbing. A British climber who was on another Makalu expedition commented, “Nick Mason’s expedition was well organized, but they just didn’t have the necessary Himalayan experience. Yet, they weren’t kamikaze; they admitted the face was too much for them, and they got off it without anyone getting hurt.” They reached no higher than 7000 meters on the face, then tried to scale the normal route from the northwest and managed to get to 8250 meters before newly falling snow and weariness caused them on May 14 to turn back.

Elizabeth Hawley