Makalu Post-Monsoon Attempts. Four expeditions attempted unsuccessfully to climb Makalu (8463 meters, 27,766 feet). Six Australians and a New Zealander led by Ian Collins tried to ascend the west buttress and reached 6800 meters on October 1. They then turned to the west face-northwest ridge route and got to 7400 meters on October 15. Four Germans under the leadership of Jürgen Knappe also attempted the west buttress. They had to turn back at 6795 meters on October 2. Jirí Novák led four Czechs and two Italians on the Kukuczka route. Italian Rolando Nicco got to 8250 meters on October 10 and Simone Moro to about the same altitude the next day, but both were turned back by high winds and deep snow. Another historic climb was attempted by a French expedition led by Jean Coudray. They tried to make the first ascent of an 8000er by a blind person. Guy Gérard, a 48-year-old French postal worker who has been totally blind since the age of 30, was the central figure in a team of ten, including his wife and six professional mountain guides. He was a fast climber on snow and succeeded in reaching 7200 meters with Jean Coudray. The high point for this expedition was 8000 meters on October 7.