American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Makalu, Kangchungtse and Chomo Lönzo

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1995

Makalu, Kangchungtse and Chomo Lönzo. The twelve climbers of our Condor Adventures expedition established Base Camp at 5300 meters on the Barun Glacier on April 2. Just eleven days later, supported by the rest of the team, Russian staff member Anatoli Bukreev and Bolivian Bernardo Guarachi finished fixing rope to the Makalu La at 7400 meters, the site of Camp II. A mountain guide in Bolivia, Guarachi says he is the first American Indian to climb in the Himalaya. He is an Aymará. Bad weather stalled us for a week until April 20 when Bukreev and Guarachi slept at Camp II. On April 27, this pair, Neal Beidleman, Steve Bain and I reached the Makalu La. On April 28, we all established Camp III at 7700 meters, leaving Bukreev and Guarachi there for a summit bid. On the 29th. they climbed to within 30 meters of the summit, but stopped at the base of twin ice towers because of technical difficulties. Guarachi then left Base Camp for home. Between April 30 and May 7. George Fuller, Mark Nash, Martin Adams, Stu Ritchie, Alan McPherson and Charlie Mace all reached Makalu La. On May 8. McPherson turned back at 8200 meters on a solo summit bid. On May 9, Beidleman. Bain and I set off for the summit from Camp III but Beidleman and I turned back at 8370 meters, 90 meters short of the top. Bain continued on to the Bukreev-Guarachi high point but was turned back there by technical difficulties. The next day, May 10. Bain made the third ascent solo of Chomo Lönzo (7790 meters, 25.558 feet) in Tibet by its southwest ridge, following the first ascent-route. He had previously on May 2 made the 19th ascent of Kangchungtse (7678 meters, 25,190 feet) by its south ridge. At 6:30 P.M. on May 13, Bukreev and Beidleman set out from Base Camp to make a speed ascent of Makalu in one continuous push. They managed to overcome the final difficulties and stood on the true summit (8463 meters, 27,766 feet) at 4:30 P.M. on May 15, claiming the first Russian and the seventh American ascent.

Thor Kieser, Condor Adventures

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