American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Makalu, Ascents and Tragedy

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1996

Makalu, Ascents and Tragedy. Four teams followed the Standard Route, and success came to all of them, but was accompanied by tragedy to an Australian team. On May 8, David Hume and Mark Auricht became the first Australians to reach the summit of Makalu. Hume did not survive the descent, and his partner does not know what happened to him after he slid by him in an uncontrolled glissade about 250 meters below the summit. Benoit Chamoux and Pierre Royer from France were the first to reach the summit this season, and for Chamoux it was his twelfth 8000-meter success. All members of a party of four Spanish Basques and a South Korean summitted on the day after the French. For the group’s leader, Juanito Oiarzabal, this marked his sixth 8000-meter success, and for the Korean, Um Hong Gil, his third. On May 18, an international trio consisting of Ed Viesters (US), Rob Hall (NZ) and Veikka Gustafsson (FIN) made the fastest ascent yet achieved on Makalu, and did so without Sherpa support or bottled oxygen.

Elizabeth Hawley

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