Makalu, West Face, Attempt. I tried to climb solo Makalu’s west face, one of the biggest problems in the Himalaya. Our team comprised Taeko Nagao, Base Camp manager, Hiroshi Aota, four t.v. staff, and me as leader and climbing member. We established BC at 5300 meters on September 6. I reached 6900 meters twice on the northwest ridge (normal route) for acclimatization. Next, on September 17, I climbed to 6700 meters on the west face to deposit climbing gear. The first attack of the west face was September 21, but bad weather forced me to return from the foot of the face. On the second attack, on September 24, I reached 6700 meters. When I reached 7300 meters on September 25, a falling stone hit my helmet. I was not injured outside but got a bad feeling, so I returned to BC the next day. That was the finish.
I had climbed the southwest face of Cho Oyu in Tibet solo with light gear two years ago. But this time heavy climbing gear made for slow climbing speed.
Yasushi Yamanoi, Japan