Latest news from the Himalaya and Karakoram

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Makalu La at 7,300m Reached Yesterday

Following my last update on the blog, we went back to Camp 1 with the objective to carry tents & fixed rope up to Camp 2 at Makalu La at 7,300m. Unfortunately the wind was too strong while we waited 3 days for a lull. However, this was great acclimatisation to this high altitude.

After a few days back at Base Camp, we then went back to Camp 1 and we finally succeeded yesterday in carrying this gear to Camp 2 at Makalu La. This section is the steepest part of the route on Makalu with views to Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and Mera Peak.

The forecast for tomorrow is snow so we will wait in Base Camp until conditions improve. Then we will head up to sleep at Makalu Base Camp. Once we have done this we should be ready for a summit attempt given good weather conditions.

Watch this space!

Monday, 20 April 2009

First night at Camp 1 @ 6,500m

After arriving to the Basecamp on April 7th we have been carrying loads to Camp 1. The route from base camp to camp 1 is different to previous years; instead of joining the glacier at 5,900m one follows a moraine ridge to gain access to the upper glacier. Camp 1 is located on a stable serac at 6,500m.

Last night we slept here and this afternoon returned to base camp for a rest day tomorrow. Dendi Sherpa, who summited Makalu with the Brisith Army team in '08 thinks that the crevasses are more open this year due to a dry winter with low amounts of snowfall. It has also been clear that since our arrival to basecamp the crevasses have increased in size due to the warmer spring weather.

The view from camp 1 last night was spectacular, in particular I could clearly see Sherpani Col & West Barun glacier. It is possible to trek from Makalu basecamp and to Everest basecamp via Sgerpani, West Col & Amphulapsa. This is known as one if the most challenging treks in the Himalayas. Please get in touch if interested.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Progress in Kathmandu for Makalu Expedition

We saw Makalu for the first time today as we approached base camp at 4,900m The trek from the airstrip at Tumlingtar has been enjoyable. It starts at 400m passing through Rai, Tamang and Gurung villages then at higher altitudes the Sherpa villages such as Tashigaon.

From there we crossed the Shipton Pass into the Barun valley. The weather up to this pass was wet & cloudy so unfortunately no views. While walking to the base camp we have had typical spring conditions above 3,000m with clear and sunny mornings and cloud in the afternoons; we have had some light snow as well.

Our plan is to spend 2 nights at base camp for acclimatisation then to move up to the advanced base camp at 5,700m The rest of the expedition will be based from there.

The team are all well and enjoying the trip. We have had superb views over the last few days of peak 6 & 7, Chamlang, Baruntse and of the East & West Makalu ridges. More updates soon.

The Mountain Company