Himalaya wrap-up: Makalu summits - more to come on Lhotse and Annapurna?

Himalaya wrap-up: Makalu summits - more to come on Lhotse and Annapurna?

Posted: May 19, 2008 03:46 pm EDT

(MountEverest.net) Great news just arrived from Malaku, where today at least 13 climbers reached the top. Summit reports are also expected from Lhotse and, weather permitting, Annapurna. On Dhaulagiri, rough weather and loads of snow forced the Lithuanians back. So did conditions on Annapurna IV where American skiers were holding for a chance of a virgin ski descent.

Makalu: Summits a go-go

Portuguese climber Joao García topped out Makalu at 11:00 am, local time today. He used no supplementary O2 or Sherpa porters. It was somewhat cold and windy, but the views from the summit were great, Joao said. A French climber and his Sherpa were heading for the top close behind. García is safely back in C4, where he will rest for the night, before BC tomorrow.

Later today, the French team posted a summit report. Olivier, Jeff, Christian, Ludo and the six expeditions Sherpas topped out Makalu at 2:00 pm, local time," they wrote. "They had set off from C4 that morning at 5:00 am. After shooting some pictures and video, they left the summit in order to make room for two Italian climbers who were approaching the top. Team members Ben and François Marsigny are currently in C3, and may proceed up tomorrow if they feel well.

Todays summits add up to those achieved by British Navy team members yesterday. Matt Hing, Lara Herbert, Dendi Sherpa and Dayula Sherpa reached the Makalu summit at 3:40 pm. on May 18, BC crew reported. News is expected soon on their current whereabouts.

Andalusian Lolo and some Basque climbers latest reported from C2 on Friday. The group hoped to attempt the summit today.

Updates are also expected from Australian Andrew Lock, who departed BC on May 16, planning to reach C4 today and, hopefully, to top out tomorrow. We need to top out on the 20th and get down to at least camp 2 on the 21st before the predicted heavy snow falls catch us, he reported prior to departure. Should he succeed, Andrew would just have Shisha Pangma to go, in order to complete the 14x8000ers quest.

Dhaulagiri: Lithuanians forced back

Today Vladas Kalvaitis and Danguole Bickuniene climbed back from camp 2 to BC, reported Lithuanian team member Ruta. Expedition leader Saulius Vilius and Zangbu Sherpa reached 7200m yesterday. On arrival in C1 they had to spend one hour to dig their tent out of loads of fresh snow. After a very windy night, and taking into account todays deep snow, dangerous sections and worsening weather, the two climbers called it off, and retreated back to C1.

Vilius and the Sherpa are expected back in BC tomorrow. However, they will have to deal with fresh snow which has been falling all day.

Annapurna: D-day

Spaniard Iñaki Ochoa, Romanian Horia Colibasanu, and Russian Alex Bolotov reached Camp 5, at 7.830 m yesterday, after fixing 200m of rope along the final traverse. They were all fine and ready to attempt the summit today. The weather was cold in the morning and snowy in the afternoon, but Iñaki told his friends in Spain that they had a good chance as long as weather conditions held up.

Lhotse: Everybody up!

SummitClimbs' Lhotse team hoped to reach the summit today. Most other teams attempting Lhotse are following suit, hoping to top out by Wednesday: such as Italian Mario Merelli and Marco Zaffaroni, who latest reported from C2 on Saturday.

Spanish lady climber Lina Quesada and her high altitude Sherpas set off from BC on Friday, also hoping to reach the summit on Wednesday. Lina is joining up with fellow Spaniards Xavi Arias, Xavi Aymar, Ricardo 'Coco Guerrero and José Baena from the Cordoba expedition, Juan ramón Madariagas team and some Mexican climbers.

Fresh from summiting Dhaulagiri, also Spaniards Carlos Pauner and Javier Perez are now attempting Lhotse. However, Javier turned around today shortly after leaving C2, while Carlos proceeded up to C3. Pauners plans are to reach C4 tomorrow, and the summit on Wednesday.

DCXP team left BC yesterday, hoping to reach the summit from May 23.

Adventure Consultants reported on a Korean climber and his Sherpa possibly topping out last weekend, although the news is yet unconfirmed.

Meanwhile, Ralf Dujmovits and Gerlinde Kaltenbruner have met up in Ama Dablan garden Lodge, in the Khumbu valley. After succeeding as individual climbers, Ralf on Makalu and Gerlinde on Dhaula, they are ready (and well acclimatized) for a fast, joint push on Lhotse. The newly wed couple expects to reach BC tomorrow.

Annapurna IV: No-go

Bad weather forced the American ski team back down on Annapurna IV. We really hoped that conditions would improve but it has already snowed for 4 hours and the wind is scouring the top and loading the approach slope with a couple of feet of snow, Ben Clark reported. Wow, it makes me a little sad to write that..somehow putting it into words and making it public makes it seem so final. We have tried really hard. Oh well, that's what we do best!

So on to the positive- yes we have gotten some great climbing in and skied totally unskied terrain. Awesome! Even better, we still have some unknowns to deal with on the slope below camp one that avalanched the morning after we climbed it.

Baruntse: Danish summits on May 15

A Danish Team consisting of Leader Bo Belvedere Christensen and climbers Martin Cederkrantz and Jens Trolle summited Baruntse on May 15, Lars Gundersen from Kiplingtravel told ExplorersWeb last week. With them were Sherpas Lhakpa Dorje Sherpa (Sirdar), Dachhemba and Pem Chhiri Sherpa. According to Lars, the team had some tough conditions on the mountains upper sections. Leader Belvedere had previously summited Ama Dablam in1988, Dhaulagiri in 1991, Broad Peak in 1995, G1 in 1997 and attempted Everest twice without O2.

Links to current Himalayan teams:


UK Royal Navy
Waldemar Niclevicz and Irivan Gustavo Burda
Andrew Lock
French Makalu
Santiago Quintero
Blair Falahey
Joao Garcia
Ralf Dujmovits' updates
Spanish paper covering Lolo Gonzales
Andalusia/Basques and Lolo Gonzales dispatches
Latvia:Atis Plakans (leader), Liga Plakane, and Kaspars Klapkalns
News on Juanito on Marca.com
Alex Gavan's website


Dutch team expedition website
Katja Staartjes
Menno Boermans
Maxut's updates on Mount.kz (Russian)


Dhaulagiri west face Babanov/Nick Totmjanin
news on the Argentinean team
Martin Minarik
Radek Jaros and Zdenek Hruby
Kinga and Kasia
Carlos Pauner, Javier Perez and Marta Alexandre
Ivan Vallejo
Polish Dhaula with Artur Hajzer and Ryszard Pawlowski
Himalaya Maestrat
Lithuanian expedition
News on Al filo team on S.Alvaro's blog


Inaki Ochoa
Horia Colibasanu
Don Bowie
Piotr Pustelnik's dispatches
Peter Hamor's website
Piotr Morawski's website
Bogomolov updates on RussianClimb
Ueli Steck
Annapurna 4 ski expedition
Radek Jaros and Zdenek Hruby


Rosa's updates on LNE


Andrew Lock hopes to bag his 13th 8000er on Makalu. Live image over Contact 4.0 of the Aussie climber on Makalu La, courtesy of Andrew Lock (click to enlarge)
At least 13 climbers topped out Makalu today. Image of Makalu summit two weeks ago, courtesy of Ralf Dujmovits' Amical website (click to enlarge).
Fresh from Dhaulagiri, Spaniard Carlos Pauner is now attempting Lhotse. Image of climbers on the Lhotse face courtesy of Carlos' website.
Mario Merelli is back for a new attempt on Lhotse. Image courtesy of Mario's website (click to enlarge).