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 Winter Makalu 2000/2001              1-2-2001 Dispatch

EXPEDITION TO MAKALU Up the hill - matched in pairs

A Wise Dog

We said goodbye to the old year four hours and fifteen minutes earlier than our compatriots in Poland. We did not wait until midnight in our homeland. A snow storm and cold made us escape into our down sleeping bags after a few hours.

Krzysztof Wielicki thinks that, weather permitting (we hope that snow fall and blizzard of the last twenty four hours is a temporary state), the two-people teams which are to leave the base tomorrow, will stay in the upper parts until the end of the expedition, which is in about two weeks. Each of the teams should spend a night above 7000 meters (the area of Makalu La pass) in order to acclimatize and then try to ascend the summit fast with a shock tent, Alpine style. We have a long section ahead of us, probably with very strong wind. During the night of the New Year's Eve, at midnight local time, Wielicki wished everyone to come back home safe and not to give up the challenge ahead of us. He thinks that division into twos increases safety because this allows you to control your partner's state and back off in the right moment in case of problems. He himself has now overcome his illness.

Everyone was in the base the last day of the year, besides Maciej Pawlikowski and Jarek Zurawski who left camp no.2 (6600 meters) and descended the western slope in blizzard, wandering around the cracks in the Chago glacier, where camp no.1 (6200 m) is located. They reached the advanced base very exhausted. They had a long way to the main base ahead of them through stones and rocks covered with fresh snow. At that moment they saw tracks of a dog. As it turned out, Kukur, our Nepalese dog, which we fed, chose a more convenient and safer way than the colleagues who descended before. Pawlikowski and Zurawski reached the canteen tent at night. The tired Kukur was honored with dainties he has never seen in his life.

Monika Rogozinska, main base, foot of Makalu

written by Monika Rogozinska, "Rzeczpospolita",
transl. by "TRANSLATOR" Technical Translation Agency
http://www.rp.pl  ("Rzeczpospolita") and
http://www.translator-warsaw.com.pl ("TRANSLATOR")

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