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Winter Makalu 2000/2001            1-11-2001 Dispatch

The Last Attempt

Supplies of food, fuel and resources of people are running low. We have been here over a month. Two teams (two people each) still want to fight and climb the mountain. Gia Tortladze and Krzysztof Liszewski are in the extended base. Krzysztof Wielicki and Dariusz Zaluski are leaving from the main base in two days. If only the wind stopped blowing, just for a minute.

"Above 6300 meters the wind is so strong that you can't even stand - says Krzysztof Wielicki - even a short stay in the upper camps makes the tents disappear. We lost camp 1, destroyed by the wind. You can't do much in such conditions, although we will try one more time".

If the wind does not let the Alpinists go higher, a helicopter will come on 15 or 17 January to pick us up. This will be the end of the expedition. So far everyone still has to go up - to climb, or to gather the remains of the camps, equipment and trash.

We witnessed an unusual event. It was almost three in the morning. I left my tent. Despite cloudless sky there was strange darkness and silence. Suddenly my shadow appeared on the ground, clear and visible. I looked up. Something like a gigantic lamp, a growing super-star, shone above the ridge. It was the moon, just after the phase of the full eclipse. In clear air, at the height of 4800 meters in the Himalayas, surrounded by snowy mountain chains, we could see the full eclipse of the moon. Along with the presence of moonlight a familiar sound came from Makalu - it was rumble of windstorm on the ridges.

Monika Rogozinska base at the 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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