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have the first camp on the southern slope
ground for the moto-hang glide
the evening of December 13 Maciej Pawlikowski, Dariusz
Zaluski and Jaroslav Zurawski set up a camp at the
southern slope of Makalu at the height of 5400m.
not known what forms the basis of the mountain because
it being devoid of snows makes an impression of vast
areas of movable talus, steep grounds of stones in
piles waiting for a human foot to set it in motion,
even though it seems a huge black monolith from the
side of Mount Everest.
time to time during night and day pieces of ice
are torn away from the barrier of the six
thousand meter high mountains causing
barrier of seemingly still virgin six thousand
meter high mountains is visible over the base.
stayed safely on the opposite slope I observed my
colleagues' climb on a steep, brittle couloir. Only a
large rocky bed separated them from a place which one
would call a rock-fall. Huge boulders and small stones
were rolled down the side of the slope with rumble,
striking sparks in a cloud of dust. Also the couloir
in which the Alpinists were descending, seemed more
like a super-sewer than a Himalayan slope. It reminded
me of a place in the Tatras called "The
Mincer", but this one was a lot more brittle.
crawling in gravel and broken stones can hardly be
called climbing. The real alpinism starts with the
first camp - said Maciej Pawlikowski - We built a
platform for tents. It is huge like a landing ground.
What do you say?" Pawliczan (Pawlikowski's
nickname) hit the spot - we talked about it in the
base. My colleagues jealously observed the Honda
engine, which, along with solar batteries, was the
most important source of power for the computer,
satellite phone, charging batteries for the flash
lights and cameras. We even have music and light in
the dining tent and a small lamp in my tent which
serves the role of the press office, phone booth and
bedroom all in one. As it turned out, separately and
regardless of the height (which, according to many,
was the cause of various mad ideas), the Alpinists
decided to build a moto-hang glider to fly over the
taluses and finally start climbing. Luckily the idea
was not used in any way and the Honda still lies near
my tent instead of flying away in space.
upper parts of the southern slope of Makalu are still
silent. It seems that there is too little snow for an
avalanche. There have not yet been strong winds which
are characteristic for this time of year.
"Everything is fine, you just have to move up the
slope" - said Maciej Pawlikowski after his
comeback to the base and an additional securing of the
couloir with balustrade ropes. Today Dariusz Zaluski,
Krzysztof Wielicki and Jerzy Natkanski are in camp
No.1 (5400m). Tomorrow the head of the expedition
wants to check the possibility to approach the
Southern Pass (6600m), leading to the ridge which goes
onto the summit.
and Mount Everest, only 20 km from Makalu. Three
Polish Alpinists - Czeslaw Jakiel, Rafal Holda
and Jerzy Kukuczka died on the southern slope of
Lhotse, which is partly covered by snow.
order to get to the upper parts of Makalu one
has to get through the talus flooded by
avalanches of stones. Maciej Pawlikowski, Jaroslav
Zurawski and Dariusz Zaluski are climbing to set
up camp no.1 at the height of 5400m.