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bags abducted to China
the Makalu base
south wall of Makalu has clearly come back to life;
the winds are raging, there are rock and ice
avalanches. Krzysztof Wielicki and Maciej Pawlikowski
returned to the base on December 20th since the wind
destroyed their shelter at the 2nd camp. Four people
remained on the wall, two in the 1st camp (5400 m) and
two kilometers higher, in the remains of the 2nd camp.
Everyone was to return temporarily to the base for
a single moment - Krzysztof Wielicki relates - the
wind tore apart the tent, broke the masts. I saw two
sleeping bags and several pads rise up and glide
through the pass, later disappearing onto the Chinese
side. Along with Dariusz Zaluski we tried to reach the
end of the hand lines put in place by Maciej
Pawlikowski and Jaroslav Zurawski to a height of 6700
m. We wanted to continue their work. It took us three
hours to complete the path that should have taken
three quarters of an hour. We had to lie down on the
ice to keep from being seized. The wind was as strong
as the winter on Mount Everest twenty years ago. We
turned back. Zaluski and Zurawski decided to remain
another night in order to rescue the second
Tortladze and Krzysztof Liszewski also had a difficult
night in the second camp. They conquered about a
kilometer and a half of the difference in altitude.
When they reached the tent it turned out impossible to
start the cooking stove. They made raspberry ice cream
from freeze dried fruits and snow. In the morning,
dehydrated, they had to descend. The cooking stoves
that caused such a large problem are gasoline fueled
American MSRs. This equipment, good in Alaska, does
not work with Nepal fuel. The MSRs smoke, get clogged.
They have to be reconciled with gas.
of the expedition participants are sick. The base
situated at the height of Mont Blanc ensures a rest,
gives a feeling of safety, but it is not a sanatorium.
"The altitude in connection with the strong winds
cause sleep disorders. The exertion, glacial dust, dry
air and loss of water lead to a drop in
resistance" - explains expedition physician Roman
Mazik. "Most of the participants experience
feverless inflammation of the upper respiratory tract.
At the base their strength and resistance return,
though slowly, while climbers are emancipated at the
earlier stay at high altitudes also does not provide
any guarantee that a climber will tolerate the next
stay problem free. Krzysztof Wielicki made a decision:
"We all have to descend to the base, treat our
wounds, recuperate and repair equipment. Christmas Eve
in a few days. Time for a moment of relief".