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 Winter Makalu 2000/2001              12-29-2000 Dispatch

Attack in January

Weary tramp

The mountain activity went off like a shot. During the last few days, despite a long distance from the base, the first camp was set up at the height of 6100 meters at the site (route) of the first conquerors along with a temporary camp (6600 meters). 

On Friday Gia Tortladze, Krzysztof Liszewski and Piotr Snopczynski, the people who set up the temporary "number two", are to install a balustrade to the highest possible point in the direction of the Makalu La Pass (7410m). After that they are going to descend to the advanced base. On their way down they will meet Krzysztof Wielicki's team who wants to leave the advanced base (5300 m) and reach a lobby leading to Makalu La at Camp I and go together with Dariusz Zaluski and Maciej Pawlikowski.

Wielicki would like to spend a night above 7000 meters for the purposes of acclimatization. It is necessary to secure some sections of the route with balustrades because in winter there is actually no snow in the upper parts on which one can walk easily. There is ice instead.

Climbing an eight-thousand-meter mountain at this time of year is in a large part a weary tramp of Alpinists with heavy burden. They must carry enormous amounts of equipment including tents, mattresses, fuel, food, ropes and other climbing equipment. This action must be repeated several times. You cannot reduce or eliminate some stages of acclimatization. All teams are to descend to the base at new Year's Eve to have a rest. Weather permitting, we plan to attack the summit at the beginning of January.

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")

Update e-mail from Monika: I  wish you all the best in a New Year. Polish Winter Makalu Expedition has just started from the beginning. [She means starting over...] We have lost the second camp near the South Col of Makalu (6600 m) where we were going to join a difficult Japanese route on south-east ridge. The stormy wind destroyed it and took some equipment up and over the col to Tibet side. There are 10 members of the expedition including the doctor. Many of them are ill. We had had fast winds with dust like on a desert. Alpinists do not use oxygen from bottles. There are not Sherpas for help. The leader, Krzysztof Wielicki decided to change route for easier, normal route by Makalu La which were taken by French expedition in 1955. It means that we must change the base camp which is on the South Face of Makalu for the advanced base camp which is on the West Face. Makalu is the last 8000 m peak in Nepal still virgin in winter. Seven others with Everest were conquered in winter by Polish climbers (Mount Everest - 17.02.1980; Manaslu - 12.01.1984; Dhaulagiri - 21.01.1985; Cho Oyu - 12.02.1985; Kangchenjunga - 11.01.1986; Annapurna - 3.02.1987; Lhotse -31.12.1988). Usually it happened by normal routes. Cho Oyu was conquered in winter by difficult, new route. Besides one bottle of oxygen for the climbing the top of Everest, Polish alpinists have not used an oxygen during that ascents in winter.

We had beautiful, friendly and a very domestic Christmas Eve in an old base camp. Later Krzysztof Wielicki with Maciej Pawlikowski and Dariusz Zaluski build the camp I (6100 m) on normal route. Wielicki would like to climb upper part of Makalu, over the Makalu La pass in alpine style. Today Gia Tortladze (from Georgia), Piotr Snopczynski and Krzysztof Liszewski made the bivaq (probably camp II) on 6600 m. They have used some fix ropes. Tomorrow they are going to put fix ropes in couloir which goes to Makalu La (7410 m). During winter there is no snow on this mountains but only ice: green, blue, turquoise and white.  

Best regards, Monika Rogozinska, the correspondent of "Rzeczpospolita" Polish daily newspaper from the Makalu base camp in Nepal 12/31/2000

written by Monika Rogozinska, "Rzeczpospolita",
http://www.rp.pl  ("Rzeczpospolita") 

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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