Norwegian Sven Gangdal isn't a climber to think small. When he and climbing
partner Dawa Chhiri Sherpa were on their way down from a successful summit of
Manaslu in 2002 they were thinking ahead to the next challenge. This led them
to one of the biggest mountains in the Himalayas, "the black rock" Makalu, one
of the biggest snow and ice challenges in the world.
Rising 8,463 meters above the highlands of Nepal, some 14 miles East of
Everest, Makalu is an enormous isolated peak shaped like a perfect four-sided
pyramid. Makalu is the world's fifth tallest mountain and its ascent is so
challenging that only 5 of the first 16 expeditions were successful.
When making up his team for the 2004 Makalu expedition Sven had intended to
include his twin brother Jon and Australian Andrew Lock who had summited
Manaslu on that same expedition. Instead both the other climbers decided to
head off to Everest as members of separate expeditions and were replaced by
equally experience climbers, Brit Volden and Stian Slettum Voldmo, both of
Norway. The final team includes three Norwegians, two Australians and one
The team will be leaving for Nepal in the middle of March headed for
Makalu, which has never been climbed by a Norwegian team. The primary goal
will of course be to summit Makalu though not at the cost of safety. The team
also hopes to have fun as well as the work toward their goal.
Climbers on the expedition include:
Sven Gangdal (Norway), with 32 years climbing experience and the first
Norwegian to summit Everest via the North Ridge.
Brit Volden (Norway), a world champion in orienteering with 20 years of
experience in Alpine climbing in Norway.
Stian Slettum Voldmo (Norway), who has 7 years alpine climbing experience
in Europe and Africa.
Michael Parker (Australia), with 10 years climbing experience all over the
Josef Nezerka (Czech Republic), one of the most famous and experienced
climbers in the Czech Republic.
Dawa Chhiri Sherpa (A), 5 summits of Everest on 12 expeditions.
Dawa Chhiri Sherpa (B), 8 expeditions to Everest.
Ang Lakpa Sherpa, 1 expedition to Everest.
Kama Singi Syanba Tamang, 4 expeditions to Everest.