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  Makalu 2010 : Tunc Findik Summit report


TUNC FİNDİK MAKALU 2010 SUMMİT REPORT

This year, spring  in Nepal- Himalaya was an exceptionally windy and unsettled season. We had to wait more than usual and  finally summitted Makalu 25th may, 2010.

İt was a week  long trek thru Eastern Nepalís Barun valley, and we began trekking by flying to Tumlingtar, driving to Chichila. Our route took us through misty, forested  hills of Num, Seduwa, Tashigaon, Kongma, Shipton Pass,  Mumbuk, Yangle Kharka, Yak Kharka and Makalu Base camp. Finally we made our Advanced Base Camp at the beginning of Chago Glacier at an altitude of 5750 m. ABC was a cold, windy and desolate place. Total of 5 expeditions were there, which meant 40 climbers at all. A small number compared to mountains such as Everest! 

When we arrived,  there was  already a German expedition at ABC, led by our friend Luis Stitzinger and they had begun fixing on the mountain as early as a week before us. The  season was quite dry and cold, therefore responsible for  icy  and dry  conditions on the north west face, 1955 first ascent route of Makalu.  A short description of the route:  Makaluís classical route is a snow-ice climb with some bits of mixed  rock climbing in between. Up to camp 1, 6350 metres,  it is mostly an ice trek with approx.  100 m. of moderate ice  climbing.  To camp 2, 6750 metres, it is again a   crevassed glacier climb with some little steep bits, and then up to camp 3, 7440 metres (to The North col of Makalu, Makalu- La) it is a steep and enjoyable rock- mixed climb with some large  icefields and easy climbing  in between. After camp 3, traversing to the gigantic North Face of Makalu, it is a big flat glacier area with many hidden crevasses.   After camp 4, 7700 metres, there appears  a steep and horizontal  ice traverse between some seracs ,  followed by a  glacier ramp with  many crevasses and finally,  a 300 m. high  rocky, granite  buttress that leads to the summit ridge. The summit ridge is a flattish ice shoulder at 8400 metres  that leads to sharp, exposed  summit  towers.  All in all, the route to the summit of  Makalu is  long and takes time.

Night of 24th may, the weather was crystal clear after a full day of whiteout. We had planned to set off fort he  summit by 20.00 hours  at night from camp 3, 7440 m. Our team of  Dawa Sherpa, Lhakpa Sherpa, Kancha Sherpa, me Tunc  Findik, Arnold Coster, Guntis Brandts, Adele Pennington were to set off from C3, and Haris Kirikarias and Pemba Sherpa to set off from C4.  İt was a very cold night- maybe minus 35 C. degrees or more, but we were lucky that there was almost  no  wind fort he rest of the night.   Climbing all night long, we  crossed the North Face  glacier, traversed the blue ice steps on the traverse on seracs and climbed the big glacier  ramp at 8000 m. to the beginning of the French Couloir. İt seemed there were many crevasses, hidden or open.  Climbing to the towering summit headwall rocks,  we climbed on easy to  medium grade rocks covered with fresh  snow at above 8000 metres. The  first daylight was at 04.50 hours. After some mixed climbing ,  i had  reached the summit ridge at 8400 m, breaking  thru snow at a small gully to the ridge.  By then the grey, dull coloured day had faded away, giving way to shiny blue skies and lovely sunshine. The summit is composed of 2 adjacent towers with a delicate, exposed  ice traverse, and summit itself is a very sharp, small ridge that is enough for only 3 persons!  İt was  11.00 as me, Arnold, Dawa and Lhakpa summitted Makalu.  Weather was mostly calm, Everest and Lhotse  to the west and kanchenjunga to the east, as well as many Tibetan and Nepali summits all around us. İt was an unexpectedly perfect summit day, given the general unstability of the weather this 2010 spring  season..We stayed at the top for an hour maybe, enjoying it to the utmost!

As me and Arnold  were descending the exposed  summit ridge, German Dr. Joseph, Guntis and Haris along with Kancha Sherpa were getting near to summit, and it was 12.35 or so. Adele had felt tired due to a failure on his oxygen system  at 8350 metres and was already on her way down.  From the west, a huge cloud was approaching the mountain and  soon it was quite cold and windy, and reamained so fort he rest of the day. This was the last time i did saw Haris, on the summit ridge, who unfortunately lost his life, apparently due to high altitude exposure and exhaustion. For myself, at around 16.00 in the afternoon,  i  had reached camp 3, 7440 m. and spent the night there along with Lhakpa Sherpa, and i continued down  next day to ABC safely. The rest of the story came quickly- 31st may we flew to Katmandu with Guntis and Adele.

6th june 2010

TUN« FINDIK

 

 

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