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 Nepal’s 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: Makalu’s 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
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