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|While the Italian Mountain Guide Renzo Corona has reached the summit of Manaslu together with his Austrian client Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, other mountaineers are currently preparing for the final stages of their ascent of Makalu. |
Silvio Mondinelli, together with Carlos Pauner from Spain and Norbert Joos and Jakob from Switzerland left ABC (5600m) this morning to reach Camp 2 at 7400m. After a short rest they plan to depart (at about 2.00am 15/05/02) and head straight to the summit at 8463m, skipping Camp 3 altogether.
The weather conditions seem to have settled finally, after long periods of heavy snowfall, strong winds and intense cold, culminating in 35Â°C last week at Base Camp. A good weather spell lasting three days has been forecast, 40 days after arriving in Base Camp!
Their ascent tactics should be good but nothing can be taken for granted on Makalu, or on the other 8000m peaks for that matter. The crux sections include the seracs and the steep and dangerous French Couloir beneath the summit. All we can do now is do what Mondinelli repeated in his last radio message: Lets all keep our fingers crossed. Good luck to all!
Silvio Mondinelli updates
Good omen for the mountaineers in the Himalaya (photo arch. S. Mondinelli)