makalu mountain is the fifth
highest mountain in the world and is located 22 km (14 mi) east
of Mount Everest, on the border between Nepal and China. One
of the eight-thousanders, Makalu is an isolated peak whose shape
is a four-sided pyramid.
makalu mountain has two notable subsidiary peaks. Kangchungtse,
or Makalu II, 7,678 m (25,190 ft), lies about 3 km (2 mi) north-northwest
of the main summit. Rising about 5 km (3.1 mi) north-northeast
of the main summit across a broad plateau, and connected to
Kangchungtse by a narrow, 7,200 m saddle, is Chomo Lonzo, 7,804
m (25,604 ft).
The first attempt on makalu mountain
was made by an American team led by William Siri in the spring
of 1954. They attempted the southeast ridge but were turned
back at 7,100 m (23,300 ft) by a constant barrage of storms.
A New Zealand team including Sir Edmund Hillary was also active
in the spring, but did not get very high due to injury and illness.
In the fall of 1954, a French reconnaissance expedition made
the first ascents of the subsidiary summits Kangchungtse (October
22: Jean Franco, Lionel Terray, Sirdar Gyaltsen Norbu and Pa
Norbu) and Chomo Lonzo (October 30(?): Jean Couzy and Terray).
makalu mountain was first climbed on May 15,
1955 by Lionel Terray and Jean Couzy of a French expedition
led by Jean Franco. Franco, G. Magnone and Sirdar Gyaltsen Norbu
summitted the next day, followed by Bouvier, S. Coupe, Leroux
and A. Vialatte on the 17th. The French team climbed Makalu
by the north face and northeast ridge, via the saddle between
Makalu and Kangchungtse (the Makalu-La), establishing the standard
The first ascent of the southeast ridge route
attempted by the Americans was made by Y. Ozaki and A. Tanaka
from a Japanese expedition on May 23, 1970. The very technical
West Pillar route was climbed in May, 1971 by Frenchmen B. Mellet
and Y. Seigneur.. The second ascent of the West Pillar was
completed in May, 1980 by John Roskelley (summit), Chris Kopczynski,
James States and Kim Momb, without Sherpa support and without
On 15 October 1981 renowned Polish climber Jerzy
Kukuczka ascended makalu mountain via a new route up the north-western
side and north crest. Kukuczka climbed solo, in alpine style,
without supplemental oxygen.
On or about January 27, 2006, the French mountaineer
Jean-Christophe Lafaille disappeared on makalu mountain while
trying to make the first winter ascent.
makalu mountain was
first climbed in winter on February 9th 2009 by Italian Simone
Moro and Kazakh Denis Urubko. It was the final Nepali 8000er
to be climbed in winter conditions. Moro had previously made
the first winter ascent of Shishapangma in winter 2005 with
Pole Piotr Morawski.
makalu mountain is one of the
harder eight-thousanders, and is considered one of the most
difficult mountains in the world to climb. The mountain is notorious
for its steep pitches and knife-edged ridges that are completely
open to the elements. The final ascent of the summit pyramid
involves technical rock/ice climbing