MountEverest.net is reporting that controversial Taiwanese climber Makalu Ming-Ho Gau will return to Everest for the Spring 2007 season. Gau was amongst the survivors of the brutal 1996 season, and was caught out in the storm that took the lives of eight other climbers. Exposure to the elements cost him the tip of his nose and his fingers due to frostbite.
Gau received scathing criticism in Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air where he was characterized as a slow, inexperienced, and selfish about the dangers he was putting others into. At one point, his team decided that they wouldn’t climb on May 10, that fateful day, in order to avoid the crowds, and yet Gau went up anyway.
For his part, Gau says that Karkauer never interviewed him, and hasn’t heard his side of the story. He took part in a documentary last year called Prayer Flags in which he stated that the big Western lead expeditions were to blame for the diaster, causing traffic jams near the summit.
This year, Gau will be leading a team on the North face, climbing from the Tibetan side of Everest. There will be two other Chinese teams climbing on the North side as well, including the team training to take the Olympic Torch to the summit in 2008.
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