After first reporting that the Kazakh team on Makalu had climbed to 6400m in high winds, MountEverest.net is now saying that Denis, Sergey, and Evgeny have begun their summit push today and are going for the first Winter ascent ever on Makalu.
Denis sent a message to RussianClimb.com saying that the team had moved up the mountain, despite a winter storm raging around them, that included very high winds, and had reached their camp at 6400m. The weekend forecast has a weather window opening up on Saturday and running through the early part of next week and it appears that the team wants to be in position to take advantage of that window tomorrow, should it open up as expected.
Meanwhile, the Italian team of Nives Meroi, her husband Romano Benet and climbing partner Luca Vuerich are also planning to take advantage of the same weather window with the hopes of making their own summit push. Nives reports that the team will begin moving up Saturday morning with the hope of topping out by Tuesday when the window is expected to slam shut again.
Makalu, at 27,765 meters, is the last of the 8000m peaks in the HImalaya to go unclimbed in the Winter. It is the 5th highest peak in the World and is located just 15 miles East of Everest. If either of these teams manage to summit, we’ll see history this weekend.
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