2008 is upon us and the pre-monsoon climbing season approaches quickly. On 15 March I shall depart Australia for the Himalaya, with a plan to attempt the last two 8000ers on my list to achieve the summits of all fourteen. The two remaining peaks are Shishapangma in Tibet (main summit – I have twice climbed its lower, central summit) and Makalu in Nepal. First up, I plan to trek for 2 1/2 weeks in the Khumbu region of Nepal and may climb Island Peak, if the weather is suitable when I pass by. That should provide good acclimatisation for the first expedition which I hope to finish by early May, leaving me enough time to climb the second peak before the season concludes around early June.
I shall have my pda and satellite phone throughout, so will send regular updates and pictures as the expeditions progress.
I shall be climbing with Hector Ponce de Leon, my old Discovery Everest climbing companion from 2004 and Neil Ward, who was with me last year on Shisha. We shall join with Joao Garcia from Portugal for the Makalu climb and may also climb with Ralf Dujmovits from Germany, both of whom I climbed with on Kanchenjunga in 2006.
So all in all, we have a strong and experienced team for the climbs and I’m itching to get over there!
In the meantime, I’m completing my national a/v presentation tour of my 2007 First Australian ascent of Annapurna 1. For details of the tour, see www.andrew-lock.com and click on Upcoming Presentations. Hope to see you there!