We arrived in Makalu basecamp 2 days ago and were greeted with the sight of several other expeditions on the mountain. Some of these had changed their plans from climbing in Tibet, due to the border closure.
Basecamp is located at 5650 metres immediately below a glacier and, being on the west side of the mountain, we don’t get the sun until 8am. It is constantly windy, very dusty and we lose the sun again at 4.30pm due to another mountain on the other side of the camp.
We spent yesterday adjusting to the new altitude, meeting old climbing friends from the other teams and sorting equipment. Today we held our Puja ceremony to ask the Gods for safe passage on the mountain, although I think our Lama took care of most of the alcoholic offerings, on behalf of the Gods!
We’ll head up the mountain tomorrow to establish camp 1 and make a depot of equipment and food. I expect we’ll do a couple of these load carries and then move up, if the weather allows.
We are hoping for an easing of the winds as it is bitterly cold but in the meantime all the team are well and keen to get going on the mountain.