Makalu Peak, known as the “Great Black” has only been summited 323 times and only 13 times by Americans. It’s not like it was ignored, it is just really hard and cold. Located 14 miles east of Mt. Everest, Makalu stands alone and the summit sits at 8,462 meters (27,765 feet). It is climbing season in Nepal and the ColdAvenger will be there supporting two teams–the Valandre and Shared Summits. Both expeditions are attempting Makalu’s summit. The summit ridge marks the border between Nepal to the South and Tibet to the North.
SHARED SUMMITS EXPEDITION
Chris Warner, team captain of this year’s Shared Summits expedition to Makalu is pioneering a new route up the southeast ridge of Makalu. He is a ColdAvenger customer and is excited about his venture. His partner, Marty Schmidt, also a happy customer, along with a two-person camera crew will document the expedition. Chris explains, “We are planning on shooting the expedition, including the climbing in HD. Our hope is to create a film (or even better a short series) that captures the overwhelming power of the mountain and the strength a small team must harness to meet the challenge.”
Chris tells us he is excited to be using the ColdAvenger in this harsh climate. Nothing beats cold weather airway injury at high altitudes like a ColdAvenger and we are happy to be a part of and help sponsor this monumental new route attempt. In a quote from ExplorersWeb Chris explains, “We are hoping to climb a new route to the summit of Makula SE (7803 meters) and then follow the SE Ridge to the (main) summit…Our planned route lies between the SW Ridge (opened by the Czechs in 1976) and the SE Ridge (Japanese climb in 1970).The route will ascend snow gullies and rock bands, up the 7000 foot face to Makula SE. Here is joins with the Czech and Japanese routes along the SE ridge, knife-edge and gendarme guarded all the way to the summit.”
Despite having a small team, Chris and Marty are among the leading 8000 meter American climbers with more than 40 years of experience in the Himalayas and more than 55 years exploring the planet’s tall peaks.
Chris is the team leader and has been on more than 160 international mountaineering expeditions with 13 summits of 8000+peaks. When not orienteering in places with little oxygen, Chris is the owner of Earth Treks, Inc which operates three of the largest and best-known climbing gyms in the US, operates an international guide service and a rock/ice climbing school. Then on the side, after work, he help pen and take photos for High Altitude Leadership, a top 25 release on Amazon.
Marty Schmidt has spent years guiding peaks such as Everest and Cho Oyu under his international guiding operation. He held speed ascent records on both Cho Oyo (which he then skied from summit) and Aconcagua. He then became a member of the Air Force “PJs” who are the only part of the military who are trained to conduct personal recovery operations in hostile or denied areas as a primary mission. He lives in New Zealand with his wife and has two children name appropriately, Denali and Sequoia.
Dr. Eric Meyer and Chris Klinke, both world class mountaineers and ColdAvenger pro athletes are also headed to the Nepalese mountains this spring with the Valandre Makula Expedition. Both athletes are part of a five person team which includes Brad Johnson, Robbie Klimek and Sherpa Chhiring Dorje. Valandre is sponsoring this team to Makula and the expedition starts on April 14th.
Dr. Meyer studies how cold weather affects the respiratory system and has extensive experience climbing in North and South America as well as the Himalayas with Chris Klinke, a passionate climber who has experience all over the world on 8000+ meter summits. His goals of mountain climbing are inspiring and he proves that you can get into the sport at any age. At age 35, Chris dedicated his passion full time to the mountains.
Here at the ColdAvenger HQ, I’ll be waiting to hear for updates from both camps on how the trek is going! Updates to follow.
Good luck teams. Return safely.
John B. Sullivan, III aka ColdAvenger Pro