Season’s first summit on Mt Makalu: Xiao-Dan scales the peak without oxygen

KATHMANDU: A Chinese female climber along with three climbing Sherpas successfully scaled Mt Makalu (8,463m) becoming the season’s first team to summit the world's fifth highest peak without supplemental oxygen this morning.

According to Dawa Sherpa, Managing Director at Trekking Sherpa Expedition, Gao Xiao-Dan reached the summit point at around 9:00 am without oxygen support after her team found a clear window to make the summit. “Climbing Sherpas including Nima Gyalzen Sherpa, Jit Bahadur Sherpa and Ang Dawa Sherpa also stood atop Mt Makalu opening a climbing route to the summit point,” he told THT, referring to a satellite communication made with the summiteers.

Xiao-Dan (35) was part of a six-member expedition led by Swedish mountaineer Carina Ahlqvist, he said, adding that other members of the team would soon make their summit pushes.

Xiao-Dan who works for Nestle had scaled Mt Everest in the last spring season. “Besides, Xiao-Dan along with Nima Gyalzen had also scaled Mt Manaslu,” Sherpa said.

Team leader Ahlqvist would attempt to climb Mt Makalu to raise awareness of climate change from the high Himalayas, Navin Trital, Managing Director at Expedition Himalaya, informed. The Swedish explorer partnered with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and European Space Agency’s Climate Change Initiative to highlight how measurements of Essential Climate Variables, such as those tackled in the Climate Change Initiative programme, are vital for measuring climate change.

According to the Department of Tourism, at least 27 climbers obtained climbing permits for Mt Makalu while nine others will be attempting to climb Mt Makau II (7,678m) in the spring season.

Earlier, climber Mingma Gyalze Sherpa of Imagine Treks and Expedition, along with Liu Yongzhong, Hong Dong Juan, Kili Pemba Sherpa, Tamding Sherpa and female climber Nima Jangmu Sherpa successfully scaled Mt Lhotse, the world’s fourth highest peak, making the season’s first ascent of the mountains above 8,000m on Sunday.