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The Challenge
 
As usual, Alex and Mihnea will use on Makalu no supplementary oxygen (above 8000m, the oxygen concentration in the air is less than one third from the one found at sea level) and no sherpa support above base camp.

The guys will have their Advanced Base Camp at 5600m and plan to set up three altitude camps at 6300m, 6800m and 7400m during the approximately one month acclimatization period. The final push for the summit will be made from a bivouac at 7800m and somewhere at the end of May the team will be first Romanians to step on Makaluís summit.

To date, no Romanian mountaineer climbed two eight thousanders in the same expedition. Among the nine people from Romania being successful in such kind of ascents, there has been two previous attempts, both in 2007: Horia Colibasanu has climbed Dhaulagiri and then retreated from Annapurna due to dangerous conditions up the mountain and Alex Gavan retreated on Gasherbrum 2 due to high avalanche risk only to climb Alpine Style Gasherbum 1 just days later. Right now while we are writing these lines Horia is attempting Annapurna again and we are keeping our fingers crossed for him.

After Makalu, on June 8th, Alex will fly to Islamabad to join forces with Italian climbers Gloria Brighenti and Simone La Terra and head together for the Karakorum. Possibly Polish Pawel Michalski will also be part of the team. Alex intents to have another attempt for Gasherbrum 2 (8035m). In July 2007 Alex reached 6900m before deciding to cancel any further ascent due to high avalanche danger (only a few couple of days later two German climbers died in an avalanche that caught ten people just above Camp 2, at 6400m). If everything goes well Alex will make a fast push from Base Camp at 5000m to the summit.


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