Story by Melissa Arnot; photos by David Morton and Melissa Arnot Paradox: noun; a situation, person or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities. Base camp on Makalu is a paradox of comfort and struggle.
Story by Melissa Arnot; photos by David Morton and Melissa Arnot “I don’t always feel lucky, but I am smart enough to try, because humility has buoyancy and above us only sky.”
First Ascent guides David Morton and Melissa Arnot acclimatize on Makalu at 20,750 feet, but altitude isn’t the only concern. Heavy winds and snow make their climb even more difficult.
Story by David Morton, photos by David Morton and Melissa Arnot It’s 2 a.m. My thoughts are racing. I’ve been awake for the past three hours, or have I? It’s so difficult to tell. That murkiness is the defining characteristic of this weird state of sleep and wakefulness at altitude.
By Melissa Arnot; photos by David Morton It is around 5:30 p.m. on April 19. David and I are sitting in our dining tent, discussing whether it feels colder at this base camp than the one at Everest. The elevation is higher, about 18,400 feet, and our evening headaches remind us we aren’t totally adjusted
First Ascent guides Melissa Arnot and David Morton embark on an attempt to summit Makalu, the fifth tallest mountain in the world at 27,845 feet.