I finished the book九死一生 – 高铭和圣母峰登顶记 (Diary of Makalu Gau to Mount Everest) borrowed by Tey in a return journey to Singapore. I complete half of the chapters on the way to Singapore in the bus then finished the rest on the way back to Malaysia today.
It was a fantastic book describes the true story of a mountain climber in Taiwan, Makalu Gau from the moment he organized the expedition since year 1994 to the moment he reached to the summit of Everest and how he got serious injury on the return journey.
Everest, the highest mount in the world (8848m), covered by a thick layer of frost for her whole life, therefore it is well known as Mount of Frost (雪山). In Chinese, its name is 圣母峰 same meaning as the Mother of the Sacred. It has been grabbed many climbers’ life away on the way to the summit, hence, it is also known as the Mount of Death (死亡之山) by the climbers.
Makalu Gau is simply the best and so amazing and at the moment I read his story, I was so admired his attitude towards mountaineering. He showed his strong enthusiasm and determination in organizing the expedition, raising the fund, managing the team and climbing. He chose Nepal as the starting point to the summit.
In 1996, March 8th, he and his team total of 9 people flew from Taiwan to Nepal.
There were another 11 teams also coming to climb Mount Everest at the same period. Makalu’s team decided to reach to the summit on 10th May. He and a team member with another 2 guides start the journey on 6th May from the Base Camp (5340m), over a night at 1st Campsite (6100m) on 7th May and 2nd Campsite (6300m) on 8th May.
While they prepared to head to 3rd Campsite (7300m) on 9th May, his teammate decided to return to 1st Campsite to join the 2nd team due to his physical fitness problem. Unfortunately he passed away on the way decent to 1st Campsite.
Makalu continued his mission with great sadness and loneliness yet the path is getting tougher and more dangerous. Ice wall were the common obstacle in the whole journey. Anyone could kill himself by stepping a wrong step. It was 10th May, the unpredictable weather worsen the path to the summit. There was one point his guides recommended him to give up due to the bad weather when they were at 4th Campsite (7986m), but he never take their recommendation. He had the quest with the strong power of determination to reach to summit.
Finally he stepped at the summit of Everest at 3pm.
Few of the teams reached ahead of him, and there were some coming soon. The weather turned extremely bad, the strong and cold wind lowering the temperature and made every step harder. Makalu’s guides left him alone exposed at the freezing zone. He was helpless, the wind was so strong, the weather was so cold, and he was frozen.
By the time he was rescued, the sudden bad weather incident had taken away 8 lives of the climbers from other teams.
He is alive, but his thumbs, toes and nose had been excised.
The captain of US team, Scott Fischer was one of the victims. His wife informed US teammates, DO NOT move his body down from Everest. Let him rest forever at the mountain he admired the most in his life…
A recommended book to all mountain fevers.
Information of the book:
Title: 九死一生 – 高铭和圣母峰登顶记/高铭和口诉