Alex was quite obsessed by Makalu’s huge size and beautifully pyramid shape, whose sight he first had on a black and white photo from a yellow old page of a book related with the history of Himalayan mountaineering found in his high school library.
Having suffered an incipient form of High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), Alex’s partner Mihnea Radulescu had to abort his ascent. Going up to put the Camp Three at 7400m in Makalu La and complete his acclimatization program, Alex felt that a direct summit push just might be possible given the right conditions. He spent a night at 7400m and then he moved up to 7800m, the place of the last bivouac. He left then for the summit quite late in the next morning (around four o’clock) due to the incredible intense cold that forced him to earlier leave the tent. He reached the summit in the afternoon (about one hour after Kazakh Denis Urubko and his two partners), exactly twenty days after the team’s arrival into the Hillary Base Camp at 4800m.
Shortly after returning to Khatmandu, Mihnea and Alex joined an international team to unsuccessfully try rescuing the Spanish climber Inaki Ochoa de Olza stranded at 7400m high on Annapurna.
Two weeks later, Alex flew directly from Kathmandu to Islamabad to try one more time Gasherbrum 2 again with Pawel Michalski. The two retreated from around 7000m due to increasingly dangerous weather. Deciding that enough happened in an extremely short time, Alex headed for home while Pawel successfully climbed G2 together with Italian Simone La Terra about one and a half week later.