14 eight-thousanders


8.463 m

“I truly experienced the Himalayas, a great mountain. We scarcely encountered a couple of other expeditions during our climb, and here we could truly work. I both enjoyed the climbing and got to experience the true essence of mountaineering in the Himalayas.”

The big black

Ranking: 5 Elevation: 8.463 m
First conquered: the French team led by Jean Franco succeeded in making the first ascent of Makalu in 1955. Lionel Terray and Jean Couzy were, during the next few days, followed to the top by all their companions, making this the first expedition to place all its members on the summit of an eight-thousander.

A year after reaching the summit of the world, Edurne set herself the target of climbing Makalu, a giant of a mountain measuring 8,463 metres, situated on the border between Tibet and Nepal. Known as ‘the Big Black’, it is only 22 kilometres from Everest and is technically very difficult.



The Big Black as it is known (officially in Chinese Makaru; Pinyin: Măkălŭ Shān) marks the border between Nepan and Tibet. It forms a mountain range with two other peaks: Kangchungtse or Makalu II (7,678 m) and Chomo Lonzo (7,818 m).


Summit reached by Edurne Pasaban on the 16th of May 2002.