Camp 2 installed. We came
down from Camp 2 yesterday noon. We spent three days up there. This is how
the story went.
On Saturday, April 10, we had
breakfast at 4 in the morning at Base Camp... Having breakfast at that time
doesn't always bring the best faces or the best moods, I would have liked a
good Express coffee... for my good mood there was just instant coffee...
Around 5 in the morning we all left (Luís, Alejandro, Juan Pablo, Tom, Martin,
Richard and I). The plan was to get to Camp 1, pick up our sleeping bags,
mattresses and all the stuff we had there and continue to Camp 2. The Sherpas
had already climbed to Camp 2 a day before us and had installed a tent; we
would have to install the rest of the tents they had carried there. They had
not brought up stoves or gas or pots for cooking, so we had to carry those
from Camp 1.
It took us around four hours
to get to Camp 1, and when we got there the heat was infernal, so Martin and
Richard decided not to continue to Camp 2, they preferred to spend the night
at Camp 1 and continue the next day to Camp 2. I grabbed my stuff as soon as
I could, packed my backpack and left in a hurry towards Camp 2. I carried my
sleeping bag, my feather suit, three pairs of gloves, mattress, video camera,
still camera, sponsors flags, stove, food, extra clothing, blank video tapes,
batteries, lamp... and last but not least, chapter 68 of "The DaVinci Code" at
last... Chapters 1 through 67 were left at Base... Yes, in fact I cut the
book. My backpack weighed around 18-20 kilos.
Alejandro, Luís, Juan Pablo
and Tom took some 15 or 20 minutes more to leave to Camp 2. After walking for
a while Juan Pablo decided to go back to Camp 1 and spend the night there.
Four hours later we arrived
to Camp 2. We all got there a bit dizzy, the sun hit us hard and we were very
dehydrated, but despite the sun the wind was cold.
When we got to Camp 2 Luís
and I went into the tent, we put on dry clothes and coats and then we
installed another tent along with Alejandro, who was just arriving, where Tom
and Alejandro would spend the night.
That night was cold and a bit
uncomfortable because it was our first night at 6,400 meters.
The next morning, the 11th
around 10:30, six of our Sherpas and a cook arrived, loaded with equipment up
to their ears. Four of the Sherpas went back that same day to Base Camp, two
Sherpas and a cook stayed with us at Camp 2. Martin, Richard and Juan Pablo
also arrived that day to Camp 2. We all installed a tent for the kitchen, a
diner and three small tents to sleep in them. Basically the whole day was
spent settling down.
On the next day, the 12th, we
gathered to have breakfast at six in the morning. Tom made the mistake of
getting there for breakfast at five!!!
After beeing one hour in the
cold he saw us entering the diner one by one. We had a delicious salted rice
with milk mixed with tons of sugar, instant coffee capable to wake up a drug
addict and "porridge" for the braves who dare to have cement for breakfast!!
We took aprox. 300 meters of
rope, some ice screws, stakes and courage to head up to the base of the Lhotse
wall. Nobody had gone there so far, there was no marked path through the
crevasses, so it took us an eternity to get to the base of the wall, sometimes
we found dead ends by the crevasses and we had to turn around to look for
another path. The sun and the heat did not make the feat easy. We were tied
by fours in each rope: Da Nima, me, Luís and Alejandro in one; Richard,
Martin, Juan Pablo and Tom in the other.
Around 10 in the morning we
got to the base of the Lhotse wall, the rimaya (the crevasse at the foot of
the wall where it meets the glacier) didn't look difficult, it had a little
pass with a cornice (hard snow) that looked like it was going to give us
I tied myself to the end of
the rope and asked Da Nima (the leader of our Sherpas) to secure me up, I took
two stakes, four ice screws, four snap links and a spectra ring. I grabbed my
two Petzl-Charlet Aztar piolets and started walking on the snow bridge which
hanged on the crevasse between the glacier and the wall... While I was
walking on the bridge I thought:
"This is what I like, this is
climbing"... "No room for errors here, although I am tied to a rope, this is
when I can't mess things up, I shouldn't fall... There is nothing else... My
piolets, my crampons, the ice, the snow and I...", "I exit here from above...
I stuck a screw and a stake
in the ice, with every kick in the snow and the ice I realized that the
climbing was not asdifficult as it looked, the section of hard snow was very
firm and I could put my hands under the cornice to grab it...
Two solid hits of the piolets
above the cornice gave me the security to hang from them... then I realized I
had passed the most difficult part. Kicking and finding support on the
piolets very slowly for 50 meters, I got to an ice ramp where finally I was
out of rope, I put an ice screw and fixed the line, I had finished with the
job of that day. Da Nima climbed next and left 150 meters of rope to be
installed the next time we climb there.
Alejandro, Luís and Juan
Pablo climbed using the fixed line for their acclimatization, Richard and
Martin decided not to climb anymore that day. When everybody was back to the
beginning, we started the descent to Camp 2. Lakpa, our cook at Camp 2
greeted us with a delicious noodle soup; we rested for the rest of the
afternoon, had spaghetti with tomato for dinner and went to sleep.
Next morning (Tuesday 13)
Alejandro, Luís, Tom and I went down to Base Camp. Martin, Richard and Juan
Pablo decided to spend another day at Camp 2. They wanted to go up to install
a bit more of fixed line on the Lhotse wall towards Camp 3, unfortunately it
snowed enough during the night of the 12th to make them hesitate about
climbing on the 13th, so they spend the 13th walking around Camp 2 allowing
their bodies to adapt to the altitude.
Today, April 14, they arrived
to Base Camp around 9 in the morning. Now we are all together at Base Camp
resting. We plan to spend some 4 days recovering and preparing for the next
ascent. We hope that the next time we climb we can install all the lines up
to Camp 3 and a couple of tents in Camp 3.
Until the next time!
Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera
Digital Altimeter, Barometer, Compass and Thermometer. Time/Date/Alarms.
Chronograph with 24 hour working range. Timer with stop, repeat and up
function. Rotating Bezel. Leveling bubble. Carabiner latch. E.L. 3 second
backlight. Water resistant. 4" x 2-1/4" x 3/4" 2 oz. Requires 1 CR2032
See more here.