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 Italian expedition Everest/K2 2004 expedition


Update Three: K2 2004 – Everest: K2 2004 Expedition - one day in Kathmandu

The first day in Kathmandu starts with a big sigh of relief for everybody.  After the check carried out by Tarcisio Belḷ of the luggage and material which will be landshipped to Everest Tibetan basecamp.

The first day in Kathmandu starts with a big sigh of relief for everybody.  After the check carried out by Tarcisio Belḷ of the luggage and material which will be landshipped to Everest Tibetan basecamp.  While waiting for Lhasa flight, mountaineers can enjoy one day sightseeing and shopping under the vigil eyes of the Buddha di Bodnath.

Today in Nepal it is a very special day. Induist 2061 new year's day is celebrated. Most important event is celebrated in Bhaktapur, the old capital which is 12 km far from Kathmandu in the spectacular scenario of Durbar Square. The crowd starts gathering in the first hours of the afternoon.

Among the celebrating events there is the run of richly decorated carts which will be pulled by the beleivers of the protecting goddess.  It is a very old ritual which is also quite dangerous for those spectators who should get too near to the heavy cart wheels  

Dinner is at the Everest Steak House, a small Thamel restaurant which is quite famous among mountaineers. It is not by chance that "K2, 50 years later" meet in this restaurant members of the expedition heading to Lhotse. Nives Meroi and husband Romano Benet are also in the team of those who, next July will climb K2 from the North ridge, parallel to the ascent via the North Spur . Among them there is also the famous writer and mountaineer Erri De Luca, who declares himself enthusiast and curious of his first Himalayan experience.

Update 4: Tibetan well-wishing salute to K2 2004 protagonists

The flight Kathmandu-Lhasa is one among the most spectacular in the world. In a short time, less than one hour flight, the airplane crosses the Himalayan chain, the airplane skimming four majestic peaks.

The flight Kathmandu-Lhasa is one among the most spectacular in the world. In a short time, less than one hour flight, the airplane crosses the Himalayan chain, the airplane skimming four majestic peaks.  From the aircraft windows K2-2004 mountaineers have thus met Mount Everest for the first time, a dark pyramid in the midst of all other lower snowy peaks.

With their arrival in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, 3600m asl, the expedition can be considered begun. Once completed all exhausting Chinese customs operations mountaineers and researchers traveled for two hours along the Yarlung river, Lhasa's river, to reach the town.

We stopped for a while in front of the great Buddha painted on a overhanging rock, a second time  in front of the Potala, the huge Dalai Lama residence for a souvenir picture. A monumental avenue more than 5 km long, lined with barracks, hotels and industrial parks, clearly announces to us the transformation that the once Himalayan Shangri La has undergone.

After 45 years from the beginning of the Chinese invasion the town has drastically changed. What remains intact is the warmth of Tibetan people. At the arrival of the mountaineers Tibetan Mountain Association colleagues have welcome them offering traditional well wishing silk scarves and with an amusing show improvise by actors dressed up as aks".

4/12/2004: Easter in Lhasa

It is very difficult to feel  Easter atmosphere in Lhasa, but the Italians of  "K2-2004, 50 years" Project could not help celebrating adequately.

It is very difficult to feel  Easter atmosphere in Lhasa, but the Italians of  "K2-2004, 50 years" Project could not help celebrating adequately . They did it in a Tibetan restaurant eating the traditional Italian Easter sweet, the Colomba with a few bottles of wine. The two-days stay in the capital was also useful for mountaineers to acclimatize to high altitude. The town is located at 3600 m asl and it is not surprising that in all the best hotels special oxygen bottles for foreigners are available.

After the visits to the Potala, Dalai Lama's residence, to Jokhang Sanctuary, Tibetan spiritual heart, around which crowds of pilgrims utter buddhist mantras, Monastery of Sera  the expedition is now ready to start the 600 km route which separates them from Everest base camp The arrival is foreseen for april 16 which is  two days after the arrival of the materials landshipped from Kathmandu through the Njalam and Zangmu Pass.

The last evening in Lhasa, mountaineers have been gathered  in front of expedition leader Soro  Dorotei, for a first logistical plan of the ascent. Four Tibetans of the Tibetan Mountain Association also joined the team. Among them there is also a woman, the nice La Ki, who already climbed Cho Oyu  and the Shisha Pangma.

4/14: In Gyantse towards Everest Base Camp

 

We reached the first of four stops towards Everest Base camp. It was particularly demanding: 11 hours of exhausting dirt road, and a pass to cross at 5000 m., to go through the 250 km distance between Lhasa and Gyantse, at 3800 m asl

 

We reached the first of four stops towards Everest Base camp. It was particularly demanding: 11 hours of exhausting dirt road, and a pass to cross at 5000 m., to go through the 250 km distance between Lhasa and Gyantse, at 3800 m asl.

 

 

The group of mountaineers and researchers should arrive at 5000 m. at the Rongbuk Basecamp on 16 April, one day after the arrival in Nepal of the materials which were land shipped through the Zhangmu passage and which have left today from Kathmandu. The team has profited of the two days stop in Lhasa to start with the necessary acclimatisation at the right altitude.  

Every body is in a good health and also through this transfer is favouring the team spirit, mixing among them mountaineers from Veneto and Dolomiti and Valtellina and Val d'aosta and Abruzzo.

copyright Italian expedition Everest/K2 2004 expedition Expedition

 

Dispatches

 
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