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  Carlos Pauner GI and GII Expedition 2004


I have just woke up in base camp and it is starting to snow again.  It looks like it is the normal condition for this expedition, which is becoming hard for moments.  In fact, it's not normal that on July 14 we have not reached any of these two summits of Karakorum.  The snowfalls, not very heavy by now, but falling daily, have made the work on the mountain scarce and none of the opened paths stays open to be used later.  A lot of work on soft snow and little progress, that is the routine these days.

Three days ago we left upwards with the intention of definitively attacking Gasherbrum I, on July 13.  The weather forecasts said there was mixed weather but, exactly that day, a slight improvement came by the morning.  We hurried, with not much time for reaction, but looking at the weather, it looked like the only possible action.  So, at 4 in the morning of the 11th, Raquel, Willi and yours truly left towards the seracs cascade which we have on base camp.  We were not carrying much load like in other occasions and that made us enjoy the path more.  At 9 in the morning we arrived to camp I at 6,000 meters and we continued by the narrow valley that had to take us, 4 hours later, to camp II at 6,500m.  The snowfalls of the last days made us open the path again in deeper snow.  Our Dutch friends came along with us and together we reached camp II by noon.  We melted ice and ate a little, and the wind, with uncanny fury up until today, started to blow.  More fresh snow on us, like we didn't have enough.

On the next morning, we left towards the snow corridor (called the Japanese's corridor) which is the path towards camp 3.  Deep snow and a lot of weigh, because we carried our sleeping bags, the high altitude suits, tent, food, gas and 200 meters of rope to continue the job that our friends of german expedition started.  A little later, Raquel can't continue.  She hasn't acclimatized well and had a rough night.  That makes her sick ad Willy decides to go back down with her.  The Dutchs and Joao stay with me. 

Joao is a Portuguese who knows Zaragoza very well, because a few years he had a feat like mine, due to very grave frostbite he suffered on Everest (greetings to doctors Morandeira and Martinez VillÚn).  We climbed the corridor and we installed rope, but the day was not good and it started snowing around 15 hours.  In a few moments the avalanches by this steep snowy canal paralyzed us.  Danger, and it was impossible to continue.  So the decision was obvious.  To rappel down the corridor and to go back to Camp 2, hoping that the next day was better. A windy night and more than one meter and a half of fresh snow.  I go down and everybody decides to do the same.  We arrive to base through the snow, sad for not being able to end our job, once we were so close.  Too little comfort because the expedition is becoming very hard and long.  At least we have reached the 7,000 meter mark, although, after 40 days of living in this base camp, it looks like nothing. Patience, we will need all the patience of the world and, above all, to have a  cool head, waiting again, in the middle of the snow, that 4 days of sun could bring hope back to us.  Meanwhile, it is still snowing, everything is being covered by a white blanket and all the work, once more, has vanished.

How much more should we have to endure?

Carlos

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Dispatches

 
Altitech2: 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 battery. See more here.

 






 

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