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  Mexican-Canadian Mt Everest Expedition 2004: Update

Mexican-Canadian Mt Everest Expedition 2004 lead by Andres Delgado

Andres Delgado is sponsored in part by:

Letter from Andrés to his wife Cristina

My dear Cristi and Iñaki: To settle more or less comfortably at Base Camp has been a big feat.  Everything happened; from tears to laughter, short circuits, dead computers and reincarnations, tents that have been mounted, unmounted and mounted again... here is something of what has happened lately. 

On March 31 (around when we got to Base) Martin and Richard were already here, they had been climbing a mountain 6,100 meters high called Island Peak with two of the Sherpas that come to the Everest expedition.

That day Luis and I arrived at 10 or 11 in the morning, tents were already installed for climbers and each one of us choose one.

By morning the next day we began to restructure everything.  Each one had brought his or her own tent, so we decided to relocate them.  Marta and Alejandro moved to a VE-25 they own, and so did Juan Pablo, Alejandro's dad who complained that the big tent we had given him was too cold and he wanted a smaller one... we installed his own little tent...  José Luis insisted he wanted his own tent he had bought in Barcelona which was a marvel... We unmounted the hotel we had for José Luis and installed his microscopic tent and we helped him place the 5 mattresses he brings to cushion the floor of his tent, then we placed the rug with Buddhist motifs on top of everything, which he bought in Katmandu and above all an inflatable mattress... I advised not to place the other inflatable mattress on top because if he fell he could crack his head!!!! 

I took my tent, cushioned it and put it as comfortable as I could.  Every morning I strongly inhale Iñaki's diaper with Nenuco which you put in my stuff... it is the only thing that smells nice in my tent... and that way I can remember you and Iñaki. 

The next day, after placing the tents, I told everybody that it would be good to climb as high as we could on the way to Camp 1, because it would be good for our acclimatization... there were two inconveniences.  The Sherpas had not made the Puja yet (a Buddhist ceremony that blesses the ascent), so the Sherpas would not climb and the rest of the climbers (Martin, Alex, etc.) except me suddenly became very Buddhists and respectful of their Pujas...  They did not want to climb because of respect for the Sherpas.  So I had a meeting with the Sherpa's leader and very politely told him: Do you believe that the gods would be offended if we climbed a little to practice on the Khumbu icefall?  I have already prayed to my God and asked him to be in contact with yours to guard over us... --All this very seriously and respectfully-Perfect, he said, there is no problem, as long as it is only a practice and that the gods are informed, there is no problem.

That is how I could climb with the Sherpas that fix the Khubu icefall and helped them to work, they even gave me some of their rice, blessed by a special monk to protect us from avalanches, stones, crevasses, landslides...

We had the Puja the next day, and we had that festivity all day, and then we slept.  I took a nice video of the monk who directed the ceremony. 

On the next day we climbed up to Camp 1 along with the Sherpas, we installed three tents and slept there.  The Sherpas didn't stay; they went down and came back up the next day, bringing food, gas and supplies.  That same day all the climbers went to Camp 2 carrying ropes and a tent each one with the intention of installing Camp 2.  Unfortunately in the middle of the route there were some very big crevasses and the Icefall Doctor's group (Sherpas in charge of fixing ladders, ropes, etc up to Camp 2) did not have enough ladders and we had to turn around without making it to Camp 2.  There, in the middle of the route we left a depot with the tents we were carrying and went back to sleep at Camp 1.  On the next morning we all went down to Base. 

We have been here most of all laughing, with someone telling us to behave, but above all laughing.  Libretón makes us laugh a lot.  All the Sherpas think he's a Sherpa too, so they call him "Little Sherpa brother"... he calls everybody "tiburón" (shark in Spanish) and he talks to them in Spanish... they love it. 

José Luis has his manic things and methodologies, I spoil him a lot and take care of him, but I laugh a lot and pull his leg... yesterday he realized his tent was a little miniature and that he did not fit in it, and he asked if we could install a bigger one... you don't know how much we mocked him... all the climbers installed him a new tent gladly... but in the middle of it we had a snowball war against the Sherpas... you can imagine how it all ended... we gave up, those guys can hit you with a snowball in the eye from 40 meters... obviously the peace flag was José Luis' underwear waving on a stick on his tent!!!! 

Yesterday afternoon Héctor came for coffee... José Luis, as expected, brought from his tent the Tupperware where he keeps the things to make coffee.  He brought out the French teapot, put 6 tablespoons of coffee, no more and no less, boiled water in his stove designed for coffee, a gadget specifically bought for coffee, for a minute, no more and no less... served water in the French teapot with the six tablespoons of coffee and then AHHHHHHH!!!!, he realized that his Nestlé milk pot had spilled everywhere!!!!  Help, something's wrong!!!, immediately Libretón put out his tongue and cleaned everything!!!!  Imagine José Luis' face... Then Héctor began to mock José Luis and his methodic way to make coffee singing the song "toys my joy"...  "With toys my joy, always happy, with toys my joy, we learn and play", making him look as if José Luis had never had his "My joy" chemistry kit...  José Luis laughed and told us "Mean, troglodytes!!!!  You don't understand what a good coffee is and the ritual that it is preceded with...  Cave men!!!"

Today we are at Base finishing to settle down.  We relocated the diner and the communications tents in one tent.  Juan Pablo had a bull fighter bath, Libretón washed his mouth...  Me, well I did not bath... 

I have to stop writing because the solar panel battery is low and I have to recharge it. 

Probably tomorrow we would all go together (Sherpas and climbers) some three days up to install Camp 2.  If we leave tomorrow José Luis will post it on the web.  It is something we wild decide a little later on depending on how the day goes. Love, Andres Delgado

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera


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