19-04-2007: A while ago we were strolling by the streets of Katmandu , and we
took pictures with the snake charmers, and now we are back again in Tibet .
Tibet is very different, high lands where it is almost impossible to grow
crops, very arid zones, cold and deserted, and so is feeding around here.
They get milk and meat from cattle. Their diet is very poor.
been very extenuating, because we had to cross the border again and see again
the faces of the pirates of the border who do the paperwork for Everest. We
ate in Zhangmu and we continued to Nylam. The road is being repaired and it
is very dangerous, because landfalls happen everyday, and we have been stopped
a lot of times to clear the road.
Huisa and Lopez take a day to see this fantastic and monumental city.
recovered almost 100x100, I can’t get rid of the strong flu I caught, I am
taking medicine, but it won’t stop, so if it doesn’t stop I will start with
the whole morning to see the historic centers of Katmandu and Braktapur.
Katmandu is the capital of the country and the main city of Nepal , but it has
grown to meet the cities of Patan and Braktapur.
three cities have the most important Durbar Square of all, and they are World
Heritage sites. Durbar means palace.
have seen Patan last year, this year we decided to sightsee the other two.
These plazas are surrounded by tens of palaces, temples and statues.
amazing to see so much art in the streets, which become real outdoors museums.
In Katmandu Durbar Square you can feel a noisy environment which is hard to
find elsewhere. The offers or prayers of the Buddhist and Hindus mix with the
movement of the mass of people that roam through the narrow streets. Although
the original temples date from medieval times, this ancient part of the city
dates since the XVII and XVIII centuries. The smells, chants, poverty,
clothing and customs move you through time. Culture sprouts in every corner,
there are statues everywhere, and temples, saint-like people who offer
blessings in exchange for a tip, of course, and the guides and merchants that
downtown in these cities is where you really breath the spirituality of this
culture and where you can appreciate the splendor this people had. Not to
mention the poverty we saw which is difficult to describe, more than 7
millions of Nepalese live with two dollars a day. The filth in their
threadbare clothing, their blackened faces contrast with the splendor of the
temples, where we the tourists drop our jaws.
Durbar Square is maybe even more authentic, because it is far from the busy
life of Katmandu and also because the traffic is closed. So you can walk
around safer, the streets are very clear, here is where we appreciated this
exaggerated poverty. Erotic scenes are frequent in the temples, authentic
master pieces carved in wood.
tried to contact people, we laugh with the children of such uncertain future,
but who show so much happiness that can get you drunk, and we even dared to
share a moment with the snake charmers. It was a day to feel enriched, but of
course Pedro’s mind and mine are filled with this worry we have. Everest is
there, there is still a lot to do and this descent has troubled our ascension
plan a little. We will leave early tomorrow morning to Tibet and we hope to
get to Nylam (3,700m) again. The cost of coming down, hire new services,
hospital, lodging and food was around 1,500 euros.
Antonio Huisa García
form Spanish by Jorge Rivera
Earlier: Andalucia Expedition –
Everest takes a bad hit.
Pedro Lopez had to be
evacuated and transported to a hospital in Katmandu because of kidney stones
“Las night at midnight Pedro
started to suffer a slight pain in the back zone of the left kidney. The pain
increased and then he vomited everything he had eaten during the day, at first
we thought it was the bad spicy food we had eaten, but the pain kept on
growing and it couldn’t be that.
We quickly contacted our
liaison Eva Pérez, who contacted our ATS friend Elena and our friend Dr.
Poyato, Urologist, who also called an urology professor, and they all told us
what to do.
The situation was complicated
because we were at 3,700m, and in a little town of Tibet (Nylam), where of
course we couldn’t do anything. Pedro was taking the medications we had in
the first aid kit, but he kept on throwing up, so he kept on puking the
medicine and the pain did not recede.
At first hour we decided that
we had to evacuate, because at this altitude we still had the opportunity to
return and recover, a thing that would be impossible and dangerous higher up.
And he needed intravenous medication.
We have gone down using three
jeeps, one to the first border checkpoint, another to the second and the last
from the border to Katmandu. Besides the high economic cost of the operation,
which is the least, we have broken the climbing and acclimatization plan
We came very tired, because
the trip has been long and exhausting and we have brought him to the best
Hospital in Katmandu, Norvic Escorts International Hospital, where he is being
attended by Dr. Rajman. I have explained the symptoms Pedro had, and he
quickly started to take care of him, with blood and urine analysis, x-rays,
temperature, blood pressure, etc.
In these moments Pedro is
fine, waiting for the results of the tests, and of course, out of danger. I
think we have acted quickly and effectively.
This was done mainly for
safety and precaution, because if this repeats higher in the mountain, he sure
wouldn’t have any chance to climb. Now the fear is if Pedro is going to
recover to continue.
To share the sickness with
him, I caught a diarrhea and the flu, which doesn’t let me breath, I have a
very bad throat and I start to have a little fever.
Once more Everest is not so
easy. Let’s trust we can continue”:
Juan Antonio Huisa
Translated from Spanish by
A month ago
climbers Pedro López and Juan Antonio Huisa successfully climbed the highest
peak of Oceania, the Carstensz Pyramid, 4,848m, in the island of New Guinea .
This mountain has been closed for several years due to guerrilla problems, we
even tried it on 2003, but because of the bad political situation in the
country we couldn’t even get to see the mountain. This time, not without a
lot of danger, we could make the flag of Andalucia wave on the roof of Oceania
Now there is
only Everest left to conclude this ambitious project which we started in 2002,
the Seven Summit Project, which is based on crowning the highest peak in each
continent. This long trip can get to an end this same year 2007, and so we
will write one more page in Andalucian sports history. We have successfully
crowned the following continents:
Tanzania , Africa ) September 2002
Russia , Europe ) July 2003
Australia , Oceania) December 2003 / Carstensz Pyramid ( Indonesia ,
Asia/Oceania) January 2007
Antarctica ) December 2004
Alaska , USA , North America ) May 2005
Argentina , South America ) December 2005
challenge takes enormous effort and sacrifice and proof of that is that a lot
of teammates and climbers from other countries and corners of the world pay
with their lives. More than a sports challenge it is a feat, you have to give
it all to achieve the objective, to get to the limit of your strength, the
psychological limit and then sometimes you get your reward. This fleeting
reward is to taste the summit, which often you don’t have the capacity to
assimilate, because of total exhaustion, bad weather conditions or the
relentless thought that you have to climb down quick to be safe, because most
of the accidents occur on the way down. A lot of climbers in the whole world
chase the dream of the Seven Summits and of course most of them can not reach
it. We pretend to be the first Andalucians to achieve this summit and to put
Andalucia in a renowned place.
this project would be impossible without the support from our sponsors,
collaborators and media. Since we started we can be very thankful with the
support this project has had in the media and all of them with no exception
have echoed our feats which have been amazingly broadcasted in Andalucia and
We can note
RTVA and Estadio Deportivo who have reported our project to a surprising
level, and they have been as well part of our project as sponsors. TVE,
A3, Localia, Giralda Televisión, Sevilla TV, ABC, Marca, Diario AS, El Correo
de Andalucía, El País, El Mundo, 20 Minutos, Metro, Macarena, D. A., Canal Sur
Radio, Cadena Ser, Punto Radio, COPE, and numerous local media and specialized
publications have published this sports challenge to the regular citizen.
strong pillar has been the intitutional support we have had from the
beginning, starting with Mr. President of the Junta de Andalucía, Consejería
de Turismo, Comercio y Deporte, Consejería de la Presidencia , the Mayor of
Sevilla, the City of Sevilla and the municipal agencies, the General Director
of RTVA, IMD, even the Royal House. Some days ago we got a letter from the
Chief of H. M. the King’s House, Mr. Alberto Aza Arias, who sent us
congratulations from H. M. “H. M. the King sends his best wishes, so that this
last challenge can be crowned with the success an effort of this size
2007 we will go directly to Everest base camp at 5,000m., because in 2006 we
made a first approach of another mountain in the Himalayas to acclimatize and
get to know this such extreme place on Earth. Last year we learned with pain
all about the country, the borders, the preparation expedition, the Sherpas,
the porters, the official liaison, base camp, intermediate base camp and
advanced base camp; all these will help us this year so that we can avoid past
errors and lighten up and resolve quickly all these tasks and approach. This
year’s expedition will try to continue with the steps we made during 2006, and
to pass beyond the 7,000 m where we stopped. We trust in our possibilities
and we hope to have better fortune than before.
In our sport,
it is difficult to get awards, mentions or even recognition, when you get to
the top nobody will applaud, or hang a medal from your neck. We have got
several awards and recognitions already, which shows the importance of this
project and the sporting success we have achieved.
*Medal of the
ambassadors of Centenario Sevilla Fútbol Club
sportsmen of 2005. Day of Andalucia. Consejería de Gobernación.
*Special mention in Sports Party
in Sevilla. Instituto Municipal de Deportes.
Sports Award, X Anniversary of Estadio Deportivo.
THE NORTH FACE
Even today in
the XXI century it is still a big event and challenge the ascent to Everest,
and it will be more important if it is done because of the achievement of two
objectives: the first for getting to the roof of our planet, and second and
more important because we have finished the Seven Summits Project, being the
first Andalucians to have achieved it.
route for the ascent will be the North Face, a route that because of its
technical difficulties, extreme cold (down to 40º C below zero because of the
scarce sunlight), the inclination of the walls, winds that can be beyond 140
Km/h , frequent avalanches, and very vertical passages (1st and 2nd step) at
altitudes higher than 8,600m, which will demand 200% of us.
DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE
CAMPS (m) SITUATION
5.400 Rongbuk glacier
Intermediate camp 5.800 Rongbuk glacier
Advanced base camp 6.500 Bottom of the wall that leads to the North Col
CI 7.000 Just above the North Col
CII 7.800 On the N-NE ridge
CIII 8.400 Close to the so called first
We will leave
Katmandu by a chaotic road to the Chinese border, once in Tibet it will take
us 4 days to reach the town of Tingri at 4,350m, and from there we will enter
the great Tibetan highlands to reach the Rongbuk valley which start from the
region north of Everest and ends in the great glacier that bears its name, the
Rongbuk monastery is located at 5,000m., 8 Km away from our first objective,
the Chinese base camp.
It is very
convenient to have a camp located under 5,300m to be able to acclimatize
safely and if some climber has problems this camp gives him or her a chance to
spend some days there trying to recover. It is also useful to go there to
rest after having equipped all the route and for a summit attempt.
camp we will continue over the Rongbuk glacier for 5 KM . until the union with
a glacial valley to the east, then we follow this eastern glacier of Rongbuk
over a moraine and we will establish an intermediate base camp at 5,800m.
least a night we will traverse some unstable blocks and we will advance
through the center of the glacier, where the path is a little easier. We will
advance over this route until we reach the base of the North Col , where we
will install the advanced base camp.
will be used as base to equip all the wall, this camp can be stocked by yaks,
from here the route has to be ported and stocked by foot over the ice walls
and the snow.
We will climb
the Cang La wall ( North Col ). The inclination of the route makes it gain
difficulty because there are slopes of 30º that can change with the conditions
that vary each year.
changes every year and a lot of new crevasses have to be sorted out. The path
is not simple or safe due to the presence of large seracs that majestically
rise in a unstable way over a good part of the way, so we will be forced to
install fixed lines on a large part of the way to help us ascend to the
superior camps but especially to make descent safer.
arrive to an edge located on the North Col, we will install here the first
altitude camp in a little depression shielded from the wind, and from here on
the route is swept by western winds that are frequently strong at this
altitude, the “wig” of snow that is often seen on Everest is caused by these
To get to CII,
located at 7,800 m . we have to cover an edge exposed to the winds with not
much inclination but with almost 800m of height that looks endless to the
edge there are parts of ice and snow as well as parts of just rock.
there are to options to take according to the conditions, the first is to
continue along the North Face and ascend through the Norton Corridor or the
route we first planned, with is to continue along the long edge which is more
exposed to the wind as before, but with less risk of avalanches than the other
difficulty of this part of the ascent besides the wind is some difficult
technical steps on the rock that are not really very difficult, but they will
demand more from us in the extreme altitude.
out a zone of rock known as the Yellow Band, because of the color of the
stones, in this place we will find a small place to install CIII at 8,400m.
the Summit (8,848m)
This is the
day we will be looking for and it will be the most feared day for any mountain
climber, the day when you play it all in just one card, there is only one day
to attack, because it is very odd when somebody comes down from the attempt
and attempts again later. This is a crucial day at personal level, because
you think about your family, the sponsors, and it is really when you gamble on
your own life as in few places on Earth. The worst starts at this altitude,
the more technical steps, the biggest difference in altitudes, and all this
happens in a moment when, because of altitude, the climber in on the edge of
doubt, a lot of difficulties will be found this day, we will start with an
incompatible altitude with life, which happens in the death zone, as the
Himalayas climbers know this places above 8,000m.; another obstacle will be
the almost hurricane like winds at those altitudes and to complement all this,
the snow that is sometimes heavy and deep which would force us to open the
trail with an exhausting effort.
difficulties we have described, the route to the summit is around 2 km in a
horizontal distance and some 500 m of difference of altitude, so we will be in
the three “steps” path, which will be the main technical difficulties of the
route. The path starts at 8,400m and goes to the edge, at 8,500m there is a
first mound which is not so difficult (grade PD), then after a short
descending distance the route goes back to the edge that is normally covered
with snow and where you have to be very careful with the cornices on the East
Face, from where you can see the conditions of the snow on this part.
Once here we
leave the crest to the left and we advance until we reach the First Step
located at 8,530m. We have to climb up there among large unstable boulders
and over climbing steps of second grade, the steps are not excessively
technical but very exposed. The route continues being exposed along straits
of rock that resemble tiles, often covered with snow and verglass ice, which
will require all our attention. It later turns into a crest until it gets to
a mushroom like rock, after which there is a small depression where most
people rest for a while, and where those using oxygen change their bottles.
little distance we reach the Second Step which begins at 8,610m and has
several parts, starting by a slope with stones with third grade steps, then
some steps on the snow, and then you get to a metal ladder that was installed
by one of the first Chinese expeditions that attempted the summit in 1975, but
few climbers use this ladder nowadays and they take a detour right ahead.
This is definitively the most difficult part of the route, it is short but
very technical. We are talking an impressive step here, of 25 m ., totally
vertical, of rocks, snow and ice; and as a hit to your spirit there are two
dead bodies here (of the many in the zone) who died there and remain there,
which you almost touch as you pass, definitively a Dantesque view.
part there is still a third step of some 10m of height and very difficult,
which after you pass it, it leads to a false snow summit, this has to be
passed and we have to turn some 100m to the right, get to some bands of
limestone that lead this time to the triangle of snow that forms the summit of
the highest mountain of the Planet (8,848m). The departure from CIII has to
be done around midnight, so most of the route is done by night and the
estimated time to reach the summit is between 8 and 12 hours from the
Alter a hard
and sacrificed descent where extreme precaution is little (most of the
accidents occur on the way down) we will come down back to CIII, which means
we have to spend one more night at 8,400m, to descend as much as possible on
the next day.
To be able to
get to summit day in conditions to attack the mountain we will need at least
30 days of hard work installing equipment and stocking up the high altitude
camps, which will help on the acclimatization to altitude and will force us to
climb up and down several times along most of the route.
Departure toward the Chinese border.
15-19 Trip to the Chinese Base Camp.
April 20 –
May 30 Acclimatization days and ascent to the mountain.
May 31 – June
1 Return from Base Camp to the border.
Arrival to Katmandu .
Free days in Katmandu , last paper work.
Flight departure and arrival to Madrid and Sevilla.
from Spanish by Jorge Rivera
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