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 Everest 2009: Manuel A. Pizarro: Our first days in Nepal

Everest day by day

The arrival of our two climbers to Katmandu was very calm.  After obtaining their visa for Nepal, their friend Samden welcomed them at the airport and brought them to their hotel, the Yak & Yeti.  He presented them the Nepalese scarf, the Kata, in sign of friendship and welcoming.  Arriving at the hotel, they met the president of Sri Lanka that was on the spot.  For reasons of security, the photos were forbidden.  Finally, they slept 14 hours due to the jet lag. 

Today, March 4, our two climbers began their logistics such as to find the oxygen regulators and their oxygen bottles.  Manuel noticed that all is more expensive than at the time of his first expedition in 2007.  The government increased prices and taxes on most of the products and services.  For example, the cost of the visa to enter the country was $30.00 US in 2007 for 90 days.  Now, it is $100.00 US for 90 days.

At the end, here is a message from André and of Manuel:
"We thank all of our sponsors.  Without them, this trip would have been impossible.  Thanks to our families who backed and encouraged us.  We will be very careful, we promise you.  We equally thank all those who wrote us messages of encouragement from British Colombia to Montreal.  Thanks a lot! 

Manuel and André

L'Everest au jour le jour
Photos des alpinistes à l’aéroport

The big departure: After a year in preparation, an intensive search for sponsors, hundreds of e-mails, of calls and a lot of stress, here at last our climbers in the airplane on road towards Katmandu in Nepal.  The airplane left Montreal at 7:45 pm on Sunday, March 1, towards a first landing in London, England.

As soon as they land, they will transfer planes to another stop in Doha.  They will set off again towards Katmandu in Nepal where they will rest for a few days and also for some logistics before the big departure: the beginning of the ascension of the Everest. 

Background: Manuel A. Pizarro was at the top of Mount Everest, May 16, 2007, and now he is returning again!

The Quebec Lung Association is honoured to be the organization selected by Mssrs. Manuel A. Pizarro and André S. Rossin-Arthiat to be a part of their ambitious project involving the ascent of Mount Everest.

By doing so, the two climbers wish to honour the memory of Mr. Rossin-Arthiat’s father-in-law who died at the beginning of last summer, as a result of two respiratory diseases: emphysema and asbestosis.They also want to support research into children’s asthma as the number of young asthma sufferers has tripled in Quebec since 1980.

The Quebec Lung Association, for its part, is a leader and one of the most respected organizations in terms of scientific information, research, education, support and advocation dealing with pulmonary health issues. Furthermore, we now add to our cause any environmental element that is detrimental to respiratory health, whether it be wood heating, radon, Ambrosia (ragweed), engines that are left running while vehicles are parked, etc.…


  1. Raise money for the Quebec Lung Association, to help asthmatic children and people with COPD (emphysema and chronic bronchitis).
  2. Perform medical and pulmonary tests throughout the ascent. As a result, two books will be written: one on “High-altitude medicine on Mount Everest”, while the second will have a more spiritual and philosophical theme. A documentary film will also be produced.
  3. Give both climbers an opportunity to exceed their personal limits. By doing so, they will pave the way for young people, by showing them that they can have faith in their dreams.

Respiratory diseases to which the money raised will be allocated:


In Canada, 485,700 young people between the ages of 4 and 11 are asthmatics. Do you realize that this represents 15.6% of that age group in Canada? Meanwhile, according to Canada’s latest census, the number of asthmatics over the age of 12 is estimated to be over 3,000,000 and their number just keeps growing!

Since 1980, the number of asthmatics in Quebec has tripled . We now have more than 300,000 children and adolescents who are very anxious when summer approaches, as are their parents for that matter. For asthmatics, summer is the season when the combination of smog, pollen, ragweed, wood fires and humidity often makes breathing or practicing sports more difficult.

Furthermore, each year in Quebec, asthma is responsible for:

  • 760,000 medical visits;
  • 100,000 E.R. visits;
  • 56,000 hospitalization days;
  • 325,000 lost work days;
  • 4,000 ambulance service calls;
  • and 255 too many deaths!

Quebec’s annual bill amounts to $150 million


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, is constantly on the rise given the number of baby-boomers who reach a more advanced age, as its symptoms do not generally appear before the age of 55.

In 2005, 1,531,800 Canadians suffered from COPD. However, according to research results, as many as 3 million Canadians might have this disease. Furthermore, it is ranked fourth as a leading cause of death in Canada. It is estimated that COPD claims one life every hour.

In Quebec, there are 386,000 people diagnosed with COPD, not even including those whose symptoms have not been detected. Quebec and the Atlantic provinces sadly boast the highest COPD-related mortality rates. Based on a calculation of COPD health costs, in 2001 direct annual costs amounted to almost $2,000 per patient. Recalculated today, COPD would cost us $772 million a year.

COPD evolves slowly over a certain number of years. As the disease intensifies, greater shortness of breath hampers activity and reduces quality of life.

Repeated respiratory infections and exposure to second-hand smoke during childhood lead to diminished respiratory function, which may cause a predisposition to COPD. What’s more, a genetic deficiency at the lung tissue level is also linked to a greater risk of COPD.

Causes of death among asthmatics and people with COPD:

Did you know that the symptoms exhibited by people with asthma and COPD or any other lung disease (especially our children and people over the age of 55) are exacerbated by air pollution to the point where they can cause premature death?

Did you know that in 2008, the effects of air pollution will claim the lives of 21,000 Canadians? In 2031, close to 90,000 people will have died of pollution-related problems, while the number of deaths due to long-term exposure will have climbed to 710,000.

Did you know that Quebec and Ontario report the largest proportion of premature deaths caused by severe air pollution (approximately 70%) and yet only 62% of Canadians live in Central Canada ?

Did you know that forecasts claim that the number of premature deaths associated with chronic exposure to air pollution will increase by 83% between 2008 and 2031 ?

Did you know that in 2008, the economic cost of air pollution will climb to 10 billion dollars and may soar up to 300 billion in 2031 ?

Source : Canadian Medical Association

We believe in it…

As you can see, there is a direct link between the ascent of Mount Everest and the Quebec Lung Association. This link is air, the air that we breathe, that is a source of life! We are deeply committed to this project, for we share the same ideals. We believe in it and support Mssrs. Pizarro and Rossin-Arthiat in their fabulous adventure. We have faith in their ability to fulfil this dream, one that we all share, reaching our own peak in the best of worlds !

Much more soon!

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