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  Mt. Everest 2005: Martin Minarik: My Brief Story


©EverestNews.com

Update June 8th: Let me briefly describe my 40 days in ABC. -

I arrived on April 25 and decided to wait for the weather window 6500m high. I did not see any benefit going to Chinese BC. It is as filthy place as ABC only a little bit lower. I went up on May 2, and carried my gear to 7700m. Storm forced me down couple days later.

Next time I went up ( started in the evening and walked in the night) on May 14, Storm again pushed me back to ABC. 

Each time I was ready to go for the top, from Cho Oyu I was perfectly acclimatized.

The weather window on May 21, 22 was too short and the predicted temperature on the summit too low for no oxygen ascent. I did not participate in the effort on these days. Majority of people who came back were severely frostbitten.

The last time I left for the high ground on May 29 at 2am Nepali time. Each time I avoided North Col Camp and I did not want to wait in the line and be slow. I made it to Camp 2 where I spent comfortable night. Next day, I packed my only tent and move it higher - to 8100m. I found a bit sheltered spot and pitched my little Bibler there. Spent night and day and wanted to walk to the summit the next night. Before I left, Brazilian climber asked me if he can stay in my tent, there were two of his Sherpas and it was too crowded in the tent next door. I had no problem.

I started to walk about 2 hours before sunset and made it to 8300m place with several tents. Wind picked up and I was advised to find a tent, that the wind might come down and we walk to the summit later that night. I crawled in the tent, in the morning I saw I am in the tent of Indian Air Force. Here I spent the second night above 8000m without sleeping bag - I left one in Camp 2. Wind did not come down but I decided to wait for another night.

Around midnight on June 2, I left along with the others for the summit. Wind was strong and it did not take me long time to realize my situation. Without oxygen bottle I was way too slow to get warm and survive without major frostbites. After couple hours I returned to the tent. For about 5 hours I was trying to evaluate my situation. I could wait for another night and try again. At the same time, there was no indication the wind would ease down. Then I decided to give up and return.

On my way down, I collected my belongings. Tent, sleeping bag, cooking gear. I was able to walk down by myself, clean the mountain without any help. For some, it might not be enough. I sure did not win but my retreat has been honorable.

Next day, I walked down to Chinese Base Camp, following day, rode to Nepali border and on June 5 to Kathmandu. In Chinese Base Camp I did notice that even I have been careful I still got frostbites on my toes. These were treated in Kathmandu and it will take about 4-6 weeks to fully recover.

So this is my story, in a few days I will write and comment on some issues re. climbing Everest generally, base camp, fix ropes and people I have met under Everest.

Martin Minarik

written in Czech Republic, Europe

Dispatches

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