Summiter Carlos Pauner returns to Everest to attempt without oxygen!
By José Manuel Herraiz
(screenwriter and video producer)
After 20 days I have come to
the conclusion that this four ring circus called Everest base camp is up and
running because of the Sherpas. Of course everybody knows who the Sherpas
are, with no need to travel 8,000 kilometers to discover it. The name Tenzing
Norgay can pass as the most easy "Trivial" question. But I have to admit that
before I met them and see them in action I had a preconceived idea about them,
absolutely wrong. If yesterday I thought that Hillary had climbed Everest
with technique and elegance helped by the subordinate Tenzing, now I think
that history could have happened in a different way.
In the year 2005, the Sherpas
are the protagonists of the ascent to the mountain. They have in common with
their ancestors a fantastic adaptation to altitude, the result of having been
born in villages like Thame, Khumjung or Namche Bazar, located between 3,000
and 4,000 meters. To this they have added the domain of alpinist
technique. The South route in which we are is totally equipped by teams of
Sherpas who face daily the challenge of having it open. The Khumbu Icefall is
filled with ladders that the foreign climbers pass with the help of their
jumars, quickly, to minimize risks. It is not by chance that most of the
accidents that happen in the Icefall, happen to Sherpas. A matter of
probabilities. The more time you are under the threatening seracs, the more
the risk. One thing has not changed in these last fifty years. The foreign
climber still puts the same emphasis in recognizing the collaboration of the
Sherpas in the achievement of their sportive goal. The result: the role of the
Sherpa is still secondary and little acknowledged.
Everest is climbed mostly
with the help of artificial oxygen, this is well known. What is not well
known is that the climber does not carry the eight bottles of oxygen he or she
needs to climb to the summit. They only drag the three kilos they need at any
moment. The rest is carried by the Sherpa, along with what he needs for his
own (it is impossible to climb Everest without oxygen dragging such load).
But the work of the Sherpa starts much before the day of the attack to the
summit. The bottles are not only used from camp 3 and the teams of Sherpas
have to carry them up there in successive climbs, in an infernal rhythm, which
can evidence the toughest climber...
This morning I was woken by
the powerful deep voice of Phasang, the Sirdar of the group of Sherpas of our
expedition. With the exception of Pauner, every member who shares the ascent
permit has hired oxygen and Sherpas to carry it. I exit the tent and I
witness a curious event. It is five in the morning and the group of Sherpas
is huddled around the puja chanting the ritual kiki soso larguelo! (good luck
and let's hope we reach the heights). Next they begin their march, huge
backpacks on their backs, in a frenzy rhythm that won't stop until they reach
camp 2. Once there, a cup of tea and turn back down, running without crampons
to complete the 6 hours of activity.
When the heroes of Everest
reach the summit and the newspapers are filled with their feats, nobody would
remember the work of these men. That's the way it has always been and that's
the way it will also be this time. I think that Phasang and his boys don't
really care. They will go back home with their fresh dollars and in the road
they will maybe lose a part in a bad card game. They will wait for next year,
for climbers from around the world who come to step on the Sagarmatha, to
pursue their dream. Greetings for those who follow us, for Charo, my family
and my friends in Spain. So long.
Translated from Spanish by Jorge
weather, high altitude double boot for extreme conditions The Olympus
Mons is the perfect choice for 8000-meter peaks. This super lightweight
double boot has a PE thermal insulating inner boot that is coupled with
a thermo-reflective outer boot with an integrated gaiter. We used a
super insulating lightweight PE outsole to keep the weight down and the
TPU midsole is excellent for crampon compatibility and stability on
steep terrain. WEIGHT: 39.86 oz • 1130 g LAST: Olympus Mons
CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted OUTER BOOT: Cordura®
upper lined with dual-density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating
closed cell foam and thermo-reflective aluminium facing/ Insulated
removable footbed/ Vibram® rubber rand
See more here.
Sport Everest Boot has made some minor changes by adding
more Kevlar. USES Expeditions / High
altitude / Mountaineering in extremely cold conditions / Isothermal to
-75°F Gore-Tex® Top dry / Evazote Reinforcements with aramid threads.
Avg. Weight: 5 lbs 13 oz Sizes: 5 - 14 DESCRIPTION Boot with semi-rigid
shell and built-in Gore-Tex® gaiter reinforced by aramid threads, and
removable inner slipper Automatic crampon attachment Non-compressive
fastening Double zip, so easier to put on Microcellular midsole to
increase insulation Removable inner slipper in aluminized alveolate
Fiberglass and carbon footbed Cordura + Evazote upper Elasticated
Expedition footwear for
mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold. NOTE US
SIZES LISTED. See more here.