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  Mt. Everest 2005: Waldemar Niclevicz: The wind keeps us from making progress


Photo © Waldemar Niclevicz

 

05/10/2005

50th day of the 10 Years of Brazil on Everest Expedition

Base Camp (5,400m)

Dear Friends!

A few minutes ago, at 17h00, we finally had radio contact with our Sherpas, a contact we had waited for an entire day.  The news is not good at all. 

Irivan and I hired two high altitude carriers (Sherpas), two brothers, Pemba and Dawa.  The Spanish who are in our expedition, Jorge, David and Haya, with whom we are having an excellent relation, good enough to maybe make the final attack together, also hired two Sherpas to help them climb Everest, Nawan and Pema.  Well, who hired the Sherpas for us was our agency in Katmandu, and later, we discovered that Nawan is the father of Pemba and Dawa and uncle of Pema.

From the beginning I wanted to make it clear to Nawan that we had nothing to do with the Spanish, so Pemba and Dawa would work just for Irivan and me, carrying our heaviest loads to the superior camps, which is the basic work of Sherpas here on Everest.  But the Sherpa father, from the beginning, didn't think that way, and assumed that we and the Spanish were just one team.  Well, the trouble is that Pemba and Dawa are strong, the father, Nawan, is not so good, and the young Pema is a little fragile.

Yesterday our Sherpas went up, all together, to camp 2, under the leadership of old and experienced Nawan, who has participated in 53 expeditions on the mountains of Nepal (and he has made it 4 times to the summit of Everest). The plan, made by Nawan himself, was that they would get to the South Col today, the location of camp 4. We warned that the forecast was of strong winds, more than 120 Km/h on the summit of Everest. 

Well, not only our Sherpas, but around 80 of them tried to get to the South Col, which is practically at 8 thousand meters of altitude.  The forecasted weather for that altitude of the South Col was of around 70 Km/h, and the temperature was -24șC.

According to information we had through radio moments ago from Nawan, only 4 of the around 80 Sherpas made it to the South Col today, the wind was very strong, the cold or the thermal sensation was an absurd.  Our Sherpas got to the Yellow Band (7,500m), a big strip of yellow rock that is in the middle of the Lhotse Face, after camp 3(7,300m).  They made a depot there with the equipment they carried and turned around to camp 2 (6,400m).

The worst news is that Pema could not stand the cold and has two frozen fingers. According to Nawan, he is coming down to base camp, and here we are anxiously waiting to treat his frostbite.

We don't get tired of studying the possibilities of the attack, with the data we get from the weather forecasts.  We still have a little hope that we will climb tomorrow, but we will only take a decision after we get the new forecast that will come from Spain today at 21h00.

Today I send two pictures I have just shot, with the mountains being touched by the last sunrays of the day.  In the first picture Nuptse and in the bottom the West Ridge of Everest, note how the wind tears with violence the crystals of ice and snow from the mountain, the are winds of at least 80 Km/h.

Until tomorrow!

A big hug,

Waldemar Niclevicz

Translated from Portuguese by Jorge Rivera

Dispatches

 

 

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