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  Annapurna 2010: Carlos Pauner Update


Annapurna, Saturday, April 10, 2010


We are a few steps away from base camp, walking back from our high altitude trip.  We are stepping on the grass at the border of the
glacier and in some 20 minutes we will be in the tents of our mountain home.  I breath deeply, calm, comforted by the morning sun, happy to be back after a job well done.  We have been inside the mountain for two days.  The first took us to camp 1, 5,000 m of altitude.  We decided to stay there, because the perspective of crossing the cracked glacier ahead was not the more prudent thing to do at those hours of a warm noon.  On the morning of the next day, tethered and with extreme care, we crossed the entire glacier and we climbed on the snowy ridge that leads to the location of camp 2, at 5,600 m.  From that place, another image of this terrible mountain can be seen.  Already inside of it you can see the large walls of ice that lead to camp 3.  The vision is disturbing and you can see the large dangling glaciers and walls of ice in unstable and feeble balance.  A large avalanche surprises us just before going to sleep, but luckily it passes at some distance.  Now we can calm down.  We don’t have to be so alert to
every noise, every crackling of ice, every dangling rope.  We slept at
enough altitude for our acclimatization, at least at 50%.  Now 3 or 4
days to rest and we have to try to install camp 3 and sleep there.
This will be the final point and the next leave will be a summit
attempt.  We still have much to go, but by then we will have to cross a really dangerous zone.  This is the key to the ascent and we have to count with swiftness and luck in equal parts.  I don’t want to think much about it now.  We will have time for that later.  For the moment, calm, chat with other expeditions and to wait for the evolution of the mountain, which by now is in good conditions.  We could say that we have a nice progress on our way to Annapurna.

Carlos Pauner

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera
Annapurna, Thursday, April 8, 2010


Carlos and Javier are already at Camp 2, at 5,600 meters.  The route
from 1 to 2 was in better conditions than yesterday, and they arrived without problems.  They are going to spend the night there, and early tomorrow they will go down to base camp.  They will meet their first acclimatization phase, as they had planned.  The weather forecast says that they have three or four days of bad weather coming.  They will use them to recover and to rest at base camp, before doing another incursion on the mountain again.

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Annapurna, Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Carlos and Javier left early this morning from base camp, with the
intention of going up to install camp 2.  They reached camp 1, at
5,050 meters, and they started to climb to camp 2.  It was late, it
was very hot, and they found zones with a lot of crevasses in bad
shape and very dangerous.  They decided to go back to camp 1 where
they are now.  They will spend the night there, and early tomorrow,
also colder, they will climb to camp 2.

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Zaragoza, Saturday, April 3, 2010


Carlos and the rest of the group left yesterday very early from base
camp.  They climbed up to 5,000 meters where they installed camp 1.
They left there the necessary equipment and went back down to base camp.  It took them a lot of hours, and the route is very complicated. Now they will rest two or three days until they leave base again with the intention of installing camp 2.

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Annapurna, April 1, 2010


We have installed our base camp at 4,200 m of altitude, under the
spectacular Annapurna.  After numerous helicopter flights we could
bring up here everything we need for this expedition.  We had our Puja today, this ceremony that pretends to put away the bad spirits of the mountain and cover us with luck and bonanza at the same time.  The day has been sunny and a little windy, but it did not snow as the last two days.  We took a furtive glance at the almost 4,000 meters of wall that separate us from the summit of this gigantic mountain.  It is impressive.  This face of Annapurna looks like an agitated and convulse wall, with hanging and broken glaciers, impossible aristas  and chaos everywhere.  It is hard to imagine a safe route for the ascent in this world of vertical ice.  Not in vain, our route sorts the hanging glaciers, trying to find, in the high part, the Hoz glacier, where the path to the summit is clearer.  First we will have to cross a glacier and avoid a large slope of blocks of ice to reach camp 1, at some 5,000 m of altitude.  From there a cracked glacier will take us to the bottom of the large intermediate plain, where we will install camp 2.  Crossing this plain and get on top of a spur of ice will be the most dangerous part, because we will be threatened by all the seracs in the higher part.  From camp 3 to 4 we still have to pass a large wall of ice, previous to the superior glacier.  The entire route is complex and demanding, just like this mythical mountain of the Himalayas.  For the moment, we will concentrate in the immediate things, as always.  Tomorrow, we will take the path to camp1, carrying tents and some gas to install.  We will spend the day outside and during the afternoon we will be back to the comfort and safety of our base camp.  It is going to be like that always.  Advance little by little, thinking in the next thing, attacking problems one at a time altitude in this wild world which will be our home for some time. Edurne’s group is ahead of us, they have already told us about the route.  We will collaborate with the other expeditions and we will all try to leave a route that is reasonable safe, hoping that we all can be lucky in this great mountain challenge.  A lot of work ahead, but for the moment everything goes as planned and we will be already working tomorrow, trying to decipher the traps we will surely find these weeks.  The long journey to Annapurna starts now.

Carlos Pauner

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera


Zaragoza, Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Carlos, Javier and Tolo are already at base camp.  They flew yesterday from Katmandu to Pokhara, where they caught another flight to Tatopani, a little Nepalese town located at 1,190 meters of altitude. From Tatopani they were transported to Annapurna base camp at 4,200 meters of altitude.

They needed seven helicopter flights to move the equipment and loads.
They met two expeditions there, with whom they will share this
expedition’s base camp, with the expedition of Al Filo [de lo
Impossible] and with the Korean expedition.  Carlos mentioned that
everybody is ok, and that it is a comfortable and a little cold base
camp, because of the altitude is not as elevated as in other
eight-thousands.  Now they are going to organize what will be their
hope for the next weeks.

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Zaragoza, Monday, March 29, 2010




Carlos, Javier and the rest of the group arrived at Katmandu by Thursday afternoon.  On Friday and Saturday they organized all the necessary paperwork to leave to Annapurna.  They have checked the material, distributed the loads, requested the permissions and other papers and they are ready.  They also had time to visit an orphanage in Katmandy where the Kumara association in Zaragoza sponsors some children.  


Yesterday, Sunday, they were going to fly to Pokhara, but they delayed the flight until today.  This change of plans is because it is not clear if they can reach base camp by foot.  They may have to catch a helicopter.  They will have more information when they land in Pokhara today, and we will tell you then.



Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera


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