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  Carlos Pauner Broad Peak 2006: WITHOUT THE SUMMIT


I am back in my base camp, tired, destroyed, and without the summit. After bearing 3 days of blizzard at 7,100m, when the wind finally stopped, we left towards the summit, full of emotion and of hope, but the recently fell snow and the exhaustion suffered while the many days high up there, hit hard on us.  It was a very high requirement for these beaten bodies, beaten by life and by altitude. Our strategy was the right one, according to the weather forecasts we had.  Then, the mountain had its tantrums and during 3 days, up there, it was only wind and desolation.  Even so, we withstood, eating as little as the body lets at that altitude, spending a lot of hours curled in our hole, dreaming that the wind would stop and we had a chance. We had it, but it was too late, when we found out that we were too week because of the altitude.  We left at night, we opened the trail through the worst snow and finally at 2 in the morning, we decided that we didnít have options to get to the summit safely and we turned around.  We slept some hours in our known camp 3 and then we went back to base camp, to life, to comfort, to what is now our home.  Now we have to recover, to plan our future, to get out of this lethargy in which the mountain left us.  We will take a decision today or tomorrow, depending of the weather forecast, depending on the energy there is left inside of us.  We have several options and we will try to choose the best one.  Now we donít have strength for anything, just to let go, to be guided by sensations, to assimilate what the mountain gave us.  Everything we can say will be alright, but the reality is that we are down here, without the summit in our pockets, despite having had a lot of patience and strength.  All of this weighs on us like a big slab of rock. Thatís reality. Times are not good for us in this corner of the world. Carlos Pauner 

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

 

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