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  Mt Everest and K2 Summiter: Ivan Vallejo Kangchenjunga 2006: Kangchenjunga Base Camp


Fernando Gonzalez-Rubio on the Summit K2

REPORT OF THE EXPEDITION

Kangchenjunga Base Camp

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Last Friday, April 14, Iván Vallejo and his expedition teammate, Colombian Fernando Gonález-Rubio, arrived to Kangenchunga Base Camp at 5,500m of altitude on the southeast side of the mountain.  The approach started on Wednesday, April 5 with a helicopter flight from Katmandu, the capital of Nepal, to the town of Taplejung at 1,400m.  On Friday 7, in a new flight from Taplejung, they arrived to Ramche, nearby to Kangchenjunga at 4,400m.  The advantage of arriving here by helicopter was the saving of eight days which are usually used for the approach trek.

They stayed in Ramche until Tuesday, April 11, as part of the acclimatization process and also to wait for the needed number of porters to transport the 2,000 Kg of load to the bottom of the mountain.  But the snow of last winter was still abundant; so, progress was slow and had, taking in count that most of the porters do their job with the minimum necessary equipment for these harsh conditions.  Precisely, that is why four days were needed to get from Ramche to BC instead of the two planned days.

As the two expedition members were expecting, according to the conditions that were seen on the days before, the location for the camp had a lot of snow and they had to work hard digging and cleaning to place until they placed the sites for each tent; still on Monday 17, they were doing this job.

At the moment there are three expeditions there: a Swiss, whose leader Norbert Joos has twelve eight-thousands on his account.  Another one of Basque climbers, whose objective is Yalung Kang, a peak of almost 8,500m next to Kangchenjunga, and the one of the two South Americans.  In the next few days another new expedition of German climbers will arrive.

On Tuesday 28, at nine in the morning, along with the Swiss friends, they had the celebration of the Puja, a Buddhist rite in which natives and foreigners had asked the mountain for permission to enter in its domains.  From Wednesday, April 19, they will start the job of locating and installing the first high altitude camp, at around 6,200m.

Iván Vallejo Ricaurte

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Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

 

 

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