Gonzalez-Rubio on the Summit K2
Kangchenjunga Base Camp
Warm greetings from BC in
Kangchenjunga. I write to inform you about the developments of our
When I sent the last report,
last Wednesday, April 19, I had stated my worry about the two consecutive days
of intense snowfall that kept us from moving up. Luckily, on Thursday 20, the
weather improved and we had a beautiful sun that, kind of, improved the
conditions of the snow. That day the Swiss team and their four Sherpas opened
the trail for some 200 meters above BC and when they came back they told us
about the horrific quality of the snow that they had during their ascent.
Despite those conditions, if there was good weather on Friday, we had planed
to continue the job that the Swiss team started. On Friday 21, we left BC at
eight in the morning, Fercho, Nuru and I.
Taking advantage of the
tracks of the previous day, we quickly got to the point that the Swiss had
reached, but from there it was a real pain to ascend each meter inside that
lose and unstable snow. We took turns to face that struggle.
Around 5,800m, we were
reached by four Sherpas from the Swiss team and it was their turn to open the
trail, in the middle of that which looked more like a pool and not the slope
of a mountain. Finally, at 12:45 we reached a ridge at 6,040m which was the
end of the slope, and there, Sherpas, Swiss and South Americans gathered to
leave a depot of everything we had hauled: ropes, gas and tents. We were back
at BC at 2:15 in the afternoon.
The plan was to continue on
the next day with the same job to reach the location of C1, two hundred meters
above from where we had left the things.
Saturday 22: taking
advantage of the good weather, the Basque team left early to continue with the
job of opening the trail and fix the ropes up to C1. They left at six thirty
in the morning and we left at eight. What took us almost five hours the day
before to reach 6,040m, this time we could cover in two. From there we saw
the excellent job that the Basque team was doing with their two Sherpas,
fixing the line way up. When it was possible to continue, we picked up a good
part of the material we had left the day before and we took off; with the
trail open and with the help of the ropes it was completely different. At
twelve thirty in the afternoon we reached the location of C1. My altimeter
read 6,260m. Each of the groups picked a place, we flattened it down and we
installed a tent. We rested, ate, drank something and we went back down to BC
to recover before the next step.
Sunday 23: this is our day to
rest, because tomorrow Monday, as any office day, we will climb again to C1 to
spend there a couple of night, as part of the acclimatization process, and we
will look for the route and we will fix lines on the way to C2.
When we return, God willing,
I will inform you about the details of this new step. For now a big hug from
BC in Kangchenjunga.
Iván Vallejo Ricaurte
Translated from Spanish by
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