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


Fernando Gonzalez-Rubio on the Summit K2

EXPEDITION REPORT

Kangchenjunga Base Camp

Dear friends:

Warm greetings from BC in Kangchenjunga.  I write to inform you about the developments of our expedition.

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. 

Yours truly, 

Iván Vallejo Ricaurte

EXPEDITIONEER

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

 

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