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  Mt Everest and K2 Summiter: Ivan Vallejo Kangchenjunga 2006: COMING DOWN FROM 7,000 METERS


Fernando Gonzalez-Rubio on the Summit K2

COMING DOWN FROM 7,000 METERS

Kangchenjunga Base Camp

Dear friends:

I greet you again from what today is my place in my life, BC in Kanchenjunga, to tell you about my progress in the last few days. 

As planned, on Saturday, April 29, after breakfast, at six thirty in the morning, the Swiss and us, the two South Americans, left from BC with the plan of getting directly to the location of C2 at 6,800m.  We knew that the journey that day would be long because of the altitude difference of one thousand three hundred meters we had to cover.  The morning was beautiful and the trail from BC to C1 was done with no complications; we took a lot of pictures taking advantage of the perfect light at those hours.  On the we up I visited with Veika Fustaffson from Finland, who is also doing the 14 eight-thousands project.  He has done eleven so far, as me, and he still has to do Kanchenjunga, of course, and the two Gasherbrum in Pakistan.  When I asked about Annapurna, he immediately said, in a sigh: I am a very lucky and happy man, after Annapurna.  He had to make three attempts, that means three expeditions before getting to the summit, and the remembrance he always has is the fear he had because of the avalanche risk.  I was very generous when I congratulated him, the truth is that I envy him hard knowing that he has already done that mountain. 

In a matter of two hours and a half we got to C1.  We stopped to rest and hydrate. 

At ten thirty in the morning, Fernando and I took off again with our backpacks, which were very heavy at that time, we carried a tent, a stove, two gas tanks, food (which is what weighs a lot) for three days, sleeping bag, thermal clothing and the famous water kilo in the canteen.

The sojourn over the ice valley that is formed by the Yalung Kang and the Kangchenjunga was unforgettable, indomitable sun, hot like in the Sahara dessert (32 degrees in the thermometer) and backpacks to bend any muscled back.  We got to the end of the valley in two hours, sweating like in a marathon run at noon in the middle of the world, I mean, my dear town.  I can't tell you about how much our shoulders and back suffered, because this note would look like a Mexican soap opera with tears included.  We did a new stop, I reduced the kilo of water to 300 grams, which helped me a lot and we continued with the objective of facing the last slope that would take us to C2.

There is a bolero cover by Luis Miguel that says: In life there are romances that can not be forgotten, ineradicable moments that always... I could make an arrangement and say: in life there are slopes that can not be forgotten, ineradicable ascents that will always make you suffer...

That unhappy slope that leads to C2 was endless, it was eternal!, and with soft snow on top of it all, sometimes sinking up to our knees and struggling to move our poor bended humanity because of the weight of the backpack.  The only thing that moved Fercho and me was to see ahead the Swiss and the Sherpas in the same struggle and the same suffering.  Sometimes, when pain is collective, it aches a little less.

For us it was the first time we were going to get to C2; last time we stopped four hundred meters below, and we didn't know exactly where we should stop.  From three in the afternoon we started to get into a crisis because we didn't know when the suffering ended.  So, making some humor in the middle of this suffering, from time to time I shouted the Sherpas when the heck they would stop climbing, that they shouldn't forget, that they shouldn't get confused, because we were South Americans from around the middle of the world and not Sherpas 

Begging almost always is heard, and at last, at four in the afternoon, we got to a very comfortable flat protected by large blocks of ice at 6,800m to settle Camp 2.

We would stay three days and two nights in that place,  I didn't care about the days, but the nights... I thought it would be like El Rey, another of the famous Mexican songs that says: To cry and cry. To cry and cry...

The story continues. 

A big hug from the comfort of my tent at BC.

Iván Vallejo Ricaurte
EXPEDITIONEER

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Millet One Sport Everest Boot  has made some minor changes by adding more Kevlar. USES Expeditions / High altitude / Mountaineering in extremely cold conditions / Isothermal to -75°F Gore-Tex® Top dry / Evazote Reinforcements with aramid threads. Avg. Weight: 5 lbs 13 oz Sizes: 5 - 14 DESCRIPTION Boot with semi-rigid shell and built-in Gore-Tex® gaiter reinforced by aramid threads, and removable inner slipper Automatic crampon attachment Non-compressive fastening Double zip, so easier to put on Microcellular midsole to increase insulation Removable inner slipper in aluminized alveolate Fiberglass and carbon footbed Cordura + Evazote upper Elasticated collar.

Expedition footwear for mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold.  NOTE US SIZES LISTED. See more here.

A cold weather, high altitude double boot for extreme conditions The Olympus Mons is the perfect choice for 8000-meter peaks. This super lightweight double boot has a PE thermal insulating inner boot that is coupled with a thermo-reflective outer boot with an integrated gaiter. We used a super insulating lightweight PE outsole to keep the weight down and the TPU midsole is excellent for crampon compatibility and stability on steep terrain. WEIGHT: 39.86 oz • 1130 g LAST: Olympus Mons CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted OUTER BOOT: Cordura® upper lined with dual-density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating closed cell foam and thermo-reflective aluminium facing/ Insulated removable footbed/ Vibram® rubber rand See more here.

 

 

 

 

 




 

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