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  Mt Everest and K2 Summiter: Ivan Vallejo Kangchenjunga 2006


Back to Kangchenjunga

Katmandu, Sunday, April 2, 2006

 

Dear friends: I write this first chronicle from Katmandu, a city to which I have arrived three days ago and in which I am preparing for the next adventure in my project 'DESAFIO 14' (Challenge 14).

 

I have planned two expeditions for this year: Right now in April and May in Kangchenjunga, and in September and October in Dhaulagiri.  The particular detail of these two objectives is that they are the only two mountains which I have not reached their summit, in both cases, because of the dangerous conditions I had at the moment on the mountain, because of bad weather.

 

KANGCHENJUNGA:

 

This mountain with its 8,586m is the third most high in the world with just 262 meters of altitude less than Everest, however it is more complicated because of the technical characteristics of the route by which I will approach the challenge.  Precisely that is the reason why Kangchenjunga is one of the least frequented eight-thousands, and the statistics are:

 

Ascents to EVEREST total: (around) 1800 people.  With no oxygen, 178 people.

 

Ascents to KANGCHENJUNGA total: no more than 180 people.

 

On the spring of 2002 along with Julio Mesías (who is now part of an Ecuadorian expedition who will attempt Everest) we attempted to reach the summit of Kangchenjunga, reaching 8,100m, where we were forced to turn around because of the weather conditions and the danger it meant.

 

 

ABOUT THE ROUTE: In this first attempt in 2002 I was on the North Face of the mountain following the so called Japanese route.  It was a very complicated sojourn, and it was technically very exigent.

 

On this occasion I will go by the South Face using the router where the first ascent was achieved in 1955, by a British group lead by Charles Evans.

 

To be able to get to the summit, four high altitude camps have to be installed, a work that will serve as part of our mandatory acclimatization process. 

 

From Base camp, which will be located around 5,200m, we will install C1 at 5,900m, c" at 6,400m, and C3 at 7,200m.  C4 will only be installed the day before the summit attack around 8,000m.  Considering that I'll be at the bottom of the mountain in the middle of April, I think that the process of installing the camps and the adaptation to the altitude will take us around one month, so the moment of the summit will come after the third week of May.

 

ABOUT MY TEAMMATE

 

Since Kangchenjunga is one of the most complicated mountains in the Himalayas, there are not many mountain climbers who sign up for this objective, so this time the expedition will only have two members: Fernando Gonzalez-Rubio and yours truly.

 

Gonzalez-Rubio is Colombian and is also on his way to achieve 14 eight-thousands; at the moment he has made 4 eight-thousands: Cho Oyu, 8,2001m, Everest, 8,848m (with oxygen), K2, 8,611m (without oxygen) and last year we climbed Nanga Parbat together, 8,125m in Pakistan.  I will later share more details about this teammate of mine in this expedition and adventure.

 

At the moment, I am in KTM with my teammate and friend Fernando Gonzalez-Rubio setting up the expedition.

 

A big hug from the city of Stupas, Buddha, Vishnu and Brahma.

 

With love,

 

Ivan Vallejo Ricaurte

EXPEDITIONEER

Ivan is one of the few climbers to summit Everest from the North and South, both without oxygen. This quest for the 14 shall continue this Spring... Stay Tuned for more.

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

 

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