The Sevillan mountaineers
leave from Sevilla's Airport at 07:00 AM on Sunday 26.
The members of the Andalucía
Everest Expedition - climbers Juan Antonio Huisa and Pedro López, along with
journalist Javier Blázquez and cameraman Daniel Bueno - will leave next Sunday
at 7 in the morning from Sevilla's Airport via Madrid - Doha (Qatar) -
Katmandu (Nepal) to start the last climbing of the Seven Summits project with
the following program:
ISLAND PEAD (6,173 m):
An important phase of the
expedition will be the acclimatization period, which is used to adapt to
altitude and to start a good physical preparation where they can tune their
bodies and the materials will be tested. The chosen place for that matter is
Island Peak, where they will have a high altitude trekking of some 15 days,
and where they will see how fit they are so they can be sure to safely reach
Everest base camp at 5,150m.
In 1952 Eric Shipton and his
team were exploring Barun Gorge and the called this mountain Island Peak,
because when seen from Dingboche it looks like a real island in the middle of
a sea of ice. The ascent route is by its Southeast face, then after a rocky
part, a glacier zone has to be crossed and the final part is a snowy ridge
that leads directly to the summit.
Departure from Sevilla's Airport via Madrid - Doha (Qatar) - Katmandu (Nepal)
Katmandu and trip to the hotel
Free day in
Katmandu for the last shopping and paperwork
Domestic flight of some 40
minutes to Luckla, a town located at 2,850 m., where the trekking begins.
That day we will go up to Phakding (2,640 m) in 3 hours. A lot of hanging
bridges will be crossed and they will follow the course of the Dudh-Kosi
river, along a valley that narrows progressively until it becomes a real
Still on the course of the
Dudh-Kosi river and then into the Brote-Kosi valley until Namche Bazaar
(3,450m) in 5h., the capital of the Sherpa country and entrance gate for the
expeditions in the zone. The road crosses forests of rhododendrons, magnolias
and giant firs, and luckily they will see some musk. During the final part of
the ascent up to Nambche Bazaar they will gaze Everest (8,848m) and Nuptse
(7,000m) if the weather is nice.
Free day, because close to
the 3,500m it is convenient to make a day of acclimatization to avoid future
problems with mountain sickness. From Namche, Khumjung village (3,790m) can
be approached and then go back to Namche to sleep.
The trekking continues for
four or five hours up to Tengboche (3,860m), spiritual and cultural center of
the Sherpa territory of Khumbu. It is located in an idyllic location:
surrounded by a rhododendron forest, in an alpine prairie presided by Ama
Dablam (6,921m) and by Everest further away. The monks in this monastery have
guarded, until recent times when they were robed, an scalpel and an alleged
hand of a Yeti.
Tengoche is the gate of the
high mountain and from here the landscape changes radically; the cows leave
room for yaks, and progressively firs and rhododendrons disappear to make room
for immense prairies. In some five hours of march Pheriche (4,280m) is
reached, the last Sherpa village that is inhabited around the year.
they will walk to Chukung (4,730m) in three hours.
That day will be
used for acclimatization climbing the sides of Chunkung Ri, a 5,546m peak and
they back to Chukung to sleep.
Planned day to
the arrival to Island Peak base camp, at the foot of the mountain in a
comfortable zone (5,050m) after three hours from Chunkung.
Day of rest and
acclimatization used to check and equip part of the route. A high altitude
camp can be installed at 5,300m, but the place is uncomfortable and small.
Climb to the
summit (6,173m) and then down to Chukung.
Return to Namche
Luckla is reached
in some 5 hours.
A flight to
Katmandu is caught after breakfast.
April 12, 13
Rest and last
preparations before leaving to Everest's base Camp.
SCHEDULE AND DESCRIPTION OF
THE ASCENT ROUTE BY EVEREST'S NORTH FACE:
Base of the wall to the
Just above the North Col
On the N-NE ridge
Close to the so called first
From Katmandú we leave to the
Chinese border by a chaotic road, once in Tibet it takes 4 days to get to the
town of Tingri at 4,350m, and from here we get into the great Tibetan table to
reach the Rongbuk valley that starts from the region next to the North of
Everest and ends in an impressive glacier that has the same name. The
monastery of Rongbuk is at 5,000m and 8 Km away is our first objective, the
Chinese base camp.
Chinese Base Camp (5,150m)
It is very convenient to have
a camp located under 5,300m to be able to acclimatize safely and if some
expeditioneer has problems in this camp it gives him or her the chance to
spend a few days there trying to recover. It is also useful to rest after
having equipped all the route and to prepare for a summit attempt.
From this low camp we advance
by the Rongbuk glacier for 5 Km until the union with a glacial valley to the
East, then this Rongbuk eastern glacier is followed by the moraines to
establish an intermediate camp at 5,800m.
After spending at least a
night there, some unstable forests are crossed and they will advance by the
center of the glacier, where the road is a little easier. Continuing on this
route, the base of the North Col is reached, where the advanced base camp will
Advanced Base Camp (6,500m)
This camp will be used as the
base to equip all the wall, this camp can be stocked by yaks, from here the
route has to be ported and stocked by foot over walls of ice and snow.
The ascent is by the Cang La
wall (North Col). The inclination of the route makes it difficult because at
least for 400m the slopes have 30º and can change depending the conditions,
which vary every year.
The route changes every year
and a lot of crevasses have to be dodged as they appear. The road is not easy
nor safe because of the presence of huge seracs that rise majestically and
unstable over a good part of the way, so fixed lines have to be placed over a
large part of the route to help in the ascent to the superior camps, but above
all to make descent safer.
Camp I (7,000m)
So we reach the ridge located
on the North Col, here in a little depression safe from the wind the first
high altitude camp CI will be installed at 7,000m, from here on all the route
is swept by western winds that very often are extremely strong at that
altitude, the "mane" of snow that is often seen on Everest is caused by these
Camp II (7,800m)
To reach CII, located at
7,800m., a ridge which is exposed to winds has to be traversed, with not much
inclination but with almost 800m of altitude difference which makes it endless
for the strength of the climbers.
Along the ridge some parts of
ice and snow can be found as well as part of only rock.
Camp III (8,400m)
From CIII two choices can be
taken, depending on the conditions, the first is to continue over the North
Face and climb by the Norton Corridor or the way that was planned at the
beginning which is to continue a long ridge which is even more exposed to
winds, but with less risk of avalanches like the other route.
The main difficulty in this
part of the ascent, besides the wind, is some technical steps on the rock that
in principle are not of great difficulty but the extreme altitude demands a
After passing a rocky zone
known as the yellow band because of the color of the rocks, a little place can
be found to settle CIII at 8,400m.
That will be the most
expected day and the most feared by any mountaineer, because it is the day in
which you gamble everything, just one day to attack, because it is very rare
to hear from someone who attempts one time and tries another one later. That
day is crucial at a personal level, because one can only think in the family,
the sponsors, and where mountaineers risk their life like in so few places on
Earth. At that altitude the worst begins, the most technical steps, the most
altitude difference, and everything in a moment in which because of altitude,
the climber is on the edge of everything.
Without a doubt that day will
be of a lot of difficulties starting with an altitude which is incompatible
with life, a day that happens in the death zone, as the Himalayas climbers
call this place above 8,000m; another obstacle will be the almost hurricane
winds at those altitudes, and to top it all the snow that sometimes is heavy
and deep which demands climbers to open the route with an exhausting effort.
Besides these difficulties,
the route to the summit is some 2 Km. long horizontally and 500m vertically,
on the way of the three "steps", which will be the main difficulties of the
route. The path starts at 8,400m and leads to the ridge. At 8,500m the first
spur is seen, which is not much difficult (PD grade), after a short part going
down the route returns to the ridge which is normally covered by snow and
where extreme care has to be taken with the cornices that form on the East
Face, a time to look at the conditions of the snow in that part.
Once here, the ridge is left
to the left and we advance until we reach the First Step located at 8,530m.
It is a climb with a lot of unstable rocks and second degree climbs, the
steps are not much technical but very risky. The route continues exposed
along some straits of rock which seem like tiles, often covered by snow and
verglass ice, which require a lot of attention. Later you go back to the
ridge until you reach a mushroom like rock, with a little depression behind
where most of the people rest for a while, and those using oxygen use to
After a while you reach the
Second Step which begins at 8,610m and has several parts, starting with a
slope of stones and third degree steps, then some steps with snow, and then a
metallic ladder is reached, which was installed by one of the first Chinese
expeditions who attempted the summit in 1975, but few mountaineers use that
ladder today. This is without a doubt the most difficult part of the way, it
is short but very technical. We are talking about an impressive step of 25m,
totally vertical, of rock, snow and ice; and to make things worst there are
two bodies (of a lot in the zone) of climbers who died there and are still
there, which you almost touch, definitively a horrible scene.
After this part there is
still a third step of some 10 m high, very easy, which after being passed
leads to a false summit of snow, this has to be passed and then walk
horizontally some 100m to the right to reach some bands of calcium rock which
lead us this time to a triangle of snow that forms the summit of the highest
mountain of the Planet (8,848m)
The departure from CIII has
to be done around midnight, so most of the route is done by night and the
estimated time to reach the summit is around 8 and 12 h after the departure.
After a hard and sacrificed
descent where extreme precaution is little (most of the accidents happen on
the way down), CIII is reached again, which makes you stay the night again at
8,400m, and go down the next day.
To be able to get to the
summit day in conditions to attack the mountain, at least 30 days are needed
for hard work of installing equipment and stocking the high altitude camps,
which will help in acclimatization of altitude, and will make us go up and
down several times along most of the route.
Departure to the Chinese border.
April 15 - 19
Travel to the Chinese Base Camp
April 20- May 30
Days of acclimatization and mountain climbing
May 31- June 1
Return from Base Camp to the border
Arrival to Katmandu
June 3 - 4
Free days in Katmandu doing the last paper work
Flight departure and arrvial to Madrid and Sevilla.
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