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  Everest 2007:  ANDALUCIA - EVEREST 2007 EXPEDITION: Huisa and Lopez arrive to advanced base camp


©EverestNews.com

 

Huisa and Lopez arrive to advanced base camp (6,400 meters) 

April 27, 2007 

The journey was long and hard, with eight hours of march. When we arrived to the camp, the cold came and we had a bad time.  We are resting inside our tents and now we face the proof of fire.  We hope that in the next few days we can acclimatize to this altitude, because we couldn’t do it the last time and we had to go down.  I am not well, with a strong cough and a general body discomfort.  We came this far in 2007.  I hope we can break the record and continue. 

Juan Antonio Huisa 

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Earlier: Huisa and Lopez reach intermediate camp, at 5,600 meters 

April 25, 2007 

“The journey has been long and hard.  Seven hours of march.  Pedro had a bad night and I see that my cough will continue, it even looks like after coughing I spit a little blood.  We are tired and a little afraid of the mountain sickness which was what sent us back last year. 

Most of the climbers are in advanced base camp and another part remains in base camp.  Nobody has gone up to camp 1 yet.  In our ascent, we met the first climber that was being evacuated with oxygen.  No matter what, not every body resists the same altitude. 

Now we have a long journey to advanced base camp, at 6,400m.  Our teammates Javier Blázquez and Daniel Bueno came to this point last year and no more.  We have remembered every curve, every slope, every video shot.  We send a hug from here.  Especially to Dani, who is about to get ready”. 

Juan Antonio Huisa 

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

 

Earlier: HUISA AND LoPEZ START TO CLIMB EVEREST

Today, Tuesday, they plan to reach advanced base camp and they will immediately attempt to go to camp 1

April 23, 2007 

Climbers Juan Antonio Huisa and Pedro López, from Sevilla, arrived to base camp a week late, last Saturday 21.  Base camp is higher than five thousand meters of altitude.  Pedro’s medical problem has delayed plans and now they need to accelerate the acclimatization process.

With a lot of problems while sending information and pictures using our notebook computer and the satellite telephone, Juan Antonio Huisa told the last progress to the secretary of CD Siete Cumbres (Seven Summits SC), Eva Pérez: “When we arrived to base camp on the North Face the weather was good, but it lasted very little.  Pedro and I did not spend a good night because of mountain sickness and my flu doesn’t stop despite me taking medicines for seven days.  Today we left to make some exercise and we returned with a lot of cold and a nasty strong wind”. 

Huisa and López’s intention is now to climb on Tuesday 24 up to advanced base camp and immediately continue ascending up to camp 1, trying to get a fast acclimatization.  The weather doesn’t help but moral is high. 

Javier Blásquez

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

 

19-04-2007: A while ago we were strolling by the streets of Katmandu , and we took pictures with the snake charmers, and now we are back again in Tibet .  Tibet is very different, high lands where it is almost impossible to grow crops, very arid zones, cold and deserted, and so is feeding around here.  They get milk and meat from cattle.  Their diet is very poor. 

Today has been very extenuating, because we had to cross the border again and see again the faces of the pirates of the border who do the paperwork for Everest.  We ate in Zhangmu and we continued to Nylam.  The road is being repaired and it is very dangerous, because landfalls happen everyday, and we have been stopped a lot of times to clear the road. 

Climbers Huisa and Lopez take a day to see this fantastic and monumental city.

18-04-2007

Pedro has recovered almost 100x100, I can’t get rid of the strong flu I caught, I am taking medicine, but it won’t stop, so if it doesn’t stop I will start with antibiotics. 

We took the whole morning to see the historic centers of Katmandu and Braktapur.   Katmandu is the capital of the country and the main city of Nepal , but it has grown to meet the cities of Patan and Braktapur.

These three cities have the most important Durbar Square of all, and they are World Heritage sites.  Durbar means palace.

Since we have seen Patan last year, this year we decided to sightsee the other two.  These plazas are surrounded by tens of palaces, temples and statues. 

It is amazing to see so much art in the streets, which become real outdoors museums.  In Katmandu Durbar Square you can feel a noisy environment which is hard to find elsewhere.  The offers or prayers of the Buddhist and Hindus mix with the movement of the mass of people that roam through the narrow streets.  Although the original temples date from medieval times, this ancient part of the city dates since the XVII and XVIII centuries.  The smells, chants, poverty, clothing and customs move you through time.  Culture sprouts in every corner, there are statues everywhere, and temples, saint-like people who offer blessings in exchange for a tip, of course, and the guides and merchants that attack you.

The downtown in these cities is where you really breath the spirituality of this culture and where you can appreciate the splendor this people had.  Not to mention the poverty we saw which is difficult to describe, more than 7 millions of Nepalese live with two dollars a day.  The filth in their threadbare clothing, their blackened faces contrast with the splendor of the temples, where we the tourists drop our jaws. 

Braktapur Durbar Square is maybe even more authentic, because it is far from the busy life of Katmandu and also because the traffic is closed.  So you can walk around safer, the streets are very clear, here is where we appreciated this exaggerated poverty.  Erotic scenes are frequent in the temples, authentic master pieces carved in wood. 

We have tried to contact people, we laugh with the children of such uncertain future, but who show so much happiness that can get you drunk, and we even dared to share a moment with the snake charmers.  It was a day to feel enriched, but of course Pedro’s mind and mine are filled with this worry we have.  Everest is there, there is still a lot to do and this descent has troubled our ascension plan a little.  We will leave early tomorrow morning to Tibet and we hope to get to Nylam (3,700m) again.  The cost of coming down, hire new services, hospital, lodging and food was around 1,500 euros. 

Juan Antonio Huisa García 

Translated form Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Earlier: Andalucia Expedition – Everest takes a bad hit. 

Pedro Lopez had to be evacuated and transported to a hospital in Katmandu because of kidney stones colic.

“Las night at midnight Pedro started to suffer a slight pain in the back zone of the left kidney.  The pain increased and then he vomited everything he had eaten during the day, at first we thought it was the bad spicy food we had eaten, but the pain kept on growing and it couldn’t be that.

We quickly contacted our liaison Eva Pérez, who contacted our ATS friend Elena and our friend Dr. Poyato, Urologist, who also called an urology professor, and they all told us what to do. 

The situation was complicated because we were at 3,700m, and in a little town of Tibet (Nylam), where of course we couldn’t do anything.  Pedro was taking the medications we had in the first aid kit, but he kept on throwing up, so he kept on puking the medicine and the pain did not recede.

At first hour we decided that we had to evacuate, because at this altitude we still had the opportunity to return and recover, a thing that would be impossible and dangerous higher up.  And he needed intravenous medication.

We have gone down using three jeeps, one to the first border checkpoint, another to the second and the last from the border to Katmandu.  Besides the high economic cost of the operation, which is the least, we have broken the climbing and acclimatization plan again. 

We came very tired, because the trip has been long and exhausting and we have brought him to the best Hospital in Katmandu, Norvic Escorts International Hospital, where he is being attended by Dr. Rajman.  I have explained the symptoms Pedro had, and he quickly started to take care of him, with blood and urine analysis, x-rays, temperature, blood pressure, etc.

In these moments Pedro is fine, waiting for the results of the tests, and of course, out of danger.  I think we have acted quickly and effectively.

This was done mainly for safety and precaution, because if this repeats higher in the mountain, he sure wouldn’t have any chance to climb.  Now the fear is if Pedro is going to recover to continue.

To share the sickness with him, I caught a diarrhea and the flu, which doesn’t let me breath, I have a very bad throat and I start to have a little fever.

Once more Everest is not so easy.  Let’s trust we can continue”:

Juan Antonio Huisa

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

A month ago climbers Pedro López and Juan Antonio Huisa successfully climbed the highest peak of Oceania, the Carstensz Pyramid, 4,848m, in the island of New Guinea .  This mountain has been closed for several years due to guerrilla problems, we even tried it on 2003, but because of the bad political situation in the country we couldn’t even get to see the mountain.  This time, not without a lot of danger, we could make the flag of Andalucia wave on the roof of Oceania .

Now there is only Everest left to conclude this ambitious project which we started in 2002, the Seven Summit Project, which is based on crowning the highest peak in each continent.  This long trip can get to an end this same year 2007, and so we will write one more page in Andalucian sports history.  We have successfully crowned the following continents:

Kilimanjaro ( Tanzania , Africa ) September 2002

Elbrus ( Russia , Europe ) July 2003

Kosciusko ( Australia , Oceania) December 2003 / Carstensz Pyramid ( Indonesia , Asia/Oceania) January 2007

Vinson ( Antarctica ) December 2004

McKinley ( Alaska , USA , North America ) May 2005

Aconcagua ( Argentina , South America ) December 2005

This sports challenge takes enormous effort and sacrifice and proof of that is that a lot of teammates and climbers from other countries and corners of the world pay with their lives.  More than a sports challenge it is a feat, you have to give it all to achieve the objective, to get to the limit of your strength, the psychological limit and then sometimes you get your reward.  This fleeting reward is to taste the summit, which often you don’t have the capacity to assimilate, because of total exhaustion, bad weather conditions or the relentless thought that you have to climb down quick to be safe, because most of the accidents occur on the way down.  A lot of climbers in the whole world chase the dream of the Seven Summits and of course most of them can not reach it.  We pretend to be the first Andalucians to achieve this summit and to put Andalucia in a renowned place.

 

Of course this project would be impossible without the support from our sponsors, collaborators and media.  Since we started we can be very thankful with the support this project has had in the media and all of them with no exception have echoed our feats which have been amazingly broadcasted in Andalucia and Spain .

We can note RTVA and Estadio Deportivo who have reported our project to a surprising level, and they have been as well part of our project as sponsors.  TVE, A3, Localia, Giralda Televisión, Sevilla TV, ABC, Marca, Diario AS, El Correo de Andalucía, El País, El Mundo, 20 Minutos, Metro, Macarena, D. A., Canal Sur Radio, Cadena Ser, Punto Radio, COPE, and numerous local media and specialized publications have published this sports challenge to the regular citizen.

Another strong pillar has been the intitutional support we have had from the beginning, starting with Mr. President of the Junta de Andalucía, Consejería de Turismo, Comercio y Deporte, Consejería de la Presidencia , the Mayor of Sevilla, the City of Sevilla and the municipal agencies, the General Director of RTVA, IMD, even the Royal House.  Some days ago we got a letter from the Chief of H. M. the King’s House, Mr. Alberto Aza Arias, who sent us congratulations from H. M. “H. M. the King sends his best wishes, so that this last challenge can be crowned with the success an effort of this size deserves”.

This year 2007 we will go directly to Everest base camp at 5,000m., because in 2006 we made a first approach of another mountain in the Himalayas to acclimatize and get to know this such extreme place on Earth.  Last year we learned with pain all about the country, the borders, the preparation expedition, the Sherpas, the porters, the official liaison, base camp, intermediate base camp and advanced base camp; all these will help us this year so that we can avoid past errors and lighten up and resolve quickly all these tasks and approach.  This year’s expedition will try to continue with the steps we made during 2006, and to pass beyond the 7,000 m where we stopped.  We trust in our possibilities and we hope to have better fortune than before.

In our sport, it is difficult to get awards, mentions or even recognition, when you get to the top nobody will applaud, or hang a medal from your neck.  We have got several awards and recognitions already, which shows the importance of this project and the sporting success we have achieved.

*Medal of the ambassadors of Centenario Sevilla Fútbol Club

*Notable sportsmen of 2005.  Day of Andalucia.  Consejería de Gobernación.

*Special mention in Sports Party in Sevilla.  Instituto Municipal de Deportes.

*Andalucian Sports Award, X Anniversary of Estadio Deportivo.

 

EVEREST BY THE NORTH FACE

Even today in the XXI century it is still a big event and challenge the ascent to Everest, and it will be more important if it is done because of the achievement of two objectives: the first for getting to the roof of our planet, and second and more important because we have finished the Seven Summits Project, being the first Andalucians to have achieved it.

The selected route for the ascent will be the North Face, a route that because of its technical difficulties, extreme cold (down to 40º C below zero because of the scarce sunlight), the inclination of the walls, winds that can be beyond 140 Km/h , frequent avalanches, and very vertical passages (1st and 2nd step) at altitudes higher than 8,600m, which will demand 200% of us.

 

SCHEDULE AND DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE

 

HIGH ALTITUDE CAMPS (m)     SITUATION

Base camp 5.400                      Rongbuk glacier
Intermediate camp  5.800          Rongbuk glacier
Advanced base camp 6.500       Bottom of the wall that leads to the North Col
CI      7.000                              Just above the North Col     
CII     7.800                              On the N-NE ridge
CIII    8.400                               Close to the so called first step       
SUMMIT   8.848          

 

We will leave Katmandu by a chaotic road to the Chinese border, once in Tibet it will take us 4 days to reach the town of Tingri at 4,350m, and from there we will enter the great Tibetan highlands to reach the Rongbuk valley which start from the region north of Everest and ends in the great glacier that bears its name, the Rongbuk monastery is located at 5,000m., 8 Km away from our first objective, the Chinese base camp.

 

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 climber has problems this camp gives him or her a chance to spend some days there trying to recover.  It is also useful to go there to rest after having equipped all the route and for a summit attempt.

From this camp we will continue over the Rongbuk glacier for 5 KM . until the union with a glacial valley to the east, then we follow this eastern glacier of Rongbuk over a moraine and we will establish an intermediate base camp at 5,800m.

After at least a night we will traverse some unstable blocks and we will advance through the center of the glacier, where the path is a little easier.  We will advance over this route until we reach the base of the North Col , where we will install the advanced base camp.

 

Advanced Base Camp (6,500m)

This camp will be used as 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 the ice walls and the snow.

 

We will climb the Cang La wall ( North Col ).  The inclination of the route makes it gain difficulty because there are slopes of 30º that can change with the conditions that vary each year.

 

The route changes every year and a lot of new crevasses have to be sorted out.  The path is not simple or safe due to the presence of large seracs that majestically rise in a unstable way over a good part of the way, so we will be forced to install fixed lines on a large part of the way to help us ascend to the superior camps but especially to make descent safer. 

 

Camp I (7,000m)

We will arrive to an edge located on the North Col, we will install here the first altitude camp in a little depression shielded from the wind, and from here on the route is swept by western winds that are frequently strong at this altitude, the “wig” of snow that is often seen on Everest is caused by these winds.

 

Camp II (7,700m) 

To get to CII, located at 7,800 m . we have to cover an edge exposed to the winds with not much inclination but with almost 800m of height that looks endless to the exhausted climbers.

Along the edge there are parts of ice and snow as well as parts of just rock.

 

Camp III (8,400m)

From CII there are to options to take according to the conditions, the first is to continue along the North Face and ascend through the Norton Corridor or the route we first planned, with is to continue along the long edge which is more exposed to the wind as before, but with less risk of avalanches than the other route.

 

The main difficulty of this part of the ascent besides the wind is some difficult technical steps on the rock that are not really very difficult, but they will demand more from us in the extreme altitude.

After sorting out a zone of rock known as the Yellow Band, because of the color of the stones, in this place we will find a small place to install CIII at 8,400m.

 

Departure to the Summit (8,848m)

This is the day we will be looking for and it will be the most feared day for any mountain climber, the day when you play it all in just one card, there is only one day to attack, because it is very odd when somebody comes down from the attempt and attempts again later.  This is a crucial day at personal level, because you think about your family, the sponsors, and it is really when you gamble on your own life as in few places on Earth.  The worst starts at this altitude, the more technical steps, the biggest difference in altitudes, and all this happens in a moment when, because of altitude, the climber in on the edge of everything.

 

Without a doubt, a lot of difficulties will be found this day, we will start with an incompatible altitude with life, which happens in the death zone, as the Himalayas climbers know this places above 8,000m.; another obstacle will be the almost hurricane like winds at those altitudes and to complement all this, the snow that is sometimes heavy and deep which would force us to open the trail with an exhausting effort.

 

Besides these difficulties we have described, the route to the summit is around 2 km in a horizontal distance and some 500 m of difference of altitude, so we will be in the three “steps” path, which will be the main technical difficulties of the route.  The path starts at 8,400m and goes to the edge, at 8,500m there is a first mound which is not so difficult (grade PD),  then after a short descending distance the route goes back to the edge that is normally covered with snow and where you have to be very careful with the cornices on the East Face, from where you can see the conditions of the snow on this part.

 

Once here we leave the crest to the left and we advance until we reach the First Step located at 8,530m.  We have to climb up there among large unstable boulders and over climbing steps of second grade, the steps are not excessively technical but very exposed.  The route continues being exposed along straits of rock that resemble tiles, often covered with snow and verglass ice, which will require all our attention.  It later turns into a crest until it gets to a mushroom like rock, after which there is a small depression where most people rest for a while, and where those using oxygen change their bottles.

 

After a little distance we reach the Second Step which begins at 8,610m and has several parts, starting by a slope with stones with third grade steps, then some steps on the snow, and then you get to a metal ladder that was installed by one of the first Chinese expeditions that attempted the summit in 1975, but few climbers use this ladder nowadays and they take a detour right ahead.  This is definitively the most difficult part of the route, it is short but very technical.  We are talking an impressive step here, of 25 m ., totally vertical, of rocks, snow and ice; and as a hit to your spirit there are two dead bodies here (of the many in the zone) who died there and remain there, which you almost touch as you pass, definitively a Dantesque view.

 

After this part there is still a third step of some 10m of height and very difficult, which after you pass it, it leads to a false snow summit, this has to be passed and we have to turn some 100m to the right, get to some bands of limestone that lead this time to the 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 between 8 and 12 hours from the departure.

 

 Alter a hard and sacrificed descent where extreme precaution is little (most of the accidents occur on the way down) we will come down back to CIII, which means we have to spend one more night at 8,400m, to descend as much as possible on the next day.

To be able to get to summit day in conditions to attack the mountain we will need at least 30 days of hard work installing equipment and stocking up the high altitude camps, which will help on the acclimatization to altitude and will force us to climb up and down several times along most of the route.

 

Schedule:

 

April 14                                    Departure toward the Chinese border.

April 15-19                                Trip to the Chinese Base Camp.

April 20 – May 30          Acclimatization days and ascent to the mountain.

May 31 – June 1            Return from Base Camp to the border.

June 2                          Arrival to Katmandu .

June 3-4                                   Free days in Katmandu , last paper work.

June 5                          Flight departure and arrival to Madrid and Sevilla.

 

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

 
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