Sevilla, April 17, 2008
Lina is fine, but we won't
have more chronicles for now
Aurora Quesada, Lina's sister,
in a telephone conversation with the climber, got the news that she is fine,
that she is doing the trekking above 4,000 meters and that, for the moment,
because of technical difficulties, she won't be able to keep sending her
chronicles until May 10.
Meeting with the military
After the brief telephone
message from Lina, we looked for other information sources. EverestNews
informs os the message sent by a group of climbers that are two or three
days ahead of Lina.
Today we had
the big meeting with the military.
This is what they said:
- Radios are allowed,
but we have to give them one so they can listen in on our
- No Sat-phones* or
Rbgan* until 10th of May. They want us to hand them over.
- No camera's or video
until the 10th of May.
- We can't climb above
camp 2 until the 10th of May, but Sherpa's are allowed to fix ropes up
to the South Col between 06:00 a.m. and 18:00 p.m.
- Everybody will get a
liaison officer but they are delayed in arriving in basecamp because
of the elections. They will inspect our camp for sat phones, Rbgans,
etc., but they will respect the privacy of our member's tents.
- There will be a
check post at Gorak Shep and all trekkers will be checked and are not
allowed to bring their camera's to basecamp.
- If the Chinese torch
team summits early then we can just go ahead before the 10th of May.
Right now the Chinese are planning to summit on 28 April.
FROM LINA QUESADA FROM KATMANDU
She has met her
Sherpa Pemba and has had to sign promising not to make any political or social
statement about China or Tibet
friends: Here in Nepal time goes by in a different manner. Everything is
slowly and my western stress makes me forget that. I was picked up this
morning at 10:00 to go get my luggage which I left here in October (2 barrels)
and I couldn't finish until 15:00, it was not found first, then I had to check
every tent which I intend to carry to the expedition, mounting them one by
one, then the Sherpa that will go with me came, it looks like a strong boy,
his name is Pemba Rita Sherpa, he speaks English (poor guy, if he didn't speak
English he could get rid of my endless conversations…) and we checked the
oxygen masks, it was a shame that I didn't take the video cam with me, because
those were some intense hours of teamwork, we packed gas, oxygen, tents,
everything and he is very polite and handy with me.
We then went
to buy food, I didn't want to go alone, without knowing what he likes, and he
is really polite, he didn't say no to anything.
accept my invitation for tea later. He asked me what mountains I have
climbed, because of course, when he saw me he thought I was crazy. But in the
end he has also climbed Cho Oyu, Shisha Pangma and Everest by the north and by
the south last year. So I can't complain, he is a machine, of course if I
make it to the summit, he is going to be surprised, but well, the important
thing is that we enjoy ourselves, that we are comfortable and that the
mountain lets me up. He scared me a little, because he must be very quick, he
says that on the summit day we must be the first on the steps, that you don't
eat anything that day, to be the first and up we go!!! My God, with so much
preparations and the trip and everything, I forget I will want to die up
there, that I will say a thousand times, what a mess I got into!!! But well…
for the moment everything goes on wheels, it will surely be all right.
expedition permit was given to me, because when others left from Katmandu,
everything was still on the air. I will also have a meeting at the Ministry
in Namche Bazaar with the Liaison Officer, to pay our garbage tax, they count
the kilos we get up and what we bring down and the garbage barrels we bring
also the most controlled mountain in the world, because of the problem about
the existing garbage around base camp, the government makes an exhaustive
control of the tents that come and go, the oxygen bottles, everything. The
golden times are over when the climbers came back with nothing, so that they
didn't have to bring it down, carry it and transport it home.
like the control in the camps is real. I have been handed a document that I
had to sign, committing myself to avoid making a political or social statement
about China or Tibet, not to carry flags of China or Tibet and to avoid making
any electronic international connection that has not been declared. So if I
call via satellite, it will have to be at a pre established time. So 2 hours
a day, at 12:00 h Spain time and from 16:00 to 17:00 h Spain time. I will
have to get inside a tent to talk.
As for the
other expeditions, this is the year with most visits to Makalu, because the
Tibetan zone and the Khumbu (valley at Everest and Lhotse) are so controlled,
most of the expeditions are going to Makalu, this is good for a lot of people,
because there will surely be a fixed line installed up to the summit, others
would prefer there wasn't, of course.
interesting to talk to Rosa yesterday, it was a nice coincidence, she is also
from Oviedo and we noted in a lot of things that it is difficult to be a woman
in the world in general and specially in this sport. It keeps you from having
a normal life and don't mention if you have a family. So her opinions and
mine were an exact copy of the situations we women in sports life,
specifically in such hard sports like this.
I hope the
hardness of the mountain inspires me to keep being strong physically and
elections on April 10, I am not really sure, I think they elect a kind of
democratic parliament to write a constitution. I saw a demonstration
yesterday, where they only carried flags while walking in silence and in
peace, so we will have to wait, maybe when I come back from the mountain the
country has a new democratic constitution, it would be a great progress.
friends, I will continue with my preparations of equipment and material and
tomorrow I will inform you again on everything.
Sponsors: Consejería de
Turismo, Comercio y Deporte de la Junta de Andalucía y Diputación de Sevilla.
Andaluza de Montañismo, Acron, Brokercharter telecomunicaciones, Tecno Piumini,
ASM Sevilla, Gronell, Nutricare, Bollé, Isdin y Alúa.
form Spanish by Jorge Rivera
Sevilla, April 7, 2007
Lina Quesada is already in
Katmandu, the capital of Nepal. She flew last Saturday via Madrid-Doha
(Qatar)-Katmandu and in a couple of days she will fly to Lukla to start the
aproach trek to Everest Base Camp in the Khumbu valley by the southwest face
route or by the South Col.
Sevillan mountain climber Lina
Quesada, third in the national ranking, will be the first Andalucian woman
to attempt to climb the 8,848 meters of the highest mountain in the world,
which in Nepal is called Sagarmatha (the sky forehead) and Chomolungma or
Qomolangma Feng (mother of the unierverse) in Tibetan.
In the following days Lina
plans to organize all the material, do the last shopping and meet the high
altitude Sherpa who will go with her on her attempt to reach the roof of the
world. She will also visit some temples and stupas of the noisy Nepalese
capital before getting into Sherpa territory.
The first Spanish woman to
reach the summit was Araceli Segarra in 1996. The expedition is sponsored
by Consejería de Turismo, Comercio y Deporte and the Sevilla Parliament.
Translated from Spanish by
CLIMBER LINA QUESADA WILL BE THE FIRST ANDALUCIAN WOMAN TO ATTEMPT TO CLIMB
expedition is sponsored by Consejería de Turismo, Comercio y Deporte
April 2, 2008
climber Lina Quesada will be the first Andalucian woman to climb the highest
mountain of the world, Everest (8,850 meters). The expedition, which will
start next Sunday, April 6, is sponsored by Consejería de Turismo, Comercio
y Deporte and the Sevilla Parliament. The expedition has been presented
today in Casa de la Provincia, with the presence of the provincial delegate
of Tourism, Comerce and Sports in office, Francisco Obregón, the president
of the Sevilla Parliament, Fernando Rodríguez Villalobos, and the president
of the Andalucian Mountain Climbing Federation, José Durán, along with Lina
becoming the first Andalucian woman to do this feat, Quesada will be number
five among the Spanish women who have touched the roof of the world, after
Araceli Segarra, Chus Lago, Rosa Fernández and Edurne Pasabán. Francisco
Obregón has noted that the Sevillan mountain climber has "a great
background, not only physical but also personal" and that "her humbleness
makes her organize smaller expeditions to teach the new generations".
route to Everest, to be made by Lina will be from the South Face, from
Nepal, "which is the one that guarantees the greatest possibility of success
for many mountain climbers", in her words. Also, "it is required to have a
lot of experience in high mountain" because one has to "climb through walls
of ice and steps".
wants to make it to the summit between May 15 and 20 "if the conditions of
the weather are good", she said. "I will be very proud to carry the flag of
Andalucia to the highest peak of the world".
April 6: Departure
Sevilla – Madrid – Katmandu (Nepal). Departure
in a regular flight with Katmandu as destination.
Night on board.
April 7: Katmandu.
Arrival to Katmandu.
for the ascent permit.
Katmandu. Free day in Katmandu, after the preparation of the luggage.
April 9: Katmandu.
Flight to Lukla – Trek to Phakding. From Katmandu airport for a spectacular
panoramic flight of 40 minutes in a small plane to Lukla (2,840 m.), a nice
Sherpa town and the entrance gate to the Everest region. The views of the
Himalayas mountain system during the flight are amazing. The landing on the
sloppy runway between the mountains in Lukla airport is also a unique
experience. Contact with porters in Lukla and trekking up to Phakding. The
trail is easy and once you pass the town of Ghat, there is a short distance
to Phakding (2/3 hours of trekking).
Phakding – Namche Bazar. March from Phakding to Namche Bazar 3,446 m.,
through the giant fir woods and into the Sagarmatha National Park. Namche
Bazar is the capital and commercial center of the Khumbu valley and the
region where the Sherpas live.
Day of rest. Day of acclimatization. Free day in Namche Bazar to get used
to the altitude and the symptoms that eventually appear could be reduced.
It is recommended to watch the daybreak and sunset from the visitors center
of the national park, located in the highest part of the town.
The view is simply
Namche Bazar – Thyangboche Monastery. Trekking. The steep streets of
Namche are left behind to continue only surrounded by mountains, rivers and
pure air. After the first half hour of trekking, the first views of Ama
Dablam, one of the most beautiful mountains of the world and the South Face
of Everest surrounded by snowy peaks. Meal and rest in Phunkitenga (3,250
m) to continue to the famous Buddhist settlement of Thyangboche (3,887 m).
The monastery was built on the summit of a cliff, surrounded by pines,
rhododendrons, azaleas and a lot of flowers, under the shadows of some of
the most impressive mountains of the world: Thamserku, Ama Dablam, Nuptse,
Lhotse and Everest. A magical and beautiful place that invites for peace
and meditation (6 hours of trekking).
Thyangboche – Pheriche. Descent to Imja Khola river and route to the town
of Pheriche (4,243 m.)
Pheriche – Lobuche. Ascent to Dingboche, where the ascents to Mera and
Island Peak Stara, taking 6 hours through the final moraine of the Khumbu
glacier, light descent and a valley that meets Lobuche at 4,930 m.
Lobuche – Everest Base Camp. Ascent along the Khumbu glacier to Base Camp,
where I will be staying for almost 2 months at 5,400 m.
April 16 to
May 28: Days planned to climb Everest. A couple of days at Base Camp
acclimatizing at 5,400 m. A little above base camp is the Khumbu icefall,
with crevasses and unstable seracs which make it one of the most dangerous
passages of this route. Many climbers and Sherpas have died in that part.
The ascent to Camp I will start before daybreak when the low temperatures
fix the blocks of ice.
From Camp I
(6,065 m) you cross the Western Cwm up to the base of the Lhotse wall, where
Camp II is located at 6,500 m of altitude. You turn right to cross the
valley to reach the base of Nuptse and through a corridor known as the
"Nuptse Corner". The Western Cwm is also called the Valley of Silence
because its closed topography reduces wind along the route. The great
altitude in a clear and windless day could make the Western Cwm very hot for
II you ascent the North Face of Lhotse by a part equipped by Sherpas with
fixed lines up to Camp III, located in a platform at 7,470 meters of
altitude. From there, there are other 500 more meters up to Camp IV in the
South Col at 7,920 m.
III to Camp IV, two more challenges have to be passed: the Geneva Spur and
the Yellow Band. The Geneva Spur is a black rock that was named by a Swiss
Expedition in 1952. The lines fixed along the way will help us pass over
the snow covered rock. The Yellow Band, a section of sandy sedimentary
stone that requires some 100 meters of rope to pass. On the South Col you
enter the "dead zone". At this point you have two or three days to attempt
the assault to the summit. Clear weather and little wind are of great
importance at the time of deciding to make a summit attack. If the weather
is not right we have to descend even to Base Camp.
attempt is planed for the 15 to 20 of May)
will start around midnight on the definitive day of the summit attack with
the hope to make it to the summit in 10 or 12 hours. The Balcony is reached
first at 8,400 m, a little platform where you can rest while you watch the
peaks to the south and east during sunrise. Continuing by the ridge, there
are some impressive steps of rock that make you get into waist deep snow,
which is a little added risk. At 8,750 m, a little formation of the size of
a table made by ice and snow marks the South Summit. From this point you
continue by the southeast ridge known as the Cornice traverse. This section
is one of the most dangerous because a false step can send you to a fall
into the emptiness in both sides of the ridge. The famous Hillary step is
at the end of this part, an impressive wall of rock of some 12 meters high
at an altitude of 8,760 m which is passed using the installed fixed lines.
Once you have passed this part, the rest is relatively easy. Once above you
can almost feel that you are on the top of the World, on Mount Everest.
Permanence on the summit is around 20 minutes to be able to go back to Camp
IV before sunset.
Base Camp – Thyangboche. Descent to Thyangboche, rest in a lot less
Thyangboche – Phakding. We will continue descending to Phakding.
Phakding – Lukla. Descent to Lukla.
Lukla – Katmandu. Flight from Lukla to Katmandu and to the hotel.
June 2: Katmandu –
Spain on June 8. There is slack time from June 3 to 8 because of changes in
the plans of because of bad weather.
Translated from Spanish
by Jorge Rivera
Sevilla, April 1st, 2008
THE DELEGATE OF TOURISM,
COMERCE AND SPORTS PRESENTS THE LINA QUESADA EVEREST EXPEDITION
The delegate of Tourism,
Comerce and Sports, Francisco Obregon, with the president of the Sevilla
Parliament, Fernando Rodriguez Villalobos, present tomorrow, at 10:30 in
Casa de la Provincia, the new expedition to Everest with mountain climber
Lina Quesada. The climber, who will leave to Nepal next Sunday, will be the
first Andalucian woman to attempt to climb the highest peak of the world.
INVITATION FOR THE MEDIA
Presentation of Lina Quesada
DAY: Wednesday, April 2
Place: Salón Comisiones, Casa
de la Provincia, Plaza del Triunfo, Sevilla
More soon on
Everest from the South Side
Base Camp - 17,500 feet (5350
This is a
picture of the popular South Col Route up Mt. Everest. Base camp is located
at 17,500 feet. This is where climbers begin their true trip up the
mountain. This is also where support staff often remain to monitor the
expeditions and provide medical assistance when necessary. Many organizations
offer hiking trips which just go to base camp as the trip is not technically
challenging (though you must be very fit).
camp, climbers typically train and acclimate (permitting the body to adjust to
the decreased oxygen in the air) by traveling and bringing supplies back and
forth through the often treacherous Khumbu Icefall. This training and
recuperation continues throughout the climb, with the final summit push often
being the only time to climbers do not go back and forth between camps to
train, bring supplies, and recuperate for the next push.
is in constant motion. It contains enormous ice seracs, often larger than
houses, which dangle precariously over the climbers heads, threatening to fall
at any moment without warning, as the climbers cross endless crevasses and
listen to continuous ice creaking below. This often acts as a testing ground
to judge if less experienced climbers will be capable of continuing. The
Icefall is located between 17,500 and 19,500 feet.
Camp I -
Icefall, the climbers arrive at Camp I, which is located at 19,500 feet.
Depending on the type of expedition, Camp I will either be stocked by the
climbers as they ascend and descend the Icefall, or by Sherpas in advance.
between Camp I and Camp II is known as the Western Cwm. As the climbers reach
Camp II at 21,000 feet, they may be temporarily out of sight of their support
at Base camp. Nonetheless, modern communication devises permit the parties to
stay in contact.
Camp II -
climbers leave Camp II, they travel towards the Lhotse face (Lhotse is a
27,920 foot mountain bordering Everest). The Lhotse face is a steep, shiny
icy wall. Though not technically extremely difficult, one misstep or slip
could mean a climber's life. Indeed, many climbers have lost their lives
through such mishaps.
Camp III -
23,700 feet (7200 meters)
To reach Camp
III, climbers must negotiate the Lhotse Face. Climbing a sheer wall of ice
demands skill, strength and stamina. It is so steep and treacherous that many
Sherpas move directly from Camp II to Camp IV on the South Col, refusing to
stay on the Lhotse Face.
Camp IV -
26,300 feet (8000 meters)
As you’re leaving C4…it’s a
little bit of a down slope, with the uphill side to the left. There are
typically snow on the ledges to walk down on, interspersed with rock, along
with some fixed rope. The problem with the rope is that the anchors are bad,
and there’s not much holding the rope and a fall could be serious. Fortunately
it’s not too steep, but there is a ton of exposure and people are usually
tired when walking down from camp. The rock is a little down sloping to the
right as well, and with crampons on, it can be bit tricky with any kind of
wind. There’s a little short slope on reliable snow which leads to the top of
the Geneva Spur, and the wind pressure gradient across the spur can increase
there as you’re getting set up for the rappel. Wearing an oxygen mask here can
create some footing issues during the rappel, because it’s impossible to see
over the mask and down to the feet. For that reason, some people choose to
leave Camp 4 without gas, as it’s easier to keep moving down the Spur when
it’s important to see all the small rock steps and where the old feet are
going. Navigating down through all of the spaghetti of fixed ropes is a bit of
a challenge, especially with mush for brains at that point. One lands on some
lower ledges which aren’t so steep, where fixed ropes through here are solid.
At this point, it’s just a matter of staying upright, and usually, the wind
has died significantly after dropping off the Spur. The route turns hard to
the left onto the snowfield that leads to the top of the Yellow Bands.
which is at 26,300 on the Lhotse face, is typically the climbers' first
overnight stay in the Death Zone. The Death Zone is above 26,000 feet.
Though there is nothing magical about that altitude, it is at this altitude
that most human bodies lose all ability to acclimate. Accordingly, the body
slowly begins to deteriorate and die - thus, the name "Death Zone." The
longer a climber stays at this altitude, the more likely illness (HACE - high
altitude cerebral edema - or HAPE - high altitude pulmonary edema) or death
will occur. Most climbers will use oxygen to climb and sleep at this altitude
and above. Generally, Sherpas refuse to sleep on the Lhotse face and will
travel to either Camp II or Camp IV.
Camp IV is
located at 26,300 feet. This is the final major camp for the summit push. It
is at this point that the climbers make their final preparations. It is also
a haven for worn-out climbers on their exhausting descent from summit attempts
(both successful and not). Sherpas or other climbers will often wait here
with supplies and hot tea for returning climbers.
From Camp IV,
climbers will push through the Balcony, at 27,500 feet, to the Hillary Step at
28,800 feet. The Hillary Step, an over 70 foot rock step, is named after Sir.
Edmond Hillary, who in 1953, along with Tenzing Norgay, became the first
people to summit Everest. The Hillary Step, which is climbed with fixed
ropes, often becomes a bottleneck as only one climber can climb at a time.
Though the Hillary Step would not be difficult at sea level for experienced
climbers, at Everest's altitude, it is considered the most technically
challenging aspect of the climb.
29,028 feet (8848 meters)
climbers ascend the Hillary Step, they slowly and laboriously proceed to the
summit at 29,028 feet. The summit sits at the top of the world. Though not
the closest place to the sun due to the earth's curve, it is the highest peak
on earth. Due to the decreased air pressure, the summit contains less than
one third the oxygen as at sea level. If dropped off on the summit directly
from sea level (impossible in reality), a person would die within minutes.
Typically, climbers achieving the great summit will take pictures, gain their
composure, briefly enjoy the view, then return to Camp IV as quickly as
possible. The risk of staying at the summit and the exhaustion from
achieving the summit is too great to permit climbers to fully enjoy the great
accomplishment at that moment.
readers of this page know, the return trip can be even more dangerous than the
climb to the summit.
Pictures from Enrique
Guallart-Furio web site http://ww2.encis.es/avent/
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