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 Everest 2008: THE FIRST ANDALUCIAN WOMAN TO CROWN EVEREST WILL TELL THE DETAILS OF HER EXPEDITION


Sevilla, June 3, 2008

THE FIRST ANDALUCIAN WOMAN TO CROWN EVEREST WILL TELL THE DETAILS OF HER EXPEDITION

Mountain climber Lina Quesada, first Andalucian woman to crown
Everest, will talk about her expedition tomorrow at 13:00 at
Delegación de Turismo, Comercio y Deporte, in a press conference. She will talk about the details of this project, and she will show
pictures taken on the highest mountain of the world and will talk
about future projects. The act will count with the presence of the
chairman of Turism, Commerce and Sports, Francisco Obregon, the
President of the Sevilla Parliament, Fernando Rodriguez Villalobos and
the representative of the Andalucian Mountain Climbing Federation in
Sevilla, Ernesto Dauphin.

CALL FOR MEDIA

Lina Quesada press conference
DAY: Wednesday, June 04
TIME: 13.00
PLACE: Salón de actos. Delegación de Turismo, Comercio y Deporte. C/
Trajano, 17. Sevilla

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Earlier: LINA QUESADA RETURNS TO SEVILLA AFTER CROWNING EVEREST

The arrival of the first Andalucian woman who climbed the highest
summit on the planet is expected around 17:30 by AVE to Santa Justa

Sevilla, June 1, 2008

Climber Lina Quesada from Sevilla will be back tomorrow, Monday June 2, in Sevilla around 17:30. The climber from the Club Alpino
Sevillano will arrive by AVE from Madrid where she has arrived today
from Katmandu after having become the first Andalucian woman who
climbed to the summit of the highest mountain in the planet.

With no important physical injuries after her heroic success, she is
back to Sevilla to what is expected to be a crowded welcome.

Sponsors: Consejería de Turismo, Comercio y Deporte de la Junta de
Andalucía and the Sevilla Parliament.

Collaborators: Federación Andaluza de Montañismo, Acron, Brokercharter
telecomunicaciones, Tecno Piumini, ASM Sevilla, Gronell, Nutricare,
Bollé, Isdin and Alúa.

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Earlier: Pics from Everest from Lina: Lina writes just a few words: "Hello everyone, I send you just pictures. I cannot write a chronicle because this is not my computer and they are doing me a favor, other Spanish fellows won't do it. Kisses and greetings for everybody." One picture is of the summit and the others with a T-shirt which was a gift from her coworkers from the Office of International Cooperation of the Sevilla Parliament back in base camp, after a complicated descent from the mountain because of physical exhaustion and bad weather, especially in the parts of the crevasses and the seracs of the Khumbu glacier.

Lina Quesada was in the safety of base camp gathering her things and rushing to return. They are trying to hire a helicopter lift to Katmandu and avoid the long hours by road to the Nepalese capital. Once back in Katmandu she will try to rush her return trip and she will be able to write her chronicle of the great experience lived by this amazing woman. In Sevilla, her friends of the Sevillan Alpine Club, friends and mountain fans are preparing a great homecoming party at the Airport for the first Andalucian woman who has conquered Everest.

Javier Blázquez

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Earlier: Climber Lina Quesada, from Sevilla, has reached the summit of Everest. She stepped on the highest summit of the planet this morning with Jose Baena and Ricardo Guerrero from Cordoba after an ascent of more than 14 hours from Camp 4.

The first to reach the summit of Everest this year 2008 were the Sherpas Nangyl and Pemba Sherpa who reached the summit yesterday, Tuesday, with the team that installs the fixed lines.  The arrival of climbers from different expeditions started from early hour in the morning.  At 6:23, Nepal time, the members of the north American team Ari Jonathan Peress and Casey A. Grom with Danuru Sherpa (his 10th summit) and Danuru Dawa Sherpa. Also at 6:40 Mountain Madness team summited.


The Cordoba 2008 expedition, the cultural capital 2016 to the roof of the world, with Ricardo Guerrero and Jose Baena in that they have reached the summit at 7:21 in the morning with the company of Lina Quesada from the Sevilla Alpine Club.  Also, the expedition "Barcelona al Sostre del Món" has reached the summit at 11:15, Spain time.  And Metro Bilbao expedition too.

The weather has been good, they hardly had any wind and no rain or snow, but they will have very low temperature that could reach -28° C.  The climbers have enjoyed the magnificent views from up there after they climbed for the whole night, to cover the last kilometer from C4.  They stayed there a few but intense minutes on the summit, a time to shoot picture, to enjoy, to feel satisfied that all their wishes have come true.  Finally a remembrance to all the people that have helped, to all the institutions and organizations that collaborated, and with no more delay they started to descend, as soon as possible before the forecasted bad weather reaches them, and once in the inferior camp they will rest and enjoy for more time.

Some 2,000 people have climbed Everest since the New Zealander Edmund Hillary, who passed away last January 11, and "Sherpa" Tenzing Norway did it for the first time on May 29, 1953.  Japanese Junko Tabei was the first woman to climb Everest in 1975.

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Earlier: NO CLEAR REFERENCES ABOUT THE PROGRESS OF LINA QUESADA IN THE KEY DAYS OF THE SUMMIT ATTEMPT

Numerous attacks to the summit are expected for the next early morning

According to news from the expedition from Cordoba, the Spanish climbers were already at Camp III yesterday, a platform at 7,470 meters of altitude to which they arrived by climbing the north face of Lhotse by a part that has fixed lines.  It is a bad place to camp.

Located in a zone of avalanches and at an altitude next to the beginning of the Death Zone, they will hardly get some calm and sleep. Some say Sherpas refuse to sleep on that platform and prefer to leave camp II by night to gather directly at camp IV, where Lina and her partners must arrive after ascending 500 more meters up to Camp IV on the South Col, at 7,920 meters.

From Camp III to Camp IV, the Geneva Spur  and the so called Yellow Band zone have to be passed.  The Geneva Spur is a rising black rock, which is passed using the installed fixed lines.  The Yellow Band, on the other hand, is a section of sandy stone that requires 100 m of rope to pass it.

On the South Col, the climbers enter the "Death Zone".  The climbers have only two or three days to resist that altitude to attempt the assaults to the summit.  From Camp IV you must leave as soon as possible, that is why they will try to reach the summit on the same night they get there.  Because on the "Death Zone" the human body doesn't find any adaptation because of the lack of oxygen.  Some climbers use oxygen only for the last phase, not to facilitate the expedition but to avoid serious problems like pulmonary or brain edemas.

The weather will be a decisive factor: it has to be clear and with little wind.  If the weather is not proper for these two next days, the climbers should descend even to Base Camp. 

Lina Quesada is in the last high altitude camps along with "Cordoba 2016" expedition of Ricardo Guerrero "Coco" and Jose Baena, the Catalans Xavi Arias and Xavy Aymar and the Basque expedition of "Juanrra" Madariaga and Jordi Estanyol

Earlier: ANDALUCIA EVEREST EXPEDITION: LINA QUESADA WILL ATTEMPT THE SUMMIT BETWEEN DAYS 19 AND 21

The climber will start the final definitive assault next Friday

Climber Lina Quesada from Sevilla has decided to start her first summit attempt beginning next Friday 16.  Tomorrow, Thursday, her trusty Sherpa, Pemba, will start to climb up to camp II, while she will do it next Friday.  There are still a couple of freight trips from camp II to camp III but they will start the possible summit assault as soon as possible, beginning next Monday 19 if the weather permits.  The optimal days for the ascent will be on the 20 and 21 which will coincide with the full moon, an important element to start the final climb during the early morning because of the natural light available.

The intention of the climber is to spend the night in camp III (7,450 m), from next Saturday to continue climbing to camp IV (7,950 m) and from there to continue up to the Hillary Step, the last important difficulty before the summit (8,850 m).

After the announcement that the summit attempt are starting, several alliances between different expeditions are seen, so maybe Xavi Arias and Xavi Aymar, the "Cordoba 2016" Expedition of Ricardo "Coco" Guerrero and Jose Baena and the Basque expedition of "Juanrra" Madariaga and Jordi Estanyol will be part of the same group with another Mexican expedition.

Lina Quesada has as a deadline to stay on the highest mountain of the planet, next May 28. 

P.D. Lina has problems with her satellite telephone.  We managed to contact her today from Sevilla using the satellite telephone of another expedition Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

LINA QUESADA, BACK TO BASE CAMP BECAUSE OF BAD WEATHER

The climber has reached camp 3 (7,450 meters), although the weather forecasts are not good for the next four days

May 13, 2008

Climber Lina Quesada, from Sevilla, is at Everest base camp today, on the Khumbu glacier (5,360 meters).  The weather forecasts have not been good at all in the last days, with intense snowfalls, wind and fog and the worst is that the weather forecasts don't show an improvement during the next three or four days when intense snowfalls are expected.  The forecast is that the first summit attempts are going to take place after these days of bad weather. 

Last Friday 9, the climber went up from base camp to camp II (6,500 meters) and she spent the whole day of Saturday 10 at that altitude and even spent the night there to reach camp III (7,450 meters) to leave a tent and some materials there.  This year there are three zones of tents at camp three between 7,100 and 7,300 meters.  However these weather conditions are not very good because of too much wind and snow.  Yesterday, Monday 12 of May, she descended to camp 2 with serious difficulties and even some danger because to the extreme conditions of wind and snow, the fog was added, but the climber knows the zone very well because the approach to the high altitude camps is done by the west wall of Lhotse, the same route she used in 2006 to attempt the summit of this giant in May 2006, although she got to 8,400 meters, 116 meters from the summit.  The courageous Andalucian climber has the help of her Sherpa, Pemba.

The progress in the ascents and descents are complicated, despite the help of the fixed lines.  After the arrival of the Olympic torch to the summit of Everest the ban was lifted for all the expeditions and the climbers have to progress in a single file, with crowds of climbers in the most difficult parts which sometimes slow the rhythm.  

Today the climber from Sevilla is now at base camp with her Sherpa, Pemba.  A total of eleven people share the climbing permit with four Spanish expeditions, as different from each other as the Catalans Xavi Arias and Xavi Aymar, of "Cordoba 2006" expedition, formed by Ricardo Guerrero "Coco" and Jose Baena with their Sherpas Nima and Shiri, and the Basque expedition called "Metro Bilbao" formed by "Juanrra" Madariaga, Jordi Estanyol and Sherpa Migma, who will attempt to summit with no oxygen.

Lina Quesada has still fifteen days to attempt the summit and plans to stay on the mountain until the next May 28.

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Earlier: LINA QUESADA ANNOUNCES OF IMPROVEMENTS IN THE RESTRICTIONS ON EVEREST
The climber from Sevilla has reached camp 2 and is physically and mentally fine
Sevilla, April 28, 2008
After spending two consecutive nights in Camp 2 on the South ridge of Everest, Lina Quesada, from Sevilla, in a note sent today Monday 26, comments about the possibility that from May 2 the Nepalese army will let climbers ascend freely on their way to the summit.
So far, the instructions the climbers had were not to climb beyond Camp 2 and not to climb at all from base camp between May 1 to 10.  If the new orders are confirmed, there would be new expectations about when to reach the summit of Everest, because as it is known, the glacier blocks begin to melt during the second half of May, which makes climbing impossible.  It has to be noted that the media has been announcing that the Olympic torch is already at base camp on the North Face of Everest, and will be ported by Chinese climbers from there.
"If all this is confirmed -said the climber from Sevilla- I will go back to camp 2 on May 4 to continue climbing to camp 3.  I have more illusions of reaching the summit each day, so I now have even more energy to attempt it than when I got here.  A hug for everybody".
 
Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Sevilla, April 23, 2008

"I am great", says Lina

In the message we got today, Lina says she has slept in Camp 1 and that day after tomorrow, April 25, she will sleep in Camp 2 (located at 6,500 meters).  So it looks like Lina's acclimatization is going great.

She reminds us again that "from the May 1st to the 10th they won't let us on the mountain", so she will go train on "other peaks".

According to Lina, it is snowing, but she is "great".

She sends kisses for everybody. 

April 22, 2008

News from April 22, at 15:24 h.

China stops the press from covering the departure of the torch to Everest with the excuse of bad weather

The authorities affirm that the cancellation of the trip has nothing to do with the unrest in Tibet.  The Chinese authorities have cancelled the access to the media to the departure of the Olympic Torch from Everest North Base Camp, from where the flame will climb the highest mountain of the world at the beginning of next month, with the excuse of bad weather.

The foreign media members who already had the permit to climb Everest received today, a day before their departure, the communication that the trip had been postponed and partially cancelled.

The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) justifies by saying that the bad weather over the Himalayas region, in Tibet, has forced them to postpone the trip until next Saturday.

But authorities also said that the media will not be at North Base Camp when the climbing team leaves with the torch for the summit.  "It has been cancelled for the Chinese media and the foreign media", said Shao Shiwei, vice president of the Communications Department at BOCOG.

Instead, the media could leave from Beijing at the same time the torch leaves Base Camp and go directly to Everest through the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, in a trip that will take them from 54 to 5,360 meters above sea level in three days.

"This is not because of Tibet…"

The speaker at BOCOG, Wang Hui, denied that the change of plans had nothing to do with the latest unrest in the Tibetan provinces.  "This is not the case.  This is not because of Tibet… we have done what we can to fix it all for you, this is because of unstable conditions in the weather", he said.

Shao noted that all these changes had the objective of keeping the media from having to stay for long periods at Base Camp before the attempt of summiting Everest, because he reminded that doctors warn against going to high altitudes in a hurry, so Wang explained it was "not possible" for the media to acclimatize in a few days in Lhasa.

Translated: This morning we had the "Puja", a blessing ceremony that is always done in the first days of an expedition, in which all the members participated.

The ritual starts by building an altar with stones.  Prayer flags are put on it with Buddha words, extending them from the center in a circular form and pointing to the cardinal points. 

All the instruments for climbing which we want to bless and use these days are put at the base: piolets, crampons, boots… offers for the gods: like rice, flour, cookies and they light packages of incense.  When everything is ready, the Lama begs and asks the gods to protect us and to offer safety and protection for all these days.

It is a very special day, everything.  The two of us have lived the ceremony several times, it still fills us with emotions.  We hope out prayers are heard and that they let us reach the summit.  If not so, we would be happy by going back home safe and sound.  In fact, to be able to be at the foot of a mountain like Everest is a gift we cannot pass by.

The plan for tomorrow Monday is to go back to Camp 1 and sleep.  If we spend a good night and the weather is good the intention is to climb to Camp 2 at 6,450 meters and go back down to Base Camp.

We will inform you as we go, if the military let us… thanks a lot for the many messages of support.

04/21/2008: Camp 1 (April 19)

We left from Base Camp to Camp 1 with a magnificent morning.  Crossing all the impressive Khumbu glacier has done us good.  It has a difference of altitude of 700 meters and it is already equipped with ropes and ladders, installed by the "Glacier Sherpa doctors".

When you see it from afar it gives you a special sensation, you drop your jaw and get interested by the dimensions and random forms it takes, a natural marvel.  But once you are inside this sea of ice, it makes you feel so insignificant and requires so much concentration, that the only thing you want to do is to finish as soon as possible to stop hearing the constant cracking of the ice and noting the constant movement of crevasses and seracs.  Very carefully, with speed and a relative safety, we had left it behind.

Just before going into the part known as the "Valley of Silence" and after shoveling snow, we could mount our tent in Camp 1, finally located at 6,000 meters, leaving the stakes, stoves, gas, food and clothes… what we had in our backpacks.  It took us four hours to climb to Camp 1.  Two more hours to install it and to rest.  We didn't want the night to fall on us, so we left C1 and in three hours we were back in Base Camp. 

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

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 conversations.
  • 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.

SECOND MESSAGE 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

Hello 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.

He didn't 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. 

The 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 back.

Everest is 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.

It looks 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. 

It was 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 mentally.

There are 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. 

Well friends, I will continue with my preparations of equipment and material and tomorrow I will inform you again on everything. 

Thanks a lot.

Regards, 

Lina 

Sponsors: Consejería de Turismo, Comercio y Deporte de la Junta de Andalucía y Diputación de Sevilla.

Collaborators: Federación Andaluza de Montañismo, Acron, Brokercharter telecomunicaciones, Tecno Piumini, ASM Sevilla, Gronell, Nutricare, Bollé, Isdin y Alúa. 

Javier Blázquez

Translated 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.
 
 
Javier Blaquez
Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

 

MOUNTAIN CLIMBER LINA QUESADA WILL BE THE FIRST ANDALUCIAN WOMAN TO ATTEMPT TO CLIMB EVEREST
The expedition is sponsored by Consejería de Turismo, Comercio y Deporte
 
Sevilla, April 2, 2008
 
Mountain 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 Quesada.
 
Besides 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".
 
The ascent 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".
 
Quesaada 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".
 
EXPEDITION PLAN
 
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.  Paperwork for the ascent permit. 
April 8: 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).
April 10: 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.
April 11: 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 spectacular.
April 12: 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).
April 13: Thyangboche – Pheriche.  Descent to Imja Khola river and route to the town of Pheriche (4,243 m.)
April 14: 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.
April 15: 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 climbers.
From Camp 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.
From Camp 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.
(The first attempt is planed for the 15 to 20 of May)
Climbing 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.
May 29: Base Camp – Thyangboche.  Descent to Thyangboche, rest in a lot less altitude.
May 30: Thyangboche – Phakding.  We will continue descending to Phakding.
May 31: Phakding – Lukla. Descent to Lukla.
June 1: Lukla – Katmandu.  Flight from Lukla to Katmandu and to the hotel.
June 2: Katmandu – Sevilla. Fight to 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 

Earlier: 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 Everest Expedition
DAY: Wednesday, April 2
Time: 10:30
Place: Salón Comisiones, Casa de la Provincia, Plaza del Triunfo, Sevilla

More soon on Lina Quesada

Everest from the South Side in Nepal

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Full size picture

Base Camp - 17,500 feet (5350 meters)

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). 

From base 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. 

The Icefall 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 - 5900 meters

After the 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.

The area 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 - 6500 meters

As the 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.

Camp IV, 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.

Summit - 29,028 feet (8848 meters)

Once the 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.  

As most 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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