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  Mt. Everest 2005: Valencia: STILL IN BC

Photo Tom West © EverestNews.com

Update:  It is 17:15 in the afternoon, we are inside our tent in BC, checking the pictures of the day, waiting a new weather forecast and once more we have tried to rest after lunch.  It's not that we really need the nap, because our activity is not what you'd call frenzy... but it is a nice way to make time go by quick.  We could not sleep in the end, the attempt to watch a movie has left us wanting nothing... we could not watch nothing, of nothing.

As you can see we have not been able to climb to CII.  The weather forecast finally came at 9.00 in the evening, our time, it warned of the entry of a blizzard for days 14 and 15, and the forecast for the wind continued to be of strong winds, and up there is just what we don't want, so we have been left with no possible day for the summit... 

Well, I'll start from the beginning... 

It was 8:00 in the morning when we got up.  Yesterday afternoon's news from CII, from our Sherpas, were not good.  CIV could not be mounted, too much wind.  I think that now our Sherpas are thinking that we warned them, that we told them they should try to carry the materials the day before, and that the wind would come then and everything would be worse.  They preferred to wait one day, keeping their Sherpa style, but I think now that they realized that the weather forecasts should be read too.

The thing is that our Sirdar told us yesterday afternoon that Pema, the youngest Sherpa we have, had suffered frostbite in two of his fingers in the right hand.  We were waiting for him to arrive yesterday, coming down from CIII.  Finally he didn't come and he spent the night in CII, with the rest of the Sherpas.

When we were having breakfast, around 9:00 in the morning, we were still waiting for him to arrive, because we were afraid that this frostbite would be serious.  Around 9:30 the kid came, with a glove on, with his face battered by the sun, and with the expression of a child that doesn't know very well what is going on.  The truth is that I think that he is not conscious of what awaits for him, the recovery time and above all the real risk of the frostbite.  We all went into the kitchen, we removed the glove with expectation and the thing is worst than what we expected.  In the beginning we could only see the two big blisters in his 3rd and 4th fingers, but then we confirmed that necrosis also advances in the tip of those two fingers.  In the beginning, the boy, who by the way is 22 years old, is married and with a girl of three months, said that he would be back in the mountain in a couple of days.  It is his first expedition as a Sherpa, and I think that the inexperience made him say things like those, without knowing very well what he really has in his hand.

We left him surrounded by his peers and we have left the scene. We finished our breakfast and we went to look for him again in the kitchen, to make it clear that he didn't have to worry about nothing now, that his mission was to go down quick to the hospital in Kunde.  When we went to the kitchen he was not there anymore, we went up to the Iranian expedition.  We went up fast and we talked with the doctor of the Iranian expedition, he injected some medicines and made a letter to give to the doctor in the hospital that is located in BC.  I am not anyone to judge the Iranian doctor, but if you let me express my opinion, his manners didn't like me.  After all the responsibility of what happens to him is ours.  But, well, I suppose he did the best he could, and as a doctor, things I can not do.

We setup a backpack and without losing time we have left to the hospital that is located in BC.  The truth is that with everything that the Iranian doctor injected to him, the only thing left to do was to clean his hand and cover the blisters with gauze.  The doctor did that, to protect the blisters from possible infections in case they break. 

We explained to Pema, that he didn't have to worry about nothing, that we have paid his insurance and he would collect it fully.  And that he didn't have to worry about the cost of hospitals and medicines, that the insurance would take care of it.  We gave him some money so that he could go to the hospital in Kunde.

When he found out that in the time he will be recovering he would also be earning, he was amazed and while he hugged us, tears flowed. 

It is incredible to see how a kid of 22 years old, comes down from CIII, with his hand in that state and his worry is that he has left his job undone, his compromise with us.

Well, I suppose that in this kind of moments, in this kind of events, in which the mountain has been completely forgotten and what is left is a pure human relationship, we cannot transmit it to you, it's something that in each and every expedition takes us for what we are, people who love the mountain. 

Once Pema had left, life on BC has continued... 

We've been busy in diverse occupations... read, read, read...

Today's food was something special, we had "cous cous", I think this is the way it is written.  There is a restaurant by the Lirios clinic, which they say is good to eat "cous cous", but I haven't been able to confirm it... The thing is that the three of us liked it.  Talking about food, I tell you that breakfast was bad and a little grilled ham saved us again.

The morning brought another surprise, I almost forget... it was 8:30 in the morning when we hear the noise of a helicopter, and to our surprise it was flying over Nuptse, above 8,000 meters.  This is the helicopter we told you about in the other chronicle, it is making high altitude tests.  It has flown over Nuptse, around BC with no problems and disappeared by the end of the valley... once you have seen normal helicopters fly in these heights, looking at this almost touching the glacier ice easily is something worth seeing.

Today we communicated with the Sherpas in CII, and the wind is very strong, so today they couldn't get to CIV either.  Today we all wait for the good weather to come.  It is curious to see how life on BC can totally depend on an e-mail.  Imagine you get up everyday and the first thing is to get the mail, read the weather forecast, comment with your neighbors in order to plan the next days... well, that is our daily life now in BC.

Once more we thank all of you who make these expeditions possible, and of course we thank the deanship of UPV, everyone of the collaborators and even though you already know, we will repeat it again and again, to all of you who support us through the Web.  The truth is that we are waiting for the time to send the chronicle, to use the connection to read the guests book, is a support that is hard to explain, but that come to us every night right before we turn off our headlamps. 

Thanks and be sure that there will be more tomorrow... 

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera


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