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  Mt. Everest 2005: Valencia: It didn't happen


Update: Friday, June 3, 2005

It was 22:30 yesterday, Nepal time, when we decided to dress up for the final attack.  We slept just a little nap in CIV and after the battering of the ascent up to this camp we were ready to go to the summit.

The wind blew at some 40 Km/h but we had the confidence that it could diminish so we put our bet on it and we took off upwards.  We were several expeditions making the attempt, the American, the Brazilian and others.  Although we went up early, some climbers were way ahead of us.

We had trust, but at the same time we knew that if the wind didn't stop we wouldn't get to the summit.

The oxygen was another problem that worried us.  Out of all the English bottles we had, only 4 were working and it was not enough for the 3 of us.

20 minutes after getting out of the tent the wind got worse.  David was cold all over his body, but especially in his hands, and the little oxygen he had started to fail, it was not enough.  So David decided to turn around and go back to CIV.  He took the satellite phone with him, he had a long night ahead of him with radio contacts with Jorge and Haya and telephone contacts with the Expeadicts.

Before he turned back he left the bottles for his teammates and opened up Jorge's bottle who also started sense the failure of the bottle.

A little later Jorge realized that he couldn't climb with these bottles and the wind was worse for moments.  The blizzard came from the southeast and it hit our eyes so hard that we had to put on the sunglasses at night.  Jorge tried with another bottle but when he put on the regulator, the oxygen escaped without putting on the mask, another damaged one!  He decides to go down.  After a moment we started to see other expeditions turn around because of the cold and the strong blizzard that was worse in the altitude.

Now it was only Haya ascending with one of the Sherpas, Haya's oxygen also fails.  The Sherpa offers to change it and at the moment that he puts on the Sherpa's Russian bottle everything changes, it is easier to progress but now is the Sherpa who can't make a step with the English bottle.

The wind continues blowing with strength, so Haya facing the fact that he can't continue alone and the persistence of the wind, decides to turn around half an hour after saying goodbye to Jorge.  The Brazilians have left before and were way ahead.  When the oxygen failed they send a Sherpa to CIV to get more bottles and continued climbing.

They had reached 8,200m. approximately, under the Balcony.  It was their altitude record.

We met in Camp IV, the 3 of us, and we were really happy, because at least we had attempted an attack to the summit after almost a month waiting in BC.

We had done everything possible but the weather and luck were against us and they didn't want us up there.

This morning in CIV we got up without rush with the idea of greeting the Brazilians before going down to CII.  David had gone down a little before and Haya and Jorge had not left by 12:30.

We loaded up out Sherpa Lakpa in an indecent way, he had an incredible backpack, but he didn't say anything when he saw how tired we were.  After a little stop in CIII to rest and recover we continued down to CII. 

We reached CII tired and we contacted the Brazilians.

They reached the summit!!!! and they have just got to CIV at 19:30 since 22h of yesterday, they are really beaten, but sheltered in CIV, tomorrow they will go down to CII.

We are tired but happy in camp II making water and getting ready to have dinner, sleep and go down to BC tomorrow.

Today in BC, a Russian helicopter crashed, but luckily there were no victims, but the alternative of going back in helicopter has been discarded.  Tomorrow or day after tomorrow we will go from BC to Lukla where we will catch a little plane to Katmandu.

We are happy for the expedition, but above all for all those people that had been supporting us from the beginning, making us strong to try something with dignity for them, despite the circumstances.

Thanks a lot, Expeadicts.

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Dispatches

 

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