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  Carlos Pauner Mt. Everest 2005: TIME IS RUNNING OUT


By Carlos Pauner

Time is running out.  The period of our life that we have dedicated here, at the bottom of the highest mountain of the world, is close to an end.  We have made a model expedition in logistics and tactics matters.  We arrived 6 weeks ago to this base camp, located at 5,400 m.  We installed camp 1 and the successive camps, during some 3 weeks.  We climbed up, came down, so that by May 15 we had been able to sleep at 7,100 m, finishing then the acclimatization phase.  We even went down to a nearby town, to disconnect ourselves, to heal the throats, to tune up for the final battle.  On the 21st we arrived to base camp again, with charged batteries, waiting for that definitive sign from the mountain to invite us to go up.  We are in the 24th and the forecasts are everyday worst than the previous.  Wind, wind and more wind in the heights.  By this face, nobody has been able to climb yet.  On the other one, some have climbed.  Over here, by the south, an international team attempted to do it a few days ago, using oxygen to the highest power, but not even that saved them from burning.  They came down beaten up, after having reached 8,400 m.  The deep snow and the wind paralyzed them in the early morning.  Without much information at hand, I think that this situation did not occur since more than 15 years ago.  We are going to stay here until the end of the season and for the moment there are no signs that nobody can get up there to the top.  Out of the three or four people that are here to climb without oxygen, some have gone away already.  I met one of them yesterday, the Swiss Kobi and he told me: "It's not going to happen this year, friend.  Too much wind, too much cold and only someone using 3 litters of oxygen per minute will climb.  I am going home..."  I didn't know what to say.  In my mind, I knew he was right.  For an attempt without oxygen you need good weather, or at least the usual weather of these dates.  Without such condition, one is dead up there.  This is the logic and of course is evident.  On the other hand, I feel forced to wait, in case a miracle happens and an acceptable window finally opens.  I know it is almost impossible and I can't stop thinking about the next expedition that I will have in a few days.  Maybe wear our even more here is not the best tactic.  I don't know, doubts, but I think I know deep inside the result of this expedition.  Nobody will climb without oxygen and if somebody does, a lot will come down with injured fingers.  It is also bad luck to get a year with this characteristics.  But it has to be accepted.  These mountains are difficult, a lot, and part of that difficulty is the adverse meteorology they have.  Sometimes they indulge the climbers and sometimes, like now, they hit us hard.  It doesn't matter, I think I will stay here until the 26th, when the weather forecasts will show the whole tendency to the end of the month, and I will take the decision.  If there is a possibility for success, I will attack with decision.  If there is not, I will pack up my things and go back.  In Dhaulagiri and Manaslu the climbers have gone away.  In Annapurna, the same thing.  Only here it looks like we can not accept that can happen what happened a lot of years ago.  I hope pessimism becomes hope, although to be sincere, I see it very difficult this time.  Hard lessons to learn on the Himalayas and only time will make us forget the wrath we can feel in these moments.  Time is running out this time, but of course, the mountain will remain here.  Carlos

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Dispatches

A cold weather, high altitude double boot for extreme conditions The Olympus Mons is the perfect choice for 8000-meter peaks. This super lightweight double boot has a PE thermal insulating inner boot that is coupled with a thermo-reflective outer boot with an integrated gaiter. We used a super insulating lightweight PE outsole to keep the weight down and the TPU midsole is excellent for crampon compatibility and stability on steep terrain. WEIGHT: 39.86 oz • 1130 g LAST: Olympus Mons CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted OUTER BOOT: Cordura® upper lined with dual-density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating closed cell foam and thermo-reflective aluminium facing/ Insulated removable footbed/ Vibram® rubber rand See more here.

 

Millet One Sport Everest Boot  has made some minor changes by adding more Kevlar. USES Expeditions / High altitude / Mountaineering in extremely cold conditions / Isothermal to -75°F Gore-Tex® Top dry / Evazote Reinforcements with aramid threads. Avg. Weight: 5 lbs 13 oz Sizes: 5 - 14 DESCRIPTION Boot with semi-rigid shell and built-in Gore-Tex® gaiter reinforced by aramid threads, and removable inner slipper Automatic crampon attachment Non-compressive fastening Double zip, so easier to put on Microcellular midsole to increase insulation Removable inner slipper in aluminized alveolate Fiberglass and carbon footbed Cordura + Evazote upper Elasticated collar.

Expedition footwear for mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold.  NOTE US SIZES LISTED. See more here.




 

 

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