Joao is best known as an Summiter of Everest without oxygen. He is a member of
Dan Mazur's Lhotse expedition this year (unguided of course).
April 16: We went to visit the
glacier, which is very well equipped with fixed lines in which we clip our
snap links as a safety measure in case we fall. And also with impressive
metal ladders, horizontal as well as vertical. Some are joined two, or even
seven times. We installed our tent, and anchored it well, because the place
is very windy. When we went back down we shot some pictures, video and
stills, because the weather has been varying. Tomorrow (today) we will stay
at base camp to rest. The ceremony of the Puja will be held, that ceremony to
bless the expedition. This date was chosen, not by us, but by a priest. The
Lama saw the Buddhist calendar and saw in the stars that it was the proper day
for the ceremony. We will get up early to be with the group and to document
this marvelous ceremony. And we also planned what we will do on the next
days: on Monday (tomorrow) we will go again to Camp 1, which is at 6,000 m.,
we spend the night there, unmount the tent and take it to camp 2, which I
think is 400 m. above and we come back; on Tuesday we advance to that camp,
because we don't have any porters, we don't have Sherpas, we will climb very
light and I don't want to leave one tent here and another tent there.
I am moving the tent because
I know that I take three hours to camp 1 and from camp 1 to camp 2 it will be
other three hours. I know that I can do a long distance in six consecutive
hours. And we continue our slow process of altitude acclimatization, I mean,
the process of getting our body used to the altitude, the lack of pressure. If
that process is accelerated we can have problems, like pulmonary edema which I
mentioned recently, or cerebral edema, which is more dangerous.
April 15: This morning we are
worried for a climber who is feeling very bad, and pulmonary edema is feared.
She was taken to the medical tent and was placed in a camel bag, an
inflatable bag that surrounds the body and simulates a descent of a thousand
meters, to improve her situation. She was kept under observation.
A date of a good night. We stayed at the base camp of a Korean
expedition and we had lunch with Mr. Park. He has climbed 14 peaks taller
that 8,000 m., and we spent most of the day and night with him, because the
infrastructure is way beyond imagination. The tent, huge, is a solid
construction, with an incredible interior. Sound system with sub-woofer
speakers, tables and chairs, reclined chairs. The climbers know well the
luxury which I am talking about. We had a good night.
April 13: We go a day ahead
of the rest of the group. A group of climbers and trekkers came, a group of
friends who want to spend two days at base camp and go back to their lives.
We helped mount the tents, dig the platforms, carry sacks and a lot of things.
We arrived to base camp. The first thing you see is the destroyed
Russian helicopter that crashed in 2003, which nobody moves from here - and
they make us put every waste in a barrel and take it out of here, but they
don't clean those old irons...
Our camp is the first and
everybody passes around here. They've told me in past years of equipment that
disappears, I am worried because when we are on the mountain, someone can come
to pick something during the night and nobody will care. There are a lot of
expeditions, with very modern stuff, also for those who pay a lot.
I found a guide of a New
Zealand expedition, who has been to Antarctica, whose clients pay 40 thousand
dollars. Now, who pays that has right for everything, a real first class.
Now we will dedicate our time to know the neighborhood, the next two or three
days we will stay here.
From where we stay we can see
the Khumbu glacier Icefall, and up ahead the west face of Lhotse, an immense
wall, which we will climb in some days, it is a nice view, it gives us
strength for the day on the summit, which is always a day of suffering. What
from here looks vertical is not more than 45 degrees.
Translated from Portuguese by
weather, high altitude double boot for extreme conditions The Olympus
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See more here.