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   Nanga Parbat 2005: Everest Summiter IVAN VALLEJO RICAURTE: FROM NANGA PARBAT BASE CAMP


Update: Saturday, June 18, 2005

In our last journey in our approach march, we left from the camp besides the woods at 7 in the morning and in just two hours we reached Base Camp.  The green and precious prairie that I've been told so many times before, even with marmots, doesn't exist at all. Everything is covered by snow at just 4,100 m of altitude.  Could it be the same darn weather that went with us to Nepal a few weeks ago, that wants to mess up things around here too, in the Karakorum?  God forbids!

 

Several groups of colored tents are scattered over the wide blanket of snow and by the shadow of the rocky wall.  In the background there is the huge wall of the Diamir ridge of Nanga Parbat, and there are the superb 4,000 meters of wall curiously spread like a flying bat; the head is made by the main summit at 8,125 m, the right wing, by the Mazeno Peak at 7,120 m and the left wing by the Ganalo Peak of 6,606 m.  Because the flat over which BC is located is so wide, the available space is no problem, but it is to find a dry place free of snow or mud to place our camp.  On the left edge of the pampas (looking towards Nanga Parbat) next to the glacier nearby, there is a strip of terrain more or less free of snow; we chose this place to install our camp.

 

We first put our gigantic mess tent that can easily shelter some 20 people (a luxury for us, if you consider that we are only seven members in the expedition).  To build such a building made of canvas and rods we must all work hard: the members of the expedition and the Pakistanis.  Finally the big dome is ready and then we take care of the warehouse tent, the kitchen tent and later we look for a place for our personal tents.

 

Each one of us works hard to choose the best place and then to take care of the floor down to the last detail, considering that we will live in this place for at least a month.

 

In the middle of the snow, among puddles of water and a lot of muddle, looking to Nanga Parbat, there they are, our tents of our Base Camp.  We are a total of seven: Edurne Pasaban, Esther Sabadel, Mariane Chaupisat, Josu Bereziartua and yours truly, in the group of climbers.  Sebastián Álvaro, the director of the Spanish TVE's TV show "Al filo de lo Imposible" and Fernando Pérez, journalist of the daily El Correo, from the Basque country.  Also with us are Hassan, as high altitude carrier, Fida and Ibrahim as kitchen chief and aid, respectively, all of them masters of their domain.

 

From Base Camp in Nanga Parbat, starting a new challenge, I send you a big hug.

 

With my love,

 

IVAN VALLEJO RICAURTE

Expeditioneer

 

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Updates

 

 

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