Base Camp in Nanga Parbat
Dear friends of Ecuador and
When I write this note is
10:20 in the evening of Friday, July 22, 2005. Just a little more than 24
hours ago I arrived again to the shelter and safety of my tent in BC after
reaching, thank GOD, the summit of Nanga Parbat.
I haven't had enough time to
understand and process all the feelings and lessons I had in these last five
days I needed to take off, climb, get to the highest point and then get back
alive to base camp. However, the luggage is ready to start the return march to
Islamabad. The 80 porters we need for all our stuff will arrive tomorrow at 8
in the morning and I have to say goodbye to Nanga Parbat.
The truth is, friends, if it
had been on me, I would have asked for one more day in this base camp to chat
with Nanga Parbat, to talk face to face, without it meaning that I had lost
respect for this beautiful mountain; I mean that dialog that can be held
between two friends that know each other, that accept each other, who love
each other, but above all, who grow together with what they have communicated
in the time of their friendship.
I will share later with more
details what have been my reflections and learning from the friendship with
Nanga Parbat, but I can advance that this mountain, with generosity, showed
the light and the path to cover each one of its spaces to place the camps;
then, with subtleness it let us know that we had to go back and wait, because
it wanted more time and space for itself; finally it winked an eye and said
that the moment to get to the highest point had come. On Wednesday morning we
reached the summit, it was still clear and beautiful on Thursday so that we
could climb safe down to BC and today, Friday, it waited for the two late
climbers to come down safe, although sick. Since then it became covered and
it started to rain down here and to snow in the altitudes.
Tell me if this is not
Tomorrow, Saturday, I am
going back to civilization where I take as a souvenir and gift, among other
things, the nobleness of this beautiful mountain which, right now, it is part
of the memories of glad things that life has given me with generosity.
With my big love I send a hug
from my last night in BC, at the bottom of Nanga Parbat.
IVAN VALLEJO RICAURTE
Translated from Spanish by
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