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   Everest Summiter IVAN VALLEJO RICAURTE: Summit report re-cap Part 1


Update: TOWARDS THE SUMMIT OF NANGA PARBAT Part 1

To enter in a nylon tent of 1,80 by 1.0 m. hanging from the emptiness at 6,200 m and to live there for a few hours is for me one of the most demanding exercises of discipline, order, patience and will.  In that tiny space we have to rest, change clothes, dry them, make water, cook and sleep, when possible.  Seen with critical eyes, many would say that the hours spent this way are misery hours (there are times, luckily very few, when I am tempted to agree with them), but I try hard to believe, optimistically as always, that those hours are part of the best lessons that I get from this job of mine of climbing mountains.

While we heat the rice with veal stew, Fercho (Fernando González-Rubio, Colombian colleague) sings a la Carlos Vives and I join him.  We melt more snow, prepare more beverages, we hydrate and chat.  This thing of having kids and that they are an important part in our lives is a good common topic of conversation.  Wrapped along with the flag of Ecuador, which is almost identical to Fercho's, is the card that Kamilita made me to take to the summit.

We rest, we get quiet and in this silence each one unrolls his own thoughts: whishes, pending debts, debts to collect, promises to keep, letters to write, words to say, caresses to give, apologies to give ad also the book I will soon publish.

On Monday, July 18, the procession continues.  Now everybody together, more than 20 climbers ascend from C2 to C3, small like little ants but loaded at camels in the middle of a desert of snow and rocks.  Beautiful day, perfect snow, demanding but safe climb and above us still 1,500 m more of mountain: climb, grab the lines for safety, bless the luck I have, sweat a lot and think about the summit with the Kami's card and a pebble of this place for my son Andy.

We reached C3 in three and a half hours; the place is a luxury compared with the scarce balcony of C2.  There is enough room to walk safe, to place the tent without the anguish that those in it will roll down the slope.

Watching the possibilities of summit closer every time, the atmosphere in C3 is great: we laugh, we joke and even some, without having reached the summit yet, are already thinking of asking of a change of dates for their flights.  I keep cool, just in case.

On Tuesday, July 19, the caravan moves from the 6,700 m of C3 to the Bhazin basin at 7,250 m to locate C4.  Another picture day: intense blue sky, as if seen through a polarizer; the Hindukush mountain range in the front, completely clear and above us the summit, quiet, provoking.  

To climb above 7,000 m with an armoire as a backpack is very demanding, but I don't fight against that because I am in this game knowing the rules.  I think that it would be foolish and stubborn to go against it.  All these days in Base Camp, while the bad weather lasted, I didn't lose time. I always exercised, climbed and I even jogged 6 kilometers at 4,000 m, spending a day in the valley close to BC.  That time I used is paying off and I am happy.  I always leave last, because of the time to setup my backpack, and I am always among the first to arrive. 

After a long journey from 7,000 to 7,200 m, I end up in the immense valley of the Bhazin basin close to a trapezoid that is the final part of Nanga Parbat.  When I see it I stand very still admiring it and I start to talk with the summit which I can clearly distinguish 1,000 m above me.  I started these conversations during those days when I went jogging by the prairie and it was just Nanga and me alone.  He knows what I want, he knows what I am looking for, he knows where I go.

With a sun that crushes us from head to toes we arrive, sweating, at 7,250 m, to the place where we will locate C4.  After throwing my backpack to the ground I feel an enormous relief to get rid, after three days of suffering, of such overwhelming but necessary load.  

Tomorrow I will carry, finally, a light backpack to the summit.

IVAN VALLEJO RICAURTE

Expeditioneer

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Updates

 

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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