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  Mt. Everest 2005: Everest and K2 Summiter Waldemar Niclevicz First charge on Everest is beyond expectations!


Photo © Waldemar Niclevicz

 

04/17/2005

27th day of the 10 Years of Brazil on Everest Expedition

Camp 2 (6,400 m) / Base Camp (5,400 m)

First charge on Everest is beyond expectations!

 

Dear Friends:!

 

Irivan and I came back to base camp after 4 days of intense activity on Everest, on our first charge we went farther than what we imagined, getting up to 6,700 m. of altitude.

 

Our objective was to mount camp 1 at 6,100 m., which we did without problems, then we wanted to go up to the location of camp 2 to then spend one more night in camp 1 and go back to base camp.  But, taking advantage of our good acclimatization, we installed our camp 2 at 6,400 m., and on the next day we even did a trail recognition in the direction of the summit getting up to 6,700 m., a part of the climb that has not been covered by any climber this year.

 

The first impressions were the best possible, the mountain has little snow, which means the progress is fast and safe, on hard snow and with little risk of avalanches.

 

The Icefall, as always, is scary, with blocks of ice randomly spread everywhere.  This is the passage between base camp and camp 1, where every precaution is little.

 

What got us hard was the wind, strong and freezing.  During our night on camp 1 we could hardly sleep because the wind gust seemed to drag the tent.

 

But the two nights we spent in camp 2 were calmer, but cold, with a minimum of -17º C.  Although our tent was installed in a relatively sheltered place, the wind blew non-stop on the high part of Everest.  Our camp 2 was installed at 6,400 m. of altitude, a little below of where it usually is mounted at 6,500 m., but the place was "reserved" for commercial expeditions.

 

Regarding these "commercial expeditions", we left them very impressed with our real start of the ascent of Everest.  When we got here to base camp we were surprised with so many expeditions of this kind (where you pay to participate), really most of them.  We thought that the work on the mountain had progressed, with climbers going up and down every day.  But the truth is that the "clients" have down little or almost nothing so far.  We found just a few tents on camp 2, and even less (maybe 6) on camp 2.  Who we saw going up or down everyday on the Icefall here from base, were the high altitude porters (Sherpas), at least 100 per day, maybe even 150.  They climb loaded with equipment, they go up to the location of camp 2, which is circled by ropes which delimit spaces, they stack the equipment and go back down fast to base.

 

We are really surprised, we rarely see a "climber" in the superior altitudes and we did not imagine that we have been the first of the season to sleep in camp 1 and 2, and without a doubt, the first to explore the terrain above camp 2, where we didn't pass 6,700 m. because we were not conveniently equipped for that.  We are feeling good with the thin air, and the days we have spent at base camp have had a really good weather, and logically we cannot understand how many people that came before us have not left base camp.

 

 

Well, we have a lot of time in front of us, the season has just started but there is always the doubt if the weather is going to be good now, if it is going to stay this way until the middle of May, when most people want to attack the summit.  Irivan and I want to be ready as soon as possible and take the first opportunity. 

 

Look at the picture of the crevasse, Irivan crossing one of the countless improvised bridges with aluminum ladders over crevasses in the Icefall, the only way to pass so many obstacles, because the crevassed in this part of the ascent look infinite. 

 

Below you can get an idea of the Icefall, a real chaos of ice blocks that can tumble any minute, then Irivan and I in two more vertical parts and beside our white tent in camp 2 (6,400 m), and in the background confused with the blue sky, the highest point of Everest (8,848 m.)

 

A big hug,

 

Waldermar Niclevicz

 

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

 

Dispatches

 

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




 

 

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