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  Mt. Everest 2005: Waldemar Niclevicz: We have good reasons not to be in a hurry and Maoist guerrillas


Photo © Waldemar Niclevicz

 

04/22/2005

32nd day of the 10 Years of Brazil on Everest Expedition

Base Camp (5,400 m)

Days of rest.

Dear Friends!

This is our 5th days of rest after our first attack on Everest, we wanted to climb again today, but we have good reasons not to be in a hurry.

The first, the most important of them, is my health.  Unhappily I got a great infection in my mouth and throat, I am taking antibiotics to deal with the problem.  Today, the fifth day of the treatment, my throat is better, but my doctor from Brazil made me swear I would rest for seven days.

The second reason for not being in a hurry, is that the weather is unstable.   I snowed during the last three days, more each day.  Yesterday it actually snowed the whole day, something around 5 cm here in base.  Today we had a sunny morning, but now, at noon, the clouds are coming from the bottom of the valley, covering everything.  Pumori (7,165 m), which rises to the west of our camp, is already covered by the clouds, but the massif trio of Everest/Lhotse/Nuptse, which rise to the south, and where our climbing route goes, is under a blue sky.  All this environment can be taken by the clouds in a matter of minutes, and the glad sensation of warmness that we are having, with the +7șC and 18% of relative humidity here at base (please note, these conditions are really comfortable), could become really disgusting, the sun just has to hide completely and the sensation of the temperature drops about 10 degrees, and with the snow, the humidity triples easily (nothing worst than humid cold).

In the middle of all this weather confusion, the forecasts say that this will last until Sunday, our body will suffer the consequences, respiratory problems, as mine, are the most common.  Then other problems related to dry thin air come, headache, dehydration, general bad feeling, which is the famous mountain sickness, but not Irivan or me are having that sickness, which means that we are well acclimatized, because our preparation phase has been a success, with the ascent of Mera Peak (6,476 m).

What should we do in the meantime?  Patience, my friends.  Since me and Irivan don't like the aspect of the Icefall at all, we don't want to pass there a lot of times.  We decided we will do two more climbs on Everest, when the weather is good.  On our next climb we want to install and spend one night in camp 3 (7,300 m).  Then we go back to base to rest a few days.  And, finally, if we are ok, when the weather gives us a chance, we will climb again with the hope to realize our final attack, which means, to reach the 8,848 m. of altitude of Everest.

Simple plan?  Not really, we know that.  Here everything can get complicated from one hour to the next, we are always depending on a truce from one of the most savage and hostile parts of nature.  We immensely respect that nature, this gigantic mountain that fascinates us and we know that without her consent we will never make our dream come true, to reach to its highest altitudes.

Well, I finish here, in 29 minutes the clouds will cover Nuptse and the West Ridge of Everest, the temperature rose a degree and the humidity jumped to 49%, it will take some other 29 minutes more to begin snowing.

In the picture, the typical atmosphere of base camp in the last days, snow and cold.

I wish a weekend without snow and warmer for everybody, hugs, 

Waldemar Niclevicz

Translated from Portuguese by Jorge Rivera

A story from their trek in: Something curious happened to us during our trek towards Mera Peak. We were met by Maoist guerrillas, the meeting was peaceful, they wrote down our names and the name of each of our porters and demanded a "donation" from me and from Irivan of 6 thousand rupees and 100 rupees for each of the porters.  It totals around 100 dollars.  The Maoists even extended a receipt that proves our "donation" to be presented to other groups we might find, which is very likely.  We saw the symbol of the sickle and hammer painted on stones and some plates where "Nepal communist party, Maoists" could be read.

Translated from Portuguese by Jorge Rivera

 

Dispatches

 

 

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