51st day of the 10 Years of
Brazil on Everest Expedition
Base Camp (5,400 m)
Unhappily we are still in
base camp, because the weather forecasts still advice not to climb.
The wind, above 100 Km/h,
continues blowing hard in higher altitudes. Today, those Sherpas that tried
to go to camp 3 and 4, came back after the daybreak to camp 2, where they
didn't have much choice but to rest. Tomorrow the wind should begin to
diminish in intensity and the hope of the Sherpas, an all of us, is that the
can finally get to the South Col, the location of Camp 4, practically at 8
thousand meters of altitude.
Yesterday I had a big meeting
here in base camp, among the chiefs of the commercial expeditions (the bigger
ones, with greater number of members and Sherpas, and the best organized). The
main topic was how and when the route from the South Col (camp 4) to the
summit will be equipped, using oxygen bottles and fixing ropes on the hardest
part of the climb. A hard work, that leaves the trail open for the clients of
the commercial expeditions. Of course, the climbers of the non commercial
expeditions, like in our case, get benefits from this work.
Well, our hope is to make a
summit attack on the next few days, my dream was to get to the summit of
Everest on May 14, exactly like it was 10 years ago, independently from the
fact that there were fixed lines on the South Col route or not. But unhappily
the forecast is that right on the 14th there will be some storm or blizzard on
Everest. The situation should get worst around the 17th, and we still don't
know what could happen with the weather later.
This instability in the
weather is a danger for us climbers and also for Sherpas. The wind is
terrible, it makes the thermal sensation be lower and makes the risk of
frostbite greater. The snow can also betray, besides making progress more
difficult, it also raises the risk of avalanches.
The sad example is what
happened yesterday with Pema, the high altitude carrier of our Spanish friends
from Valencia that are also part of our expedition. The long exposition to
the wind, on the way to camp 4, made two of his fingers to suffer serious
frostbite. The extreme situation forced this trip to the South Col to be
interrupted, and the equipment the Sherpas were carrying, were left at 7,500m,
deposited close to the so called Yellow Band.
We stayed late at night
waiting for Pema here at base camp, but he didn't show until this morning,
around 09h00. We took him immediately to the medical post in base camp. Dr.
An who saw me weeks ago and recommended antibiotics to treat my throat, took
care of the Sherpa of the Spanish.
Pema continued then to the
hospital (which is one day from base by foot) of HRAN in Periche to be
treated, following recommendations from Dr. An, and also knowing that he could
not work again as a high altitude porter on Everest for the rest of the season
(coming back to Everest soon was his intention, he was not aware of the
gravity of his frostbite!!!). Pema is just 20 years old, he is married with a
son three months old, and was the first time he was working as a high altitude
porter on Everest.
Look at the picture of Pema
being attended by Dr. An Janssen here in base camp. Below, the sad situation
of his frozen fingers.
A big hug,
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