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  Mt. Everest 2005: Waldemar Niclevicz: 1st summit attempt aborted


Photo Waldemar Niclevicz

 

05/20/2005

60th day of the 10 Years of Brazil on Everest Expedition

Camp 3 (7,300m) / Base Camp (5,400m)

Dear Friends!

After a night of bad sleep in our camp 3 (7,300m), because of the thin air and a lot of anxiety (with temperatures of -22C), Irivan and I decided to descend to base camp, aborting our 1st attempt to make our final attack.

It was very difficult to make this decision of quitting the climb of Everest, but we think it was necessary, because our climb to the summit would be a great risk with no certainty.  And, in case we would not reach the 8,848m of altitude, we probably would not have conditions for a new attempt, such would be our physical deterioration.

Our strategy was very clear, for me and for Irivan: with the delay of the "window" promised by the monsoon, and with the indication that a diminution of the winds by the weather forecasts, it looked like we had conditions to reach the top of Everest on the next early morning.  But, unhappily, the forecast change everyday, and in this next early morning the cold could be of -38C on the top of Everest, with winds of 30 to 50 Km/h, and relative humidity, beginning from 7,300m of altitude, of 100%, which means that tomorrow it will certainly snow on the top of Everest and visibility will be minimal.

But, as I have just said, forecasts change, and, betting on that, today a lot of people (maybe 40) will climb from camp 3 (7,300m) to camp 4 (8,000m), with the expectative of starting later in the night the final climb of Everest.  I think that at least ten people would get to the top of Everest this Saturday morning, probably the stronger Sherpas, along with their stronger clients.

Certainly, some of the climbers I saw passing by our camp 3 this morning (they are walking a lot using oxygen bottles), won't have a chance to get to the top of Everest, they will only suffer the cold and great risks of frostbite, and probable will be surprised by the fog in the middle of the climb.

Well, I was talking that our strategy to climb Everest was very clear, so Irivan and I are not sad for aborting our first attempt of the final attack.  We think that we still are going to climb Everest this season, with certainty and contemplating a beautiful view of the highest point of the world.

Our hope is that now the "windows" of good weather comes before the arrival of the summer monsoons (humid winds that blow from south to north, causing a lot of storms).  The summer monsoon usually starts in the middle of May, but this year is much delayed, that is why nobody has climbed Everest yet.  When the summer monsoon starts, it brings in its front a great mass of high pressure, that mass propagates towards Everest, making the "jet stream" disappear (the strong winds in high altitudes) guaranteeing practically 4 to 5 days of good weather, without wind or humidity, in other words, the so called "window", a natural phenomena that happens every year on Everest.

We were paying attention to the news of the arrival of the monsoon, and nothing.  But today, finally, the news came that the monsoon is taking form on the Indic Ocean, to the south of India, and then it will move to the north.

I would also like to say, that Irivan and I are very healthy and, despite being on a trip for two months, full of melancholy for the people we love, our hope of finishing the ascent of Everest with success is great.

The top picture shows the superior pyramid of Everest as seen from our tent in camp 3, being hit by very strong winds, around 10 hours this morning.  In the bottom, some tents of camp 3 and two climbers that began climbing to camp 4 but decided to turn around. 

A big hug,

Waldemar and Irivan

Translated from Portuguese by Jorge Rivera

Dispatches

 

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