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  PAULINO PLATA WISHED LUCK AND SUCCESS TO THE CLIMBERS HUISA AND LOPEZ WHO FACE THEIR CHALLENGE OF CONQUERING THE ROOF OF NORTH AMERICA


 

McKinley in Alaska, the first episode of the Andalucia America 2005 Expedition

The Council chairman of Tourism, Commerce and Sports, Paulino Plata wished luck and success to the Sevillan climbers Juan Antonio Huisa and Pedro Lopez, from C. D. Siete Cumbres (Seven Summits Sports Club), who face their next challenge, conquering the roof of the North American continent, the summit of McKinley in Alaska where they will go next Tuesday, May 24 and where they will stay for a month.

The Council chairman said in the presentation event, before the departure of the climbers, that "luck is a key factor in this kind of activity, as well as the weather.  Consejería will continue supporting the project and contributing with economic resources as it has done in these last three years.  Without doubt, expeditions and projects like this value the effort of the climber and promote mountain climbing in Andalucia.  I sincerely wish that you come back with success".

Juan Antonio Huisa gave importance to "the support of the media, because of the important impact that contributes to the support of the sponsors.  The project has surpassed the borders of Andalucia and even the Royal House knows about the project and H. M. The King could meet us.  We have received several awards and we can't believe it but it makes it worth all the work we are doing and the effort of taking the Andalucian flag to the highest summits of all the continents".

Pedro Lopez said that they have done "a good activity of acclimatization and training based on gym work, bicycle and jogging because one has to face the mountain with a good physical preparation.  It is a very technique mountain, with a lot of altitude to cover and with Artic weather conditions.  We face a fight against vertical walls and blue sky and a challenge that always has a possibility of failure, that we hope doesn't happen in this case".

Consejería de Turismo, Comercio y Deporte sponsors, througe EDPDASA, the Andalucia America 2005 Expedition, whose objective is the McKinley in Alaska and Aconcagua in Argentina, in the Seven Summits project that has also had the support of Consejería in previous expeditions.  The Expedition also has the sponsorship of the Municipal Agencies of the City of Sevilla, RTVA and Merkamueble.

Mount McKinley or Denali is one of the most impressive mountains of the world.  Rising like a frozen tower of 6,194 m. above sea level, it is a great Alpine massif, called Denalli by the natives.  It gathers hundreds of climbers each year, aspiring to reach the summit of North America, but it is not a mountain that can be reached by anyone: its logistics, one of the coldest weathers in the world and the highest altitude to cover in the Earth (more than 4,000 m) make it in a very serious mountain.  The Expedition will develop during the months of May-June, with the following itinerary, dates and trips:

May 24-25: Departure from Sevilla to Madrid and boarding to Anchorage, the biggest city in Alaska.  The itinerary will be Sevilla - Madrid - Chicago - Seattle - Anchorage.

May 26-29: Last preparations, provision stocking, permits, authorizations and bureaucratic paperwork.  Departure by vehicle to Talkeetna, a town 200 Km. to the north of Anchorage and entrance gate to McKinley.  From Talkeena, flight to the base of Mount McKinley in the Denali National Park.  Trip to base camp located at an altitude of 1,700 meters.

May 29 - June 15: Summit attempt.  The selected route of the ascent is the West Buttress.  Camp I at an altitude of 2,300 m. and some 10 Kms. away, carrying all the needed material in sledges and snow racquets.  Trip to camp II at 3,500 m., this is a hardest camp, because inclination is steeper.  The weather is a hard matter to face, because the temperature oscillates between 25ºC and -40ºC.

Camp III is at 3,600 m.  From here the ascent is very hard and the path that takes to camp IV at 4,350 m. has a steeper inclination and a crevasse zone.  From camp III the ascent continues with backpacks on our backs.  Passing 4,000 m. 'Windy corner' is reached, with big nude rocks where snow is swept by the gusts of wind.  The next objective is camp V at 5,000 meters.  A great frozen wall known as the Great Wall or Head Wall, leads to camp V.  After a very technical climb in which there are parts of 85% of inclination and a very hard blue ice, over which great care has to be taken.

Camp IV is usually the last camp and is at 5,250 m. in a very aerial zone with ridges exposed to precipices; the cold and strong wind weakens the strength and resistance of any climber.  The ascent turns very hard because of the accumulated exhaustion of the previous days and progress is slow until they reach a Col called Denali Pass at 5,670 m., from where the coveted summit is seen.  Again inclination increases until a ramp of 800 m. is reached, that leads to the final ridge, the most exposed of all, after along corridor there is an ice protuberance, the roof of North America, the McKinley, 6,194 m.  After reaching the summit, a hard descent of several days follows.

June 16-23: Several days have to be reserved in case the weather is not good; and after a flight that takes us out of the mountain, we return to Talkeetna to rest, and then back again to Anchorage and Spain, via Anchorage - Dallas - New York - Madrid - Sevilla.

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

 

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