Home
   Today's News
   8000 Meters Facts
  
Banners Ads
   Bookstore
   Classified Ads
   Climb for Peace
  
Contact

   Downloads
  
Educational
  
Expeditions
  
Facts
  
Games
  
Gear
  
History
  
Interviews

   Mailing List
   Media

   Medical
  
News (current)
   News Archives
   Sat Phones
   Search
   Seven Summits
   Snowboard
   Speakers
   Students
   Readers Guide
   Risks

   Trip Reports
   Visitor Agreement

   Volunteer/help

 

    
  

 

  




  ANNAPURNA 2007: Everest and K2 Summiter: Ivan Vallejo Ricaurte Annapurna: The Summit Push is on


Two Update: WAY TO THE TOP: MONDAY 21 OF MAYO NOWADAYS MONDAY 21 OF MAY WE HAVE ARRIVED AT the C3. TOMORROW WE FOLLOWED the C4. THANKS TO GOD THE CLIMATE IS VERY GOOD. A WARM HUG FROM 6400 MS. This message is sent by Iván like text message from its satelite telephone

AFTER DARK RED, ON THE WAY TO THE SUMMIT 

Earlier Update

Annapurna Base Camp, Dear friends of Ecuador and the world.

Warm greetings with my best wishes for you.  Some days have gone by at BC without me writing a new chronicle.  As you can understand, the event of my two friends in Dhaulagiri has affected everybody in this expedition, just today I had the interest and spirit of taking a piece of paper and a pencil to write to you.

With this chronicle I share the news that we leave on Sunday, May 20, God willing, to the summit of Annapurna.  Although the days of Saturday and Sunday won’t be tht good, from Monday 21 the forecast is better to think about the summit.  For this reason, on Sunday we will get to C2, on Monday we will climb up to C3, on Tuesday we will look for a rout that take us to the location of C4, more or less at seven thousand meters of altitude, and on the morning of Wednesday we will leave to the summit of Annapurna.  God willing, on Thursday or Friday I will share with you our arrival to the highest point of the Goddess of Abundance.  I leave you with this chronicle in which I narrate my two thrilling days fixing lines up to the site of Camp 3.

Until then, a big hug; I am sure to count with your prayers and/or good vibes, so long.

RICARDO’S FAREWELL 

-          It is a very dangerous sport, isn’t it?

This question, which I get so often, after repeating again and again can turn into a common figure, as much as to them as to me, until one day as last Sunday, May 13, I find out about the death of my two good friends buried by an avalanche in Dhaularigi – a neighbor mountain to our Annapurna –.  With that I confirm that very dangerous is not a common figure, it is the pure and harsh reality, that the risk of dying, the sharp razor where we repeatedly move, is the other component that occupies the same space and value as that of the esthetics of the art of climbing mountains.

In the moment of the news, at two fifteen in the afternoon of Sunday the thirteen, I cried, I cried a lot for the loss, I cried because of their absence.  After the first hit came the whirling of phone calls to try to coordinate the possibility of rescuing their bodies, and finally… the hangover, the mix of pain, absence, emptiness and my own fear.

Ricardo Valencia had the kindness and generosity of passing by our Base Camp to say goodbye just before taking off. 

Curiously, at ten in the morning of Sunday thirteen, while we were chatting over breakfast in our mess tent, we suddenly remembered the dedication with which Riki fixed breakfast at base camps: fried fresh tomatoes with finely diced onions, garlic, salt and pepper, all this with your choice of eggs, toast and Spanish coffee.  Ricardo’s happiness was not in the pleasure of fixing the meal; it was in the fact of seeing how our faces glowed with this food at the beginning of the day, anywhere at the bottom of the Himalayas.  We were talking about these things, about these details from Ricardo in our mess tent just twenty five kilometers away, in a straight line, from the place where he was.  How curious, the avalanche happened between nine and nine thirty, and we talked about him between ten and noon. 

Dear Ricardo, thanks for your wonderful detail of coming to say goodbye at our Annapurna Base Camp. 

IS THIS MOUNTAIN GETTING LARGER?

The most complicated passage we have found on this route of ascent to Annapurna is already solved, it meant to be in Camp 2 waiting for good weather conditions for three days, and then to work hard for another two until we finally could get, fixing almost one thousand meters of rope, to the site of Camp 3 at 6,400m.

These two journeys have been unforgettable.  With an enormous and heavy backpack climbing little by little where we have already been before, pulling the lines to help us; on the parts of polished ice, breathing hard to gain vertical centimeters.  Then, virgin terrain, space to discover, new fear.  With such heavy weight it is impossible to climb opening the trail; I leave the backpack aside, and I go down deep in the anxiety of the apprehension, I sink in the fresh snow, with the climbing tools in my hands, the iron of my crampons in my feet and the impulse of my heart and lungs to elevate, to cross the bridge of the crevasse that I want not to break.  I climb.  But i climb so slowly?  Or is it that the mountain is getting larger every time?   I go back to see Fernando, he is safe with the rope fifty meters below and his figure is getting smaller.  Oh!  Then, yes.  I am climbing.

The hours fly because of our slowliness against gravity.  At four in the afternoon, we have to find a place to install the tents, but in all this trail over which we have been climbing on all fours since eight hours ago, where the heck can a tent be?

Fernando insists on looking for something fifty meters above me.  Nothing.

- Ferchoooooo, come down.  Just come down.  We have to go back to the crevasse, we have to install the tent there –. After so much effort there is nothing left for us to do but to walk back over where we walked.

Besides the crevasse, two little tents in the middle of an immense slope.

Beautiful sunset, the best light for pictures.

The sun is saying goodbye behind Dhaulagiri, it has just gone. – See you tomorrow, right?  I hope you come back nice in the morning – and then the cold.

Instant soup, instant rice, wheat cookies, milk and chocolate, piss and then hit the sack.                 

IF POSSIBLE, RICE AND CHICKEN STEW 

Those are the days when we dream about reaching the summit of an eight-thousand: blue sky, a little wind, just enough to make the flags wave and a little cold, just enough to make the snow hard.

It is true that breakfast heats the gut and sometimes the heart, but it is hard to get rid of numbness after a night at these altitudes.  Annapurna shines beautifully, showing its granite and its white with the indigo or this gigantic canvas.  While I tie the ropes of my harness I start to cough with a hint of vomit, I know how this story goes, it is my particular voice of fear and anxiety.  A little candy almond and that’s it, and to think that everything will go all right today.  Again with my house on my back, Fernando is behind me and then Andrew, I don’t know if walking or un-walking what we have already walked.  When I get to the last rendezvous point that Fernando set yesterday, I glance to see what is coming: a very steep corridor of ice first, and snow after.  Doing the math I think of the always present possibility of falling down, my mouth goes dry, my gut gurgles.  When Andrew arrives I tell him that I will open the trail but without my backpack, I know that with such weight things could get complicated.  I tie up the backpack to a safety pin, I give the end of my rope to Andrew, another candy almond and I take off.  I break the ice with the tools in my hands and the irons in my feet, two hits up and two hits down, while I climb I repeat in my mind: bistare, bistare (slowly in Nepalese), that’s how I should climb, slowly, with accuracy, with elegance, this is not a matter of strength, it is a matter of causing a slight wound to the ice, just enough to get support.  I said it before: these are wounds that save lives.  Caramba, what a coincidence, like those wounds that love leaves which also save lives.

I pass the ice part and I enter into very loose snow, I am surprised, it is just nine in the morning and this is very loose.  I notice a slate of ice where I think I can put a safety pin, I go there.  Sixty meters above Andrew and eighty above Fernando I put a screw and I breathe again.  I recover my backpack by pulling it, poor thing, all covered with ice and snow, it is damaged but I don’t see it, it has bruises but I don’t see them, it complains but I don’t listen to it.

I get ready for the next long stretch, the terrain doesn’t look good: a soup of snow above crystal ice and that would fall down in any moment.  Andrew states his fear and lack of trust, I tell him I want to try a little and I take off again.  Twenty meters above him and I can not do it anymore, I sink in a kind of loose flour which is avid of swallowing me to the waist.  I am sorry, I give up, this shitty snow keeps me from going and I fear that it will all fall down on me.

-I am sorry Fercho, I am not moving from here, I am very afraid of this snow-.

Fernando gets closer, he patiently prepares a new safety pin close to where I am and convinces me to keep going again.  I gladly accept but without  the backpack. 

Ahhhhh!, without weight and knowing that I have a new safety pin in case the mountain falls down on me, that’s another story.  The pleasure of climbing again, of gaining some meters to gravity, I don’t struggle with the loose snow anymore, now I talk to it, I tell it that for some hours, for some days I also want to be part of the scenery.  Not to damage it, no.  To the contrary, to honor it and to thank for these hours, for these days.  Then I will take my four tereques, I will pack up my fears, my doubts, my tears and my happiness and I will go back home to live with the memories, which at the end is the only thing I take.  Fernando arrives, hugs, celebration, we have solved the ice spur, almost one thousand meters of rope patiently woven from the foot of the wall up to these 6,400m.

It starts to snow strongly, we zip up our jackets and we start to climb down over those same ropes.  If possible I want rice and chicken stew today when I arrive to Base Camp.

Editor: Doris Arroba

Iván Vallejo Ricaurte

EXPEDITIONEER 

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

 
A cold weather, high altitude double boot for extreme conditions The Olympus Mons is the perfect choice for 8000-meter peaks. This super lightweight double boot has a PE thermal insulating inner boot that is coupled with a thermo-reflective outer boot with an integrated gaiter. We used a super insulating lightweight PE outsole to keep the weight down and the TPU midsole is excellent for crampon compatibility and stability on steep terrain. WEIGHT: 39.86 oz • 1130 g LAST: Olympus Mons CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted OUTER BOOT: Cordura® upper lined with dual-density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating closed cell foam and thermo-reflective aluminium facing/ Insulated removable footbed/ Vibram® rubber rand See more here.

 






 

   Ascenders

   Atlas snowshoes

   Atomic

   Big Agnes

   Black Diamond

   Brunton

   Carabiners

   Chaco

   Cloudveil

   Columbia
  
CMI

   Crampons

   Edelweiss ropes
  
Eureka Tents

   Exofficio

   FiveTen

   Featured

   FoxRiver

   Gregory

   Granite Gear

   Harnesses
  
Headlamps

   Hestra
  
Helmets

   Helly Hansen

   HighGear

   HornyToad
  
Ice Axes

   Julbo

   Kavu Eyewear

   Katadyn

   Kelty

   Kong

   Lekisport

   Life is Good

   Lowa

   Lowe Alpine

   Lowepro

   Millet

   Motorola

   Mountain Hardwear

   Mountainsmith

   MSR

   Nalgene

   New England Ropes

   Nikwax

   Omega

   Osprey

   Outdoor Research
  
Patagonia

   Pelican

   Petzl

   Prana

   Princeton Tec

   Primus

   Rope Bags

   Royal Robbins

   Salomon

   Scarpa

   Scott

   Seattle Sports

   Serius
  
Sleeping Bags

   Sterling Rope

   Stubai

   Suunto

   Tents

   Teva

   Thermarest

   Trango

   Tool Logic

   Trekking Poles
  
Yaktrax
  
and more here

 



Send email to     •   Copyright© 1998-2005 EverestNews.com
All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, Visitor Agreement, Legal Notes: Read it