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  Carlos Pauner : MANASLU Autumn 2010: IN THE TRENCHES


IN THE TRENCHES

Carlos Pauner

After ten days at base camp and a timid incursion to camp 1, here we are still, in our little hole full of water, that feeds daily with
more liquid. The dark skies have not stopped dropping rain on us,
night and day. The protection that offer our tents has been getting
weaker little y little and humidity starts to take everything and
everyone.

We have the feeling of living in one of those trenches that were so
wonderfully described by Ernst Jüger during the First World War,
ducked in some miserable holes, keeping the position, waiting to be
able to get out in some moment to the front line, to the objectives.
In our case, with less misery and less violence, and we wait for this
sea of water to cease for once, we hope that snow stops falling in the high altitudes which has surely buried all our previous work and that we can continue progressing on our way to the top and above all, to abandon once and for all this humid and sickening tedium.

The lack of light also causes lack of energy for all our devices and
it has made us learn how to economize everything and only use what is strictly necessary. With every new morning we watch the sky with hope, but it is always the same, a gray metallic vision that explodes in the form of thick drops of water, expected and hated.

Days go by and we have adapted to this form of life a little miserable
and slowed down. We hope with our hearts that everything comes back to normal and nicer days come to us. For the moment the mountain is inaccessible, defended by its barrier of unstable snow and we can only wait. We are still sheltered in our trench, waiting for the moment to be able to cross the “enemy” lines and have our particular battle with the difficulties that, without doubt, we are going to find on this colossal mountain of the Himalayas.

Carlos Pauner

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

FEELINGS FROM MANASLU: Carlos Pauner

I am once again at the bottom of this fabulous and beautiful mountain of the Himalayas. Everything is very much alike, the same tents, the same landscapes, the same will to get to that far away point hanging in the sky. New teammates are with me in this occasion and I think we form a nice team, motivated and compact. We have just installed ourselves comfortably at these almost 5000 meters of altitude and we have built our little tents city that will be our refuge for a few weeks.

We have a lot of work ahead, well, everything’s ahead, but we know exactly what to do and how to do it. This is the little advantage of going back to the summit where I have been so close. I can’t avoid the memory of that day in April, last year, when just a few steps separated me from the end. However, far from being a burden, this memory makes me want to go up. I want to go back to see everything from that point and to enjoy a nice summit surrounded by good friends. I wish everything ends up nicely, that we live beautiful days on the Himalayas and that I can add that special number 10 to the Aragon mountain climbing. It has been a lot years of hard work to reach that point, but the truth is that I’ve had a lot of happiness and beautiful experiences very difficult to describe.

All this could not have been done without your help, and of all the people from Aragon, and the companies and institutions. Climbing these mountains is an enormous personal satisfaction, but when one represents a noble and brave people like ours, it is even greater. Aragon is a great territory, of fascinating landscapes and extraordinary people.

I can’t avoid the memory of our most emblematic character, José Antonio Labordeta and to congratulate him from this corner for that great award of the Great Cross of Alfonso X the Wise. We are proud of you, of your trajectory and your know-how. I feel lucky to have shared with you some coffees in our Levante, in our neighborhood and I hope to go back to Pilares and share this adventures of distinct kind with another coffee. Thanks for your example.

Carlos Pauner

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

FIRST ROUND: Carlos Pauner

The weather is bad, monsoonic. It rains, sometimes cats and dogs, sometimes a little less. We woke up wanting to go up to camp 1 and install it, but the rain sent us back to our sleeping bags. Two hours later it was clear and we decided to go up. We climbed over a stony terrain that leads to a glacier with deep crevasses although very open and clear. Little by little the weather is getting worse, as usual and fog start to fall down on us. A few hours later we got through that fog to this pinnacle at 5,700 m of altitude, where we install our first camp.

We go down quickly, under clouds and rain and we finally reach the tranquility of our base camp. We have made an important step in this uncertain weather. The forecasts point to a mixed weather for at least 4 days. Now is time to rest, to recover our bodies and to continue acclimatizing.

We have reached the initial mark of our route and our next thought is to install camp two above 6,500 m. A lot of work, but for the moment we have been able to take advantage a little pause in this foggy weather and advance on the first so important step. We will go back to our monotonous life in this little canvas city, with our comfort and our miseries. Moisture dampens us down to our bones and everything is wet.

We hope for the monsoon to pass and that we can soon continue with our progress on our way to the summit.

Carlos Pauner

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

CAMP I INSTALLED

Today Carlos Pauner said by phone that they have installed camp I at 5,700 m.

They left base camp at 09:00h and after four and a half hours of walking they installed they first stop on their ascent. They found a stony terrain until half the way and then snow.

After they finished their mission of mounting that camp they arrived to base around 16:30h. Now they will face several days of bad weather which they will use to hydrate and rest because their bodies are noting the high altitude and the start of the work on the mountain.

We will get graphic material of the climb this morning and more detailed information, because they are tired after the hard journey they had today.

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

 

 

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