It is good to be back in Brazil, to see my family and friends again
and to enjoy Murambi, taking advantage of the days of sun of winter to climb
through the exuberant Atlantic Forest.
Brazil is in fact a place blessed by God, and, compared to Pakistan,
where we were for two months, it is a real paradise. The only thing I miss
here is higher mountains, with a little snow there on the summit, but the
exuberance of life (biodiversity) in our Serra do Mar
compensates the lack of mountains.
I am also very happy to take again the fast rhythm of speeches, I
should have been back in Brazil by August 29, but I said I would be
back earlier, because I gave a speech in São Luiz do Maranhão (for
Cemar), one yesterday in São Paulo (for Roche) and this week I will be in
Goiânia (for Pioneer).
The speeches are important because they help to sponsor my
expeditions, thanks to those companies that hired me I could go to
Pakistan, and, since this second semester promises a lot of speeches, I am
almost guaranteeing my next dream: next year we will face one of the biggest
climbing challenges in the world, something that will give you the chills,
more exciting, you will be surprised!
Our trip back home was not easy, the bad weather that punished us on the
mountain with so much snow (that stopped us from reaching the 8,068m of Hidden
Peak), gave way to a lot of rain in lower altitudes and raised the Indo river,
provoking one of the worst floods in the history of Pakistan, affecting more
than twenty million people and provoking at least sixteen hundred deaths.
The access road to Skardu, which was really bad, had seven of its
bridges damaged by the waters of Indo and became completely unusable. The bad
weather was the reason of cancelled flights to Skardu, the city was isolated,
water and food were needed, and after we left the situation is even worst.
Escaping by air was the only hope to more than three hundred foreign tourists
and some other Pakistani families. A crowd gathered in the airport every day,
and after a lot of stress they went back to their hotel or home, disappointed
by the news that the only daily flight, that was coming from Islamabad, was
The Air Force was put in action, and with a lot of luck we could get
aboard a Hercules C-130, along with women, children and military
personnel. We witnessed a situation I had never seen, such was the
desperation of some to get into the plane: when they tried to close
the door we saw hits and kicks with the intention of getting in, a
real struggle, cries of sorrow. The crew said the situation was
critical, that nobody else could get in because we already had 20% of extra
Irivan and I, as usual, seem to be blessed by God; just before we got into the
plane, a guy in green overall, with a lot of embroidery sewn in his sleeves,
read our baggage tags recognizing the name “Curitiba”, and said: “my heart is
in that city”, meaning that his girlfriend was from Curitiba. What a lucky
girlfriend, or better, how lucky we were, because he was simply the pilot of
the plane. At that moment about two hundred military came to the back ramp of
the Hercules, trying to get in. The friendly Capitan Naveed invited us to get
inside by the front door, and there we went, we were frightened when we got
inside because the plane was already full, we squeezed into those people and
Naveed said: “hey, not there, come to the cabin”, and so we had a first class
flight, contemplating the mountains directly from the cabin.
Before returning to Brazil we stayed for a week in Italy, waiting for the
flight to Brazil, we met Abele Blanc and Marco Camadona, with whom I climbed
K2, and we did some small climbs, even to the Giant’s Tooth (4,013m) on Mont
Blanc. And when we were watching TV at the home of our friend Maria Rostagno,
in the BBC news program, who was on the show? Yes, Capitan Naveed talking
about the rescue of the population, victims from the Pakistan floods.
I send some pictures of our “getaway” from Skardu and the beautiful climb we
did on the Giant’s Tooth in Italy.
Translated from Portuguese by Jorge Rivera
Sport Everest Boot Expedition and mountaineering boot for high altitude
and extremely cold conditions. The Everest has conquered all 14
mountains over 8,000m and also the Seven Summits- and has now had a
makeover to ensure continued peak preformance. With a newer sung, Alpine
Fit, and even lighter
Expedition footwear for
mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold. NOTE US
See more here.