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  Carlos Pauner Lhotse 2011: Hell at 7000 meters


Our intention of installing camp 3 at 7,100 m of altitude and spending the night there has become a reality.  From the comfort of camp 2 at 6,400 m of altitude, we arrived to the tiny location of our tents in a few hours.  For that, we climbed the part known as the Lhotse wall, a wall of ice of 50° of inclination that leads to a more flat terrain where we installed our tents.  It is a small balcony hanging in the giant wall of ice.  To our feet, the whole Valley of Silence and a nice sun that did not forecast the shaky night we had in store. 

Around 7 in the afternoon, already inside our sleeping bags, a terrible wind began to blow.  It was constant at the beginning, but little by little it transformed in violent gusts that made us fear of our own integrity.  The hurricane roared all night and we had to hold our tent all night, begging not to be suddenly swept from this slope.  Cold, snow in the interior and anguish for finding a moment of weakness from Eolo and be able to escape from this mouse hole. 

Finally, around 6 in the morning we decided to escape from this hell, rappelling the ice wall, shaken by the persistent wind.  Without a doubt, toward base camp, to rest and try to forget this bad night in high altitudes.  Luckily nothing happened, we stood up, although there are a lot of destroyed tents in camps 2 and 3.  The night took its toll. 

Now, relaxing at base camp, I try to recover under the warm sunshine.  I enjoy good food made by Juanito (of course), a have a nice cup of wine from my friends of Cariñena and taste a good coffee from home (thanks to my friends of Orús).  I dream that we will soon have that coveted window of good weather and that in a few days we could reach the 8,516 m of this great mountain called Lhotse.

Carlos Pauner 

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

 







 

 

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