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  Carlos Pauner Lhotse 2011: CHRONICLE FROM THE HIMALAYAS: ON TOP OF THE 4TH HIGHEST MOUNTAIN OF THE PLANET

The 21st was our date, so we climbed up to the 8,516m of altitude of Lhotse, around 1 in the afternoon.  The spectacle couldn’t be more impressive: Everest, Nuptse and hundreds more of enormous mountains from our privileged balcony. Javier was finally by my side on a great summit and we certainly couldn’t ask for more.  Joining us were all our teammates, Juanjo Garra, Carlos Soria, Juanito Oiarzabal and Lolo González.

A great summit without a doubt and a great effort, especially for those of us who climbed without artificial oxygen (everyone except Javier Pérez and Carlos Soria who used it on the way up and in the descent).  After these beautiful moments, a difficult descent to camp four.  We all arrived almost at the same time, except Lolo who was delayed.  We got there tired, but as we could expect for a mountain like this.  On the following morning, with no news from Lolo and struggling to safe our lives, we continued the descent to camp 2.


Very exhausted, but very careful, trying not to make any errors in
this dangerous descent.  When we arrived to camp 2, Russell Brice’s
team informs us that they found Lolo above the Turtle (7,950m) and
that Damian Benegas, Matoko and 2 Sherpas from Russell’s team are
carrying him down.  We couldn’t be happier, in a short time all our
team will be together in camp 2. I have to thank Patagonian Brothers and Russell for the huge effort of saving the life of our teammate and for bringing down two other Spanish climbers of another group who also had problems.


We slept in camp 2 and on the next morning, after a helicopter took
Lolo, we continued our descent to base camp.  Close to base camp,
Juanito collapses and Javier gives his oxygen for his recovery.
Finally we are all at base, exhausted but safe.  The doctors Carlos
Martinez, Monicoa Piris and Pablo Diaz are taking care of us at base
camp, daily.  Their care has been great and their help is fundamental
for us.  They check us and care for us during the night.  We are
exhausted, dehydrated but out of danger.


It has been a chaos, many comments from people who were not here, but the truth is that I could climb Lhotse without artificial oxygen in the ascent or the descent.  The only one who suffered an accident in our team, Lolo, is alive because the efforts of many people and Juanito has suffered a little also at the end.  I have to deny the unfunded comments of the use of oxygen (by people who were not even at base camp), except for the cases of other people which I have mentioned before.  I have to thank again to all who have really and truly helped us in this great expedition and to all my teammates.

Carlos Pauner
Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

 

Earlier:

It has been confirmed that Lolo González has been rescued by
helicopter from camp II to Katmandu. The rest of the climbers are descending by their own to base camp. At 13:30h we have not received the call from Carlos to confirm that he has arrived, but it is not important because we don’t know the departure hour from camp II; anyway we suppose that they are descending slowly.


TO THE MEDIA:

We beg and thank the media not to call the satellite phone of the
climber because it has to be free for the things we need to manage
now.  When they get to camp and inform us about the situation, we will inform on how to make the interviews.  Thanks for your cooperation.
Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

 

 
LOLO evacuted from camp 4 by helicopter this morning

21:00H LOLO IS IN CAMP II


We got a call from base camp in Lhotse to inform that Lolo González has arrived to camp II in better shape than what was expected. He is with all his teammates.

Tomorrow by the morning, if the weather permits, he will be evacuated from camp II in Lhotse to Katmandu, the capital of Nepal.

Now, all the members of the expedition are in camp II. They will spend the night there under medical control. If everything continues the same, we won’t have news from the group until tomorrow morning.

17:30H CALL FROM CARLOS PAUNER


Carlos Pauner called ten minutes ago to communicate with a weak voice that he reached camp II with the help of Oiarzábal and Pérez. He wanted to transmit some calm about his health.

Although the quality of the communication was not good, he said that he is better than in the previous hours, he is extremely tired and the doctors have taken good care of him. “I am really exhausted, now I only want to rest”, said Pauner.

At first he commented about the possibility of going down by his own feet to base camp tomorrow, but they will have to see if this is possible or not with the rest of the team and even with the doctors.

The climbers of the expedition led by Pauner will spend the night in camp II. If everything goes well, we won’t have more news from him today.

We are still following the situation of his teammate Lolo González who is being carried down in a gurney to camp II. If the weather permits, they will try to evacuate him from Lhotse tomorrow.

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera


16:10H NERIN CONFIRMS THE HEALTH STATUS OF PAUNER

Through a text message that we have just received from Doctor María Antonia Nerín, she confirms that “it looks like they arrived fine”. It looks like the doctor’s instructions of using oxygen and the loss of altitude helped the man from Aragón to get to camp II in better shape than expected.


15:47H PAUNER, PÉREZ AND OIARZÁBAL “PRETTY GOOD” IN CAMP II

According to direct information from Doctor Nerín, which we thank, she says that Juanjo Garra has reached camp II an hour and a half ago, where he met Miguel Ángel Pérez, Carlos Soria and Jorge Salazar.

About Lolo, Nerín said that he continues being carried down to II and it look like there are no fractures in his legs. The doctor said she needs to examine the climber for a final diagnose.


About Pauner, the news we are getting are hopeful. Pauner, Pérez and Oiarzábal have reached camp II about half an hour ago; they took more time than expected because they stopped in camp III to sleep a little and to rest. Dr. Nerín is optimistic with respect of the health of Pauner.


Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

15:21H PAUNER’S CURRENT SITUATION

Juanjo Garra is in camp II.

Pauner, Pérez and Oiarzábal have not reached camp II, so they should be still descending; in base camp there is an expedition that thinks they are close to reach 6,400 meters in camp II.

We will continue posting as news arrive.

14:23H THE EVACUATION OF LOLO GONZÁLEZ TO CAMP II HAS STARTED.

We could learn that the man from Málaga is being carried down to camp II. We have been informed that they are below the yellow stripes, around 7,500m, thanks to the work of Shepas from Himex and Damián Benegas and Matoco.

We will continue following the situation of the climbers on Lhotse.

SITUATION ON LHOTSE AT 13:22H

Carlos Pauner, Javier Pérez, Juanjo Garra, Juanito Oiarzabal and Carlos Soria are in camp II. Lolo González is in camp IV.

The expedition led by Carlos Pauner, which includes Javier Pérez, Juanjo Garra, Juanito Oiarzabal, Carlos Soria and Lolo González has had serious problems during the descent after crowning the summit of Lhotse yesterday. The situation was as follows: Carlos Pauner reaches the summit with Javier Pérez, Juanito Oiarzabal and Juanjo Garra around 10:00 (Spain time and 13:45 local time); Carlos Soria had done it a few hours earlier and after the summit he goes down without problems to camp IV along with his Sherpa, in good shape.

The group that reached the summit at 10:00h slowly descends without problems to camp IV. The first to reach the camp around 15:00 (Spain time) is Oiarzabal, followed by Javier Pérez, Juajo Garra and Carlos Pauner who appears to arrive with symptoms of severe brain swelling (according to Dr. Nerín’s diagnose). According to the information we have so far, it looks like Pauner spends the night with oxygen and gets medical instructions from base camp.

Meanwhile, Lolo González got lost in the descent after reaching the summit at 13:45 (Spain time). He was found today and was rescued thanks to the solidarity of diverse climbers that made a huge effort to bring him down from 7,950m to camp IV, where they are waiting for his evacuation.

Very early today, Carlos Pauner, Javier Pérez, Juanjo Garra and Carlos Soria have started the descent from camp IV to II. It was a very slow descent and it looks that they are in camp II by now (although we have no official confirmation). According to information we got from Dr. Nerín, all except Carlos, the other three climbers and in good health shape. The information we are getting is from Dr. Nerín and from other expeditions in base camp, which we thank for their work.


From Carlos Pauner’s website we thank the patience and prudence of the media about this situation. In the same way, we beg not to call to the satellite phones of any of them because it is absolutely necessary to have fluent conversations between them and to save the battery.

We will continue posting as we get more information.

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

PAUNER AND HIS TEAMMATES REST IN CAMP IV

The climber in Pauner’s expedition have reached camp IV after six hours of hard descent. His voice shows the effort they are making to descend from Lhotse, which is not easy at all.

They are now better, after eating and melting snow. Even so, they decided to spend the night at 7,900m and tomorrow with the first rays of the sun they will continue descending.

We will continue posting as we get more news from the climber.

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

earlier:

PAUNER RAISES HIS PIOLET ON THE SUMMIT OF LHOTSE

At 10:08 in the morning (Spain time) Carlos said “I am on the summit, I call from the summit of Lhotse”.  With a clearly exhausted voice but excited, he said that they finally crowned the summit at 09:50 (Spain time). The first thing he said is that he is on top of Lhotse with Javier Pérez, Juanito Oiarzábal and Juanjo Garra, tired but in good shape and focused on the descent.  Carlos Soria, from Madrid, has also reached the summit, but before everyone else because his ascent with artificial oxygen was faster. Javier Pérez, after a long experience on the Himalayas as a climber and as a high altitude camera man, has crowned his first eight-thousand and it was not any summit, it was the fourth highest mountain on the world. The weather has been as forecasted, although at 10:00h it was snowing on the summit, so without any delay, the team of climbers was starting their descent.

Now they face difficulties ahead, because they have been above 8,000 meters for two days, a lot of hours of hard ascent and they are considerably tired.  Pauner has the intention of losing altitude as soon as possible and to go down to camp IV; there they will melt ice
to hydrate as much as possible.  Then they will decide if they continue going down or if they rest at 7,900m to continue tomorrow. We will continue posting when Carlos calls from camp IV, until then, caution, as Carlos always says: “A summit is not celebrated until you get down to base camp”. With the summit of Lhotse, this man from Aragón adds his eleventh eight-thousand in the race to reach the summit of the fourteen highest mountains of the Planet. Congratulations to all the team, especially to Javier Pérez.

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

 

PAUNER, Perez AND THE REST OF THE EXPEDITION HAVE REACHED 7,900M. THE REAL SUMMIT ATTACK BEGINS
The Spanish expedition led by Carlos Pauner has reached camp IV around 09:00h and they are in excellent shape. The ascent has been very hard as it was clearly noted in the voice of the climber from Aragón.  Carlos and the rest of the expedition left at 03:00h (Spain time) and they arrived around 09:30h.  That means that the ascent was longer than seven hours to an altitude above 7,000 meters, where the lack of oxygen makes the route extremely hard and exhausting. They went up the known yellow ramps (common for Lhotse and Everest) and when they reached 7,900m they mounted the tents to spend the night. “After the hard ascent of today, we finally mounted the tents; now that we are inside we will melt ice to avoid dehydration and we will eat something”, adds Pauner with a fatigued voice because of the lack of oxygen and the exhaustion.  “I feel strong and I trust that if the weather stays as until now, tomorrow after nine hours of ascent I could raise my piolet on the top of Lhotse”, said Carlos. Since they are three and forty five minutes ahead of Spain, Carlos and Javier Pérez and the rest of the expedition will leave today at 20:00h (Spain time) with the objective of reaching the summit at around 05:00 (Spain time).  These are always approximate times and can vary according to different inconveniences that they can meet in the ascent.  Their intention is to summit early to be able to start the descent with the light of the sun and avoid the risks of going down at night. He said in his telephone call that the weather is giving them a truce, “we are happy because it is not excessively cold, during the day and with sun we are around 20 degrees Celsius below zero”, said Carlos. The next call will be, we hope, from the summit of the fourth highest mountain of the world, Lhotse.
Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Earlier:

It was 09:50 in the morning when the climber from Aragón called to say that all the members of the expedition are fine in camp III of Lhotse. They got there at 07:30 (Spain time) after marching from camp II (6,400m) to camp III (7,200m) in four and a half hours.  It was faster than what they expected. “I am really tired, it was hot, but the ice wall was better than last week because it had more snow and that helped on the way up”, said Pauner. The climber is worried about the weather but the previous forecasts that made them attempt the summit were correct.  The weather is stable and it is expected to continue this way for the next hours.  After the scare of the wind storm of last week in this same camp, they found that the tents were in perfect shape. This morning, at 02:00 am Spain time, Pauner and the rest of the expedition will leave to camp IV, located at 7,900 meters of altitude. He thinks that they will cover those 700m in six hours. Carlos was calm, excited and focused in this summit attack, he even had time to talk to the media.
Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Earlier:

We had a late call from Carlos Pauner because of problems with the satellite phone, but he finally could contact us with the news that they are installed at camp II (6,400m).  They left last night at 23:00h and they arrived at 05:00 (Spain time).  The ascent was fast
but hard; they went through the feared Vally of Khumbu which is full
of crevasses and ladders to get into the Valley of Silence.  It was not hot in this occasion in the valley, which helped them to get to camp II in better shape than in the previous week. “For the moment the weather forecasts have been right and there is little wind, we have a sunny day”, said Pauner from his tent at camp II. All the members of the expedition are in that camp, all in good shape. According to the climber, he is in the tent with Javier Pérez taking liquids, food and getting ready to sleep.  They will leave tonight at 02:00 (Spain time) to camp III located at 7,100m.
Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera
 

Earlier:

After a month and a half at base camp, with a few trips to mount the high altitude camps, the summit attack begins. The weather forecasts point to this 21 (Saturday) as the best day for the expedition led by Carlos Pauner to reach the summit of Lhotse. There is a forecast of scarce snow and no wind for Thursday and Friday, which will let them climb and sleep in the different camps. Tonight at 23:00h (Spain time) they will leave base camp and if everything goes as planned, after seven hours they will reach camp II, at 7,100 m, they will spend the night there and they will continue climbing one camp per day. Camp IV will be mounted on the go on Friday night; they will rest there and they will recover for the nine hours that separate them from the summit. In this summit attempt, all the members of the expedition will go, Javier Pérez, Juanito Oiarzábal, Lolo, Juanjo Garra and Carlos Soria. Carlos has mentioned his good physical shape, “although we are all alone up there and we only count with what our bodies can give, a strong group of Spaniards will attempt the summit”, said the man from Aragón. “I am in good physical shape, recovered from my health problems and my mind is set for this titanic effort that waits ahead”, said Pauner. The expedition counts with the support of two high altitude Sherpas and a third for Carlos Soria. In this occasion and as an exception, Javier Pérez will have oxygen, just in case, although he did not have any problems during his recent climb to camp III.

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

5/14:  
After our particular episode at camp III, our only attention is on the weather forecasts that try to find that window of definitive good weather for the summit of Lhotse.  Our hope rose as foam when we found a good forecast for the days of 15-16.  We had only a few days of rest, but it was worth to try and finish this up.  Checking the forecasts, the thing was not clear and caution has made us stay here one more day before taking off to the top.  Good decision! Today the weather forecasts point to a general deterioration and tens of climbers that tried to reach the highest point of Everest had to turn around, hit by merciless winds in high altitudes on the mountain. It looks like there is no window for the moment and we only have to wait. We know what this is like, we have suffered it in many other mountains.  But we have to feel lucky that we did not waste ourselves in vain, taken by our enthusiasm.  We are still here, at base camp, healing our throats, looking at the sky, now covered and windy, waiting our opportunity, our slice of good weather to take off like wild animals to the conquest of our dream. Calm, for the moment, tense calm and nerves of steel.
 Carlos Pauner
 Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera
 
 5/11: STILL AT BASE CAMP
 As usual, Carlos has contacted us to tell us that they will stay several days at base camp, because the probable window of good weather may not be certain. Resting, thinking, eating well and healing what remains of health problems is what the members of the Spanish expedition, led by Carlos Pauner, are doing right now. Although the expedition started with several inconveniences, the men from Aragon say they are happy with the work they have done, looking at the sky once again, waiting for the fifth mountain in the world to give them a chance. 
Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera
 

Earlier:

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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