WAITING FOR THE WIND TO DIE DOWN AT THE SUMMIT

Escalando en el Pumori expand
May 16
Escalando en el Pumori
Over the last few days I haven’t written a single word. This is not because there is nothing happening here at base camp on Everest; it is probably because I have shut myself off, and have not been in the mood for doing anything. This always happens to me when it is time to begin our ascent to the summit. The nervousness that I feel before we set off usually manifests itself in this way.

WE HAVE RETURNED, BUT WE ARE VERY TIRED AND ARE GOING TO REST

Campo 2 expand
May 12
Campo 2

Forgive me for not writing anything until today. We got back to base camp yesterday, I had something to eat and went to bed. I got up to have dinner, and went straight back to bed. I was exhausted. Yesterday at five in the morning Asier woke me up at camp 3, telling me that he hadn’t slept. I can remember being half asleep at around two in the morning and Asier being very angry and asking me if I had a sleeping tablet. He couldn’t sleep! He didn’t have a headache and he wasn’t even nervous. I don’t know what was the matter with him. Later, during our descent, he could see me alongside him still half asleep and I think that this annoyed him even more. Ha! Ha! Ha! The fact is that at five in the morning, at first light, he was already driving us mad and in no time at all we had already got dressed, rolled up our sleeping bags and we had our crampons on ready to begin our return to base camp.

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FIRST CONTACT WITH CAMP IV

May 10

So, just as the guys predicted yesterday, they did not get up very early this morning.  I had been waiting for them to call in the communications tent for a while when I finally heard the radio.  Asier informed me that they had slept well and hadn’t felt the cold.  In fact, they were in the mood for getting their own back:  Edurne grabbed the walkie talkie and told me that she had taken a whole “Ensure”; in fact all of them had taken one.  “There you go, doc.  Stuff you!!”.  There is nothing like winding them up a bit.

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A TENSE CALM, AS WE WAIT ON THE WEATHER

May 09

Last night was windy and humid, as if wanting to bid our friends a not so fond farewell. However, at 7:00 am., when the expedition was due to set off, the Sun took control and the task in hand no longer seemed so daunting.

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A NICE BIT OF COD BEFORE RETURNING TO CAMP THREE

Una comida al sol expand
May 08
Una comida al sol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I haven’t written anything for a couple of days, not because nothing is happening here at base camp, but because my mind has been elsewhere. Today I practically tiptoed through the communications tent where Pablo and Ferrán were doing some writing. I did my writing quickly and then went straight to the kitchen where they were making ‘momo’ a very typical Nepalese dish. Momo is a type of small pasty filled with meat. Migma, Tensin and Karma were there cooking, and I joined them because I find cooking very relaxing. I talked to them and asked them if they also cook at home, or if their wives do the cooking. They told me that it is their wives who make the pasties. Karma is only 17; he has just finished school and has come on the expedition in order to learn. They have given him several classes and advised him on how to make ‘momos’ and I pulled his leg a bit. I told him that his girlfriend will love the way that he makes these pasties. He told me, all embarrassed, that he doesn’t have a girlfriend.

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WASHING AND AN AGREEABLE APERITIF AT BASE CAMP

May 05
Today has been a sunny day at base camp, and we have used the time to get some washing done and smarten ourselves up a bit. I hadn’t done any washing since we arrived. Don’t get the wrong idea – this is why I brought three more barrels of gear than the others. I go a little bit over the top but it all gets used. The problem now will be getting it all dry. I reckon that it will take a couple of days.

EVERYTHING IS GOING WELL AT CAMP 3

May 03

Edurne, Nacho and Asier have remained further up the mountain. Today they got up a little earlier than usual and we spoke soon afterwards. They are feeling the cold a little, but have had a good night’s sleep.

The plan for today is as follows: Pasang, Mingma and Nacho will go up to camp 3 whilst Edurne, Asier, Ngati and Jambu will do some walking in the surrounding area. Ferrán, however, has come back to base camp feeling weak and having lost his voice.


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WE ARE HEADING FOR CAMP TWO IN ORDER TO PREPARE CAMP THREE

Sherpas en el comedor expand
Apr 30
Sherpas en el comedor
We are going to continue our ascent. At last it seems that the time has come! The weather is not very stable, but I think that it will hold out so that we can make it to camp two. Our intention is to spend at least three nights at camp two, and then make it to camp three so we can put the tents up. First thing tomorrow we will head directly for camp two, which is situated at 6400 metres.

IT WAS A PLEASURE TO MEET LORETAN

EDURNEPASABAN895_DSCN1802 expand
Apr 29
EDURNEPASABAN895_DSCN1802

This morning during breakfast we remembered what day it was. Today is not a very happy day. It is exactly a year since our friend, Tolo Calafat, lost his life whilst climbing Annapurna. From there you can see practically all the Himalayas, and there we have also lost other friends such as Iñaki Ochoa de Olza. They are always with us in our hearts and on our climbs. So it was a sad breakfast, and things got worse later on. When I had finished I sat down at the computer, as I do everyday, to check the weather forecasts which we are so worried about and the news was no better. The first mail was devastating: Erhard Loretan has died. Whaaaaaaaaat? I couldn’t believe it. Loretan!!! All of us mountaineers knew Loretan because of what he has achieved in life through mountaineering. Many people, myself included, both admired and idolised him.

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VISITING BASE CAMP ON PUMORI

Apr 28

Well, I am in good spirits. Today I went to the base camp on Pumori, as I told you, to do some trekking and the view from up there is incredible. You can see the whole route to Everest right up to the top. It is a really, really beautiful place. It was just what I needed to establish exactly what kind of shape I am in after a few days with a sore throat, and to be honest I felt really good. I am happy.

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