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

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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

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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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SNOW IS PREVENTING US FROM HEADING UP TO CAMP NUMBER TWO

Apr 27
It is very difficult to make decisions on a day like today. I have not been in a situation like this for a long time. At around nine this morning our sherpas set off for camp number two. Soon afterwards they rang us on the walkie-talkie to tell us that they were turning back, as it was impossible to reach camp number two due to the amount of snow that had fallen over the last few hours. During the night it snowed a lot at base camp, but apparently it snowed much more higher up the mountain. They left the gear at camp number one and turned back. Later on in the day it was apparently possible to reach camp number two, but as our guys set off really early they didn’t think that it would be.

THINKING ABOUT CAMP NUMBER 2

Apr 25

These days of rest can seem long at base camp, but they are doing us a lot of good. In the mornings we are having a bit of sunshine and in the afternoons, at around midday, we are getting some snow. According to the forecast it will be like this for a few more days. At the moment I still don’t know what our short term plan will be.

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WE HAVE SUCCESSFULLY NEGOTIATED THE FROZEN WATERFALL

Apr 22

Last night I could hardly sleep. I was nervous because the real climbing was about to begin. I got up early and after breakfast we checked all the gear that we were taking with us to camp number one. At around quarter past seven this morning we said goodbye to Pablo and Asier and started our journey to the frozen waterfall. I was really nervous! Ferrán, Nacho and I had loaded the crampons, the ice axes, the harnesses and the rucksacks… everything that we needed to spend the night at camp number one. The sun coming out over base camp was our signal: it was time to set off. At that moment I felt a small shiver of happiness. As I have told you many times, the mountains hold many memories for me and this morning they all came flooding back.

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