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 BRAZILIAN EVEREST LHOTSE EXPEDITION is sponsored by

O BOTICΑRIO, VOLKSWAGEN and PETROBRΑS

08/18/02: 11th day of the Brazilian Expedition to the Top of the World. Namche Bazar (3,440m) Toll on the Ice Fall

The day began tense today. When we went to the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC} at Namche Bazar, an mandatory visit for every expedition, we were scared about the amount of the "Ice Cascade Tax".

The Khumbu Ice Cascade is the most unstable part of all the route when climbing Everest, it is a gigantic step 700m high, where huge blocks of ice form a big maze. The Khumbu Glacier can move one meter per day, tumbling blocks of ice like dominos. Finding a safe path on this unstable terrain is practically impossible, it takes a lot of time and it demands a big amount of equipment.

That is why the Nepalese Government gave SPCC the exclusivity to install equipment on the Ice Cascade, so the expeditions were safer. For that it is necessary to pay a kind of toll, the total of the amount for this job is divided by the number of expeditions which are going to climb the mountain. Here is where the problem begins. First, because the SPCC fixed the amount for the job in 30 thousand dollars. Second, because on the season which is beginning, there are just 3 expeditions contemplated (only ours and one Japanese have been confirmed). Third, this tax payment is mandatory, it means, we don't have an alternative.

Since we have a permit to climb both Everest and Lhotse, SPCC says we have to pay this tax two times, which costs 5 thousand dollars. Unfortunately, we have to pay 10 thousand dollars more, added to the permit we have already paid to climb, to be able to continue with our expedition.

We find this very expensive and we think that it would be fair to pay just 5 thousand dollars, because the path to Everest and Lhotse is the same until 8,000 meters high.

Another big problem is that SPCC is just beginning to prepare the Ice Cascade, and the estimated time for this is two weeks at least. We are not sure to pay the 10 thousand dollars and stay waiting for their will to finish this service. We know that we came early to Khumbu, but we did this with an important objective: we want to have enough time to climb both Everest and Lhotse.

Well, after so much discussion, we came to an agreement. We pay 5 thousand dollars relative to our Everest climb, and after SPCC finishes preparing the Ice Cascade, we pay the 5 thousand dollars for our Lhotse climb. We hope that this way the job is done as soon as possible

Namaste!

Waldemar Niclevicz Trango Tower

BRAZILIAN EVEREST LHOTSE EXPEDITION is sponsored by O BOTICΑRIO, VOLKSWAGEN and PETROBRΑS

Dispatches

Translated from Portuguese by Jorge Rivera

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