Everest 2001 Presented By EverestNews.com

April 12, 2001

Manantial Everest 2001 Installs Base Camp at 5,200 meters

We left Tingri at 6am, Our Colombian group and our four Sherpa team members boarded 4 all-wheel vehicles in a trip that would take 5 hours.  

Our driver seemed upset with us because he had to return the same day and our official videographer Gacela (Gonzalo) had asked him to stop at least 6 times to record.  We told him that we would only stop as many times as his professional artistic requirements required. After 5 more stops, we had to give our driver some of the firewater that we had “for medicinal purposes.”

We had hoped to see Mount Everest on our pass through Pang La (5120 meters) but we had no luck.  As we reached this point it was covered by clouds.  As we drove by we saw a significant amount of road work being done.  We though they were preparing the roads for some type of mining work but as we later found out they were preparing the road because they were going to be building a Hotel at the base camp.  It seems that the commercial spirit has also hit the Tibetan area.  We don’t understand their motivation but we hope some type of equilibrium is met.

On our way we passed the Rongbuk monastery.  This is the permanently highest inhabited place on the planet over 30 monks live here.  We saw the truck that had our equipment pass us by and we began to worry as to where they had left our equipment.  Only Shulding who had been with us in Cho-Oyu 1999 was with them.

Well as it turned out the place the truck driver decided to leave our equipment was not appropriate at all.  He left it very close to the latrines and garbage disposal area.  We had hoped he would have left us some 500 meters ahead were we could get water of much better quality, now we had to think of another alternative.  Moving 2 tons of equipment and food won't be easy.  We moved close to where the Russians were occupying,  the same place we had inhabited in 1997.

Our first call of duty was to speak to the liaison officer who told us we would be leaving on the 12th and we would have 50 yaks arriving at 11 am.  Each yak can only carry 40 kilos and we will be cutting it close.  I’m sure our Yak herders will tell us that our cargo will weigh more that 40 kilos,  I guess we’ll have to be prepared that’s why we brought a better scale this time.

We set up Base Camp, two to a tent since there was very little space. Manolo had one to himself, he usually comes “very prepared”

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