in Sargamata, the planet of the Sherpas.
Departure to CI with Maria at 5:30 am. We had
to return just before the ladders because
Maria has not recovered from the famous Kumbu
Cough, so we went back to BC after organizing
for her to go down to Periche to the clinic.
In my mind I did not know what to do. Some way
or another I had to climb and sleep a couple
of nights in CI to acclimatize. Finally,
I went to CI, which took me a couple of hours,
having fun in the Fall, a ladder here, a
ladder there, passing the women's expedition
group. Hello gorgeus!
A few words and off to my destination.
When I got to CI it was early, 9:30 am, and,
wow!, what do I do with the rest of the day?
Anyway, I made some coffee and I told myself,
what about taking some load to CII? When
I got there I met Mark Turner (International
Guides). We had some juice, a little
chit chat, and I unloaded my stuff from our
camp. Luckily, our camp is in one of the
best locations, contrary to what happened last
season. I could look at the conditions
in the Lhotse wall. I had intentions to
climb the next day to begin fixing some lines.
I began my return to CI. The time was
12:15 pm, a bad time to go through the Kumbu
Glacier oven. You know, you can take an
Argentinean style steak and some eggs in a pan
and you put them on aluminum foil, and I
guarantee you a first class lunch, so imagine
the effect on the brain. I passed some
thirsty members of the Swiss Expedition, I
offered them some water and a couple of words
and I went home, where I had some juicy steaks
waiting for me.
Contact with BC. Robert will climb the
next day. For the moment, I continue
enjoying my solitude, but it looks like I
pushed my body to the limits these last days
and it decided to take a break, so instead of
going back to CII, I took some vacations at
the CI beach. He, he.
Descent to BC. I came across Robert, who
was climbing. Luckily, he feels in good
shape considering that he had to turn around
from the balcony in the spring of 2001, during
our assault to the summit.
The Sherpas are having a well deserved rest at
BC. One of my best experiences is when
your Sherpa team considers you an equal.
They cooked potatoes with a lot of chili
peppers and they invited me. They have a
hard time eating all the chili peppers while
pretending everything is fine, when actually
you are dying for 10 gallons of cold water to
calm down the hot sensation in your
Robert and the Sherpas went to CII, our next
summer home. The lines have been fixed
up to CIII, in a more direct way than the last
season. The weather is in the same conditions
as in the beginning of the season: a frying
sun by the morning and snow and cold during
the afternoon, which you can feel deep inside
your bones. Willie !
from Spanish by Jorge Rivera