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July 11-20th,1999 Daily Reports

For Latest News. For earlier reports: See the Site Index for a list of all the Daily Reports plus many other stories. If you are new to the site you will want to visit the Site Index... along with the homepage... Please visit EverestNews.com Sponsor page !

Daily News: 7/20/99 Report

Update 7/19/99:

WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ VIA SATELLITE BY IRIDIUM

K2- Base of Gasherbrum - 5220 m/ Concσrdia 4.720m - 58th day of the  expedition

The porters surprised us yesterday, arriving a day before combined at Gasherbrum's Base. So, today we started our camp-base moving We are going to K2 at last. A short walk, only two days long, that will take us to our great challenge of the Project K2.

Pepe Garces and Andrew Lock arrived yesterday very late and tired. So, at the base, they preferred to rest one more day, before moving again. Andrew goes back home, because he has already climbed K2 (the same thing Christian Kuntner did a couple  of days before). Then to K2 rest just Abele Blanc, Pepe and I.

Today we left the Gasherbrum's base and many friends   we met last month. It was extremely gratifying to leave together with Koreans, Spaniards, Englishmen, Americans, Frenchmen, Austrians and Swiss. Fatally in K2 new friendships and new emotions will wait for us. May God permit a happy end!

  • Hans Kammerlander Update: Hans' people (see below) confirm that Hans turned around and did not make the summit of K2.

We have read your letter and what you heard about Hans and Konrad is true. There is no chance to climb to the top of the K2.

Yours, Alpinschule Sόdtirol, Pircher Tanja

Daily News: 7/19/99 Report

  • K2, K2, and more K2 News:

Hans Kammerlander attempts the Summit of K2:

Hans Kammerlander best known in America for his speed ascent of Everest (standard North Col, to the standard North Col Ridge Route: 5/24/96, 16 hours 45 minutes from base camp), has attempted the summit of K2. The unconfirmed reports EverestNews.com has received, said that Hans and Konrad Auer attempted the summit of K2 as a two man team. EverestNews.com has received UNCONFIRMED information that Hans and Konrad turned around a few hundred meters from the summit due to bad weather conditions and huge amount of snow. The fresh snow was shoulder height and avalanches were occurring during their ascent. It is reported that Hans and Konrad are disappointed and they will not make any further attempts to summit K2 this year. We would hope they would stay and attempt with Waldemar, however, that seems unlikely as Hans usually does things without much support, "the hard way".

Hans Kammerlander is a "climber in another league". Clearly, one of the best H.A. climbers climbing in the world today. Hans, never does it the easy way, from his speed ascent of Everest, to the South West Wall of Cho Oyu (as his first 8000 meter peak), north west route on Makalu, to his many ski descents among his many difficult climbs to date. Hans it is believed only has K2 and Manaslu left to finish to obtain his goal of all 14 8000 Meter Peaks.  Assuming he finishes the 8000 meter peaks, he will place himself in the elite class of climbers, not only for the summits 14 summits, but because of the way he did them. Hans has a chance to be compared to Messner himself.

Last year, Hans plans were to attempted the summits of Kanchenjunga, Manaslu and K2. He was going to try Kanchenjunga with camps, then he was going to try to summit Manaslu without setting any camps -- no base camp or fixed camps along the way. After that, an attempt at K2 alone.  He made it to the summit of Kanchenjunga on the second attempt.  As reported on EverestNews.com, he then realized after getting back to base camp that he had frostbite on his right foot. He went to the hospital in Kathmandu and then was shipped directly back to Innsbruck, Austria. He then called off the rest of expeditions for last year. This goes to show us all, that under the right conditions, these 8000 meter peaks can humble even the greatest climbers in the world.

  • There has been one death of a Romanian climber so far on K2 this year. No summit, yet to our knowledge.

  • Update 7/17/99: WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ

Gasherbrum    Base,  5,220m, 56th day of the expedition

We are anxious to get news from those who are trying to get the  summit of  Gasherbrum and Hidden Peak . I hope to update the news about it today here on K2 on-line.

I take advantage to leave another photo of Gasherbrum. The photo shows the view that we have from the summit towards China. Unfortunately, when we reached the peak it was winding a lot, we couldn't stand up, and this wind started bringing a lot of clouds. So, the landscape was covered and uncovered by  clouds all the time. The mountain I wanted most to see was K2, but its pyramid rarely appeared very far, amidst many clouds. Looking at the photo today, K2 should appear in  the back, just a little  right of the rock tower.

Latest News:  Pepe Garces and Andrew Lock  reached the summit of 8,068m of Altitude at  Hidden Peak, the 11th highest mountain in the world,  today at 3:45 pm. They left camp 3, at 7,100 m, at 2:00 am, because before the wind was blowing too strongly, and they found a lot of snow on the path. They are the second ones to reach the summit this year, Abele Blanc and Christian Kuntner were the first ones (they got the summit on Jul. 3).

WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ

  • Update 7/18/99:

WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ VIA SATELLITE BY IRIDIUM

Gasherbrum      Base, 5,220m, 57th day of the expedition

Unfortunately few people have succeeded to reach the summits of Gasherbrums this weekend. The expectancy was great, because the weather was good in fact, but there was  a lot of snow on the path and the wind blew strongly, principally this Sunday. So, the Spaniard Pepe Garces and the Australian Andrew Lock have succeeded yesterday at  Hidden Peak. And also, three Koreans led by Jong Seung Lee, reached the summit of Gasherbrum yesterday.

WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ

For earlier reports on 1999 K2

 

Daily News: 7/18/99 Report

  • The Jacek Maselko Q&A Part Two: (Part One is the 7/16/98 News)

    Q.) What time did you arrive and depart ? You know there has been some critical remarks that your group should not have stayed there that long ? What do you say to the hindsight ?

    A.) Tadek arrived at 13:30, I arrived at 13:35, Ryszard around 14:10.  As far as the criticism, well hindsight is always 20/20.   However, the summit was very warm, and there was no wind!  It might have made us feel a bit too complacent, but it really was a very nice day, except the view was obscured by the clouds. Ryszard was also making a radio patch call to his sponsors in Poland, and wanted to rest a little as well since he was out of oxygen at this point - he had a malfunctioning regulator.  Additionally everyone was feeling pretty strong, so that added to our maybe overconfidence.

    Q.) On the way down, when did the problems being ?

    A.) Tadek left the summit first, then Ryszard and I followed last after I picked up a rock from the outcropping near the summit.  I didn't catch up to Tadek until I was on top of the 2nd step.  There is a small snowfield with a number of oxygen bottles lying there.  Tadek told me that he found a bottle that was almost full and his only had about an hour left of oxygen.  He asked me if I wanted to search through them to find a fuller bottle of Os for myself, but I said that I will just rather go down.  As I started down the fixed line, Tadek was putting the new oxygen bottle on.

    Q.) Tadek was last seen coming down the second step by you or Ryszard? What do you think happened to him?

    A.) I was the last one to see him.  I was traversing below the 2nd step and saw  Tadek rappelling the 2nd step.  Most likely what happened to him is that he tripped or slipped during the traverse between the 2nd and 1st step.

    Q.) Tell us what you know about Joao Garcia going up ? and at what point did you pass him?

    A.) We caught up to Joao and Pascal above the 3rd step - they were resting and the  route ahead went up the upper snow triangle on the NE ridge.  I passed them and  lead through the deep snow (knee to thigh deep on 45-60 degree slope).  My  oxygen ran out half way through the snow field, and Tadek caught up to me and  passed me.  I went up to a small ledge where I changed the oxygen bottles. Here Joao also caught up to me and we talked for a few minutes while resting there.  On the way down, we passed Joao on the summit ridge.  We saw Pascal sitting on oxygen (they carried oxygen for emergencies with them) at the start of the fixed lines from the summit ridge - about 200 meters horizontal below the summit. Pascal looked very tired so I thought he was just waiting for Joao to come down.   However, I later learned from Joao that after he summited alone at 4:30pm, he came down to Pascal, and then they both went to the top, summiting at 6:30pm.

    Q.) Tell us about Ryszard and Pascal spending the night on Everest ? And why Ryszard stopped coming down.

    A.) All three of them (Ryszard, Pascal, and Joao) spent the night below the 1st  step, but were unaware of each others presence.  Ryszard put his headlamp on when it got dark, but it wouldn't work.  It was pitch black by the time he figured out what the problem was - one of the battery leads disconnected on his Petzl Arctic headlamp.  He had to work by touch and feel, which meant that he took off his gloves to try to connect the terminal again.  However, before he could get it done, his hands and fingers would go numb and he had to put on the mittens again and spend a while shaking and moving them to warm them up. Ryszard said that he repeated this procedure over 10 times throughout the night.  The problem is that below the 1st step, the fixed lines end, and although the terrain is very easy to the start of the fixed line through the yellow band, in the dark, it would be very hard to find, and one could possibly walk off the Kangshung face, or the North face, or even go too far passed the fixed line.  So Ryszard decided to stay put and wait until light.   The whole night he was sitting on the backpack, stomping his feet, and moving his toes and fingers.

    Q.) At camp 6 you and the sherpas head out at what time and why ?? Tell us about Joao coming in... to camp.

    A.) We heard Ryszard's call on the radio around 7pm. At which point we asked our  Sherpas, Pasang and Pema, to grab oxygen and come up from camp 5 (7,650m).  They left camp 5 by 8pm and on 5 liters per minute headed to camp 6.  They arrived at camp 6 around midnight.  They tried to find the start of the fixed line, but the very strong wind and blowing snow made it impossible.   They asked me if I would point them to the ropes, but I told them that I had a hard time finding camp 6 after leaving the rope from the yellow band.  Appa Sherpa was in a tent on the other side of camp 6, and our Sherpas went to him.  I told him that we would give him any money he wanted to go up to try to get Ryszard (at this point we didn't know anything about Joao and Pascal).  However, Appa Sherpa said that it was too dangerous to go out in the storm, no matter how much he got paid.  We then waited until morning in the tent at camp 6.  At 4:30 am we were melting snow again for tea.   By 5am, the Sherpas left, and I followed them about half an hour later.  When I got to the start of the fixed line up the yellow band, I couldn't warm up my toes or fingers, and struggled with the decision to stay and wait.  The Sherpas, however, were already near the top of the yellow band.  After the Sherpas disappeared above the yellow band, I saw a person start coming down.  It was Joao.  He looked fairly tired, but the worst was his nose, which was frozen solid with icicles hanging from it.  When he  arrived at the bottom of the fixed line, I gave him tea, but he refused, saying he has some in the tent.  I then asked him where is Pascal, and he said in the tent.  I asked whether he was sure?  But he was very insistent on that.  He then left for camp 6.

    Q.) Tell us about the Sherpas who we know you are so proud of and their efforts?

    A.) They were really great guys.  We already formed a strong rapport with them before  this day.  You know how it is when you meet people that you hit it off with right away, and this was very much like that.  I was also very impressed that when other Sherpas didn't want to go, they risked their lives to save Ryszard.  I thought it was above and beyond the usual call of duty of a high altitude Sherpa to go out in the middle of the night in a storm from 7,650 meters to 8,300 and then the following morning up to 8,500 meters in nonabating winds.

    Regards, Jacek

    Next EverestNews.com will cover with Jacek what assistance the Sherpa climbers gave Pascal and what happened, and their feelings (the Sherpa climbers) as described by Jacek. Then what Jacek heard happened on the attempt to save Pascal. His theory on Pascal "awaking ". His opinion on how easy it is to fall going down with the ropes that were there this year from the Summit to Camp 6. And the toughest for last...Going down how it is descending with one less climber?

    Patagonia Mountain Agency is Jacek Maselko company's web site...

    His slideshow is below, this will take you awhile in that there are 33 pictures. We found the pictures some of the best photos we have seen "together". It is a must see. Also You will want to see picture number 33. It touched us. Jacek set this slideshow up to go with his Q&A... on EverestNews.com.

    http://www.alaska.net/~ptgmtnag/everest99/slideshow/slideshow.html

    Again, unless you have been there, you must take the time to see these pictures.

    EverestNews.com plans to giving Jacek's Q&A much attention, as there is much information here. We encourage those very interested in Everest 99 to study his Q&A and pictures.

  • If you missed it:

    Fred Barth's Q&A on his successful Summit of Everest this Spring 1999 with questions from the staff of EverestNews.com. Fred was also deputy leader of this successful Asian-Trekking North Side expedition.

    Eric Simonson's Complete Q&A on the Mallory findings

 

Daily News: 7/17/99 Report

  • To Our readers from around the world, there is very sad news in American.  John F. Kennedy Jr., the only son of the assassinated U.S. president, is missing after it is believed he took off in a single-engine plane last night. Things are very unclear, and the American media is full of speculation with the worst being feared. John F. Kennedy Jr., is a climber and the Kennedy family has been a climbing group, with a significant peak in Canada, named after them. Let's keep our hopes up, for this family.....

 

  • 1999 K2: The many climbers and the military.

    Update 7/15/99:

    WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ VIA SATELLITE BY IRIDIUM

    Gasherbrum Base, 5,220m , 54th day of the expedition

    A very hectic day here at base, due to a nice forecast, that says that there will be good weather until Sunday. Therefore, many people went up to superior camps to do the final attack to the summit in the next days. In our expedition, Pepe Garces and Andrew Lock went as far as camp 2 ( Hidden Peak), in order to try again.

    I am , as you know, very calm, having some rest for K2. I had a consult with the Spaniard Xavier Botella, one of the greatest specialists in Medicine of altitudes in the world. I had the great pleasure to meet him in 1991 on Everest, and he has told me that I have a "sub clinic pulmonary oedema". What disturbs me a lot is coughing, probably due to a little liquid accumulation in one of the alveolus in one of my lungs, such coughing is called the " Everest coughing" or "mountain coughing " by Dr. Xavier. But it's not necessary to worry, because it's a sub clinic case and Dr. Xavier has guaranteed it's not very dangerous, it's just need some care and don't let it develop. So, take it easy, no hurry or panic, because each day resting I feel better.

    The lively Spaniards led by Oscar Cadiach went away yesterday and also the Englishmen led by David Hamilton. Both of them very glad, because the success rate was high on Gasherbrum. Those, who stayed here, have been frightened by two avalanches, one yesterday and other today, that came down from Golden Throne (a mountain located on the other side of the glacier, where is the base-camp, the Abruzzi). An enormous ice mass has loosened and came down destroying everything ahead, forming an enormous smoke cloud that involved all base-camp. Everybody ran into their tents, holding its as firmly as possible the frame, while it was possible to feel the air moving outside and the noise of the ice crystal on the nylon. The heart, of course beating a lot, but not so serious, just some empty tents were taken by the air movement.

    And the photo today is our camp 3 of Gasherbrum, at 7,000 m, from where we did our last attack to the summit. A nice landscape for one of the principal mountains in Karakorum, as Trango Towers, Masherbrum, and Chogolisa. On the photo Golden Throne appears on the left and Chogolisa on the right. On the photo appears Golden Throne on the left and Chogolisa (geometric) on the right.

    Photo

    WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ

    Update 7/16/99:

    WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ VIA SATELLITE BY IRIDIUM

    Gasherbrum Base, 5,220m,55th day of the expedition

    Fortunately, it's a very nice weather today, many people went up and must try to attack the summit this evening. Pepe Garces and Andrew Lock are at 7,100m, in our camp 3 at Hidden Peak, and must leave today at 10:00 pm trying to get the summit. I'm going to be here at base, following them in each step by radio, cheering for them to succeed. There are many alpinists in Gasherbrum, from several expeditions, that must take advantage of the good weather to get the summit of this great mountain.

    I expect anxiously the porters' arrival, foreseen to next 19th, to go to K2 definitely. I wish to face the "mountains of the mountains" again. For a while, we don't have news from K2, the Koreans and Japanese have barely got camp 3, around 7,400m and the Italians have just started helping them, because they arrived later. It means that the situation is not easy there.

    A great quantity of snow is disturbing the works. K2 is really a mountain with no comparison, and although it is around 15 km from Gasherbrum in direct line, the climbing conditions can be completely different. 

    I leave you a photo of our last 300 m on Gasherbrum, that has taken more than 3 hours to overcome. Let's take as a reference the big rock tower on the superior part, almost in the centre of the photo. Over this rock tower, there is a small ice that raises towards the sky , the summit is just on the left side of this ice point. In fact it's a big "cornisa"). And just on the right side of that tower, it's possible to see two black spots, they are the two Koreans who spent the night at camp 4 and arrived at the summit ahead of us, one of them calls Sang Bae Lee stayed more than two hours at the summit, waiting for good weather conditions to fly on paraglider, but the wind didn't permit.

    Photo

    WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ

Daily News: 7/16/99 Report

  • The Jacek Maselko Q&A Part One:

    Here is my attempt at answering the questions:

    Q.) When did you leave Camp 6 and who all else attempted the Summit that day  from the North ?

    A.) We woke up around midnight with Tadek and myself leaving at 3am.  Ryszard left shortly after that.  At the time we were not aware of anyone else attempting the summit from the north side.  However, when we caught up to Joao and Pascal  above the 3rd step, they told us that they left camp 6 at 10pm the previous  night (May 17), as they had a hard time sleeping there.

    Q.) Describe the amount of "new" (1999) fixed rope on the way up to the Summit...if any ..

    A.) There was not very much "new" fixed line above camp 6.  However, we did  recognized our 8mm dynamic line on the 2nd step that Conrad fixed during his  attempt at free climbing the second step.  Most other ropes we did not trust, especially on the traverses, so it was good to be able to hang on that rope  without the added fear of the integrity of the line. The politics of fixed lines are very interesting.  When we arrived in base camp,  the Ukrainians and the Americans (Mallory expedition) fixed most of the lower mountain to camp 2.  Then the courting began, where the big, commercial expedition try to court all the other ones to pay them for fixing the route. They had the Sherpa power and the rope to do it, so we should just pay them to do it.  We talked to the Ukrainian leader about how much we should compensate them as they did the bulk of the work, but they said that they climb for sport and do not want money.  However, we did give $800 to one of the big commercial outfits.  Actually we postponed the summit bid at one point because they haven't fixed the route, and decided to go after them ....

    Q.) Describe the second step "climb" (ladder) for our readers and this new rope put in place by the Americans.

    A.) The 2nd step is at the end of a tedious traverse and there are numerous fixed  lines hanging down, so it was good to find our rope.    Most of the ropes look fairly decent at the lower anchor, but then you look up where they cross over an edge and most of them are frayed there.  At the beginning of the step there is a fairly large off-width crack in the middle of it with an easy ramp to the right (where the route goes), as you make your way up the bouldery section of about 4 meters, you come around a corner and then easy snow climb of maybe 15 meters takes you to the base of the ladder (3-4 meters high) on the headwall. There is another off-width crack to the left of the ladder (a continuation of the lower crack, but it's filled in with snow on the lower angled mid section). To the right of the ladder the wall is steep, but there are lots of holds. However, the rock there is extremely rotten and I wouldn't even consider climbing it at sea level, as those holds would come right off.  The off-width crack, however, looks fairly easy if one was to climb it at sea level.  It  continues for maybe 5 meters with a large chockstone blocking the exit to the  top - definitely looks like the crux of that climb.  However, climbing the ladder is very easy, with crampons neatly catching on the rungs of the ladder. The exit to the top is probably the only awkward move there.  As I mentioned earlier, the new rope put there by Conrad definitely eases the mind while climbing this section, especially during the rappel.

    Q.) Did you see any signs of the lost Ukranian climber on the way top the  summit?

    A.) No, there were some bodies laying off of the route, but were fairly covered up by snow, and I didn't venture to investigate.

    Q.) Once you reached the Summit, were there signs anyone else was there that day ? From the South ? Did you hear radio reports of others reaching the Summit  that day ?

    A.) There were no signs of anyone there before us. People in ABC (from the north  side) were asking me whether I see anyone on the SE ridge, or whether there is any sign of anyone having been there.  So I looked pretty closely to answer them, and the summit looked fairly undisturbed with all the "trash" being fairly well covered by the snow.

    Jacek

    His slideshow is below, this will take you awhile in that there are 33 pictures. We found the pictures some of the best photos we have seen "together". It is a must see. Also You will want to see picture number 33. It touched us.

    http://www.alaska.net/~ptgmtnag/everest99/slideshow/slideshow.html

    Again, unless you have been there, you must take the time to see these pictures.

 

Daily News: 7/15/99 Report

  • 1999 K2: The many climbers and the military.

    Update 7/14/99:

    WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ VIA SATELLITE BY IRIDIUM

    Gasherbrum Base, 5,220m, 53rd day of the expedition

    If you have been following K2 on-line since the beginning, I remind you that we were the first expedition that arrived in base-camp. So, we prefer to put our tents as high as possible, avoiding being located in the midway of other expeditions. And if you think that all this concern is too much you are wrong, because there are 11 expeditions around here, an average of 120 alpinists and almost 200 people, counting the cooks and porters, that almost all expeditions take. That's why, we are at 5,200m and below there are other tents located around: Spaniards from Catalonia, Frenchmen, Englishman, Koreans, Spaniards from Valencia, Americans, more Koreans, etc. on a narrow moraine that is squeezed between the Glacier Gasherbrum and goes down by the Glacier Duca de Abruzzi.

    For our surprise, there are a great number of military Pakistanis troops all around Karakorum, and the brave Pakistanis soldiers have their camps on the Glacier during all year long. About 500 meters from our tents there are an army base, where it's forbidden to get close or take pictures, and take a look,  we are talking about something around 5,350 m of altitude. But, it's not all, going the glacier Duca de Abruzzi up, you get the "control line", the called undefined frontier between Pakistan and India. It's up there at  6 thousand meters of altitude that's placed the last military base of Pakistan. Here from the base we can see some organized tents on the snow. When the weather is good, as it was today,   heavy helicopters bring  groceries for the soldiers, in big hanging nets. As the air is rarefied, it can't land, so it releases the groceries at a minimum altitude that it can get. Today I counted seven of them flying over our camping. But the worst of all, is to hear shootings at night, that go and come I don't know where they are from, but they make a big noise.

    Photo

    Well, let's return to our climbing to Gasherbrum, analyzing other photo. Don't forget to see yesterday's photo, to understand  it better. Today's photo was taken from a place around 7,600 m of altitude, so you can see the "banana"  from the height (the tower  over below ),  where there are some tents, is camp 2 at 6,500m, where we didn't stay at. Further  there is a big snow ramp that is interrupted by a  80 m serac (cracks and ice blocks).

    WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ

  • Coming on Thursday the Jacek Maselko Q&A: This Q&A is very powerful as Jacek discusses the climb, the rescue of his friend, and the lost of a friend. Also additional details on Joao, Pascal, and what Jacek "was asked that day", which you will find interesting. His slideshow is below, this will take you awhile in that there are 33 pictures. We found the pictures some of the best photos we have seen "together". It is a must see. Also You will want to see picture number 33. It touched us.

http://www.alaska.net/~ptgmtnag/everest99/slideshow/slideshow.html

Again, unless you have been there, you must take the time to see these pictures.

Daily News: 7/14/99 Report

  • 1999 K2: Heading to K2 Soon, but more climbing first.

    Update 7/13/99:

    WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ VIA SATELLITE BY IRIDIUM

    Gasherbrum, Base, 5,220m,52nd day of the expedition

    It's incredible, but just a day resting here at base- camp makes the difference. I feel much better, but even thought very sure to go to K2, leaving Hidden Peak for another opportunity.

    Unfortunately the days have  gone by so quickly and the weather hasn't helped much. I'd like to have already climbed those two mountains . Yesterday was the foreseen day that the porters would come to move to the base of K2. I have a good feeling, that we will have good weather in the next full moon, on the 28th, when I intend to do the final attack to K2.

    A little good sense can solve everything. I'm very glad by my ascending to Gasherbrum, although I'd like to try Hidden Peak again. Nothing is more important in this expedition than K2. I feel perfectly acclimatized for this comfort, and a new attempt to Hidden Peak would bring us an useless and unnecessary waste. It's   my point of view. Unfortunately I couldn't convince my friend Pepe Garces to give up of Hidden Peak. So, he waits the weather gets better in the next days to go on to superior camps with the Australian Andrew Lock.

    While I recover my energy, I  look after my throat that is getting better step by step. On the other hand, I take the necessary arrangements to climb K2. I've already got in touch with the agency in Islamabad, that will send 36 porters on Jul. 20th, when we intend to leave to K2, base-camp, just a two-day walk from here.

    Photo

    (legenda da foto)   As I have promised, I'll send a new photo of our climbing  to Gasherbrum each day. Today's photo I took when I was at 6,500m, where camp 2 is placed. On the photo appears Abele and Christian on the top of the called "banana", the first obstacle on our climb route, a  300-metre ram  . In the centre, in the back and below, the Glacier Gasherbrum joins the Glacier Duca de Abruzzi, where appears a narrow black spot, it's where  our base-camp is placed. The other big round mountain in the centre is "Golden Throne".

    WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ

  • Gheorghe (aka George) Dijmarescu Q&A on the Summit Questions Part One

 

Daily News: 7/13/99 Report

  • 1999 K2: Coming Down...

    Update 7/12/99:

    WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ VIA SATELLITE BY IRIDIUM

    Gasherbrum Base-camp, 5,220m, 51st day of the expedition

    Dear friends

    With great pleasure I send this message direct from base-camp, after climbing  Gasherbrum II successfully, with 8,035 of altitude, the   14th highest mountain in the world.

    Abele and I had a nervous descending yesterday  from 7,000 meters, camp 3, as far as base-camp. The final attack, from  7,000 meters to the summit was long and tough, it seemed endless. And when we got  the summit, what   we were expecting,  happened.  The weather changed suddenly, a strong wind blew at 8,035m and the clouds started to fulfil all horizon.

    During our descending it started to snow very strongly and it got colder as we went down. We arrived at camp 3 very tired and the blizzard went on all night long. We almost couldn't sleep, worried about going down to camp 1 and having the possibility of an avalanche  on our tent.  Around 4:00 am, when the sun was rising we tried to go out of the tent  for the first time but it was impossible. All camping was about 30 cm under the snow,  from 50  to 60 km/hour wind. The worst was the lack of visibility, we couldn't see further than 10 meters. So, we waited   the wind calm down. By 6:00 am Abele and I could go out of the tent and started to look for the rope end which would take us safe  down. I found the end of the fixed rope 40 cm under the snow, far about 20 cm from Abele I insisted on saying  " I'm sure it's here".

    It was craziness to go down in that weather, but the storm was similar to days before (it's snowing till now),  and being hung in that tent at 7,000 meters of altitude could be fatal. Therefore   we needed to do something quickly. So, we started doing  a series of descents by fixed ropes, on a wall between 30 and 60 degrees inclination. The wind, furious,  almost blinded us. The snow that had just fallen, fell in great avalanches on our feet. We  started digging each meter of rope with difficulty and the most incredible, although we were in front of each other just some meters ahead,  the one who came behind couldn't  find any   other's footsteps.  The wind and the snow erased everything very quickly hiding the ropes again. As far as camp 2, at 6,500 m (place where we didn't use for camping, so we hadn't any  tent there)  it was  one of the greatest adventure I've ever had. After being sheltered by the wind,  thanks to the mountain geography, the descending was calmer to 6,000 meters, where the fixed ropes finished, because the inclination diminished and there was just 30 minutes walk to camp 1.  We arrived there at 11:00 am, when it stopped snowing. We ate and drank much, so we went on descending to base. At 1:00 pm it started snowing hardly again. The descending to base was nervous again, due to a great quantity of snow that was falling.  It hid    innumerable glacier cracks.

    But, my friends, we arrived in our base-camp, where the first thing that called my attention was the Brazilian flag, trembling on a bamboo amidst a strong blizzard.   Our green  and yellow flag, trembling  for the first time in the history at the heights of 8,035 meters of Gasherbrum, 'the light mountain" the 14th highest in the world.

    Photo

    (legenda da foto) The accomplishment of a great dream, Waldemar Niclevicz with the Brazilian flag, that was received  by the Minister of Sports and Tourism of Brazil, Mr. Rafael Greca, on the heights of Gasherbrum, with 8,035m of altitude, the 14th highest mountain in the world.

    PS.: During this week, each day a photo of a new climb.   Don't miss!

    WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ

    We must say Waldemar's reports "are real life". We hope you are enjoying this insight into H.A. climbing rather than some reports written by a BC reporter. Not that reports written by a BC reporter are bad...

  • Nepal Relaxes Trekking Permit Rules and simplifies Visa Procedures

    In its well publicized commitment to liberalize Tourism Policy, His Majesty' s Government of Nepal has announced that Trekking Permit fees for the following areas have been waived with effect from this autumn season:

    01. Everest Region
    02. Annapurna Region
    03. Langtang Region

    By this new announcement, Trekkers visiting above areas don't need any Trekking Permit and don't need to queue up at long lines at the police check posts at different Trekking Destinations.

    However, other Areas like Dolpo, Humla, Manaslu, Makalu, Kanchenjunga plus all other destinations of Nepal will remain the same, no change.

    Nepal Entry Visa:

    Similarly Tourist visiting Nepal will get from now onwards 2 months Visa from anywhere in the world, consul or embassies of Nepal paying just US$ 30. This has also simplified duplicate procedures of Entry Visa as well as Entry Trekking Permit within the country.

    While committed Nepal Travelers can feel a great relief of such Himalayan Bureaucratic Hassles, Trekking Operators in Nepal however are not happy about it. Emergency meetings one after another are going on in different Trekking & Travel Associations in Kathmandu to find a counter measures. However, the Government seems pretty firm and confident in their stand as they have absolute majority in the House.

    Reported by bikrum pandey at Himalaya Center  Kathmandu Nepal  -  12 July 1999

Note: This appears to be a change in Trekking Permit Rules not climbing permits on the Mountains governed by the Ministry of Tourism. As always, ask all the questions (three times or more), be careful, and be safe.

  • The readers of EverestNews.com continue to post interesting Lectures and the other news on the Lectures page of the forum. Check them out.
  • Our Featured Books are:

Ghosts of Everest; The Search for Mallory & Irvine  by Jochen Hemmleb, Eric Simonson, Larry Johnson 

Daily News: 7/12/99 Report

  • Ghosts on Everest: In 1998 EverestNews.com meet a young man by the name of Jochen Hemmleb. After we have gotten to know Jochen, he asked us to publish his papers on EverestNews.com (Jochen Hemmleb's Papers). This Spring as part of Eric Simonson's commercial expedition to Everest. Jochen, had a chance to live his dream of finding out what happened to Mallory & Irvine. Clearly a search for Ghosts on Everest. If you are new to EverestNews.com we encourage you to read Jochen's Papers. EverestNews.com looks forward to more Q&As with Jochen, Eric and Larry in the future as this their new book is finished and time becomes available for them.

Ghosts of Everest; The Search for Mallory & Irvine  by Jochen Hemmleb, Eric Simonson, Larry Johnson 

Daily News: 7/11/99 Report

  • 1999 K2: Summits on Gasherbrum and a Marriage Proposal

Update 7/10/99:

WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ VIA SATELLITE BY IRIDIUM

Gasherbrum, Attempt to Attack the Summit of Gasherbrum 8,035m   49th day of the expedition

It was a long and extremely tough day, but worthy.  We have succeeded to climb the 8,035m of the 14th highest mountain in the world.  Abele Blanc,  Christian Kuntner and I arrived today at 1:20 pm (Pakistan hour - 8 hours earlier than the  Brazilian hour) at the summit of Gasherbrum after an icy night ( -21 degrees C). We're exhausted, but happy!

The day was wonderful, but when we got the summit, the weather changed suddenly, strong winds and threatening  storm clouds took place. The great difficulty was the soft snow found on the way, mainly at the last 200m before getting the summit, where we sank up to the knees. So, unfortunately, it wasn't possible to be there for a long time, mainly due to strong winds. We are at Camp 3,   7,000m, where we have hydrated, melting snow. But, we've got it, that's the important!

Gasherbrum in Urdu means  "light mountain". This success, the conquest of the light mountain, I offer to Adriana Carioba, the woman of my life, with whom I expect to get married as soon as I arrive in Brazil.

WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ

Update 7/11/99:

WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ VIA SATELLITE BY IRIDIUM

Gasherbrum    Camp 3,   7,000m / Base-camp  5,200m, 50th day of the expedition

We are leaving Camp 3 today towards base-camp for resting. We are happy by  the team's conquest, and by the  fact that I have been the first Brazilian to climb Gasherbrum with its 8,035m of altitude, the 14th highest mountain in the world. This is a unique victory to Brazilian Alpinism, and for me a good motivation to go on  the Project K2.

As soon as I get the base I'll send you the photos. Once more thank you for cheering!

WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ

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