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July 21-31th,1999 Daily Reports

Daily News: 7/31/99 Report

  • Everest Spring 1999

Geoffrey Robb a member of the Himalayan Experience Everest Expedition sent Everest News some summit photos from 5/27/99 to share with you.

Photo1

Photo2

Hopefully more from Geoff and his Everest experience soon.

Daily News: 7/30/99 Report

  • Everest Autumn 1999

EXPEDICIΣN CASTELLANO LEONESA AL EVEREST 1999 Expediciσn Samuel Rubio   http://server3.servicios.retecal.es/everest99/ is prepared to be the ONLY expedition on the South Side this Autumn. At this point, Asian-Trekking is not planning on maintaining the icefall, as their planned Expeditions has moved to Everest Spring 99. However, there is at least one other expedition that might go in Everest Autumn 99, also there is a possible Russian Lhotse Expedition (which would probably use Asian-Trekking for Sherpa support). The timing of the Lhotse expedition is not known at this point.

At this point this strong nine-member experienced group lead by Isidoro Rodriguez are planning that they will have Everest South Side to themselves, including maintaining the icefall.

Everest News will post their reports in English, and they will post the reports in Spanish on their site.

  • The Constantine Niarchos Story has been updated...
  • 1999 K2: 

    WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ VIA SATELLITE BY IRIDIUM

    K2 - 29th July -K2 Base-camp, 5,100 meters   - 68th day of the expedition

    It is amazing the quantity of e-mails that I have been receiving  these days, many of them even asking us to giving up climbing. I am very happy and thank everybody for sending those e-mails, I'm trying to answer all of them. And you can be sure that giving up climbing at this moment isn't a so bad idea. It's an enormous relief because, we are going mad with the uncertainty principally regarding the weather, that keeps undecided. What  worries  us too, and much, it the expectations  for a propitious moment, when we can accomplish our final attack, hoping to reach the summit. Now, unfortunately, there is no sense to set camp 1 or 2. Our idea is to attack in a alpine style, setting up and untying a small tent every days, always gaining altitudes, that's why the weather can't be so it must be terrific!

    This consciousness we need and we expect to keep having it. Much calm, much patience, because we know exactly what to do.  Here we don't make believe games, our life is and will always be the most important thing.

    Don't miss next Sunday, The Project K2 at the program "Fantαstico" in the Brazilian Network TV, Rede Glob - unpublished images of the climbing to Gasherbrum and the attempt to Hidden Peak.

    WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ

Daily News: 7/29/99 Report

  • Everest Autumn 1999

Everest News will be bring you reports from Everest this fall from the EXPEDICIΣN CASTELLANO LEONESA AL EVEREST 1999 Expediciσn Samuel Rubio   http://server3.servicios.retecal.es/everest99/.

We will post their reports in English, and they will post the reports in Spanish on their site.

This nine-member experienced group lead by Isidoro Rodriguez are going to attempt the summit via the South Col. The expedition is dedicated to Samuel Rubio a Leon mountaineer who died at 84.

More details of this interesting Everest South Side expedition can be found in Spanish on their site. In the next several days leading up to Autumn Everest 99, we will bring you many more details on this expedition.

Few Everest expeditions are expected this this Autumn, which most choosing the more successful Spring season.

  • 1999 K2: 

    WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ VIA SATELLITE BY IRIDIUM

    K2-  Base, 5,100m Jul. 28th - 67th day of the expedition  

    At last the day that I most expected all long the month has arrived ,  we have full moon today, and it is also the day to receive the weather forecast. The weather seems to help us.

    The forecast for the next 5 days: a big monsoon in India, but no in Pakistan. Almost no changes all week long, with reduction in last week's rains and snow. The weather tendency is  to keep stable or variable, but not unstable. A long fog continues in the centre east of Pakistan. A new instability   appears in the west of China, that will have no interference in Karakorum.   South and South-west moderate winds and temperatures stable going up, step by step. Isotherm of 0 degrees at 4,900 meters. Minimum of 18 degrees on the peaks and + 2 degrees at 4,800 meters. The temperature goes up from 3 for 4 degrees on 30th, Friday, when the clouds may come back.

    Well, the forecast isn't bad. But it is good to remind you that we need to wait until the enormous quantity of snow gets harder, that is over 8 thousand meters.  The only negative point is that there will be a hot week. On the contrary we need cold, much cold, because with minimum of 18 negative on the peaks, the snow neither melt nor freeze.

    Other point important, there is no sense Pepe and I climb alone, now it is necessary to climb all together so that we have more chances to open path on the snow, towards the peak. And the Koreans have decide to climb only from Aug. 6th on. Patience, that's what I beg God. But a thing we've already decided, if the weather gets worse next week, we'll desist of our climbing.

    WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ

  • Our Featured Books are:

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

  • The New edition: THE CLIMB: TRAGIC AMBITIONS ON EVEREST [Updated Edition] is a Trade Paperback of 412 pp.

    The trade paperback has three new chapters in addition to what appears in the  mass market paperback (the small one). Those three chapters:

    EVEREST UPDATE: A RESPONSE TO JON KRAKAUER: This is a 14,000+ word history and analysis of the Boukreev-Krakauer controversy.

    A REVIEW FROM THE AMERICAN ALPINE CLUB,This is a reprint of Galen Rowell's review of THE CLIMB that ran in the 1998 edition of THE AMERICAN ALPINE JOURNAL.

    MOUNTAIN MADNESS EVEREST DEBRIEFING: A TRANSCRIPT
    This is a verbatim transcript of the audio-taped debriefing of the  Mountain Madness Expedition members, made five days after the tragedy.

    Source:  Weston DeWalt

    Paperback - 416 pages (July 1999) St Martins Pr (Trade); ISBN: 0312206372  The Climb by Anatoli Boukreev, Weston Dewalt, G. Weston Dewalt  

  • World Mountaineering: The World's Great Mountains by the World's Great Mountaineers -- Audrey Salkeld (Editor), Chris Bonington; Hardcover.

Daily News: 7/28/99 Report

WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ VIA SATELLITE BY IRIDIUM

Hopes appeared on the sky of K2, today. We were granted by a beautiful sunrise and the sun shone all day long  and just lost its purity at sunset, when some bad meaning clouds, turned to appear. The wind, hasn't stopped yet, and blew violently on the heights, forming a typical clouds tail on the high summits.

Pepe and I decided to stretch our legs. We went to the base of both routes that interest us, Abruzzos and Tomo Cesen in order to have an idea about the conditions they are. And our impressions weren't good. First we were almost caught by a big avalanche,  just at Tomo Cesen's  base, that is a sharp  ram that rises about one hour walking from base-camp. On the left side of that ram, where  the biggest avalanche corridor is placed, about 7 thousand meters of altitude, there is an enormous serac (an icy wall about to fall) in front.

Well, the first 300 meters climbing  Tomo Cesen, are completely exposed to avalanches of that big serac, it means about one hour and half climbing there is  risk of  life. And Pepe Garces, who has already climbed Tomo Cesen in 1995 up to 8300 meters, didn't like the enormous quantity of snow over 7 thousand meters.

After the avalanche frightening, we went on more one hour and half by Glacial Godwin Austen, up to 5250 meters, of the called advanced base-camp where the Abruzzos ram starts. The impression was very different, but also negative, it's incredible how Abruzzos, in its inferior part, is practically without snow, having a  fragile rock ramp . And  in the few  minutes that  we stayed    there, we saw a big sliding and various stones were projected down as   missiles. It wasn't difficult  to imagine how  the Romanian lost his   life weeks ago.

Therefore,  we got a logical conclusion: the most suitable route for our climb is Tomo Cesen, as the Koreans and their fixed ropes are already there, but, it's necessary to wait the snow excess falls mountain down. Let's cheer the good weather goes on some days more. The most important is that it stops snowing.

Photo

(legenda da foto)  Waldemar Niclevicz at  K2's base-camp, today morning.

WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ,    7/27/99

Daily News: 7/27/99 Report

WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ VIA SATELLITE BY IRIDIUM

K2    Base - K2, 5,100 m- Jul. 25th, 64th day of the expedition

Nothing is better than a good Sunday for a rest. And the weather has helped with a little sun. Thus, I took advantage to take a good bath and wash some dirty clothes.

Pepe and I are calm, without false expectancies, but   avoiding  that some unfavorable conditions touch us. And, it's very difficult to keep the balance, but we get it." Take it easy" is all we need, this patience, day by day re-evaluating our situation, and trying to make our enthusiasm increase.

Photo

(legenda da foto)  The Brazilian Waldemar Niclevicz and the Spaniard Pepe Garces, at k2's base-camp, at 5,100 m.

WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ VIA SATELLITE BY IRIDIUM

K2   -    Base  Jul. 26th, 65th day of the expedition

We got closer to the Koreans'  expedition last weekend, I'd say,  it was a reciprocal approximation , because we need each other to conclude the climb of K2. And our talking was very productive, we don't need to pay "a   thousand dollars anymore" to use the fixed ropes that they had already fixed, the turnpike has diminished to "500 dollars". Pepe and I have no definitive answer yet, if we go through Tomo Cesen (the Koreans' route) or by Abruzzos (our initial route).

The weather will really decide our staying in K2. If   it doesn't  stop snowing in the next days, I believe that it 's not   worth to be here. So, let's cheer   the full moon brings a blue sky,   strong sun and   much cold. They're the necessary conditions so that the snow becomes a firm layer, turning our climbing  safe and giving us a chance for success.

 

Daily News: 7/26/99 Report

  • 1999 K2: 

    WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ VIA SATELLITE

    K2 - Base K2, 5,100m Jul. 23rd 62nd day of the expedition

    The weather is better today than yesterday, but only a little bit. Once more I resisted to awake, hearing the snow flakes falling continuously all morning long, what had happened all night long. But at sunrise shy blue windows appeared on the sky, and a little before getting dark, K2 disclosed in a whole, perfectly beautiful, but full of snow.

    Today some of the reliable weather forecast arrived from Spain, sponsored by Barrabes Shop. Such forecast has surprised us a lot, because they are very efficient, and quite sharp. And for the next 5 days we have: Strong monsoon in India, what involves strong storms in the centre of Pakistan. Many clouds above all Karakorum with many precipitation. Strong winds from South to Southeast. On the weekend the rain and snow may diminish but without disappearing completely. The improvement is partial, the clouds will go on. Stable temperatures, with isotherm of 0 degrees at 4,700m. And our efficient meteorologist Daniel Ramirez sends us each days' profile, and until the 27th we'll have snow daily.

    Thus, we go on waiting, my friends, I confess a little worried. But, let's wait some more days to see what will happen. In fact, I'd bet everything to know the forecast for 28th on, but as I don't have a crystal ball, I beg God Patience.

  • K2 - Base K2, 5,100m Jul. 24th 63rd day of expedition

    We had a meeting with the Koreans today, in order to join our forces. Maybe that's the only way to climb K2 this year. Six Koreans alpinists, Pepe Garces (that arrived at base yesterday, very tired), I and the American Jay Sieger and the Turkish Ugur Uluoack were there too. And that's all!!! i.e., there are just 10 alpinists rest having the hope to climb K2 this year. I confess you that we are not a very expressive number, and moreover if we take into consideration someone's experience.

    The Koreans are climbing a route called "Tomo Cesen", shorter and quicker, and it's not more difficult than "Abruzzos", the same route that we intended to do. But to do "Abruzzos", Pepe and I counted on Abele . And counting on other expedition members' help, who unfortunately have gone away. It would be necessary to fix ropes (we fixed 2,500 m last year), besides spending much energy to open the path. I.e., a tough work, for a good team. And this team for Abruzzos, unfortunately there isn't anymore. So, the solution is to work with the Koreans.

    The Koreans have been here since Jun 7th. They have fixed more than 3,000 meters of ropes at "Tomo Cesen", setting camp 1 at 6,300m and camp 2 at 7,100m. Well, if we follow that route we'll be benefited by all the work they've already done. On the other side hand, the idea is to do an attack together, and so we can help them to open path over 7,500m, from where there is a great amount of snow on . But to use the ropes already fixed, the Koreans are asking 1,000 dollars each one. Of course I agree in paying some money but not a thousand dollars. Well, at that point the meeting was over, without drawing a conclusion. But, I'm sure that we'll make a deal in the next days.

 

Daily News: 7/24-25/99 Report

  • The Jacek Maselko Q&A

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.

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.

Q.) Tell us what assistance the Sherpa gave Pascal and what happened, and their feelings as described to you..

A.) The Sherpas met with Ryszard, who was already traversing towards the fixed lines that lead from the ridge through the yellow band around 9am. They gave him  oxygen, but after a while, he preferred to walk without his backpack which meant he had to give up the oxygen as well.  As they were walking him towards the fixed line, they saw another person laying about 50 meters away. They quickly went up to him and found that it was Pascal who was still alive, albeit unconscious.  They gave him oxygen at full flow, shook him, tried to get him to wake up... but he only groaned.   After a while of these efforts, they decided they cannot carry a man down and they already had one man to save, so they had to leave him.  It was by far the hardest decision they had to make in their lives...  And they were definitely affected by it.   They told me this after we met below the yellow band and that's when I notified our ABC, and they got in touch with Pascal's team to assemble a strong rescue team of a few Sherpas to go up. I then assisted Ryszard to camp 6, while the Sherpas were already there, melting snow, and getting some food ready for Ryszard.\

Q.) After you arrived back at Camp 6, tell us what "you heard" happened on the  attempt to save Pascal ...

A.) The Belgians (Pascal's team) were able to get in touch with the Sherpas from an  Italian expedition who were in camp 5.  I think 4 of them, and one Italian climber (don't know who it was, though), left for camp 6.  Even before they  arrived at camp 6, they saw a person above the fixed line on the ridge stand up  - they waved to him - Pascal waved back, then took a couple of steps forward, tripped, and fell down the north face...

Q.) What is your theory on Pascal "awaking " ? As no one can know for sure.

A.) When our Sherpas reached him it was a bit after 9am.   His core body temperature  was very low - too low to maintain consciousness, but still warm enough to be alive.  The Italian Sherpas saw him around 4pm, when the sun would have warmed his  core body temperature enough for him to revive himself.

Q.) Tell us you opinion on how easy it is to fall going down with the ropes that were there from the Summit to Camp 6.

A.) Although the steps are the more technical of obstacles, they tended to have  better fixed ropes.  However, the traverses consisted of walking on a fairly narrow ledge of maybe 6" to 12" in width with maybe a couple of inches of unconsolidated powder snow on them.  Below the ledges, the north face of Everest dropped off at an angle of 60 to 80 degrees.  The ropes there were very frayed, and some had the whole sheath missing with a couple of strands of the core left.   You really had to climb here, as you knew that the rope would not hold if one was to fall.

Q.) And the toughest for last...Going down can you describe how it is descending with one less climber?

A.) The expedition was a failure.  Even though we climbed the summit, the loss of a  life was not worth it.  Our moods were somber, and there were just hugs from all the members and Sherpa staff.  There is nothing we really could have said, everything was understood, and I even felt guilty for making the summit...

Jacek

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 Everest News.

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: 7/23/99 Report

WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ VIA SATELLITE BY IRIDIUM

K2 - Base-camp, 5,100m  Jul. 21st      60th day of the expedition

The weather has kept very bad today, snow all day long and a dense fog over the camp. Early in the morning, at 6:00 am, it was possible to hear the porters murmuring that  came to take those who have decided to go away, almost everybody. And  they began leaving, one by one, with a sad face sprinkled by snow, mountain down. Inside each one, surely, there must have a great relief because they were going back safe. The Italian Hans Kammerlander passed in front of my tent with some   Austrian friends, and the Swiss Aldo Verzaroli, the Italians Oskar Piazza, Angelo Giovanetti, Manuel Lugli and other alpinists, that I've barely had the opportunity to meet. Yeah, without forgetting my friend Abele Blanc, who took his backpack and disappear amidst the mist, as scaping from a giant that was frightening him. And I was alone at base-camp, waiting all day long for my friend Pepe Garces, and hasn't appeared yet (certainly he's still very tired of  climbing Hidden Peak, and as the weather is horrible, it makes no sense to get here so quickly)

The atmosphere here is silence, an immense silence, broken just by some snowflakes, where each one of us who have decided to be here, must ask "What to do?" - at least, I confess everybody who follow K2 on-line, that's the question that follows us all the time. But, as I said yesterday, let's wait for good weather, the sun heat our ideas  and then take a decision at the right time. 

I leave you a photo here, which was taken at 1:00 pm, so that you can feel what the weather is doing here, cold, wind, snow.

WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ

 

WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ VIA SATELLITE BY IRIDIUM 

K2 Base 5,100m July 22nd, 61st day of the expedition

Let's see if you guess the weather here at K2? If you say wind, snow, cold, you are right! The weather is terrible! As bad as yesterday. And confidentially, the enthusiasm here keeps horrible.

But what worries really, is the snow that doesn't stop falling. There is already a lot of snow over 7 thousand meters, and this snow must go away. For that, the weather needs to get better, it's necessary a lot of sun and wind. The sun to compact the snow and wind to send the snow excess far from the crests (our natural path towards the heights ). Who went away, believes that it will not happen this season, i.e., that the big amount of snow on the superior part of the mountain is an insurmountable barrier this year. It was said by Hans Kammerlander, and  everybody believe.  He showed a film about his attempt, here at base, where he appeared at 8.300 meters, at the end  of "Bottle neck" with snow over this waist, an image to frighten any mortal. According to him, it will take at least "ten" days for the snow to get the ideal conditions. It was said before these horrible days that we had, when more snow has been  falling  here. And "ten" days of good weather at K2, is almost impossible (last year we had only "four" successive days of good weather in two months).

That's why, my friends, I don't leave to say my prayers, burn my incenses, sing  my mantras. My faith in God, is above all those difficulties that have  tried to touch me. I'm not sure if everything will get better and I will climb K2, but I know that God will protect my way, or going to the summit of this big mountain or going back to my beloved Brazil.

WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ

  • Autumn Everest 99 is coming soon!

 

Daily News: 7/22/99 Report

  • 1999 K2:  Along with the report in the 7/21 News, this is where K2 1999 is at right now... !

Pulmonary oedema is one more obstacle for Waldemar Niclevicz to get to the summit of the Death Mountain - K2

The Brazilian alpinist Waldemar Niclevicz, 33, starts climbing K2 today, Tuesday - the most dangerous mountain in the world with 8,611m located in Pakistan (the highest one is Everest with 8,848m, K2 is the second one.)

That's the second Niclevicz's attempt, who,   in August last year, finished the expedition 600 m far from the top, after 8 attempts to reach  the summit, due to blizzards and 100-km/h winds or more . In the last two months, Waldemar Niclevicz  has climbed mountains in Bolivia and in Pakistan as a training in order to face K2. During the preparative, due to low temperatures and icy wind, the Brazilian has got a flu and coughing and finally a pulmonary oedema.

The Problem

Last week Niclevicz arrived at the summit of Gasherbrum,  which with 8,035 m is the 14th highest mountain in the world. That one was the 4th mountain that Waldemar has climbed (there are just 14 in the world) over 8,000m. Niclevicz had climbed Everest (8,848m), Shisha Pangma (8,046m), and Cho Oyo (8,201m). Only 7 alpinists has got to climb all the 14 mountain over 8 thousand meters. The Brazilian has dedicated  the climbing of the 'Light Mountain" (the meaning of Gasherbrum in Urdu, Pakistan official language) to his girlfriend Adriana Carioba "the woman of my life, with whom I want to get married as soon as I arrive in Brazil"  Niclevicz has stated.

Gasherbrum is placed in Pakistan and it's located near K2. The initial climbing foreseen was to be completed in less than 15 days, and was over after a month. Climbing  Gasherbrum is part of a strategy to get used to the rarefied air (lack of oxygen), before a so dangerous climbing. While climbing Niclevicz got flu and coughing. To have those problems solved, he kept resting at base-camp, while his expedition companions climbed Hidden Peak of 8,068m. "I preferred to give up   climbing Hidden Peak and get over to have all the need energy when I face K2. The expedition's main aim is to get the summit of the most dangerous mountain in the world, and I want to have the happiness to be the first Brazilian to put the Brazilian flag on the top of K2" said Waldemar Niclevicz.

In order to solve his  health problems, Waldemar Niclevicz has consulted at Gasherbrum's base-camp, the Spanish doctor Xavier Botelha, specialist in "Medicine of Altitude" . Dr. Xavier has said that Niclevicz has got a  sub clinic pulmonary oedema, that's a water accumulation     in some alveolus in one of his lungs. "That water accumulation   provokes a constant coughing, and this coughing is classified as "Mountain Cough", said Dr. Xavier Botelha and has stated that the alpinists isn't in danger, since he can avoid the problem development.

The climb

This Wednesday, Waldemar Niclevicz is starting setting K2's base-camp. From 1997 so far no alpinist has been able to complete the climb of the Death Mountain. K2 has frightening statistics, an average of 1 death in each two successes. Just 122 alpinists finished the climb until r and 53 has died trying. " With this oedema I'll need to be extremely methodic to save my energy. That's why, every step at K2 will be  studied carefully, since I can't stay on the mountain for a long time and I can't spend energy doing several attempts to get the summit", analysed Niclevicz.

Project K2, budgeted in more than 200 thousand dollars, has been possible thanks to the sponsorship of O Boticαrio, Nutrimental, Matte Leγo, and Iridium do Brazil, all of them  are from the State of Paranα. Waldemar Niclevicz receives the support of Mr. Rafael Greca, the Minister of Sports in Brazil.

Source: Leila Kaltman Press Officer

  • Note stats quoted above are provided by Mr. Kaltman

Daily News: 7/21/99 Report

WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ VIA SATELLITE BY IRIDIUM

K2- July 20th- Concσrdia 4,720m/ K2 Base-camp, 5,100m   -  59th day of  the expedition

Dear friends,

I'd like to start this message very enthusiastically. We arrived at base-camp of the mountain which does make sense to all project,  and gives the name to this page "K2 on-line" at Internet. But I sorry to say to you that I'm here, for the second time,  in front of K2, the mountain I've most wanted to climb in all my life, and my feeling blends between distress and a big disappointment.

The news from K2, my friends, are worse than  I could imagine. And I was walking full of will to get base-camp today, to talk with the alpinists, to see how the works are. The weather that we faced was the worst, much fog and rain, but my enthusiasm renewed recognizing the place where I had felt big emotions last year and more than two months of my life. After, we had  the so expected meeting with other expeditions that  are already trying or, have tried to climb K2 this year. And that atmosphere that had been grey, started to be black. Bad news, followed by bad news. We met everybody disappointed with bad weather and a lot of snow over seven thousand meters. Furthermore, in Abruzzos Ram, a week ago, a little below camp-1 (6,050m), a stone hit the Romanian's back Mihai Cioroiano, who died. This death has touched everybody and it has made alpinists many give up.

Here, among us, is Hans Kammerlander, a famous Italian alpinist who has already climbed twelve mountains of the fourteen mountains higher than eight thousand meters of altitude in the world (to complete the 14 ones its missing Manaslu and K2). Kammerlander arrived around 8,200 meters a couple of days ago and said it is impossible to go on, because the snow reached the waist or more. Tomorrow he and his team  will start going back home. And when a Hans Kammerlander speaks that it is impossible to climb K2 this year, many people believe, and other Italian expedition that is here  will take a ride and starts going back tomorrow.

Yesterday when Abele and I arrived in Concσrdia, it was funny to know that the famous German Peter Gegelnos, after climbing Nanga Parbat this year (also a very difficult mountain over 8 thousand) came to K2, but a day after decided to go away, because he understood that the conditions were not favorable. And my big surprise today, I'd  say disappointment, when Abele Blanc turned to me and simply said that he's going back tomorrow. It's almost unbelievable, but it's serious!

Someone must be asking: "And who will want to climb K2 this year? ". Well, one thing is to want, and other thing is to know if it is possible. But, let's answer this question first. There is still a Korean expedition, six members, who are trying to climb the route called Tomo Cesen, and have already arrived near 7 thousand.

Besides them , we have only two other alpinists, a Turkish called Ugur Uluocak, and a Canadian called Jay Sieger. And taking into consideration that Spaniard Pepe Garces must arrive within the next days, because he stayed at the base-camp resting after climbing Hidden Peak. He and I add more two.

Who said that alpinist's life is easy??? Tough my friends, very tough! 'I've I decided to stay here, for a  while. I hope  the weather gets better, take advantage to think a little, and take a decision within the next days.

WALDEMAR NICLEVICZ

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