first report after the summit May 27, 2001
made it to the summit of Mt. Everest, last May 23
around 2:00 in the afternoon, along with Asmus
Norreslet (from Denmark) and Andy Lapkass from the
USA. It was a hard ascent that took us six days
from ABC, obviously using all the preinstalled camps.
this journey, we heard of the death of a Russian and
an Australian. We also saw some dead bodies of
climbers who came in previous years, it is really
shocking to see those dramas.
route from the last Camp (8300 meters), is really
steep, passing zones like "the yellow band".
This section has very compacted and flat rocks, then
the vertical to the summit with areas exposed to the
deep emptiness on the North Wall, and to the other
side the face of Kangshung.
left from this last Camp at 01:00 in the morning and
we made it to the top around 02:00 in the afternoon.
It was a very exhausting work, especially when each of
us was carrying three tanks of 3 liters of oxygen on
our back. We should add the climb to the most
complicated parts of the mountain, like the so called
"first", "second" and
"third" steps, located at 8500 and 8700
meters above sea level.
steps are vertical walls located at a very high
altitude and exposed directly to the emptiness of
hundreds of meters deep.
summit is itself very special because it is very
little, with a wonderful view to Makalu, Lhotse,
Nuptse and many other giant mountains, that would
dominate the landscape in any other part of the world,
but here are overshadowed by Everest.
the top of the world, there are Tibetan pray flags, as
well as mementos left by some people in this
particular part of the planet. It is curious to
be able to see the climbers coming from the South face
(Nepal) and the summit is the border between Tibet
(China) and Nepal. Remember we climbed the route of
the North Col, the Tibetan side.
were on the summit around 20 minutes, we had some cold
blizzards and during descent... Andy Lapkass was
totally exhausted, so I decided to stay with him in a
bivouac at 8700 meters, something that not many people
can survive. Well, "bivouac" means to
sleep in the outdoors [on the mountain], so we lay
between rocks and ice "on God's hands", but
the difference is the extreme altitude and cold, thank
God we survived that long and horrible night.
Next day (May 24) we went down to 7900 meters to our
Camp 6 where we spent the night and the 25th we could
descend to ABC from where I am writing.
because of the bivouac Andy suffered severe frostbite
on the nose and toes, he is now in his tent with
supplementary oxygen. Me, I have mild frostbite
on my fingers, but nothing serious. The
expedition doctor says I'll be totally recovered in a
matter of three weeks. I wish to make all this
clear because it looks like some USA media published
irresponsible information about Andy and me, saying we
were dead. [EverestNews.com has seen several false
reports of deaths again this year. However, we did not
see a US published report stating that Andy and
wrap up, I want to tell you that never in my life I
have been so tired. Climbing Everest has been
the hardest thing I have made so far, let's remember
the bivouac. I can say, with satisfaction...
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, GUATEMALA! Not only for
climbing Everest, but for ending the challenge of
climbing the Seven Summits of the World.
many thanks to each of my sponsors for their support
hope to be back in Katmandu on June 1st, and
from there I will arrange my flights to go back to
Guatemala. Regards, Jaime Viρals
from Spanish by Jorge Rivera
(this is the official website). Published
with permission from Terra
is the list of dispatches for his site.
Eric Simonson report of the rescue...
Chris Warner report (two parts).
reporting at 8000 meters!
News and Expedition Coverage