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Kangchenjunga 2003
Spanish/Italian News


5/13/2003 It couldn't be. Kangchenjunga: Carlos Pauner

On the 8th at 6 in the morning, we left base camp with the intention of attacking the summit of Kangchenjunga.  We climbed in 6 hours, directly to camp 2, at 7,000 m.  The route, as always, has to be opened, because the snowfalls of each day erase it every time. After sleeping in camp 2, we went into unknown terrain.  We crossed the top of the ice fall that gives access to the snow plateau, at the base of the summit pyramid known as "great shelf".  To get there we had to cross two big crevasses in the ice and to climb vertical walls, so, with everything being carried on our backs, it has been very hard.  This way we got to the location of camp 3, at 7,600 m, in a valley at the bottom of the Kangchen terminal corridor.  There are still 1000 m. of uneven terrain to go and we prepare to spend the night.  At 2 in the morning, we get ready to leave.  We dress up and prepare water, which inside a tent shared by 4 is a long and hard task.  When we are ready, around 4, the wind begins to blow.  Not much at the beginning, but then it begins to shake the tent.  We decide to wait a little.  Inside, there is almost no room, the frost covers it all and the cold temperature is intense.  Around 6, we leave, with the light of day already, but the wind and the blizzard make us turn around.  We keep waiting and around 7 we decide there is not enough time to get to the summit, and during the blizzard we climb down to base camp in very harsh conditions.  The return has been very hard, because the blizzard didn't let us see the route, or the crevasses, and we even initiated one layer avalanche or another, which scared us.  Finally, at base camp, deception is more than obvious.  We have been just hours away to end it all.  But this mountain, hard as it could be, has not let us get to the summit.  After so much effort, we had to turn around.  One feels like giving up everything, like quitting, because the suffering due to the high altitudes is extraordinary and hard to explain for those who have not experienced it.  Nevertheless, now we have to rest and recover.  The high altitude has treated us bad and in our bodies there are traces of these past days.  We have lost a lot of weight, we have destroyed throats and above all, a bad mood.  Tomorrow, I'm sure, we will see it all differently.  After a night of "comfort" inside our tents and after having eaten and drunk well, we will be in another mood.  We will be more positive and we'll say, at least we have installed camp 3 at 7,600 m and we have made that acclimatization mark.  It will be that way, tomorrow, because today there is only room for pain, for deception and the most profound depression.  Tomorrow will be another day...

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

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