DESOLATION AT C2: I am excited to be on the route of the
ascent, in this camp I of K2, "hanging" from this
balcony that oversees the Broad and most part of the
Goldwin Austen glacier. Until now the sensation has
been of being alone on the mountain, but the expeditions
are arriving and we see that people have different
plans, that the exhaustive work of opening and
re-opening of the route, installing the lines that we
have confirmed are our umbilical cord on the way down or
in case of bad weather, that this is not a shared work.
We have checked and changed the old ropes and their
fixing points, we have realized that our life depend on
them, especially after the scare of Salazar and
Fernando's accident. The climb to camp II is
technically the most complicated part, but it is also
fun and spectacular, you go through snowy slopes,
corridors, trails, vertical steps and little landings.
Once the black tower is passed, an orange band of rock
can be seen where the famous House Chimney is. Vertical
rock, green ice and really a narrower chimney than what
I expected from the pictures. The backpack is heavy, a
wind that blows and gets in your eyes and mouth, and the
almost 6400 meters, make breath and progress difficult.
The arrival to the unfriendly camp II is very exciting:
because of the arrival to camp II, because of the
effort done by all the team of mountaineers and above
all because of the desolation that this camp transmits,
full of debris from expeditions and previous illusions
and tormented wind sweeps on this magnificent and
impressive mountain. AMPARO
BASE CAMP: OUR SECOND HOME
We won't discuss about the
sanity of the statement made by the eight mountaineers that consider base camp
as our second home. Common sense would tell that living on a moving glacier
and surrounded by cold day and night is not the most proper place to spend 54
hard days. But it is the price we have to pay to have "a room with a view".
Those with nostalgia will understand us: we take a peak from the tent to see
one of the gates of Chogolisa at the end of the valley and in the other way
the skirts of our permanent chimera, K2, it is a bunch of sensations difficult
to explain. As Shiller would say: "What a unique moment can offer, no eternity
can give back".
This year the budget of the
expedition was enough to acquire an impressive semi-spherical tent. Without
doubt, this is the point of reference from Baltoro, because of its spectacular
structure, its undisguisable orange color, because of its Flamenco and
Machacona music that once and again our chief of expedition give us, and
because of the warmth of this human group that has its own and singular
dynamic, the conviction to work for the same common objective, having as a
premise to keep the friendship that binds us in this difficult common life.
When we are equipping the
route with fixed lines, carrying material to the high altitude camps, spending
the night with no acclimatization in camp II with altitude sickness, we always
wish to go back to routine. Our base camp, our meeting place, place of
relation, of interchange. It looks more like a retiring home in the rest
hours. We tell of previous battles, we invite trekkers to tea, and other
expeditions, the bright stars of the climber's firmament, and we listen with
great attention or with concealed irony. It is the umbilical cord of the
expedition, where we feed, have common dreams, tell different things in the
face and we say goodnight.
Those of us, who are parents,
talk constantly about our kids, with brilliant eyes, their progress, their
virtues, with a wide and sincere smile. Sometimes remembrance makes us sad;
other times their pictures make us go ahead with our illusions. In this base
camp we have also celebrated our ancestral traditions, the night of Sant
Joan. We light our hearth, to unleash this magic night, of rituals and
chimeras, jumping on the fire and asking for a secret and sincere wish far
from our loved ones.
The two doctors of the
expedition are a little worried these days at base camp. The rise of the
information society in our times has come with the other expeditions. The
second largest tent at base is dedicated to technology. Thus, after many days
of problems with the portable computers and satellite phones, the doctors are
studying the possibility of making an advanced master related with
informatics, so that their ancient and important role in the expeditions is
not pushed away, facing the progress of immediateness and the need of avid
information for the sponsor. Base camp is a place to make our rusty
imagination run free, our ability to dream and covet what we left behind in
our far routine. Juanjo. Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera \
OF THE WIND: After a few days installing lines between CI and CII, we are
finally preparing to carry and go to sleep in CII. The climb is great, with
many variations, snowy slopes, very aerial ridge edges, parts of vertical
rocks... there is no rest; all the time with spectacular views of the
mountains that surround us just like the same path we are climbing. At first
the sun heats in excess but as we climb the wind not only prevents its effect
but it even makes us cold and numb. When we reach one of those decisive
passes (House Chimney), the whirls of snow make progress and climbing
difficult; at last we are in CII, its view makes an impact on us: debris of
every kind, tents, stakes, ropes... desolation.
about to setup a platform for the tent, we pick some ice and more debris
appears, from other expeditions which probably abandoned this place in a
hurry. Once the tent is installed we find shelter inside, the wind gets
stronger, the structure of the tent trembles, I can't get to sleep because of
the violence of the blizzard. By the morning the intensity of the wind really
worries us. Will the tent hold? We plan to go down, but visibility is null
and the gusts of wind can make us lose balance: it is dangerous. A few hours
later the weather forecast shows a grave worsening of the situation. We have
to go down! After fixing the tents with climbing ropes we abandon this
unfriendly place in the middle of harsh conditions. K2 has showed us again
its toughest face. We arrive happily to C1 without problems and under a light
snowfall until we reach base camp. Tired but happy. Jorge.
NEWS - BREAKING NEWS - BREAKING NEWS - BREAKING NEWS - BC K2
SALAZAR MADE SOME LENTILS, FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO FOLLOW US THERE IS NOTHING
ELSE TO SAY. WE HALLUCINATED.
AVALANCHE OF UPDATES AND NEWS IS BECAUSE SOME SWISS FRIENDS LENT US THEIR
COMPUTER AND BECAUSE OF THE INTENSE DAYS LIVED ON THE MOUNTAIN. WE
HOPE THEY CONTINUE...
ANDALUCIA ON THE SUMMIT OF K2, WE WILL ALL BE THERE. Manuel González
from Spanish by Jorge Rivera
Pictures and text copyright
ANDALUCIA K2 expedition
Digital Altimeter, Barometer, Compass and Thermometer. Time/Date/Alarms.
Chronograph with 24 hour working range. Timer with stop, repeat and up
function. Rotating Bezel. Leveling bubble. Carabiner latch. E.L. 3 second
backlight. Water resistant. 4" x 2-1/4" x 3/4" 2 oz. Requires 1 CR2032
See more here.