South Germany Expedition
Bäumler (woman) and Hartmut Bielefeldt (Male) living
in Frickingen-Leustetten, Lake of Constance,
Comment on Gheorghe
Dijmarescu dispatches no. 8
& no. 9 on
EverestNews.com, reports about our way down from
camp 3 to ABC. The report is very detailed, and it
agrees to our view of the events to about 90%.
However, there may be a couple of things where
Gheorghe might have had a different view of the
situation, or where some additional piece of
information would make things much clearer.
Therefore, I would like to comment on the issues of
The first paragraph
together with the rest of the text could imply that
we had not paid the Sherpas who had contributed to
Hartmut's rescue. This is not true. We tried to find
everybody involved in the rescue and express our
gratefulness for their help.
It is not unusual
that Claudia is faster than I; on the high mountains
in fact this was often the case. I arrived half an
hour after Claudia, but his time of about 11 hours
for the ascent to the summit is not extraordinarily
long. Several people, including Gheorghe, were still
ascending at that time. The Second Step was somewhat
a serious obstacle because, after changing oxygen
bottles at the Mushroom Rock, I forgot to readjust
the regulator - so it was on 0.5 instead of at least
2 liters/min during the Step, a small mistake that
cost a lot of time. We noticed this only after the
Second Step and corrected it.
On the way down
from the ridge towards camp 3, I very quickly became
extremely exhausted and became slower and slower. As
the sun began to set, problems with the eyes added
to that, obviously a kind of snowblindness. Unable
to see the trace in the snow, I waited for somebody
to help him down to camp instead of carefully trying
the way down step by step (which of course would
have been the better option, seeing it from
The situation at
our resting point between camp 3 and camp 2 was not
very clear for some time; since it would take a long
time until Ang Mingma would come back we were not
sure if we should begin going down before. But
Gheorghe recommended to wait until Ang Mingma is
back and would help us.
I can hardly
imagine not having thanked the two Sherpas for the
I regret the very
slow speed and the many stops to which I forced my
rescuers. I tried to go faster, but in that state of
exhaustion it was not possible to go further than
10-20 steps at a time.
It is simply not
true that we didn't thank Hans, Jorge, and Gheorghe.
We can hardly imagine why the other two should have
given such a statement to Gheorghe.
How much would you
pay so a Sherpa can save your life? 40, 400, 4000?
Any of these amounts could find a justification. We
thought we had enough money with us on the
expedition even for unexpected expenses. After
having paid the two oxygen bottles and Mingma's
bonus (the rates he considered to be usual were
somewhat higher than those given by Asian Trekking),
there was not much left. We tried to orient
ourselves by the bonus rates for a day of carrying a
load up to the high camps ($15, $50, $80 for camp 1,
2 and 3) - so we decided to give $40 to each of the
three Sherpas for coming up from ABC to camp 1 and
supporting us on the way down.
It is clear that in
the given situation it would have very probably been
impossible to reach the basecamp for the two of us
alone. We do appreciate the immediate help and
support which was given to us by everybody. In my
exhausted condition, I might not have expressed my
gratefulness to the appropriate extent in some
cases. For this, I would like to apologize.
Regards, Hartmut Bielefeldt 23 June 2002