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The North Face of Nuptse: Willie and Damian Benegas

Dispatch Four


Dispatch Four: Dispatch 4- PBE checks in....

April 21, 2003 Everest Base Camp

It is sometime late morning, and it is very cold outside -ready to snow at any minute.  Because of this reason, I am sitting in the tent, writing this update, instead of going out to boulder.  We have the most amazing bouldering circuit here.  The site is at 5300m, and some of the problems are in the V3,4 range.  Maybe at sea level, this would not be a major problem, but trust me!  It is hard to pull more than one move with not only the lack of air, but also the amount of clothing you have to wear!

Willie is like a celebrity here.  Amongst the Sherpas and many of the expedition leaders, there is always some social event going on. Right now, as I type, I can hear him amongst the laughing and loud exclamations of the Sherpas going on outside. They are taking advantage of the wind and are trying to fly kites.

Our acclimatization is almost complete.  Now we just need to get rid of our Khumbu cough and other little sicknesses that are due to the time spent at 22,000ft.  As part of our acclimatization in this last week, we both decided to go to C2, sleep a few nights there, and then go to C3 of Lhotse/Everest.  Now I think we are ready enough for our route.  We have everything in place, with a small tent set up about 1000 ft from the base of the Nuptse route, and almost all of the gear and food supplies.  The only thing now is just to wait for the right weather.  We need at least 6 days of good weather plus a few days for the face to come in to condition.  

A few days back, we tried to get to the base of the face to check the bergschrund, and in just 50 meters, we encountered about 10 huge crevasse.  Some of the crevasses looked all the way down into the center of the earth!  We turned back, with still 100 meters to get to the base.  I think that these crevasses are going to be a major obstacle. 

It is a weird feeling to be here.  There are about 500 Westerners here in BC, and a total of 1000 people counting the local staff.  All of these people are going to climb either Everest or Lhotse.  Everything is such a big deal this year. There are so many commercial groups, movie makers, record breakers, and army teams- who even knows who else. It is such a huge contrast- the Big E expeditions versus us, a small alpine team.  It is easy to get lost in the crowd. We are just two guys, here to try a new route on a different mountain. For us, it is about the process versus getting to the summit.  In any other place or time, we would fit right in, but here, people think we are rather weird.  But we are having fun, and that is what counts.

We will stay in BC until the weather gets better.  In the meantime, we will boulder, eat, sleep, and socialize.  I will post some more photos soon. Damian

Approaching the snake

Dispatches

 





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