Monday April 21st: An American expedition has lent a
computer to the Everest50 team and Jean Michel sent us
Thanks to Doctor Régis and to
an American guide of Equatorial origin, Luis, I am able to send, at last, an
e-mail on this Easter Monday. The problem is that it’s an American keyboard
and that I am writing by -10º at two centimeters of the generating group. It’s
awful! To tell what happen today is not easy as well. When ten of us left at
6.00 this morning to Camp I, Philippe, Aude, Laetitia, Guillaume, Brice,
Maurice, Gilles, Dom, Basile and Jean Christophe, the Ice Fall struck around
8.00 in the morning. It is hard to say if a scale broke or if the crack
opened, but two Sherpas of our expedition fell. One of them made a fall of 20
meters, the other one less, our friends where 50m behind them. A delicate
rescue has been done. The 40 Sherpas which where at the Ice Fall made a group,
left their material and they went down with Palden who cannot move his legs.
At Base Camp, Régis and François have prepared the arrival of the Sherpas.
Everyone turned back except Guillaume and Brice who were too high to accompany
the Sherpas. At the same time, we called an helicopter for an urgent
evacuation. It took two hours to come down with suffering Palden at men’s back
to the base camp. Régis diagnostic: two vertebrae fractures but fortunately
not of paralysis. On a stretcher Palden has been transported until the DZ,
under perfusion and oxygen. He is safe, but we have no news since he arrived
at Katmandu’s hospital. Note also that with a margin of half an hour the
helicopter could not have taken off, because a snowstorm arrived. As per the
remainder of the team, Berhault came down from Camp II around midday with
Nicolas, Eric and Hugues. They spent two nights at Camp II, three for Hugues.
Only Gabarrou and Mario remain at Camp II. The way of Camp III is still not
open, for the moment the Sherpas are using the older ropes of last year. It
seems that we are entering into a bad weather period. I am waiting for news
from Yann, our router from Chamonix. All of this is hard to live, even if the
mood stills all right. Our sirdar sent money to Tengboche monks to pray for us
and try to make everything better for us. We need it!
As per the good things, we
have celebrated the birth of the girl of our sirdar, he called her Jubile
Yangtzi Sherpa, in honor of the fiftieth anniversary. This was the occasion of
a nice evening under the standard lamps, at –15º, dancing, drinking beer and
tchang. That’s it, I have no more light and my fingers are frozen. Best
Tuesday April 22nd: Computer
did not resist and telephone is back to service.
May be it’s already the
effect of the Tengboche monk’s prayers?
Today looks like a good day,
but for the weather and cold. To the great relief of each one the news from
Kathmandu of the wounded sherpa are good : he has a fracture of the spinal
column but without lesion of the spinal cord and will thus not be paralyzed.
The Ice Fall Doctors have quickly repaired the damaged scales, “it passes”
again between base camp and camp I. Yaks arrived at midday with a huge cargo
for Everest50: Crispi shoes for Sherpas and Cébé masks highly waited have
provoked an outburst of joy from Sherpas. The distribution gave to the camp
airs of Christmas mornings. Only Guillaume and Brice remain at the mountain,
they have reached Camp II at midday. Patrick Gabarrou and Mario were back to
5300m from Camp II after three days. At Base Camp, activity turns around
Scrabble and reading, without forgetting the mountain objective : this
afternoon it was oxygen masks distribution. Contrary to the generally accepted
ideas, the camp is still very clean : a fine of 5.000 rupees (76 Euros) is
envisaged if one does not make his needs in the places settled for this
purpose. All is collected in barrels which once full, are conveyed to Namche
Bazar to be widespread in the fields. That costs the expedition 275 rupees of
the kilo and the money is versed to the National park of Sagarmatha.