domingo, 8 de junho de 2008
Marty Schmidt regressa do Everest
Hello everyone and greetings from Kathmandu. Today is the 7th of June.
Giannina and I walked out from base camp a few days ago, got stuck in Lukla for a few days of bad weather, pulled together all our equipment and today sorting out this gear for what stays in Nepal and what comes with us to Europe to guide Elbrus in Russia and then Kilimanjaro in Africa before heading home to New Zealand some time in Oct. this year. What I need to talk about now is Tim's amazing ability to conform to the new heights that he experienced while on Everest.
As everyone can read, there were many summits of Everest this year. Just need to point out that Tim and I were climbing in a pure style, just him and I, no sherpas, no support, only back up O2 in place for medical reasons. On the 25th of May we made our attempt without O2 for camp IV, the south col.
Along the way, Tim tried his best to feel the altitude and work with it to get to a height that he never experienced before without any help from O2.
There was only one person who summited Everest this year without O2, unfortunately he passed away on his return to the South Col. Tim and I were doing well without O2, until the yellow band, at around the 7,600 meter mark. I decided to see if Tim's speed work would be helped by a bit of O2.
Even with this boost, Tim's pace was not working for us. The goal was to pick up the pace for the south col or turn around for safety reasons. What we did was for the greater good.
Tim's future goals were confirmed with this Everest attempt. We have made plans for Cho Oyu in 2009, Gash 2 in 2010 and back to Everest in 2011. This is the path that will help him reach 8000 meters and above without O2, this takes courage and commitment, our beliefs in simplicity and our morals in climbing the 8000 meter summits with pure ways, no O2 or sherpas, just him and I and the goal of the 8000 meter summits, is possible because we believe in them.
This is the pure mountaineering experiences that we wish for and that is calling us to act upon. What we saw on the south side of Everest this year was a zoo. I could not believe how many sherpas were hired to haul all the clients gear to the higher camps, how much O2 cylinders were put in place by the sherpas in each camp so that the clients did not have to carry this gear, or set up their tents, or do...the normal mountaineering skills that one would expect a climber who summits Everest should be doing.
Ah well, I come from the climbing era of the 70, 80 and 90ies, where we did everything ourselves. This is the philosophy that I want my clients to know about and to experience. They come with me to be mountaineers and my climbing partner. I'll keep living this life style because it feels good to me to do so, also my clients feel so much better about their expedition doing it this way. When we turned for BC, everything felt right to do so. Tim pushed gear through the Khumbu Ice Fall 6 times, he was satisfied with his experiences and ready to trek out to Lukla, take the flight to KTM and head home to Dallas to family and friends. He will let them all know what an incredible experience he had on Everest. Giannina and I then decided to try for a one day ascent of Everest.
Having everyone clear out of Base camp, leaving just Giannina, Ningma, Sonam and myself, I felt ready to try for the summit in under 24 hours. Mark Batard made a 22 hour ascent many years ago and the record is now around the 12 hour mark by sherpas. But for us white folk to do it under 20 hours would be good enough for me. With just the 4 of us at BC, our food was the best during these 5 days then all the other days combined.
Always make sure that BC food is the best in the world or get another BC organizer right away. Tim, Giannina and I suffered this year with bad food, hence we will organized our own trip to the Himalayas from now on.
So, on the 28th of May, I left BC at 1800 hours. Making it to camp 1 in 2.5 hours, then camp 2 in 45 minutes. Arriving in camp 2 at 2115 hours. I rest and changed clothes for .5 hours, leaving for the Lhutse head wall at 2145. I climbed well to camp 3 in 2 hours arriving at 0015 hours. I pitched my tent, brewed hot drinks, filled my thermos and left for the south col at 0115. I pushed gear to the col back on the 16th and new this area well.
Arriving at the Col at 0345, I took 15 minutes to look for the back up O2 cylinders that Tim and I planned to use for our ascent. We paid extra money for these cylinders to be in placed at the Col. I looked and looked and they were not there.
To me and Tim, this was a crime and we will look more into it in the near future. I promised my wife Giannina that we would have back up O2 in place, but it was not there, heads should roll for this. My next step was to check if i was feeling well enough to keep going for the summit. I left the south col at 0400, arriving at 8,200 meters at 0530, my lungs needed to be looked at.
I contracted a lung infection at some point and i started to heave green and yellow oysters, this was not a good sign to continue. I felt OK, a bit stretched with my air intake, feeling like I needed 3 good breathes for every good one. Yes 8,200 meters is high but I really felt like the infection was robbing me of good breaths. I made the decision to turn, I had the strength to do it right then.
Plus climbing to the summit without the back up O2 would not be good in chase I needed to rescue myself, since no one else was up there on the 29th May.
Happy 55 year anniversary Sir Ed.
All said now, it feels good to be back in KTM, eating well and looking forward to Elbrus and Kilimanjaro. Please write to me at my firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be back in touch with all of you.
All the best from Nepal and we'll be in touch soon.
Cheers, Marty and Giannina
PS: O Marty é americano, guia de alta montanha, foi meu companheiro de tenda no Kangchenjunga em 2001 e tornou-se um grande amigo; escalámos o cume junto com o Piotr Pustelnik e o Brian Duthiers (os quatro na foto de topo, Marty de laranja). Recebi hoje esta mensagem do Marty que é um resumo da sua expedição Everest 2008 "guiando" um cliente. O Marty guia cumes de +8000m de um para um, ou de um para dois clientes.