climbed till Camp1 and higher till 5700 m and have fixed ropes. Very big distance
betweem Camp1 and Camp2. As written, the Camp2 has to be on 6100 m. The route
is visible good enough from the BC in 60x monocular. Today the first group ( Urubko,
Pivtsov, Zhumayev and Chumakov) will go up for fixing ropes and setting the Camp2.
Next group (Raspopov, Lavrov, Litvinov, Molgachev and Bogomolov) are resting today
and preparing for the tomorrow push.
Camp is "on the grass", so here are some animals. There are holes of
marmots, we see them on mornings - they are very fat and big.
letter from Oscar Gogorza:
are certain things about Elite mountaineering that you just have to put up with.
You walk to the foot of Nanga Parbat, expecting to spend a couple of months trekking
up and down, fixing and equipping camps, carrying gear here and there, sweating...
Yeah, that really is what you do, but at an amazing speed and with science-fiction
proficiency. Inaki Ochoa de Olza, with the experience of over twenty expeditions
and seven 8000m summits in his rucksack, breaths heavily and blows in despair.
So does Simone, convinced that he has never has formed part of such a strong team.
Numbers don't lie: in seven days since reaching Base Camp, they fixed 2500 mt.
of rope, set and equipped Camp I and Camp II; Camp III, at 6800 m, could be ready
in two days. The sun beats down, and we are taken by an insane rhythm of working
turns: four of us climb, four carry gear, eight rest; and then we change roles.
This is more like a relay-race, a time-trial in which each of us look greedily
at the stopwatch to check our time. It seems nobody wants to upset their team-mates
by not doing his absolute best.
Simone, Franco y Mirco suffered a sort of 'electric shock': they left Camp I at
5:30 a.m. and climbed, climbed, climbed till they ran out of strength and, luckily
for us, out of rope. We were relieved when they were therefore forced to stop.
If they'd had more rope, who knows, maybe they would have set up a hand-rail to
the very top, and then apologized for it, arguing that they simply didn't notice
what they were doing. They fixed ropes along the Kinshofer wall, including V+
pitches at 6.100 mt. high, in an hour and a half.
a more discreet performance, Inaki, Ed (Viesturs) and I started at six in the
morning, loaded with all the gear we needed to set up Camp II. We left our loads
at 5.900 m. It was then when a 'missile' called Lafaille reached us, climbing
the couloir leading to the Hinshofer wall as if he were shopping in Chamonix.
That couloir, 70? steep in some places, commands a feeling of respect and is unsafe
and uncomfortableto climb to say the least. Lafaille, on the other hand, seemed
delighted with the route. I thought he might even want to savour the moment with
a cup of coffee. The Kazakjs team was supposed to rest for a couple of days but,
like the Italian trio, they were also affected by an inhuman charge energy. Following
orders from their leader, the Russian ex-rock climber Illynsky, coordinates his
eight men with rigid military discipline. During our descent, we crossed paths
with four of the Kazakjs, the same climbers who have set up Camp II today, along
side J.C:Lafaille and Ed VIesturs. Inaki makes calculations on a notepad: if the
weather keeps up, on the 17th we could go for the summit. Farther beyond, Broad
Peak and K2 are waiting. OSCAR GOGORZA. June 7
from Spanish by Angela Benavides (www.barrabes.com)