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5. “De Partea Ta” ’08 Island_Peak_&_Ama_Dablam

Interviu cu Simona Pele la Radio Timisoara, 28 nov’08 – mp3 47 minute    Download – 47MB

Sponsors (alphabetically): Alpconstruct, Calivita International, De BooT, Farmacia DinDacia, Nahanny, Rotary Club Timisoara, S.S.I Schaefer

Mecenas: Diana Andone and Radu Vasiu, Claudia Cara

Partners: Scoala Generala 12 Timisoara, Universitatea Politehnica Timisoara

Thanks to: Roxana Damaschin-Tzecu, Lucian Ilica, Catalin Neacsu, Andrei Ternauciuc, Satmari Ludovic, Catalin Morariu, Alina Biriescu, Damaschin Ana and everyone else who stood by our side.

The expedition was organized through ‚De Partea Ta’ Association.

There had been a plan for Ama Dablam since a long time (about 2006). It is considered one of the most beautiful mountains in the world and I believe this is what attracted us in the first place. In Nepali, its names means ‘The Mother and her Necklace‘, the jewel being an enormous block of ice (Dablam) situated between camp 3 and the peak.

The offer of the Nepali organizers – Monterosa Treks and Expeditions – included the ascent of the Island Peak too (6189 meters high), an excellent opportunity to acclimatize for a technical peak like Ama Dablam (6812 m). As Island Peak lured more friends, the team was large: Minerva VINCZE (28), Dorel IANCULESCU (41) and Sorin MURESAN (36) for Island Peak, while I targeted and dreamt of both peaks together with Zsolt TOROK (35) and the Australian brothers Andrei (36) and Ion –a.k.a. John- (33) MIHAILA.

We did not have much time to spend in Kathmandu as we did during previous visits; after 3 days we took off aboard a small Dornier towards Lukla. We had part of the luggage with us, while the remaining part was supposed to arrive with a different flight. The Lukla airport is extremely busy due to the large number of Everest Base Camp trekkers, and the weather conditions are favorable only in the morning.

Six days of trekking followed, from 2300 m to 5100 m, where the Island Peak base camp lays. The luggage we had on us was carried by both porters (they earn 6-7 EUR to carry 25 kg per day) and yaks. We had stops in Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Pangboche, Dingboche, Chukung. It was a special trip, through the Solokhumbu region, on the same route followed by Hunt’s expedition which will have reached, in 1953, the Sagarmatha peak (8850m). Sad news casted a shadow on our trek: a plane crased in Lukla – 13 people died. As a consequence, our much expected luggage arrival was delayed and some of us needed to climb Island Peak with equipment rented by Monterosa in Chukung.

One day dedicated to acclimatization – climbing in High Camp, 5500 m – contributed a lot to the success of the next day’s ascent. The cold morning of the 12th of October found us all climbing. It was interesting that, because of the dark, we did not find the path, therefore together with John and Andrei we climbed pretty much on a ridge which increased the charm of the climb. The last part, an icy slope (70 degrees inclined and 120 m long), was like acid test, because I had to long wait in line to be able to secure in the fixed ropes on the route.

Out of private reasons, I did not want to step on the peak, but I stopped 10 meters below. Except for Andrei, who had acclimatization problems, everyone else succeeded with the ascent. In the “under-summit” photo I hold a flag with signatures of the School No. 12’s pupils, in Timisoara; I hope they will be motivated by the idea of mountains and ascents.

After a few days we reached Ama Dablam’s Base Camp, at 4600 m. Upon arrival the news we got were not encouraging: among the 10 present expeditions, no one reached the peak due to the high snow on Mushroom Ridge, a ridge situated between Camp 2 and Camp 3. I disliked the fact that all expeditions heavily relied on sherpas to fix the route to the peak with ropes. Himalaya becomes more and more commercial…

Doru and Sorin left for Kathmandu on the day that puja was held, the Buddhist ritual before the ascent. Minerva stayed all the way to support us from base Camp, together with Andrei, who was held back due to health problems.

After two day’s rest in Base Camp, here we are (me together with Zsolt and John) setting towards camp 1, 5600 m, with the help of our colleagues with carrying the equipment. Unlike other expeditions, we did not use sherpa’s support. On the way to Camp 1, a few noisy avalanches swept the route to the peak; this meant that we had clear way. From this point on, towards Camp 2, there are plenty of mixed technical parts (ice and rock), with two vertical parts, a pleasure for any climber. We climbed to Camp 2 (5900 m) twice, first time to carry equipment, and second time in order to attempt reaching the peak.

On the 23rd of October we started the ascent from Camp 2. We chose not to sleep in Camp 3, situated at 6300 m, as in previous years the avalanches took their toll. The 6 hours route to Camp 3– it looked as if bombed after the avalanches – were by climbing a very snowy Mushroom Ridge. From this point on, the fixed ropes were missing – we were the first ones in the season to attempt to reach the peak.

Zsolt lead all the way, through a wind that forced us to wear our down jackets. The ice slope avoiding the Dablam on the right side proved to be more difficult that we read on the internet; most times there was only green ice, which forced us to a higher effort than usual. At the end of the icy slope we found out the obstacle that made us turn around. The last snow slope, 300 m below the peak, which normally should not create any technical difficulties, exposed us to an uncalculated risk. The icy and not compacted snow did not have any consistency; even if we pushed the ice axe all the way, it could not hold us, which made a stop impossible in the event of a fall or even to secure the route under these circumstances. We decided to retreat, not without regrets.

We slept in a tent below Camp 3, without sleeping bags. The next day I descended with John to the Base Camp, while Zsolt decided to stay for one more day in Camp 2, for rest. Unfortunately we did not have more time for another attempt, as the flight home was much too close. I am only sorry that the peak proved to be untouchable, as I left home with the hope that it will be very possible to reach it. I am glad though that I was again on those mountains I love more and more.

Cristian TZECU (38).

English version: Simona Vilceanu.

Sponsori (alfabetic): Alpconstruct, Calivita International, De BooT, Farmacia DinDacia, Nahanny, Rotary Club Timisoara, S.S.I Schaefer

Mecena: Diana Andone si Radu Vasiu, Claudia Cara

Parteneri: Scoala Generala 12 Timisoara, Universitatea Politehnica Timisoara

Multumiri: Roxana Damaschin-Tzecu, Lucian Ilica, Catalin Neacsu, Andrei Ternauciuc, Satmari Ludovic, Catalin Morariu, Alina Biriescu, Damaschin Ana si tuturor celor ce au fost de partea noastra.

Expeditia a fost organizata prin Asociatia De Partea Ta.

Planul pentru Ama Dablam exista de mult, cam din 2006. E considerat a fi unul din cei mai frumosi munti ai lumii si cred ca asta ne-a atras la el în primul rând. În nepaleza, numele sau înseamna “Mama si medalionul sau”, bijuteria constând dintr-un bloc enorm de gheata, (Dablam) între Tabara 3 si vârf.

Oferta organizatorilor nepalezi de la Monterosa Treks and Expeditions includea si ascensiunea vârfului Island Peak, de 6189m, excelent prilej de aclimatizare pentru un vârf tehnic cum e Ama Dablam (6812m). Pentru ca primul vârf i-a atras si pe alti prieteni, echipa a fost mare: Minerva VINCZE (27), Dorel IANCULESCU (41) si Sorin MURESAN (36) pentru Island Peak, în timp ce ambele vârfuri le vizam si visam alaturi de Zsolt TOROK (35) si fratii australieni Andrei (36) si Ion –a.k.a. John- (33) MIHAILA.

Pentru Kathmandu nu am avut multa vreme, ca în alte dati; dupa 3 zile am decolat la bordul unui mic Dornier spre Lukla. O parte din bagaje ne însoteau în timp ce restul urma sa apara cu un alt zbor. Aerodromul Lukla e extrem de solicitat de toti cei veniti pentru trekking spre Everest Base Camp, iar conditiile meteo sunt favorabile doar dimineata.

Au urmat 6 zile de trekking, de la 2300m pâna la 5100, în tabara de baza Island Peak. Bagajele ce erau la noi au fost transportate atât de porteri (câstiga 6-7Euro pt o zi de carat 25 kg) cât si de iaci. Am poposit în Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Pangboche, Dingboche, Chukung. A fost un drum deosebit, prin regiunea Solokhumbu, aceeasi ruta strabatuta de expeditia lui Hunt ce avea sa atinga, în 1953, vârful Sagarmatha (8850m). În acest timp, o veste trista ne-a umbrit, prabusirea unui avion la Lukla, cu 13 morti. O consecinta a fost întârzierea bagajelor mult-asteptate si necesitatea unora dintre noi de a urca pe Island Peak cu echipament pe care Monterosa l-a închiriat în Chukung.

O zi dedicata aca cu John si Andrei ne-am catarat destul de mult pe o creasta ce a sporit farmecul ascensiunii. Ultima portiune, o panta în gheata de 70 grade si 120m lungime, a fost piatra de încercare, pentru ca a trebuit sa stau mult la coada pentru a ma asigura în corzile fixe ce echipau aceasta ruta.

Din motive doar de mine stiute, nu am vrut sa calc vârful, m-am oprit la 10 metri sub el. Cu exceptia lui Andrei care a avut probleme de aclimatizare, toti ceilalti au reusit ascensiunea. În fotografie am în mâini un steag cu semnaturi al elevilor Scolii Generale 12 din Timisoara, sper sa îi motiveze ideea de munte si de ascensiune.

Peste câteva zile am ajuns în Tabara de Baza Ama Dablam, la 4600m. Aici am aflat vesti deloc încurajatoare: nimeni nu urcase înca pe vârf –din cele 10 expeditii prezente- datorita zapezii mari pe Mushroom Ridge, o creasta între taberele 2 si 3. Mi-a displacut ca toate expeditiile se bazau pe serpasi sa le monteze corzi fixe pe care sa ajunga pe vârf. Himalaya devine tot mai comerciala…

Doru si Sorin au plecat spre casa -tura lor pe Island Peak se terminase- în ziua când s-a organizat puja, ritualul buddhist dinaintea ascensiunii. Minerva a ramas pâna la capat sa ne sprijine din baza, alaturi de Andrei, care a avut de tras datorita unor probleme de sanatate.

Doua zile de odihna în baza si iata-ne toti trei (cu Zsolt si John) spre Tabara 1, 5600m, ajutati de nerva a ramas pâna la capat sa ne sprijine din baza, alaturi de Andrei, care a avut de tras datorita unor probleme de sanatate.

Doua zile de odihna în baza si iata-ne toti trei (cu Zsolt si John) spre Tabara 1, 5600m, ajutati de colegi la transportul echipamentului. Fata de alte expeditii, nu am folosit serviciile serpasilor. În timpul drumului spre T1, câteva avalanse zgomotoase cazute din Dablam au maturat drumul spre vârf; asta însemna ca vom fi având cale libera. De aici spre T2 pasajele tehnice mixte (gheata si stânca) abunda, cu doua portiuni verticale, o placere pentru alpinisti. Am urcat de doua ori in T2 (5900m), odata pentru a transporta echipament si a doua oara pentru a încerca atingerea vârfului.

In 23 octombrie am început ascensiunea din T2. Nu am ales sa dormim în T3, situata la 6300m, deoarece avalansele au facut deja victime acolo în alti ani. Ne-a luat 6 ore sa o atingem – avalansele o faceau sa arate ca dupa bombardament- urcând pe o Mushroom Ridge extrem de înzapezita. De aici în sus corzile fixe lipseau, eram primii în acest sezon ce încercam vârful.

Zsolt a mers cap tot timpul, pe un vânt ce ne-a silit sa ramînem în pufoaice. Panta de gheata din dreptul Dablam-ului, ocolit prin dreapta, s-a dovedit a fi mai dificila decât am citit pe net, de cele mai multe ori gheata verde ne-a obligat la un efort mai mare decât în mod normal. La capatul pantei înghetate ne astepta obstacolul ce ne-a întors din drum. Ultima panta de zapada, la 300m sub vârf, care în mod normal nu mai pune probleme tehnice, ne-a expus unui risc neluat în calcul. Zapada înghetata si necompactata nu avea deloc consistenta; desi înfigeam pioletul pâna la capat, nu ne putea sustine. Pasii în zapada nu faceau urme ci doar maturau zapada. Imposibil sa opresti o cadere sau sa asiguri în aceste conditii; cu mult regret am ales retragerea.

Am dormit într-un cort gasit sub T3, fara sa avem saci de dormit la noi. Urmatoarea zi am coborât cu John pâna în baza, iar Zsolt a ales sa mai ramâna la odihna în T2, pentru o zi. Din pacate nu mai aveam vreme de înca o încercare, pentru ca zborul spre casa era mult prea aproape. Îmi pare rau doar ca vârful s-a dovedit de neatins, asta pentru ca am plecat de acasa cu speranta ca va fi foarte posibil sa ajungem pâna sus. Îmi pare bine însa ca am ajuns din nou pe acei munti pe care îi indragesc tot mai mult.

Cristian TZECU (38)