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Asia, China, Everest

Everest. Our Catalán expedition consisted of Conrad Blanch, leader, Joan Massons, Dr. Antoni Ricart, Nil Bohigas, Oscar Cadiach, Enric Lucas, Charles Valles, Jordi Camprubí, Jordi Canals, Jordi Magrinyá, Miquel Sánchez, Lluiís Gómez, Xavier Pérez Gil and me. We climbed the historic British route via the north col. We were the second expedition to climb the mountain during the monsoon, having been at Base Camp at 5150 meters from June 26 to September 5. We established Camps I, II, III or Advance Bases, IV, V and VI at 5500, 6000, 6500, 7000 on the North Col, 7750 and 8450 meters on July 2, 3, 4, 31, August 7 and 9 respectively. We were the first Western expedition to follow the route over the Second Step, as the Chinese and Japanese had done. We made five unsuccessful summit attempts which arrived at 8450, 8600, 8300, 7800 and 7900 meters, driven back by bad weather and deep snow, four before and one after the summit climb. The fifth attempt on August 28 succeeded when Cadiach, Vallés, Tombu Tamog, Narayan, Ang Karma and I got to the top at 6:20 P.M. Of the 14 Catalans and five Sherpas, 12 got to over 8000 meters at least twice and all got higher than 7000 meters. During July there were heavy snowfalls up high and bad weather generally. In August there was good weather in the monsoon break in the first half and variable weather in the second. Much snow made for avalanche danger. The route was technically not difficult, though we fixed ropes on the North Col slope and had avalanche danger above 7750 meters beside the crest and on the Yellow Band. The summit climbers had to spend three nights above 8450 meters and overcome the First and Second Steps, where there was deep snow on the rock. We did not use artificial oxygen.

Antoni Sors, Agrupació Cientifica-Excursionista de Mataró, Spain