American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Everest Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1988

Everest Attempt. Our expedition was composed of 13 Spaniards and two Italians. We set up Base Camp on April 3. Camps I, II, III and IV were established at 5950, 6400, 7400 and 7900 meters on April 5, 8, 26 and May 19. We were able to set up the first three camps so rapidly since we were following in the steps of the Czechoslovakian expedition. We were slowed terribly above there by fierce winds, which twice completely destroyed Camp III. I cannot tell with exactitude what happened above Camp IV, which we placed on the Polish South Pillar route. Spaniard José Carlos Tamayo, Italian Fausto De Stefani, Czech Miroslav Šmid, Sherpas Ang Phurba and Pemba and I ascended to Camp IV on May 19.1 scarcely remember a thing from the next three-and-a-half days. I do know that Tamayo and I climbed to 8200 meters, where we set up a bivouac in a comodious bergschrund protected from the wind. I also remember that we got up at four A.M. on May 21 to head for the summit. Tamayo set out a little ahead of me and immediately returned, telling that there was furious wind and that it was frigidly cold. We had to go back to the tent. After that, my mind is a complete blank until we got to Camp II, except that I am aware that Ramón Portillo and Antonio Trabado helped us down to Camp II. Tamayo had severe frostbite and I was mentally completely confused, probably from cerebral edema. Another summit attempt on May 27 failed at 7900 meters.

Juanjo San Sebastián, Federación Vasca de Montaña

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