Today was the day I had planned to reach the summit of Annapurna, based on various forecasts, and planning the Dawa and his team.
On the 16th I started this likely attack, coming along with the Dawa to camp 1 (5.100m), he and his team continued to camp two of them, situated at 5,500. The next day, Carlos Soria Try and left the base camp and went into camp at 5,500, I went to my second camp, located a little higher (5.700m). Dawa, which I had claimed 100% to reach the summit, followed up to 6.450m, where he spent a rough night, it snowed a lot and then the wind destroyed one of their tents, they had to spend the night seven people in one tent.
On the 18th the weather was encouraging everyone, from the morning of blue sky, and all continued to rise. We went up to 6.500m where we set up our camp 3, the team of Dawa, after a sleepless night, progressed only up to 6.600m (actual location of the camp 3).
It started snowing strong after 17 hours, 20 hours and there by an avalanche buried our camp 3. Still snowing hard, screaming in the darkness, all scared, some without boots on the snow, and Pasang Zhangmu, my two Sherpas, I was asked to leave the tent, but I was supporting with the back side of the tent, with the super heavy weight snow, and shouted repeatedly to draw back the excess of snow with the shovel, so we would still have a shelter to sleep. The tent of the Sherpas Carlos Soria was completely buried, they dismantled the tent was the Try and Soria, reassembled in a better place, and slept six tight.
The next morning the Dawa and his team went into the camp 4, which should be mounted at 7.400m, but due to heavy snowfalls set up their tents at around 7,000. I, and all others who were in camp at 6.500m we begin to move at daybreak after stormy night the decision was unanimous, down to the base camp. That same situation were still a couple of Mexicans, one Canadian, a Spaniard, a Spanish and a couple of Iranians.
Carlos Soria, Try, I and our six Sherpas went down first, just before you reach the “corridor” had to retool the way as part of the fixed ropes had been taken by an avalanche. After we left this part of the “wall” and had to open the way to Camp 2, the incredible amount of snow, we easily sank to the knee, due to the snowfall the previous day. We continued down, and in full “Plateau of Annapurna” (large plateau that exists between camp 1 and 2, 5.200m), a massive avalanche came down towards us, we started running, when I realized I was not going forward, I tried a place to protect me, throwing me on the floor behind a small rise, the flood enveloped me with strength, with hands protected the mouth and nose and breathed fast and without stopping, I was feeling pieces of snow and ice strike me, that lasted a forever at least more than one minute. The “spray” of the avalanche was dissipating, a few cuts and scratches on his face and hands, all scared, but all well. Then we descend to our only true refuge here in Annapurna Base Camp.Perhaps that was the only day it did not snow since we arrived here, the evening was quiet, a quiet night with no wind.
Today was the morning of those unbelievable, absolutely no cloud, no wind. The Annapurna loomed in the sky completely blue, and there in the higher altitudes, the Dawa and his team progressed towards its summit. They had left Camp 4 at about 20 hours and arrived at the top of 8.091m of Annapurna at around 10 am, Dawa, his four Sherpas, the Brazilian Cleo, two Chinese, two Indians and two Sherpas, a total of twelve people, all using oxygen bottles.Congratulations to all! I hope that the fall of them be quiet and without mishap. Details only they can tell us when they return to base camp.
So is the mountain, always imposing his greatness, and so follows the man, always seeking the courage to face it. A simple decision can be the difference between success and failure, life and death.May God continue giving me awareness to make the right decisions.