A chat with Andres Delgado: Everest without Oxygen, Part III of III
14:43 p.m. EST Feb 25, 2004
Andres Delgado is a seasoned Himalayan climber. He’s been on K2, summited Everest with oxygen, stood atop Cho Oyu three times, and also reached the fore summit of Broad Peak. This spring he’ll be on Everest with a joint Mexican/Canadian team and will be climbing without oxygen. ExplorersWeb recently caught up with him to chat about his upcoming Everest and K2 expeditions.
Today, part three: Favorite and most frightening climbs
ExWeb: Do you have any upcoming trips planed with your guiding service, how does this fit in with your personal climbs?
Delgado: I am planning on guiding more Himalayan trips. None of these expeditions we have talked about are guided, I am just the leader and we all join to climb as a group. Definitely though, I will be doing some arrangements to guide more in the Himalayas. Mexico has a small growing community of Himalayan climbers and I want to make things easier for them. Plus I have quite a few clients that are on the level of trying higher altitudes than Aconcagua. I don't expect to fulfill my personal climbing ambitions while guiding. When guiding I will be there for my clients. When climbing for myself I won't be guiding.
ExWeb: What was your favorite climb to date, and why?
Delgado: The Tangerine Trip on el Cap - solo. I had a lot to show to myself at that time. I was very young and very restless. I was scared as shit, but still kept a good sense of humor. I yelled down to my non-existent belayer to keep an eye on the rope, I talked to the stoppers as if they understood what I said... it might sound as if I was losing my mind, but I was having a lot of fun.
ExWeb: When's the most scared you've ever been? And which part of Everest on your '97 climb was the scariest for you?
Delgado: The most scared I have ever been was when my wife and I lost our first unborn baby... I have never ever felt so lost.
The scariest part of my ‘97 Everest climb was when coming back from the summit on oxygen, I found someone on the south summit, he was going for the summit and at that point he ran out of oxygen... I don't know what went through my mind but I gave him my oxygen tank. The next second I started praying because I was feeling like shit. The moment I took off the oxygen I felt like I could not move... I started walking down asking myself why I had done it... somewhere lower Tenzing picked up an oxygen cylinder from the ground and gave it to me. It still had some O in it and with that we both reached camp 4. It was scary to feel how dependant you can get on something that will eventually run out!!!
Image of Andres climbing in Yosemite courtesy of Andres Delgado