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Everest 2005: Catalans on the North side
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Mar 7, 2005 12: 18 EST
More and more Spanish climbers are attempting Everest this spring. The most recent team to sign up is a group from Catalonia, preparing to climb the classic North Col route from Tibet.

Expedition “Esplugues al Everest” will depart from Barcelona on the 30th of March for Kathmandu. They will acclimatize during a trek up the Khumbu Valley to Everest’s South side BC and climb up Island Peak. Afterwards, they will fly to Lhasa, Tibet, in time to get to Everest’s north side BC by April 24th.

The climbers are taking along supplementary O2, which they will use “if necessary,” they told Explorersweb. They will also count on two high-altitude Sherpas.

Back to the Himalayas

Team members have previous experience in the Alps, Andes, Canada, and African mountains, as well as other 8000ers in the Himalayas. Team leader Xavier Arias has previously summited Shisha Pangma (2002) and Dhaulagiri (2004) and has attempted Annapurna (2000) and Cho Oyu (1998). Merce Vidal has attempted Cho Oyu and Shisha Pangma. Albert Carbonell has climbed Cho Oyu.

Oriol Franco will join the team for his first Himalayan experience and will be in charge of Base Camp management, communication, and will collect images throughout the expedition.

A last minute member, Agusti Torrents, has also joined the team, representing his home town of Sant Boi (near Barcelona). Together, Agustí and Xavier attempted Dhaulagiri last year as members of an Argentinean team.

A tribute to the ’85 monsoon climbers

The expedition wants to pay tribute to the Catalan climbers who ascended the same route 20 years ago. Back then, Oscar Cadiach, Carles Vallés, and Toni Sors accomplished the second Spanish and first Catalan climb on Everest… in full monsoon season! They summited on August 28, 1985.

Unfortunately, Toni died two years later on Lhotse Shar. Oscar Cadiach led the Magic Line expedition on K2 last summer which has since been awarded the best of 2004 by Explorersweb. He is currently planning new climbs.

Image of Xavier Arias on the summit of Dhaulagiri, in 2004, courtesy of the team
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