Everest 2005: From Don Quixote’s Land to the World’s Highest Mountain|
Jan 25, 2005 03: 16 EST
A three member team from ‘La Mancha’, the vast plains in Central Spain that Miguel de Cervantes made famous with his Don Quixote character 400 years ago, is planning to climb the north side of Everest this spring.
Pedro A. Fuentes, the expedition leader, admits that coming from lands where the flatness seems to go on forever can pose problems. “Each time we want to go to the mountain ranges, even within Spain, we need to organize a small expedition”, Fuentes said.
Couldn’t afford Khumbu
Fuentes’s team has done climbs in the Alps, Alaska, and the Himalayas. Fuentes attempted Cho Oyu (before turning back at 8,000m), as well as a new route on Ghula Kangri. Last year, the team summitted Elbrus, which stands at 5,642m.
Without big sponsors, the team is paying for most of the expedition out of their own pocket. “That is why we’ve chosen the north side,” explained Fuentes. “We just couldn’t afford to climb from the Khumbu side!”
Well, this is Everest
However, as the MasterCard commercials say…‘There are some things in life that money can’t buy’.
“I can’t help thinking that, for all the money we are investing, we could have organized a half dozen expeditions to other Himalayan peaks! But, well, this is Everest, and that’s how things are.”
The Spanish team is saving money on logistics by hiring a small local agency, instead of a big outfitter, to provide the expedition logistics. The agency will provide logistics up to base camp and two altitude Sherpas. “We will be setting and supplying our higher camps along with the Sherpas, as a totally independent team,” Fuentes said.
The climbers will be taking O2 for the climb. “Of course we would like to try to reach the summit without it, but being realistic, I don’t think we will be able.”
The team plans to depart Spain by the end of March. Expedition dispatches will be updated on their hometown city hall’s website.
Image of Pedro A. Fuentes, courtesy of the team.