Cho Oyu and Beyond ...

Cho Oyu climb for a cause is an awareness and fund-raising campaign aimed to help provide much needed education to our often neglected indigenous children in the remote parts of the country. The climb objective is to set a new altitude record, an attempt of the 6th highest mt & one of the peaks in the death zone. This event intends to bridge the education gap, and hope we provide our indigenous children a better future -- safe and away from a possible 'death zone'.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Hello from Kathmandu

Greetings from Kathmandu Nepal

Hello again, and thank you for the congratulatory notes & birthday greetings (I celebrated in ABC w/ the yaks, no beer and sisig unfortunately).

We just got back in KTM last night after 2 days of fast walk from ABC, down to Chinese basecamp, then a fast jeep ride to Tingri (Tibet) then over the China-Nepal border in Zangmu then finally KTM , now on recovery and healing mode -- we all looked like POWs or soldiers who just got back from war =) the injuries, the burns, malnourished bodies, etc... ;)

Anyway, you probably have heard the good news, but definitely not the story behind it. I'll post my article later (w/ pix)..

Truth is, all of us almost didn't make the summit, or almost aborted the climb for different reasons, but as a pleasant turn out of events, we all did (all of us in our subteam), eventually made it on top. My Australian teammate got AMS in Abc (on arrival), and almost went back down (just like the few we saw) for good, then again on our summit night his toes were frozen numb and was only luckily rubbed back to life after 20 minutes (Thank God it was 'restored' back to normal). The South African was on delirious state almost the entire summit night-day (we started 1am). I was climbing w/ him for 8 hours and he doesn't have recollection of it, there was even 1 incident when his right crampon was detached from his boot, while climbing the yellow band (vertical ice and rock section), then I tried to help and grabbed and clipped his anchor line (attached to his harness) to my ascender (we were then hanging together in a rope). He vaguely recalls the incident, and he definitely can't remember me being there. But he struggled on to summit on that state (alone the last hour), and he made it - he's now recuperating from semi-frostbite problem with his toes.

As for me, I got sick several times, first in Chinese basecamp, then again after our first carry-up trip to Camp1 (21,000ft). Out of expected 6hrs, it took me 10hrs to reach C1 (first acclimatization trip), then I got sick the day after. I was sick-recovering for 3 days in ABC after this and almost aborted the climb (as recovery at almost 19,000 ft is not easy). If I was just climbing on my own, I would have aborted (hope you can imagine how hard it was when your ill and vomiting and AMSd and just too weak to go on). But since I've attached a purpose to this climb, plus the fact that friends and people expect and hope something from this climb, there was that strong will to recuperate and go on. Kakahiya naman sa indigenous people, instead of giving them hope e baka kapalpakan pa makita nila. In a way, I simply borrowed strength from friends and colleagues and the IPs who have wished me up there. So Thanks!

After recovery, my team decided to climb semi-alpine style. Instead of doing several ups and downs (knowing we were all getting weaker each up-&-down), we went up (2nd and last time), to C1 then C2 then C3 and straight to summit without too much elaborate climb-up-and-down. It was a dangerous approach as we could easily have gotten Edema, but we risked anyway, and in the end we all made it. Other teams were surprised by our bold method, pababa na kami, paakyat pa lang sila. O well, iba kami e hahaha!

Anyway, it was a super tough climb (making Aconcagua a child's peak climb) but all our hirap was all worth it. The entire Nepalese crew and all my teammates are happy for all of us, Filipinos, to finally have set a record of climbing our first 8000m peak. It's a clear mark that we can tackle extreme mountaineering, that we can go beyond our known limits. This is a very good start, and an opening for us - to try to achieve something greater in the near future.

Teka muna, kayo ba tumawag na sa Cartwheel, saying naman ung climb kung walang epek sa cause hehehe.

I'll post an article on Monday on why I climb Cho Oyu. Also I'll try to post a photo-link of the Cho Oyu summit climb.

All for now,

Ciao!

Romi Garduch

4 Comments:

At 2:26 AM, Blogger kaladeth said...

Masamang damo nga!!! Hahaha. Congrats dude. Sabi sa yo sisiw 8,000m eh. Thanks again for the Nepal tour (torture? haha). Bet you can't wait to get home and eat balut. On to the next phase...

 
At 8:13 AM, Blogger Ching said...

Congrats!!!! Can't wait to hear the rest of the stories...

 
At 8:36 PM, Blogger Xtn said...

Romy! Hataw ka talaga, idol! Held the record for the highest altitude achieved by a Pinoy and then broke it! In the same year (Jan 1 ka nakatungtong ng Aconcagua so same year lang yon). I really hope you get to the top of Everest before any other Pinoy! Only fitting.

 
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