Everest may be the tallest peak in the world but it is not a difficult peak to climb, so say some seasoned climbers. There are peaks less taller than Everest which are more technical and difficult to scale. The members of the CAVAPLAND Kanchenjunga Expedition team found Kanchenjunga one of the most difficult peak to climb. And this must be true judging from the fact that most of them have already summitted of Everest , Cho Oyu , G1 ,G2 , Shishapangma, Manaslu etc.
EH met up with four Spanish members of the CAVAPLAND Kanchenjunga Expedition team on 28th may at Hotel Manang, Kathmandu. They were: Juan Jose Garra Lorenzo, Jose Ramon Lasa Berastegui, Alberto Cerain Berastegui and Franisco Miguel Fernandez Gomez. Explore Himalaya organized the logistics for this expedition.
Alberto and Lasa had been airlifted by Fishtail Air from Kanchenjunga Base Camp just the previous day. Frostbitten and ill they were treated at a hospital in Kathmandu. When I met them they looked weary but were doing okay.
In halting English they told me that their English was not that good. So I asked them to select one from among them who would speak for the group. Juan was the unanimous choice as according to them he spoke better English then them.
Juan: “Kanchenjunga is a very high mountain. We had problems with the altitude. It was difficult climbing without supplementary oxygen. The climb proved to be very long and difficult. It involved a lot of technical climbing.I have climbed six peaks before: Manaslu, Cho Oyu, Shishapangma South face, G1, G2, broad peak, Cho Oyu and Everest (North face), but Kanchenjunga proved to be the most difficult. There were nine members in our team but only three of us could successfully reach the summit. ” (Among the nine members only Juan, Alberto and Kinga could reach the summit of Kanchenjunga).
Jose Ramon Lasa: ” I tried and came a few metres short to the summit. We had to return as the weather turned bad….I don’t think I will try to climb the peak again as I came quite near to the summit. It was hard reaching upto there. For me this has been my most difficult ascent. I have climbed Manaslu, Cho Oyu, Shishapangma, G1, G2, Broad Peak but the most difficult was Kanchenjunga and Shishapangma (south face).”
Juan on Nepal: ” Since my first visit in 1993, Nepal has changed a lot. Kathmandu has become bigger and more crowded. But i think the change is normal. The city is like any other big cities in the world. Whatever is available in an European restaurant, you will find it here in this hotel’s menu. But the authentic Nepal is in the mountains. If you want to see the real culture of Nepal then you have to go the mountains.”