Imja Tse Summit Log (#10879)
- Signed By: Rene Mendez
- Date Submitted: July 24, 2000
This year the Island Peak summit was very difficult to reach, because of the bad conditions of the glacier. There was not enough snow and for that reason there were several crevasses all the way up to the summit, specially in the final ridge. Just a few meters before the summit there were two crevasses one that was dificult but possible to cross and a second one about eight meters long just a few meter before the real summit that was impossible to cross. Because of that many partys couldn't reach the real summit, most of them just arrived until the final ridge in the south summit or in the middle summit, but did not conquered the summit.
We stayed in Island Peak the last week of April and sherpas said that no body had been able to reach the summit in the season. We tried the summit on April 27, 2000. We started at 3:00 a.m. from base camp, arrived at high camp at 4:30. At 6:30 we were in the first ridge, where we started using ice gear. We passed two crevasses, the first one about two meters long, second about the double, after that we started to walk in a flat ice field, until the final ice wall where we got at 9:00 a.m. Our sherpa showed us the normal route and explained us that the summit was unreacheble because of a big crevasse in the top of the ridge. Trough that route we could only reach the south or the middle summit but not the real one. We decided to try a totally new route, climbing to the right along the ice wall, passing under the crevasses, and after try to get directly to the summit. Certainly this was a very difficult route that involved ice wall technics but it was the only chance to get to the real summit, that's why we decided to try it.
At 11:00 a.m. we were stuck in the route, the ice conditions were unestable and the wall started to get steeper until 90 degrees vertical. It started to snow and it was very cold. After 45 minutes with no progress we found a way to continue. The wall was so icy, hard in some parts, soft in others. At 12:45 a.m. we reached the summit, there were no signs of it been conquered previously in this season. We took some pictures, to south we saw an impressive view of Himalayan ranch, to the north there was no visibility because of the storm. From there we saw the big crevasse (about 8 mts.) and the small one, and the fake summits. After 20 minutes we started to climb down, at 5:00 p.m. and after the most exciting 14 hours of my life we arrived to base camp.
THE MEXICAN TEAM WAS THEN THE FIRST ONE IN THIS MILLENIUM TO REACH THE REAL SUMMIT OF THE ISLAND PEAK OPENING UP A NEW ROUTE. It was composed by Alfonso De la Parra (Everest summiter), Waldemar Franco, and my self Rene Mendez, our sherpas Chenchen and Karma. After us a team from Holland that lean us some screws, ropes and one sherpa, using our newly open route arrived to the summit.
If you want to see some photos of the expedition go to www.geocities.com/remendez