THE Majorcan climbers who were hoping to reach the highest summit in the world at 8'848 metres high, Everest, yesterday decided to abandon the challenge and head home, where the weather is a lot better. The three climbers, Oli, Calafat and Quetglas were trapped at the foot of the south face of the mountain due to the severe weather problems.
The gale-force winds have not dampened down and still reach speeds of up to 80 kilometres per hour. The freezing temperatures have got gradually worse with predictions of severe weather on the way. Bartomeu Calafat sent a letter to Ultima Hora, the Bulletin's sister Spanish newspaper, which gave thanks to all those institutions that have backed and financed the trip, and said that all climbers were very sorry to have to give up on the challenge. Those groups who have sponsored the challenge, including Group Serra, the Council of Majorca, Gesa-Endesa and Sa Nostra, backed the decision of the group and have sent them a note expressing their satisfaction on “the effort which was carried out” to reach the summit. “It has been a very difficult and debated decision”, said the group of climbers. “I sincerely feel dissatisfied. Nobody has been able to reach the summit of the south face today and those who have tried have returned with serious frostbite problems. Furthermore the wind situation has not improved over the 800 metre mark. Things have complicated the climb in such a way that the doubtful possibility of climbing at the beginning of June would just mean we are risking our lives”, said Tolo Quetglas. All unhappy climbers met back in the “dining room” and clicked onto the internet to read the latest weather forecasts.
The Majorcan Everest expedition team will today begin their journey back to Kathmandu.
Even though the three have flights booked for 10 June, it is very likely that they will try and bring the date forward, so that they can be back home sooner than expected.