Julie Paquette and Daniel LeGresley had to currently be in the middle of the period of acclimatization at the base camp of mount Everest, waiting to touch their dream. Rather, it is full containment in Quebec they have the hope and the form in view of the season of climbs 2021.
When the nepalese government has decided to cancel the season climbs through his Himalayan peaks on the 13th of march due to the pandemic of the COVID-19, it has turned the dreams, the efforts and sacrifices of hundreds of mountaineers.
After the disappointment following the announcement, the Gatineau and the Acadian rolled up their sleeves and nourish the hope of realizing their dream next year. They had to fly to Nepal on April 3 and arrive at the base camp of the glacier Khumbu April 15, the day of the 50th anniversary of the birth of Julie.
As a mourning
In the many unknowns of an expedition, never they would not have believed to be foiled by a virus.
“It is a keen disappointment personal. It is a bit like a bereavement. But I also have the feeling of disappointing my family that I was so supported in this project, ” says Julie, a passionate since childhood by the highest peak in the world, peaking at 8848 meters of altitude.
“This is not just my investment of time, effort, and under. It is also that of my family who has made sacrifices like me, ” says the 50 year-old woman who had to live the first part of the adventure with their spouse. She was thinking, even with the object that it would have led to the top if the window of opportunity was open in mid-may.
To continue with the preparation
Adept at endurance events, like his companion on the rope, Daniel LeGresley was engaged in this adventure to mark its 55th anniversary, the famous Freedom 55. He hoped to pass the bar of the 6200 meters above sea level.
As an elite athlete at the peak of his form at the time of the big event, he was more than ready to take on the challenge. He had multiplied the winter riding in the mountains of the Adirondacks, hundreds of miles of foot races and… climbed countless ladders in his back yard !
A mandatory preparation in order to face the dozens of ladders overlooking the crevasses of the icefall of the glacier Khumbu en route to the camps above Everest.
“The cancellation of the season will allow us to continue our preparation for next year. Like the rest of the planet, we must make concessions, ” stressed the man who pointed the Everest on a trek in 2011 and promised to put the cleats one day.
And according to the guide of the expedition, the Quebec Gabriel Filippi, both Julie that Daniel possessed the capacity to achieve their dream. He said he was pleasantly surprised with the reactions of the climbers who did not let down. Evidence of resilience in saying a lot about their capabilities.
What does the future hold ?
Like everything in the world, climbers wonder what the future holds.
Will they be able to finally live the expedition next year ? Will they be released by their respective employers the interval of two months if the Nepal opens the access to its snow-covered peaks ?
No one knows. But they hope. In their expenditure of around about $ 50 000 canadians, in large part repaid, they do not yet have any details about the payment of licence of nepal.
They cost about 20 000 $ (CAD). The government could keep the money, return it or renew the licence in 2021. The climbers have no control. The economic impact of the expeditions are huge in Nepal. The issuance of permits to climb Everest is worth approximately$ 4 Million americans.
For Julie and Daniel, the dream did not forget. It all depends on the opportunities to touch it.
Sad 5th anniversary
The urgency of the situation in this pandemic of the COVID-19, especially in the middle of the health in Quebec, recalls painful memories to the experienced mountaineer quebec Gabriel Filippi.
Five years ago, he experienced the greatest tragedy in the mountains-the deadly avalanche that destroyed the base camp of mount Everest, snapped up 21 lives and injured 72 climbers after the earthquake of magnitude 7.9 in Nepal.
“This event is really not out of my system. And this pandemic reminds me of how we had managed the crisis, April 25, 2015. I think of all the days these days. Images come back to me constantly, including those of people who have dropped their last breath in my arms and that of desolation, observing the scene by returning to my camp this evening “, says Filippi. Also, the mountain climber and guide, relates in detail the events of that tragic day in his excellent book ‘survival Instincts.
Without light front, to the unique glow of the moon hitting the tops of the Himalayas, he describes this scene a desolate, where everything was ripped as if a bomb had exploded and destroyed 95 % of the base camp at the foot of mount Everest.
Filippi had miraculously survived the avalanche by curling up behind a huge rock, only one shoe put on is it necessary to mention !
Beyond the indelible images in his memory, a 59 year old man still hears as sound. Those in the roar of the avalanche which has swept over the lunch hour, the cries and moans of pain.
“This must be the same thing in the hospitals and NURSING homes where people are fighting the coronavirus currently. I have so much empathy and gratitude to the medical staff. “
Guide and first aider
This year, Filippi had played the first-aiders for more than 24 hours in the company of other Quebecers, including Sylvain Béliveau. He brought his support across the base camp and in the four huge tents transformed into clinical of fortune after the disaster. With the medical staff, among other things, he proceeded to triage amongst the wounded and the dead.
“It’s part of my life. I will never be able to erase from my memory. But it must remember what happened like what we are experiencing in this moment, ” says the one who would like to collaborate in the mission of québec in this pandemic.
Since then, the adventurer is returned to the Everest in 2016, 2018 and 2019. In the past year, it has climbed on the roof of the world for the third time.