(K2Climb.net) Venezuelan climber Jose A. Delgado perished on Nanga Parbat this summer, leaving undone a dream he had been nourishing since he summited Everest, back in 2001. Delgado wanted to tell his children Tomas and Sofia what he had learnt through his 40 climbing expeditions - spanning from his homeland's Andean peaks to the highest mountain on Earth.
Nanga summit - Jose's last amazing landscape
In 2002 he started writing a childrens book. In the voices of four fantasy characters, Jose told a story of friendship, perseverance, goals achieved through team work and, most of all, the search of the most amazing landscapes you could ever imagine."
The story was finished, but not edited, by the time Delgado left for his last expedition on Pakistans Nanga Parbat. Jose would reach the summit alone on July 11, but the jet wind caught him on the way back. He only asked for help after days stuck in a tent, out of gas and badly forstbitten. Bad weather and logistic problems prevented rescuers from finding him until it was too late.
He aimed for excellence in everything he did"
Two months after his death, Joses family and a local editor have finished the job the book was released in Venezuela last Saturday. Title is La Gran Montaña (The great mountain).
Jose Antonio Indian Delgado was a man of dreams and achievements, his wife Frida said some weeks ago during a speech in Venezuelas National Assembly. He aimed for excellence in everything he did. Trying was not enough for him things were meant to be done, and done well. With his book now edited and published, his last dream has been fulfilled.
On Wednesday July 12th, Venezuelan climber Jose Antonio Delgado reported on a storm was approaching Nanga Parbat. Jose had summited on the 11th but the weather deteriorated on descent and he had to bivouac at around 7.800m. The next day in the morning, with the help of climbers in Base Camp watching him through binoculars, Jose got to C4 at 7.500 m.
The storm continued during the day and the snow buried the tent, trapping the climber inside. By Friday his gas had run out and Jose was without food and water. He still had radio batts and could communicate with BC on Saturday 15th, stating his feet hurt and that he needed rescue.
A Japanese expedition in BC used their satelite phone to communicate the climber's situation but neither they or Jose's partner Edgar Guariguata, 23, seemed in disposition to assist in rescue actions at the time. Edgar and the home team in Venezuela desperately tried to find porters and other climbers who would be able to go up for Delgado.
Monday July 17th, Jose managed to dig out from his buried tent but it broke in the process and he reportedly planned to spend the night wrapped in the remaining shreds.
He also told BC that he would try to reach C3 from C4 by his own means, and asked his team mate Edgar to say goodbye to his wife and kids for him. That was the last word from the climber.
July 18, a Pakistan Air Force chopper landed in Nanga Parbats BC at 4 pm local time, carrying a group of six high altitude porters to search for the mountaineer.
The rescue climb was very difficult and low visibility also kept the supporting helicopter grounded. Meanwhile, weak radio signals at pre-scheduled times arrived to BC on two occasions, but it's unclear if they came from Jose's radio. By July 20th, the weather had cleared and the helicopter spotted a tent yesterday at around 6900 meters, between C4 (7500m) and C3 (6500 m). Hopes were that Jose had reached supplies cached at the intermediate camp, but today the climber was found only a few hundred meters away from the shelter.
Before Nanga Parbat, Delgado had climbed Cho Oyu, G2, Everest and Shisha Central.
This year, Nanga Parbat was summited only by Korean and Bulgarian climbers - days before Delgado's solo summit.
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