A basque sled falls down a crevasse !
Published on 24.11.2011 - TransAntartika 2011
First serious setback for the three basque climbers : one of their sled falls down a deep crevasse.
The incident happened on 22 November, day seven of the expedition.
After they left their snow shadow, they had no choice but to proceed with their progression -eventhough the terrain was quite bumpy and full of sastrugis. All of a sudden, the sled of Juan Vallejo fell down a crevasse, about 30 m deep. Fortunetaly, the climber, attached to his sled with a harness, was not dragged down with the sled and could hold himself miraculously to the edge of the crevasse. Although the sled which was hanging in the hole weighed about 170 kilos.
Of course, the two other climbers rushed to help Juan. Having no other choice, Zabalza Iñurrategui cut the harness rope leaving the sled fall deeper down the crevasse. The time to get one's second wind, the trio had to take a decision ; leaving the sled down there or going down and try to recover everything ? They had no other choise but to descend into the crevasse and try to recover all the equipment possible.
Once inside the ice hole, they were lucky enough to find Juan's sled in its entirely, although a little twisted, but together with the material, food and equipment.
Two days later, the trio was on the move again. They just have the feeling that if they of course lost a lot of time with this unexpected incident, they still have plenty of hope -and time- to be able to join the SP in time.