On the way up - Fideltronik Monte Rosa Expedition

Fideltronik Monte Rosa Expedition 2011fmre-2011-ico

On July 5th, 2011 at 3:15 pm Fideltronik team: Jerzy Wnek – Managing Director and Miloslaw Dziula – Financial Director hung white-and-red Fideltronik flag on the highest top of Monte Rosa Massif, Dufourspitze (4634 m).

It has been a tough way up against numerous obstacles which gang up to prevent the expedition. Preparations started beginning 2010. The first appointed date of departure to July 2010 has in the very last moment been cancelled due to withdrawal of 2 important team members. Alternative date moved to September 2010 also few hours before departure needed to be cancelled again due to serious injuries (backbone of Marcin and knee of Grzegorz). That second defeat hurt a lot therefore new, third departure date appointed to July 2011 was decided to be the last-forever chance.

Despite the fact that finally Grzegorz injury appeared to be unable to cure, team of four adventurers Marcin, Miras, Iwo and Milek divided into two attacking crews struck Monte Rosa Massive Sunday 4th July, in the early morning. The "last-forever" decision affected all operations in the field. Monstrous rucksacks weighing over 30 kilos, equipped with whatever might be needed hardware, resulted in timely journey from Zermatt to Untere Platje (3 000 m) where camp has been established in the late evening. Quick check for weather forecast determined decision that first attack should be performed already on the following day – in case of the need for return, the trial would be a good way to acquire proper acclimatisation.

Get-up at 2 am and get it on! And with gaining the height it seemed that return is inevitable. Due to lack of any sleep for 2 consecutive nights and exhausting full-load ascent to Untere Platje, everybody felt the tempo was going down. Another teams who left the Platje or even Monte Rosa Hutte later in the night with no great effort overtook Fideltronik. The periods of climb have more and more often been interrupted with longer and longer rests. The limiting time of 1 pm – when according to observations of the people met on the previous day the snow would flow down from the ridge and melt in the valleys opening crevasse – have quickly neared. At 10 am after 8 hours of fight at altitude of ca 4 000 m Iwo decided to turn back together with 2 Spanish climbers who were already coming back from the summit. 30 minutes later at altitude of ca 4 100, after desperate fight also Miras concluded that he was not able to keep the pace and returned joining the previous three.

It has been a tough decision for the 2 who left – Marcin and Milek – to continue. The snow was soft, the time was late, the clouds going up from the valleys – dreadful. Couple of teams which previously overtook Fideltronik decided to turn back because of exhaustion, some because of late hour. But as in Fideltronik: once taken decision to face the problems, well recognized terrain and proper equipment tempted so much to realize the dreams that no other alternative than fulfil could be chosen. It has been 4 more hours to climb the ridge which needed to be captured. Various systems of managing the overexertion have been exercised. “10 on 10” system (10 steps + 10 breaths) quickly became "2 on 10" and at the moments of technical difficulties even "1 on 20".

The emotions on the summit have fully rewarded undertaken efforts. No wind, clouds few hundred meters below, no people, all alps including bare Matterhorn at a hand-range – everything is possible. It has been 15 beautiful minutes before the clouds went up again and snowfall covered the mysterious scenery giving all pure positive load.

Way down did not bring any striking events, except the snow in valley has indeed melted therefore wet slush sucked everything from crampons up to the waist. Below 3 500 m the snowfall turned into rapid rain therefore the rest from the helmet down to waist has been fairly wetted. All wet arrived in wetted tents and wetted sleeping bags at 9 pm. But this has been first well slept and happy night since 3 previous days.

 

Monte Rosa - gallery

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