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I started in 2012 with a simple trekking in the Annapurna mountain range, in Nepal. I only reached an altitude of 3.500 meters which was easy since I had trained for a more demanding trekking. I was fascinated: the beauty of the nature, going out of my comfort zone, how natural traveling with few luggage was.Mountains are a healing place among our stressful lives, the communicational bombing, consumerism, social activities and the constant comfort search.

Interview with Hernán Leal for Radio La Clave

National mountaineers will try to reach the summit of Everest 25 years after the first Chilean and South American expedition.

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A new Chilean expedition will attempt to reach the 8,848, of Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, traveling on April 12th and 14th to Tibet, China.

The mountaineers Ernesto Olivares and Hernán Leal hope to be the seventh national expedition that reaches the so-called “roof of the world” in 25 years since the first two groups of Chilean mountaineers did it. To achieve this goal, both have being training themselves for four years climbing important peaks of meters above sea level the Andes of more than 6,000 meters of altitude and other peaks such as Denali in Alaska and Kilimanjaro.

I am very confident that this expedition will be successful, as we have trained very thoroughly in similar conditions than the ones we will have at Everest,” said Hernan Leal.

The FASTCO expedition expects to reach the summit by the Tibetan route, also known as ‘The North Face’ or northern hill, route in the Chinese territory through the province of Tibet, where they will get to the Rongbuk Glacier, where the base camp is set at 5,180 meters above sea level.

This route is not well known by Chile, because most of the Chileans have focused on the south slope, through Nepal. We are going down a less dangerous route, technically less complex, but with a much greater exposure to the wind and with a much higher physical demand” said Ernesto Olivares before embarking on his trip to China. Hernán Leal has already reached the summits of Kilimanjaro, Denali, Aconcagua and Ojos del Salado, among others. Olivares has reached twice the summit of Everest, in addition to Lhotse, Makalú and Nanga Parbat. They will go along with Lakpa Chhiri Sherpa and Lapka Chhiring Sherpa.

So far, only four Chileans have reached the summit of Everest on the Tibetan Rongbuk Glacier route.

The FASTCO expedition is expected to reach the summit between May 20th and 25th.