He interviews Gonzalo Dell Agnola
Gonzalo Dell Agnola is thirty years old, native of Mendoza (Argentina) and is a guide of high mountain in The Andes. It tells with ten ascensions to the Aconcagua and some others in the Andean mountain range.
The recent episode of the tragic accident that Óscar Pérez has suffered in Latok II (7.125 m) has moved us. In its adventure it had the bad fortune of an arm and a leg broke to 6.200 meters of altitude. Its scale partner left it there to go to look for help.
This terrible episode brings to us to the memory another tragic event through that Gonzalo Dell Agnola lived at the beginning of 2009 when it was working of guide with a group of montañeros that were going to crown the Aconcagua (6.962 meters of altitude) placed in the Andean mountain range, to the west of Argentina.
Dell Agnola headed a rescue team who came to the call of help that a group of montañeros had done. Three of them were without forces disoriented, the guide Federico Campanini with clear symptoms of suffering a cerebral edema (badly of height) and other of its members had suffered an accident (Helen Senín, who died as a result of the same one). They had done summit and with the bad weather they got confused and went down for the erroneous face to finish in a pitfall “the Glacier of the Poles”. Gonzalo with a group of montañeros that offered to the rescue, they saved three members (Matteo Refigrerato, Marina Attanasio and Mirko Affasio). For it they had to promote again four hundred meters that had descended, do summit and to go down for the easiest route. But little they could do for the life of experienced Federico Campanini. A video gathers the last moments, dramatists, of this moment. This video has supposed a big polemic since, between other things, there questions the suitability of the means used in the rescue.
Magazine Atticus: Gonzalo: what was your role in the rescue mission?
Gonzalo: It is a simple question but to its you see complex. At the moment of the group of Italians found out about the emergency (the voluntary guides of mountain) they were entering in the second night this situation, we press the authorities of the Provincial Park Aconcagua I have we did the helicopter flights up to the base of the mountain with the last lights of the day. On the same night we plan the rescue to act on the following day with the first lights. About this planning we decide as firstly measurement to locate with accuracy the group in problems, since guardaparque and the systems of rescues of the Park Aconcagua were acting but without having located the group. This responsibility relapsed on me, since for little information that had been received from the group of Italians and the flights of helicopter that the guardaparque carried out we were suspecting that they were on the first rocky band of the glacier of the Poles and as I know that well this area for having climbed in her the responsibility relapsed on me. After locating them it was my responsibility to define the tactics that was used. Finally I took charge of a group of rescue that ended up by evacuating Mirko Affasio and I organized in the base of operations of the rescue to 5.500 m the groups that armed the emergency camp to 6.400 m. Happening in clean, I was a part of the planning that the volunteers did, of locating and defining the evacuation tactics and like chief of one of the groups of volunteers' rescue.
R.A. One of the most criticized questions has been the absence of a stretcher to help to move the exhausted Campanini body. Was its use possible? Why was not it used?
G.: It is necessary to differentiate several things. If a specific stretcher had been had for descents in covered with snow areas its use would have been possible but the park Aconcagua does not possess or it was possessing this type of stretchers, in the same way the presence of this one had not guaranteed the entire success. The deplorable thing was that after two days of finished the personal rescue of the Argentine Army showed us its new stretchers that they use for evacuation and those were ideal for its agility and easy transport. On the other hand the use of stretchers constructed with ropes was inefficient (the evacuation is tried by this way) since due to the large number of piled up snow and the weight of the these victims they were buried in the snow and the transport that was not for dragging and friction was demanding a large number of rescatistas for reliefs to which it was turning out to be almost impossible to advance for the conditions of the area to them.
R.A. Nowadays there is a big polemic for the big sum of money that it is necessary to pay out to gain access to the mountain. Countries as the Nepal have a real source of income in its mountain range the Himalayas. To promote the Aconcagua I believe that you have to pay approximately 500 dollars: To what does it give right the payment of these permissions?
G.: The situation of Nepal with the Aconcagua is quite different, in Nepal big sums of money are paid for permission and no compensation is received practically in exchange for the government of Nepal (other services are paid apart). In Aconcagua the payment for 500 dollars (in high period) they are assined to the payment of the services of guardaparques, of evacuation of residues of all kinds (including the fecal matter) that is realized in helicopter, the medical service up to the camps base (that it is obligatory to spend it), hide and evacuations carried out by the helicopter and by the Patrol of Rescue of the Police of Mendoza and the logistics and materials that all these services comprise.
R.A. Can a government buy a mountain? Is just to have to pay for seeing the Cataracts of Iguazú or the Brown Expert?
G.: I believe that the mountains and the natural ambiences belong to all and they cannot be bought, but yes I agree that a canon charges from itself for the rendering of minimal and indispensable service. It the visitors have to help to settle their costs.
R.A. Recently you have been in Bulnes (Peaks of Europe) how you has the experience gone?
G.: Very well. Peaks of Europe are mountains that do not possess big altitude but there are very Alpine mountains, with very much difference and with a particular and very changeable meteorology and that makes them very attractive. Also at the refuge Uriellu there is employed a friend who also is employed at the basic camp of the Aconcagua and we could have access to “the kitchen of the refuge” (back room) where really a mountain ambience is breathed and where we could share experiences and chats with climbers of somewhere here.
This is an extract of the interview realized by Luis José Cuadrado to Gonzalo Dell Agnola the finished interview will be available in the number 8 of magazine Atticus that intends for its electronic edition at the end of September.
Filed file: General
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