7 Cumbres Colombia

By Juan Pablo Ruiz, The Expedition Leader

Colombia 7 Summits

After 15 years, we have realized the dream of being the first Colombian team to climb the 7 summits: Everest in Asia, Elbrus in Europe, Aconcagua in South America, Denali in Alaska (North America), Kilimanjaro in Africa, Vinson in Antarctica and Carstensz now in Oceania.

This dream was born in 2001 when, while coming down from Everest, we talked about what to do after reaching the highest peak in the world.

When we had climbed Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Aconcagua and Denali by 2005, we decided to make a stop on the way and search for the members of the to-be second time national team on Everest. This time looking for a Colombian woman who could be first to reach the top and a man who could do it without oxygen. In the process of preparing for the expedition, Nelson Cardona, had had a serious accident that prevented him from continuing in preparation for Everest. He lost his right leg. During the recovery process, Nelson asked Epopeya Colombia S.A to help him attempt Everest`s summit with his prosthesis. In 2010 this became a reality and Nelson became the first Latin American with a prosthesis to achieve the top of the world. After this achievement, we agreed that we would repeat the summits already completed, with the goal of Nelson becoming the first Latin American to reach the 7 Summits.

Today, with the support of Adventure Indonesia - a company specializing in support hikes in Indonesia and especially in this mountains, that dream has been fulfilled. We have just finished the seventh summit. Carstensz was much harder than expected and the climb up the mountain rainforest is so rough that Nelson is now the only person with a prosthesis that has gone through the jungle and reached the top of Carstensz. Others have summited with prostheses, but none of them made the approach on foot, arriving by helicopter to the high camp at 4,200 meters instead. Nelson and the team started at 2000 meters and are, today, the first Colombian team to achieve the 7 Summits. Nelson is the first mountaineer with a prosthetic leg to complete the entire route of ascent on foot and achieves the 4884 m.s.n.m. Carstensz Summit. Thank You Adventure Indonesia.

Transcript of Recorded Testimonial and References:

#1        Hello Ferdinand, This is Juan Paulo Montejo speaking from the Columbian Expedition. We just made the summit in Mt. Carstensz. First of all I want to thank you for everything. The logistic works very good, your guide were very good as well, and I just want you to send this recorded message because it’s easier for me than writing, and even though we have great experience and everybody summits, the eight of us, we have some suggestion to make regarding the first days that uh I will continue in the next message.

#2        You send us a message via email saying uh that the second day was the hardest but we uh I have advice for you and maybe to the other clients you may have is that possibly you can tell them the experience of the Columbian Team that we were team of 8 moving very slow and uh the second day took us 14 hours and the normal time for this trek is 9 hours, so….

#3        Even though the first day took us a bit longer than the usual normal time, uh..uk (coughing)….so maybe you can tell your clients the experience of our team moving very slow and you can give them possibility maybe to have like uh one journey divided in two and for us was going to be very difficult after summiting to return in 4 days because for us going down was going to take maybe the same time going up because actually it’s not like a very steep going up but it’s regularly going up and down up and down so maybe a very good idea to detail more about the trekking not just saying it’s a hard day, because depend also on the group that you are in and how long is it suppose to take.

#4        Guides for example, like Joshua are excellent. They have the most positive attitude always, polite, he speaks good English and he always have smiling in his face, so please having consideration never to let this guy, because I think it is very important to have like a people person who can communicate with the other group and the common way to do is speaking English and he was like uh not only the one who spoke English the best but the one with a very good attitude. And Meds is very good cook. He took care of us very nice, he always try to do his best not only cooking but on the mountain as well. And Poxi, well uh he’s OK too. He has summit 60 times. He should maybe told us what’s in his mind when they told us maybe he wants to cancel the trip to the summit because he seen us very slow so maybe he could have communicate this so maybe we discuss this with him. But he’s a very good climber, and the last day specially he show a commitment with the group, specially with the slowest and the weakest of the group, Adriana for example, he was there 100% taking care of her. That was very-very nice to see from a guide that wanted all of his team in one piece at the end of the journey. So, bravo for him for this last day. So I hope you can have this inconsideration maybe detailing a little bit more to the next client, giving them the possibilities to rest and enjoy the trekking, even though it’s hard…let’s quote “enjoying”  because it’s really hard with all the obstacles, roots, mud, rain… but if you can do it like a little bit short, maybe the people that are slow like our group can be able to enjoy the journey a little bit more, give them possibility to rest a little bit more as well. And after summit like maybe don’t shorten the day of going back but just like keep them the same. 
I think that’s it. I’m talking about a group that really slow, that was filming, that didn’t only have like a one guy with one problem he’s leg that’s Nelson but you know Marcello has problem too and Manolo unfortunately with ears and.. and.. everything has problem as well and he was really disoriented so we have to take care of him like a baby. So I mean it was a hard group and you guys did your best and we did appreciate this, Ferdinand. And finally, last but not least, you my friend, just keep doing exactly what you do, as you do. Your mails, politeness, and everything, your service, the way you respond to everything was incomparable. So for you it’s 10 over 10, my friend. Keep doing your job like this and I hope this comment just like can improve the way you provide the service to your next clients and I’m sure like this experience with this Columbian Team, it’s going to make you see things differently about maybe some other group equally like ours. For example in number and in hours? In the trekking days.     
So please have a great day. Thank you for everything like you did at the end, the dinner, the shirt, everything it’s just like adorable, we did appreciate this and hopefully we can come back to this beautiful country. 

For sure we are going to keep working with Adventure Indonesia. 

Thank you very much, bye

Juan Pablo Montejo – Colombia 7 Cumbres Team
By recorded voice message from very nice hotel in Bali