President Piñera Greets Rodrigo Jordán and Everest Explorers
SANTIAGO – Last month, a Chilean team led by Rodrigo Jordán reached the summit of Mount Everest last month to mark twenty years since the first Chilean ascent of the world’s highest peak. Upon their return to Chile, they were congratulated in a ceremony at La Moneda Palace.
The expedition also included three members of Chile’s Army. President Sebastián Piñera was joined by Defense Minister Andrés Allamand to receive the group. For one of the army climbers, Juan Díaz, the climb was not able to be fully realized. A case of laryngitis struck him down midway along the route. Despite not reaching the summit, Díaz was a key part in broadcasting the actions of the team throughout the world.
A key change after twenty years was the ability to communicate almost instantaneously after reaching the summit. Just a few moments after the team reached the summit, those following the journey were able to keep in touch with their progress.
The group reached the summit on May 18, almost exactly twenty years since Jordán and his team became the first Chileans on the summit of Everest. They returned to La Moneda with gifts of Nepalese prayer flags, a sign of peace.
Jordán said to Radio Cooperativa of the previous mission, “We were much younger, more daring, more unconscious.” The Chilean group was one of the first teams in the world to climb Everest using the more difficult route beginning in China, known as the Kansghung face.
At La Moneda, Jordán joked that President Piñera had been to more summits than him. “He has the Cancún summit, the summit of various places” referring to the various meetings of world leaders.
Defense Minister Allamand thanked the team on behalf of the Chilean government, saying “These expeditions demonstrate that when there is discipline, order and teamwork, great goals can be accomplished.”
The mountaineer also thanked the public for all their well wishes through social media networks, saying that this support had helped the team to reach the highest point in the world.