Aconcagua Expedition Archives

Our team acclimatizing above Confluencia Camp. Photo: Terray Sylvester

The team spent today acclimatizing around Confluencia Camp as they prepare to continue their trek into base camp tomorrow. Some light snow made for magical conditions during their acclimatization efforts, spent moving around the valley and looking up at the towering peaks above them. Expedition leader, Terray Sylvester checks in with todays dispatch from the Horcones Valley:

Hello! This is Terray calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua (6961m/22,837ft) expedition – it’s December 30th.

Today we acclimatized by hiking from our camp here at Confluencia (3436m/11,273ft) to Plaza Francia (4228m/13,871ft) at the base of the dramatic South Face of Aconcagua! It was a beautiful hike, we had some light snow which just made for really scenic and atmospheric conditions on the peaks above us. We took a break at Plaza Francia and checked out the hanging glaciers on the South Face, and then returned back to our camp where we had a late lunch of bruschetta with fresh veggies and prosciutto, plus some great-fresh melon! So now we’re just resting before dinner.

All is well and we’re looking forward to moving to base camp tomorrow!

Checking out the view of Aconcagua’s famous South Face! Photo: Terray Sylvester

Checking out the view of Aconcagua’s famous South Face! Photo: Terray Sylvester

Hiking toward the South Face. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Hiking toward the South Face. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Down the Lower Horcones Valley. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Down the Lower Horcones Valley. Photo: Terray Sylvester

The team returning to Confluencia Camp from Plaza Francia. Photo: Terray Sylvester

The team returning to Confluencia Camp from Plaza Francia. Photo: Terray Sylvester

 


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

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Approaching Confluencia Camp. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Today, our Aconcagua team hit the trail and has begun their journey towards the summit of South America’s tallest peak! Fueled by several good meals throughout the day, the team has arrived in Confluencia Camp where they’ll spend the remainder of the day. Expedition leader, Terray Sylvester checks in with todays dispatch:

Hello! This is Terray calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua (6961m/22,837ft) expedition, it’s December 29th.

Today we had a nice breakfast in Mendoza (746m/2,449ft) and drove up to our trailhead in Horcones, then we had a nice three hour walk here to Confluencia Camp (3436m/11,273ft). It’s a beautiful day, there’s fresh snow high on the mountains, so that’s a scenic change! We got here to Confluencia and had a nice lunch – pizza, and fresh juice, and some nice apple bread and other items. Now we’re just resting until dinner!

So, tomorrow we’ll take an acclimatization hike up toward a nice viewpoint for the south face of Aconcagua.

All is well here, really pleasant, and we’ll be in touch!

Our climber, TJ, at the Horcones Valley Trailhead with guide, Laucha. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Our climber, TJ, at the Horcones Valley Trailhead with guide, Laucha. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Our team in the Horcones Valley. Photo: Terray Sylvester

Our team in the Horcones Valley. Photo: Terray Sylvester


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

Our climber, TJ, enjoying dinner in Mendoza with our guides, Terray and Laucha.

The Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua season is underway in Argentina! Our team has arrived in Mendoza and is primed to kickoff the expedition tomorrow after a gear check, orientation and welcome dinner today. Expedition leader, Terray Sylvester checks in with the expeditions first dispatch from Mendoza:

Hello! This is Terray calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua (6961m/22,837ft) expedition – it’s Wednesday, December 28th. This is the first climb of our season; we’ll have a couple of more expeditions up Aconcagua after this one.

But, yeah today was the first day of this climb. Our climber, TJ, arrived here in Mendoza (746m/2,449ft) this afternoon, then we had a gear check and orientation at our hotel, and we just wrapped up dinner at one of Mendoza’s many sidewalk restaurants. It’s just a beautiful evening here in Mendoza – perfect temperature, people are out listening to music and having dinner. It’s really pleasant!

Tomorrow the plan is to wake up, not too early, and then drive up to the Andes – drive into the mountains. We’ll hike up to our camp at Confluencia (3436m/11,273ft). So, tomorrow will be our first night in this famous mountain range. I’m really looking forward to it! I think we’re going to have a great trip as we make our way to the highest peak outside of Asia, and the highest peak in the Americas.

So, all is well and we’ll be in touch tomorrow.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

Full team on the summit of Aconcagua

The Aconcagua team are now all back down to base camp safely after standing on the summit of the highest point in South America.  Here’s expedition leader Garrett Madison with today’s expedition dispatch:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Aconcagua team dispatch.  Today’s Friday, February 11th.

Today we descended from Camp 3 (5989m/19,650ft) on Aconcagua down to base camp (4367m/14,327ft).  We had a nice day.  Got down in the early afternoon, set up camp, took some showers, had a nice barbeque lunch, and a celebration dinner this evening.  Everyone’s doing great, we’re happy to be down here in base camp after our summit day yesterday where everyone made it to the top and had great views from the summit.

We’ve heading out tomorrow, hiking back to the Horcones trailhead and then driving to Mendoza.

All’s well here in Argentina.  We’ll check in soon.

On the way up to the top of Aconcagua

On the way up to the top of Aconcagua

Celebration toast in base camp for 100% Aconcagua summit success!

Celebration toast in base camp for 100% Aconcagua summit success!

Climbing to the top of Aconcagua at sunrise

Climbing to the top of Aconcagua at sunrise

View from Aconcagua high camp of the moon and sunset

View from Aconcagua high camp of the moon and sunset

Sunset on Aconcagua

Sunset on Aconcagua


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear our guide’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Fantastic news!  The entire Aconcagua team stood on the summit (6961m/22,837ft) today and are now safely back down to Camp 3.  Here’s team member Krisli Melesk reporting the happy news:

This is Krisli calling in from Madison Mountaineering 2022 Aconcagua expedition.

I have some excellent news!  The whole team who we started with in Mendoza has just summitted and we are back safely in Camp 3!  We just has some nice beverages and also some snacks.  Everybody is in high spirits and we’re looking forward to heading back to base camp for some warm showers tomorrow and some more beverages, maybe. Haha.

Everybody’s doing great and we have an excellent team.  Everybody been super casual and super nice.  The weather has been amazing today, we were so lucky – clear skies and beautiful views.

I think that’s me over and out.  Lots of love to everybody, family, and friends.  Bye now!

(photo from the Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua archives)


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear our guide’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Sunset on Aconcagua

Our 2022 Aconcagua team has moved up to High Camp (C3) (5989m/19,650ft) and is in position for the summit attempt tonight! Here’s team member, Todd Ammerman, with today’s dispatch:

Hello!  This is Todd Ammerman checking in from the Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua expedition.  Today we had a marvelous day.

We moved from Camp 2 to Camp 3 which I have now learned is at approximately 19,700ft (6005m).  We are getting well hydrated and fueled up.  We’ll start tomorrow for an early summit push.  Everybody is here and in good shape and good spirit.

We are looking for a wonderful day tomorrow.  Hopefully this next dispatch will have great success stories.  Until then!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear our guide’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Mount Aconcagua

Making a slight change of plans to optimize the summit day forecasted weather, our Aconcagua team made a light carry up to High Camp (C3) (5989m/19,650ft) and returned to Nido de Condores Camp (C2) (5522m/18,117ft) for the night.  Calling in via sat phone, here’s team member Peter Horsman with today’s expedition dispatch:

Hey everyone, this is Peter Horsman calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua expedition.  Today is… (what date is it?) …February 8th maybe.

Instead of moving to Camp 3, we actually had a change in schedule because it looks like weather is significantly improving.  So instead of summiting on the 9th, we are now summiting on the 10th, hopefully.   So today we actually had a great day.  We had, again, a wonderful breakfast by our Agentinian guides Neno and Cacho.  Then we took some gear and food and clothing up to Camp 3.  A pretty nice hike – wonderful weather, great scenery.

Overall the team is doing really, really well.  We’re all feeling very strong and are very excited to move to Camp 3 tomorrow where we will then spend a couple of hours of sleep and then the day after tomorrow we’re going to go for a summit attempt.

All is well here in Camp 2 and Melina, I love you.  Bye bye.

(photo from the Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua archives)


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear our guide’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Aconcagua

Our Aconcagua team moved up to Nido de Condores Camp (C2) (5522m/18,117ft) yesterday and are enjoying a rest day today.  Here’s team member, Peter Horsman, with today’s dispatch and the plan for the days ahead:

Hey everyone, this is Peter Horsman calling in from the Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua expedition.  We are at Camp 2 on Aconcagua at 18,000ft or so (5500m).

Today we are having a really nice rest day.  We’ve just been served amazing pizza by Neno and Cacho, who are our Argentinian guides and are amazing.  Everything is going really well!  The team’s feeling well.  It’s a really nice, sunny day here.  We’re all feeling the altitude a little bit, but that’s normal at this altitude.

Our plan is to move to Camp 3 tomorrow.  And then, hopefully, try for the summit on the 9th, so the day after tomorrow.

Everybody is feeling really strong.  Garrett‘s doing well, he’s smiling, cutting the pizza for us!  Maybe the whole team can say something like… I don’t know… shout something.  “Yee-haw!”  That was [garbled] in case you were wondering.  “Viva Aconcagua!”  Viva Aconcagua, that’s good.

All right, well thank you.  You’ll hear more from us tomorrow.  Melina, I love you and I’ll see you soon.  Bye, bye.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear our guide’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

The view from Canada Camp (C1) on Aconcagua

Our Aconcagua team moved up to Camp 1 (5060m/16,600ft) (aka Canada Camp) today where they plan to spend one night before making a single carry/move to Camp 2 (5522m/18,117ft) tomorrow. Here’s team member, Josh G., from Camp 1 with today’s expedition dispatch:

Hey!  Josh here from Aconcagua in Argentina!  We made it up to Camp 1 today.  2,200 foot climb and made it in three hours and ten minutes with all of our team members making it safely up to Camp 1.  Tomorrow we move up to Camp 2 at about 5500m (18,045ft) and it’s going to be one of our heaviest days.  So, we’re looking forward to the challenge.

I would like to say hey to [garbled], April, and all my friends back in Helen, Georgia.  I miss you guys!

Camp 1 on Aconcagua

Camp 1 on Aconcagua


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear our guide’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Back in base camp (4367m/14,327ft) for the night, our Aconcagua team completed their gear carry to Camp 1 (5060m/16,600ft) today to prepare for their move up to Camp 1 tomorrow, weather pending.  Here’s team member, Erwin Visser, from Plaza de Mulas base camp with today’s expedition dispatch:

Hey! This is Erwin Visser calling from Aconcagua base camp.  We had a great day today.

We went up to camp 1, or also called Camp Canada (5060m/16,600ft), to do a carry.  We brought water and fuel and food already to camp 1 so when we are going to go on our move trying to make the summit, we already didn’t have to carry that up at the same time.  It was a pretty special day today for me – because it was my first time reaching 5000m!  I did all my climbing in Europe in the Alps as well as in the state of Washington and, frankly, there are no peaks there of 5000m.  So it was kind of a personal record and a nice moment for me to hit that altitude.

We have a great team here.  I saw everybody made it easy up to camp 1.  Everybody’s pretty strong here, so it was great to see how well we did – how fast we did.  The second milestone for today is that we also did our medical test and everybody passed – also great news.  They test your blood pressure, as well as your blood oxygen levels to make sure that you are safe going up to the mountain.  And great to hear that everybody made it.  So, yeah, we as a team we’re ready to go when the weather is good.  Tomorrow that is our plan.  Our plan is that when the weather is good, we are going up to camp 1 with all our stuff and start our summit attempt.  Which means going to camp 1, camp 2, camp 3, hopefully the summit, camp 3, and then back to base camp.

I also have a couple of personal messages here:  First, big thanks to all the people that are following us as a team, but also personally me.  Your encourging words or texts means a lot to everyone.  A couple of call outs specifically, one is that it’s really super to hear that my nine-year-old nephew Will that his whole class is following the climb.  It’s exciting to hear that they do it!  And hey Will when I’m back I’m coming to your class again and will show the pictures.  Yeah, also a quick shout out to Juliette, my 17-year-old daughter who becomes 18 on the 12th.  I feel really bad that I’m not going to be there and hey Juliette I’m going to make it up with you so I promise.

Yes, that’s kinda it.  Hey as a closing I really wanna thank everybody again following us, following the whole team.  Special call out to Sara, my Mom of course, Karen, and all the kids.

So hey we will check in with a new dispatch hopefully tomorrow.  Thank you!

Camp 1 on Aconcagua

Camp 1 on Aconcagua

Plaza de Mulas base camp on Aconcagua

Plaza de Mulas base camp on Aconcagua

Sunset on Aconcagua

Sunset on Aconcagua

Trekking up to base camp on Aconcagua

Trekking up to base camp on Aconcagua


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear our guide’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram: