Tag: Argentina

Congratulations to our Aconcagua team members that stood on the summit of South America yesterday! At 6961m / 22,837 ft., Aconcagua is the highest point in both the Western and Southern hemispheres.  They made quick work of climbing up from Plaza Argentina base camp on 12/18 through camps 1, 2, and 3.

Today they made the descent from high camp (5989m / 19,650ft) to Plaza de Mulas base camp (4367m / 14,327ft).  Everyone is safely off the mountain and looking forward to hiking down the Horcones valley tomorrow to the end of the trail and back to civilization with cold drinks and warm showers!

We will have more pictures and details soon.  Merry Christmas to all!

Happy team on the summit!

Happy team on the summit!

Yesterday the Aconcagua team arrived at Plaza Argentine base camp after a three-day trek in from the trailhead.  Their first segment from the Punta de Vacas trailhead (2415m / 7,900ft) covered 7.85 miles and gained 2,091 ft. of elevation gain to the first camp, Las Lenas.  On the second trekking day, they continued 9.43 miles up the Vacas valley from Las Lenas (2864m / 9,400ft) to the beautiful riverside camp of Casa de Piedra (3245m / 10,650ft), gaining another 1,721 ft. of elevation, where they enjoyed their first views of the Aconcagua peak.  The third and final trekking day to Plaza Argentina base camp left Casa de Piedra camp and headed west, first crossing the chilly morning waters of the Vacas river, then proceeding along the Relinchos river for 7 miles gaining 3,360 ft. of elevation.

The team is now enjoying the comforts of the well-appointed base camp, including three meals a day in a dining tent with tables, chairs, plates, and silverware.  Ah, luxury!

With the base camp trekking complete, the team transitions into the climbing phase of the expedition.  They are making preparations for the first carry of supplies and gear to cache at Camp 1.  On these “double carry” moves, the team first carries loads up to the next camp, places in the cache and then descend back down to the previous camp for the night.  The following day, they move up to the next camp with the remainder of their gear.

Our mule support team will transport the team’s trekking specific duffels of gear back to the Punta de Vacas trailhead and then up the Horcones valley to meet them at the Plaza de Mulas base camp on the far side of the mountain when they descend.

As the team moves up on the climb, communications will be very limited and it’s possible that we will not have another update from them until they descent to Plaza de Mulas.

Team at Plaza Argentina Base Camp

Team at Plaza Argentina Base Camp (4200m/13,780ft)

 

Today the December Aconcagua expedition team started the three-day trek into Plaza Argentina base camp.  Beginning at the Punta de Vacas trailhead, they will hike just over 12km and gain about 450m of elevation as they make their way to the first camp at Pampa de Lenas.  It’s a beautiful trek up the Vacas Valley and the team is supported by pack mules that carry most of the gear.  This allows the team to enjoy the days hiking to base camp with comfortable day packs.  On their way today, the team will stop for a picnic-style lunch along the banks of the Vacas River.

Today our Aconcagua climbers finished their first carry up to Camp 1 at an elevation of 16,100′, spending 5 hours on the way up and 3 back down towards base camp. The conditions have been beautiful with blue skies as our team moved gear and food up the mountain.

The plan is to climb to Camp 1 and sleep there tonight and then carry a load tomorrow to Camp 2. The following day we plan to move to Camp 2 and then evaluate the weather forecast. If all looks good we will carry a load to camp 3, then climb to camp 3 and sleep, going for the summit the following day.

To see our teams detailed itinerary for getting to the top visit our page here!

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Aconcagua climbers

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Aconcagua climbers

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Aconcagua climbers

After a nice trek up the Vacas Valley, our climbers have arrived at Plaza Argentina base camp. The weather has been perfect on our trek toward Aconcagua. Last night our team enjoyed a traditional open fire barbecue with chicken, steak, fresh salad and vegetables along the riverside. After a relaxing nights rest at Pampa de Lena camp (9,200′) our team woke up early to cross the river (with river shoes or by mule) through the Relinchos Valley to Plaza Argentina base camp (13,900′).

This will be our team’s third day of trekking and they will be greeted shortly with a warm dinner celebrating their arrival to Aconcagua. Tomorrow our team will rest at base camp and begin to organize the loads of gear to be moved to higher camps on Aconcagua.

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Vacas Valley

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Vacas Valley

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Vacas Valley

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Vacas Valley

The Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua 2017 team has arrived in Mendoza, Argentina and is now heading off to begin our expedition and ascent of the highest mountain in the western and southern hemispheres. Aconcagua (the stone sentinel) stands at an impressive 6962m (22,834 ft.) above sea level and is great training for high altitude peaks in the Himalaya. Please follow our dispatches as we journey from the lush wine region of Mendoza (known for grass fed beef and Malbec wine) to the arid slopes of the Vacas Valley and up to the base of the Polish Glacier, before making our way to the highest point in the Andes. Aconcagua is known at times for high winds (100mph) and sub zero temps, as well as the high altitude extreme environment. This mountain is never an easy feat and over half the climbers who attempt are turned back. We are sure to encounter challenges along the way and with those come potential rewards for hard work and a job well done in the end. On a clear day we might even see the surreal blue of the Pacific ocean from the summit. To the summit!

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Aconcagua 2017

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Aconcagua 2017

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Aconcagua 2017

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2017 Aconcagua

Hey everyone this is Eric with Madison Mountaineering just calling to report that the team is doing great. We have had a really long day we got up super early this morning went for the summit and a few things got in our way. We turned around at 21,000 feet and we all decided to make our way back to base camp so i’m calling you from Plaza de Mulas today. We had a good dinner and we are going to get up early and start our hike out. Talk to you later, bye.

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Hey this is Eric with Madison Mountaineering just giving you a call from high camp up here on Aconcagua. We have set up our tents just over 19,000ft and it is cold. Snowing a little bit but not to bad. We are making dinner and getting ready to go to for the summit tomorrow morning it sounds like. Keep us in your thoughts we will keep you updated. We will talk to you later, bye.

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Today Eric Salazar checked in to report that under great weather conditions the team made a successful second move of gear and supplies up to Aconcagua Camp 2 (5492m / 18,020ft) on the north flank of Aconcagua. Our team will now rest and prepare for the summit push in the days to come. Onward!

Hey everybody this is Eric with Madison Mountaineering, just calling in. We are going to be moving up to camp 2 today we have some decent weather it looks like and we are going to move up to 18,000 feet. Wish us luck we will call you when we get there. Talk to you later, bye.

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Audio dispatch by Eric Salazar

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