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On the trek to Aconcagua base camp

The team had a rest day at Aconcagua base camp and is preparing to make their first carry up to Camp 1.  Here’s expedition leader, Garrett Madison, with today’s dispatch:

Hello!  This is Garrett checking-in for the Aconcagua expedition.  Today is January 29th and we had a nice rest day here at Plaza de Mulas base camp.  We organized gear today, did our medical checkups with the doctor, and strolled around camp.

We are looking forward to another great day tomorrow.  Our plan is to get up and go for carry to Camp 1 and return to base camp.

Everyone’s doing great and we’re enjoying ourselves here at Aconcagua base camp.

 

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on other expeditions in the 2020 season!  Contact our office for details.


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 Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

Today the team reached Plaza de Mules base camp and got settled in.  The sat phone dispatch is a bit garbled but you can certainly make out that they like the comforts of the base camp:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Aconcagua expedition.  Today is January 28th and today we trekked from Confluencia camp up …[garbled]… great today and we are looking forward to taking a rest day tomorrow …[garbled]… clouded up a little …[garbled]… sun this afternoon …[garbled]… when we were in camp, but GREAT basecamp setup here — hot showers, excellent food, very relaxing and comfortable dinning tent, and great personal tents.  So, we’re really comfortable here and everyone’s doing really well.  Looking forward to a fun day tomorrow.

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archive)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on other expeditions in the 2020 season!  Contact our office for details.


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 Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

The Aconcagua team took an active rest day near Confluencia camp getting a look at the south face of Aconcagua up close.  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, provides today’s expedition dispatch via sat phone:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua expedition with View from the Top, Ltd., a TV production company.  Today’s January 27th and today’s our second day on the trek into base camp.

We had a great day here at Confluencia camp on the normal route up the Horcones Valley.  Today we trekked out to Plaza Francia for an acclimatization hike to the base of the south face.  Beautiful day for trekking — clear, sunny, warm and stunning views of the south face of Aconcagua.

Then we made our way back down to Confluencia camp and had a nice afternoon and a great dinner.  We are just getting ready for bed now.

Tomorrow the plan is to wake up early and start the long trek up to Plaza de Mules base camp.  Everyone’s doing great!  All’s well here on Aconcagua.  We’ll check-in soon!

(photo:  Madison Mountaineering archive)

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on other expeditions in the 2020 season!  Contact our office for details.


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 Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

Aconcagua ready to trek

The Aconcagua team began their trek to base camp today and expedition leader, Garrett Madison, checks in with today’s dispatch:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua climb.  We had a great first day heading from Penitentes up to our first camp on the trek to base camp at Confluencia.

We left the Ayleen Hotel this morning at about 9:00 AM and then travelled to the cemetery to pay our respects to the Aconcagua climbers and then up to the Los Horcones trailhead and started trekking.  We had lunch along the way and arrived Confluencia camp in the afternoon.

We had a great barbeque dinner here at Confluencia camp – wonderful meat, vegetables, and fresh bread.  Tomorrow our plan is to take a rest day here and do an acclimatization hike up to Plaza Francia and back.

The weather is great here in Argentina — sunny skies and calm weather.  So, we’re having a great time.  All’s well on Aconcagua.  We’ll check in soon.  Thanks!

 

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on other expeditions in the 2020 season!  Contact our office for details.


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 Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

Team in Mendoza preparing to head to the mountain!

Our next adventure kicked-off today with the team assembled and heading out to the trailhead of South America’s highest peak, Aconcagua.  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, provides this recap of the start:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua expedition with View from the Top, Ltd., a TV program about climbing mountains all over the world.

 

Today we drove from Mendoza up to Penitentes, which is near the start of the trek to base camp.  We got organized with all of our gear, had a nice team dinner, and getting ready to head off to bed here.

 

Tomorrow we’ll start our trek tomorrow morning around 9:00 AM and make our way up to Confluencia camp where we will spend two nights on the way to Plaza de Mules base camp.  Everyone’s doing well here, it’s been great weather – sunny, warm, beautiful, and we’re really excited to get the trek and the climb underway.

 

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

The team at lunch today in Uspallata, on the way to Penitentes!

The team at lunch today in Uspallata, on the way to Penitentes!

By the way, it’s not too early to start making your plans to join us on other expeditions in the 2020 season!  Contact our office for details.


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 Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

Happy team on the summit!

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!

Team at Plaza Argentina Base Camp

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 (4200m/13,780ft)

 

Punta de Vacas trailhead

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