I am very proud to say that the Madison Mountaineering climbing team on Aconcagua had complete success! All team members stood on the highest point of the Western & Southern Hemispheres together on January 22nd. Congratulations to the following climbers:
As many climbers are aware, this season on Aconcagua has been a very tough one with severe storms preventing teams from reaching the summit. As we approached the mountain on our trek into base camp, we encountered many teams that had not ascended past Camp 1 on the mountain, and were very discouraging. The look of defeat in their faces and of time spent suffering at high altitude without any summit attempt made us wonder….We pressed onward. After we reached base camp we received a weather forecast that suggested favorable weather, but only for a short time. In order to take advantage of this, we accelerated our climbing schedule and put our team in a position to summit on the last day of good weather (January 22nd). All team members pulled together to push the itinerary forward, with hard work and determination we succeeded in reaching our goal.
The day after we reached the summit the next storm cycle began with high winds and snow preventing any other summit attempts, we reached base camp on this day, and were informed by the park rangers that they were closing the mountain to climbers indefinitely because of landslides. We really lucked out with our weather window, and with a group individual climbers who pulled together as a team to make the summit become a reality for everyone. Great job team!
The team is doing well and we are currently waiting in Penitentes for the road to open so we can drive to Mendoza. Because of the landslides the road is currently closed in both directions. We expect the roads to be opened shorty. Onward!
A picnic on the approach hike
Aconcagua from Plaza Mulas base camp
Aconcagua team on the summit!
Climbers head up the Canaleta
Last rest break before the summit
Peter climbing up the Canaleta
The team at Camp 1 on the way up
View of the Andes from 22,500′!