Tag: Plaza Argentina

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)

 

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

Hey everybody this is Eric with Madison Mountaineering. Just calling to check in we had a long day, tough day up to camp one but we are up here, at 16,200ft. We had some burgers for dinner, lot of hot drinks and now everyone is tucked into bed. Looks like we will have some wind tomorrow so I think we may stay here and have a rest day. And then move on from there try to cary gear all the way up to 18,000ft. Tomorrow I think we will relax and wait out some wind. See you guys tomorrow, bye!

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Madison Mountaineering

Hey everybody this is Eric calling in with Madison Mountaineering. Just letting you know we did our first carry all the way up to Camp One, 16,200ft. Everyone did pretty well, it was a tough day but we did it. We are all tucked in bed now getting ready tomorrow morning to move all the way up to Camp 1. Tomorrow we will be calling you from 16,000ft. Talk to you tomorrow, bye.

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Eric Salazar

Hello everybody, we are really enjoying ourselves here in Plaza Argentina, base camp of Aconcagua. We are resting, relaxing, and eating well. We will continue our first carry up too camp one, then spend one more night in base camp before we move on to the upper mountain. The team is strong and doing well. We even already experienced some of Aconcagua famous wind.
Everyone says hello!

Talk to you soon.
Eric Salazar and team.

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Hey everybody, we have had a great stay in Penitentes, and a good drive up into the mountains. We are now at base camp just above 14,000ft. Hard hike up and pretty windy and snowy. The team is excited to get on the mountain.

Talk to you soon!

Eric Salazar 

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Penitentes

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Greetings from Argentina, our team has arrived and we are preparing to go to the town of Penitentes. Here we will have our last big dinner and head of toward Aconcagua the following morning. Everyone is excited and ready to start climbing. We’ll be talking soon on the dispatch.

Hello to our friends and family, back home.

Cheers!

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Penitentes

To celebrate our successful Aconcagua expedition, we concluded with a team dinner, an Argentinean ‘Asado’ barbecue with a selection of meat and vegetables cooked to perfection over the open fire. All team members are now on their way home, after what has been a wonderful experience.  We were very lucky with the weather, as our summit day on December 19th was perfect without any wind or clouds.  Since then, the weather has deteriorated and the other teams have not been able to summit, let alone go much higher above base camp because of the high winds.  This is typical of Aconcagua and the southern Andes, where storms can pass through and prevent climbing high on the peak for up to a week at a time.  As a recap, we did the ‘Aconcagua 360’ route, trekking in the less traveled Vacas valley to Plaza Argentina base camp, then utilizing 3 high camps before reaching the summit, and then descending to the other side of the mountain to the Plaza Mulas base amp, and trekking out the shorter and more popular Horcones valley.  We enjoyed a night before and after the expedition at the Ayelen hotel in Penitentes with our good friend Steve Allen, who does a fantastic job of managing the hotel, a rustic ski lodge in the winter that becomes a haven for Aconcagua climbers during the summer climbing season.  A couple of nights at the Park Hyatt in Mendoza made our stay very comfortable, a great way to begin and end our time together in Argentina.  We have had a fantastic time, enjoying the experience of climbing the highest peak in the Andes (and also in the Americas) as well and immersing ourselves in Argentine culture and cuisine.  Onward, to the next mountain adventure!   – Garrett Madison

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