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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.

Team loaded up and heading to Los Penitentes

Our December expedition to climb South America’s highest peak, Aconcagua has kicked off with the team arriving Mendoza, Argentina.  After enjoying the comforts of the beautiful Diplomatic Hotel and the excellent food of Mendoza, they loaded all their gear into the truck for the ride out of the base of the mountain located in Los Penitentes.  Los Penitentes is a ski area in the Southern Hemisphere winter, but a staging area in the summer to begin the three day trek into base camp.

Everyone is doing great and looking forward to doing some hiking tomorrow!

Enjoying the fine food of Mendoza

Team loaded up and heading to Los Penitentes

Look back toward base camp

Today the team made their first climb up through the Khumbu Icefall and is spending the night at Camp 1.  Garrett provides this update from Camp 1 (6055m/19,865ft) on Everest:

Hey, this is Garrett calling in for the Mount Everest climbing team.  Happy Easter!  We are up at Camp 1 on Mount Everest.  We had a great climb today up through the Khumbu Icefall from base camp to Camp 1, gained about 2,000 ft. (610m).  It was a beautiful night, a Moonlit night, almost didn’t need a headlamp to see.  Then the Sun rose and eventually it warmmed up.  Just a beautiful day, a really fun day.  Easy climb through the icefall relatively – it didn’t feel too dangerious.  So we are all up here at Camp 1 and our plan is to spend a couple of nights here before heading to Camp 2.  All is well.

Climbing up through the icefall

Climbing up through the icefall

Randy Perkins at a rest break

Randy Perkins at a rest break

Nearing the top of the icefall

Nearing the top of the icefall

Look back toward base camp

Look back toward base camp