All the way down and out

Of course, the story can’t quite end, since we are still at Colera and I have every intention of making it all the way down the mountain, out of the national park, back to civilization and home to my family.  So we get up on the morning after summit day, pack our things and once …

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Mental and physical exhaustion… but goal accomplished

At the beginning of my trip, I read a book about the history of Aconcagua, featuring the early attempts on climbing the mountain.  One of the first key explorers was Paul Gussfeldt, a German credited with a number of first ascents in the Alps, who then became fascinated and obsessed with Aconcagua, travelling to South …

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Last overnight on the way up

I hauled my 20kg of stuff up to Colera at 6000m today, and I’m now nestled in  the tent, just awaking from a bit of  a siesta.  It’s strange to think that we are now camping at an elevation above the summit of Kilimanjaro.  This is now – until tomorrow anyway – my altitude record!  …

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Contingency day in effect

Last night, the wind pounded our tent virtually uninterrupted.  High winds with very high gusts, it was not a particularly restful night.  Bernie was up at 6:30 on the 2-way radio and made the call that we’ll spend an extra day here in camp 2, only climbing higher tomorrow – hopefully after the wind lets …

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Nido de Condores, camp 2 (5400m)

Today is my favorite day of the expedition so far.  It’s 18:00 and I just came back into  the tent. I had to take a bathroom break, and walking back around the corner of the rock outcropping, I was shocked by the beauty laid out before me – for the second time today.  The summit …

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Last thoughts before the summit push commences

One of the reasons I climb, why I do things like this: clarity. Here I am, half a world away from my family, work, friends, house, car, day to day activities – and even I have moments in which I wonder why I’m here.  Last night was one of those moments. The wind was howling …

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Acclimatization hike to 5100m: check

It was one of those mornings when I woke up at 3:00 and couldn’t go back to sleep.  I lay in my tent, listening to the wind outside, and the last thing I could imagine was making the long hike up Mt. Bonnete today.  After all, most instances of being sick with a sinus infection …

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Sick (but acclimating) in Confluencia

Last night the wind died off and the morning dawned with clear skies and utter stillness, save the calls and whistles of the arrieros and the clomp of hooves as they herded mules into  and out of camp.  I would have thoroughly enjoyed just laying in my sleeping bag listening, however was too busy blowing …

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