Aconcagua expedition departed 30th November 2019
Leader: Phil Kirk
Phil has sent a couple of pics from above base camp.
The team moved up to Colera yesterday and this morning Phil, Kyle and James set off for the Summit (Stephen and Alex are fine but decided to not go any higher than Colera). The weather proved to be much better than the forecast and although there was a bit of wind from Independencia Hut across the traverse the summit itself was still.
Congratulations to the team.
Photos to follow.
The team are now sitting out the bad weather at Camp 3 Guanacos. Over the last few days they had established themselves at Camp 1 and then made their carries to Camp 3 Guanacos. Unfortunately the weather forecast is not looking good for the summit window with very high winds, in excess of 100km/h at times, predicted at summit height. Although far from ideal, the best day is looking to be Tuesday. The team are hoping the winds are not as severe as they are thinking and will still aim to move up to Colera on Monday. If the winds drop down in their favour then they will go for it, if it’s seen to be too strong then they will traverse down to Plaza de Mulas.
Today we are having a rest day, letting our bodies adjust to the higher altitude. Jobs for today include washing, sorting food to be carried up to camp 1 tomorrow, and practising putting on crampons – we want to be super slick for summit night.
Today’s walk was a mix of sweltering sun and freezing wind which blew around the flanks of Aconcagua and down the valley towards us. Moving extra slowly due to the altitude, eventually we arrived in Base camp and were glad to be met with hugs and biscuits by the Base camp team.
Today’s walk was colder than expected, with a chill wind blowing along the valley. Still, we made good time, making the distance in 5 hours. Just before we pulled into camp we got our first views of Aconcagua, sitting at the head of the valley to our left. I don’t thing any of us were quite prepared for how imposing a pyramid of rock and ice it was. Curving down from the summit we could make out the bright white of the Polish glacier, and below the steep rock faces that hang above base camp. This really is a proper mountain!
This morning the team headed out to buy a few last minute bits of kit before heading to the permit office. They then made the 4 hour drive to Penitentes where they will make their final preparations and start the 3 day trek to base camp tomorrow.
The team have all arrived safely with all of their kit. After the formalities of checking all the team have the right kit for the trip, Phil wasted no time leading the team direct to an all you can eat BBQ restaurant.