The team is back together again in Penitentes. Wayne and Barry elected to catch a ride in a helicopter from Plaza de Mulas to the park entrance, and Todd and crew hiked out. Either method affords beautiful views of Aconcagua and the surrounding valleys. The plan is to gather any equipment that might have been cached in Penitentes and then head back to Mendoza tonight. Good work team!
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Posts for every team can be found under the drop-down menus at the right of this page. We have organized our expeditions into Denali, International and Mount Everest categories, with further organization by their Team Meeting Date.
Click on the audio dispatch icons to hear phone calls from our climbers and guides, so that you can better enjoy the experience through their words, not ours. Above all, have fun and dream big!
The entire team arrived safe and sound at Plaza de Mulas tonight. Wayne, Barry and Fermin summited, and then descended approximately 6,000′ to Base Camp at Plaza de Mulas. What a thigh burner! They reunited with Todd and Mike at Base Camp and then dove into their sleeping bags for a well deserved rest. The plan is for the team to hike out to the park entrance, and then return to Mendoza tomorrow evening.
The poor satellite reception ends Todd’s call abruptly, but we are able to hear most of his dispatch:
The dispatch is a bit garbled, but Barry called to report that he, Wayne and Fermin were standing on the summit! Congratulations! It sounds like it’s an absolutely ideal summit day, sunny and warm with low winds. Great work, team! They did have to work for it, though, with days of poor weather leading up to a perfect summit day. While Barry, Wayne and Fermin ascended, Todd and Mike headed down to Plaza de Mulas. All is well and we will hear more from the team, soon.
It was a nice morning at Camp 2, and the team enjoyed a leisurely start to the day. Once they packed up camp, they ascended approximately 2,000′ to High Camp, at 20,000′. Sounds like the weather was really nice for their move, and all of the team members enjoyed the surreal scenery. The team plans to have a good dinner, get some rest, then wake up early in preparation for a pre-dawn departure for the summit.
Hello! And thank you for following the Mountain Trip January 7th Aconcagua expedition. After spending seven nights at Camp 2 at 18,000′, Duncan and I were able to move up to High Camp on the 25th. The next morning we woke to light winds and cold temps. At 4:45 AM we left High Camp and summited less than six hours later with an amazing view of the Andies. We felt really good about our decision making, especially in light of the fact that many teams pushed their summit dates ahead of the storm in hopes of not getting stuck on the mountain, but unfortunately all of them had to go home without reaching the summit. Duncan has participated in a few expeditions and he knew that trying to go fast does not always pay off. In the end, we were rewarded for our patience. We were able to enjoy an early morning summit, alone, and make it all the way down to base camp the same day.
Flying out of Plaza de Mulas (Base Camp) by helicopter is always a special treat, and getting back to Mendoza to enjoy a great lunch and make Duncan’s original flight home was a big bonus. It was great to make a new friend and climbing partner. This was an especially fun trip with someone willing to do what it takes to reach the summit!
See you in the mountains, Jacob
Here are some cool photos: Duncan, steps from the summit:
Duncan at Plaza de Mulas, tired and ready to hop on the heli.
Jacob and Duncan boogied down the mountain and arrived back in Mendoza today, just in time for Duncan’s flight home. They had a little help from a helicopter, which flew them from Base Camp to the park entrance. Good job, Duncan, and way to stay strong and be patient.
It was a windy, snowy night at Camp 2. There was approximately 12″ of new snow on the ground this morning , so the team is hunkered down, resting and relaxing, waiting for the storm to pass. Todd makes mention of fresh steak (!!) sandwiches, so they must be not be too uncomfortable! It sounds like the weather broke up this afternoon, which is a good sign, and if things stabilize the team will move to High Camp at 20,000′ tomorrow.
The team is enjoying a day of rest and acclimating today at over 18,000 ft at Camp 2. The weather has finally improved after a bunch of very windy days, and they are enjoying warmer temps and a beautiful day. They’ll move up to high camp tomorrow and then it’s the summit push.
Here’s Todd checking in this morning from Camp 2:
Duncan and Jacob are on the top of Aconcagua!! Their tenacity paid off today with a beautiful summit morning. They waited out an extra 5 days of windy weather to get this chance today, so congrats for all the hard work guys. They’ll head back down to high camp now, pack up their gear, and head all the way down to base camp this afternoon.
Listen to Jacob calling in from 22,841 ft/ 6962 meters on the top of South America:
Jacob called in from a spot called “Independencia” on their way to the top. They are doing great and moving right along. We hope to hear again from the top in the next 4-5 hours!
Duncan and Jacob are finishing up their breakfast and coffee in the still dark early morning, and will be leaving for the summit under the stars in a few minutes. It looks to be a great day and we hope to hear from them from the top later today.
After waiting out an ill timed wind storm, the guys have finally gotten a break and moved up to high camp today! They spent 7 days at Camp 2 waiting out 50 mph + winds and trying to stay motivated and sane in their tent. They hope to head for the summit early tomorrow morning, and the forecast looks favorable for a change.
Jacob and Duncan are stilling hanging tough at Camp 2. It’s been cold and windy, so they are sitting tight and biding their time. The weather report does call for the winds to lessen over the next few days. The team will be watching the weather carefully and they will be prepared to move up, when the time is right.
Unfortunately today’s report is garbled, but we are able to catch a good portion of Todd’s commentary. The team had a windy night last night, tents shaking and not much sleep, and they woke up to more of the same this morning. Todd, the eternal optimist, rallied the troops and they carried equipment and food until the weather got the best of them. They stopped at the col between Aconcagua and its neighbor, Ameghino, buried the cache under rocks, and high tailed it back to Camp 1. The weather report calls for the winds to gradually lessen over the next few days, so hopefully the team can keep the momentum and move up to Camp 2.
Today Todd called to report that the team was resting and relaxing at Camp 1. If the weather cooperates, the team plans to make a carry of equipment and supplies up to Camp 2 tomorrow. This is an ascent of approximately 2,000 feet, and it’s a bit of a grunt. But the team will be rewarded with amazing views from Camp 2! And they might even cross paths with another Mountain Trip team at Camp 2, which is always nice. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for the winds to lessen, which will provide an opportunity for our teams to keep moving up.
The gusty, windy weather prevented Jacob and Duncan from moving up today, but they are settled in and happy at Camp 2. Their phone is not cooperating, so Todd Rutledge from our January 13th team called in an update for Jacob and Duncan. The teams are in communication and Todd reports that all is well.
Mike called an update on the team’s progress today. The climbers ascended approximately 2,000 feet from Base Camp to Camp 1 in 4 hours. It sounds like it got a bit windy as they approached the col just before Camp 1, but they are in camp, safe and sound.
The guys are heading up the hill to Camp 1 at about 16,500 ft this morning. Todd called in a dispatch from base camp before heading out. It’s getting a bit windy, but that’s to be expected on Aconcagua, and they plan to spend a few days at Camp 1 acclimatizing and waiting for winds to settle down before moving up higher. The forecast is still calling for winds through Friday morning right now, so they shouldn’t have to wait too long for better weather.
Here’s Todd with the morning update:
Duncan called in from a windy camp 2 today. It is a planned rest day, but they wouldn’t have been climbing up any higher today either way due to the winds. It is forecasted to be quite windy for a few days, so they are prepared to sit it out and wait for better weather towards the end of the week.
Today Duncan and Jacob took advantage of a good weather window to move a load of equipment and food to High Camp. The carry went well and both climbers are doing great, feeling good. The weather forecast is for the winds to ramp up the next few days, so the team will probably be hunkered down, waiting for the weather to improve before continuing their ascent.