Our fourth Aconcagua team is headed up the beautiful Vacas Valley, headed towards the eastern Base Camp for an attempt to climb the highest peak in the Americas. Three days of hiking will see them 25 miles from and almost 5000 feet above the trailhead.
The team arrived in the small city of Mendoza, Argentina a few days ago, and finalized their preparations, which included completing the process to secure their climbing permits. Most of the team spent a couple of nights at the Penitentes resort, just west of the Vacas Valley trailhead, where they headed up on an acclimatization hike, whist awaiting the arrival of the rest of the climbers, who arrived a bit behind them.
After the entire team was assembled on the night of the 26th, they packed their things for the hike to Base Camp. Mules will carry the bulk of their equipment and supplies for the first three days of their expedition. This enables the climbers to more fully enjoy the hike up the Vacas Valley, and eat like kings once reunited with their loads each evening. The scenery is somewhat reminiscent of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, as it is a high desert environment, with low, scrub grasses, high, rocky canyon walls, numerous lizards basking in the sun and flora that is generally prickly.
Friday’s hiking will take them to their second camp on the approach, located about 16 miles up valley. We’ll check in with them after they arrive, but for now- let’s meet the team!!
Peter Huang from Australia
Farkas Vasarhelyi from Hawaii
Erika Chisarik from Hawaii
John Hill from South Africa
John Maalouf from Honduras (via Florida)
Fadi Maalouf from Honduras (also via Florida)
Joe Butler from Alaska
Fermin Avila from Argentina
Here’s Joe with the first report from the expedition