Mountain Trip has long supported a small, not-profit school for special needs children in the Four Corners region. This year, we offered a Benefit Climb of the highest peak in the Americas as part of our efforts to help keep this school funded and operational.
Our friends from Denali in 2011, Jim and Kathleen Soukup, took us up on our offer and are currently at the Plaza Argentina Base Camp on the east side of the mountain.
Our scheduled guide was injured immediately before the expedition, but Agustin Karriere, who helped guide our November 26th Aconcagua team, stepped up to the plate and is leading the couple from New Hampshire up the mountain.
The plan is place three camps above Base Camp, in order to ascend the mountain. The placement of each camp is selected to help build a solid platform of acclimatization to the thin air of the upper mountain. The plan is to make the following camps:
Camp 1 at 16,400′
Camp 2 at 18,000′
Camp 3 at 20,000′
Winds have been really strong of late. The team pushed up to Camp 1 on Tuesday, December, 18th, but they were battered all night and no one was able to sleep much. The forecast was for increasing winds, so they dropped back down to Base Camp yesterday to regroup and wait out the brunt of the “Viento Blanco” (white wind, for which Aconcagua is notorious).
We will keep you posted on the progress of the team, and we really appreciate Jim and KT’s decision to join this expedition. All proceeds from this climb are going directly to Skills for Living and Learning. If you are considering any holiday season philanthropy, we encourage you to consider donating to the school. They are truly creating miracles and helping provide children with the foundation they need to live successful and productive lives.