December 17 Aconcagua — Meet the Climbers!

Our second Aconcagua team of the 2017-18 season has arrived and assembled in Mendoza, Argentina. Within the next couple of days, the team will travel into the heart of the Andes, en route to attempt to climb the tallest mountain in South America – Cerro Aconcagua.  At 22,841′ (6961m), Aconcagua is the tallest peak outside the Himalaya.  Over the course of the next two and a half weeks, our climbers will methodically work their way up the mountain, taking time to help their bodies acclimate to the high altitude.  Today, they are loading up in a private van for the two hour journey into the mountains, where they will spend the night at a ski resort known as Penitentes, a short drive from the trailhead to the Vacas Valley.  It will take three days for the team to trek about 23 miles up the Vacas Valley to their Base Camp on the east side of the mountain, where they will begin the Ameghino Valley route.

High on the route towards the summit of Aconcagua, circa 2014. Photo by owner and guide Todd Rutledge.

Let’s meet the climbers!

Daniel Laidig

Dean Stois

Marcin Wlodarczyk

Jaeson Brewen

Petra Campher

Elna Erwee

Matt Mills


The climbers will be joined by experienced lead guide Fermin Avila, who calls El Bolson, Argentina home. Fermin has climbed Aconcagua upwards of 40 times, 25 or so with Mountain Trip, making him highly respected in the tight-knit community of Argentine guides. Fermin will be accompanied by guides Kristin Arnold and Jason Denley who have both guided for Mountain Trip on Denali and locally in Telluride, Colorado.

The team will call in audio updates on a semi-regular basis, so you can hear of their adventure through their own words,  We will edit those posts to help fill in details and post some images, to help you have a better idea of what they are experiencing.

Please note – satellite calls from the big mountains can be very hit or miss.  Phones need a relatively clear view of the sky, and when a huge ridge is in the way, calls are often garbled or dropped.  If we don’t hear from the team for a day or two, please keep the “No News Is Good News” axiom in mind.  Family members looking for the most current update are always welcome to call the Mountain Trip office or shoot us an email, as our administrative staff is here to help support you, so you can continue to support your climber.


Best of luck to the December 17th Aconcagua Team!





Let’s meet the climbers!


Daniel Laidig

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1 Comment

  1. So very proud of my two dear friends Petra Campher and Elna Erwee! This is such an achievement and the fact that they do all this for such a special cause – fundraising for the rescue of border collies! How humain and driven to better the lives of these endearing, special dogs! Along with the fellow climbers, Kylie, Chivas, Gus, Tino, Roxy and I wish you all the best and believe no one will come to any harm and be assured of our full support! We will follow you along the trip as this is an awesome event.

    Love to you all.
    Enjoy every moment of this great challenge!

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