Thiyag called in from Camp 2 last night.
The initial hour of hiking is visible from Camp 1 and ascends the broad bowl of scree that comprises the uppermost portion of the Relinchos Valley, and was once buried under the now mostly dead Relinchos Glacier. Above this point, most climbers will bear west toward their High Camp at the base of the Polish Glacier at 19,200′. Opting for the path less traveled, the team cut north to follow the beautiful Ameghino Valley, which separates the stunning 19,616′ Cerro Ameghino (5,978 m) from its taller counterpart, Aconcagua. Easy hiking and one “glacier” crossing quickly put the team at Camp 2 just shy of 18,000’ (5,480 m).
The views here are staggering! The summit of Cerro Ameghino is just to the east, and to the north we can see the 22,000′ (6,700 m) Cerro Mercedario dominating the horizon. The array of peaks above the Gussfeldt Glacier are pretty inspiring. This move only takes a few hours, so the team can relax and take their time to make certain that camp is fully fortified and still enjoy the evening light, when Ameghino is bathed in alpenglow. The camp name comes from the bits and pieces of a crashed helicopter, which still adorn the camp more than a dozen years after the crash.