Johan Bogren called in after a day on the trail, hiking roughly eight miles (~13 Km) up the Vacas Valley. The team gained only about 1000′ (300m) of elevation today, but the trail required a fair bit of hiking up and down, passing broad colluvial fans that sweep out from tributary valleys feeding in from the east.
As they approached their camp for the evening, they were treated to views up the Relinchos Valley or their objective – Aconcagua. Camp is a spot called Casa de Piedra (House of Stone), named for a hut that had been erected adjacent to a huge boulder on the east edge of the Vacas Valley. Legends abound about the hut. Some say it was used by herders who camped in the upper Vacas, tending sheep, while others say the hut housed the occasional smuggler, sneaking across the boarder along a route that passes to the north of Aconcagua. Having hiked around the north side – I’ve got to say – that would have been a considerable effort!
The team is doing well, eating well and enjoying the views as they unfold. Tomorrow will be a tough day, with over 3000′ (~300m) of elevation. The rewards for the effort will be a tasty meal in the relative luxury of the Plaza Argentina Base Camp!
Here is Johan: