Dr. Kyle Kelbert called in a nice post from the Plaza Argentina Base Camp at 4100 meters (13,450′). The team awoke earlier today and crossed the frigid Vacas River astride horses, saving their feet and legs from a chilly morning bath. Once on the west side of the river, they hiked up and into the narrow and steep Relinchos Valley, which drops eastward from Aconcagua.
The trail starts up the Relinchos following the north side of the valley, along some steep traverses. Partway into their day, the trail switch-backed up a sort of headwall in the valley, above which the valley opened up considerably more, making it’s glacial origins more evident. They had one chilly river crossing before they wound their way through the very broad head of the valley and eventually through the boulder-strewn moraine left from the most recent glacial advance.
Base Camp is spread out across the moraine, and our team rolled into their private wall tent, where they rested after their long day in the comfort of chairs. It feels good to sit in a real chair after being on the trail for a few days!
The plan is to rest tomorrow and let their bodies adjust a bit to the new altitude. Today they gained a lot of vertical, and by taking a planned rest day, they can better ease into the higher elevation.