Lorenz called in from the relative comfort of Base Camp, after a long day hiking up the Relinchos Valley. Today was the toughest day of the trip thus far, as they gained over 3000′ of elevation as they hiked about seven miles from their camp at Casa De Piedra.
The morning started with a crossing of the braided Vacas Valley on horseback. The mule drivers take great care of our climbers and are happy to give this extra care, so that we don’t have to wade across the thigh deep water that was glacial ice just a few miles upstream. Brrrr!!!
After thanking the mule drivers, our team hiked up steep sidehills and into the narrow entrance to the Relinchos Valley. A couple miles into the hike, they climbed a steep trail up a sort of headwall, after which the valley opens up a lot, a reminder of an old hanging glacier that used to guard this eastern access to Aconcagua. Just past the headwll, they needed to cross the chilly Relinchos River, this time without the courtesy of the mule drivers. Fortunately, today was a warm and sunny day, so the brief chilly walk across the stream probably felt kind of good!
They are now well fed and tucked into Base Camp, where our friends at Fernando Grajales Expeditions will provide full Base Camp services for the team for the next four days.
Here is Lorenz: