The December 22nd Aconcagua Expedition made their first climb up to Camp 1 today at over 16,000 ft, where they left a bunch of gear and food and then returned to base camp. The goal for today was primarily to get up to higher altitude and continue the acclimatization process, preparing them to move up to Camp 1 and stay the next time. It is a lot of work climbing at that altitude, but it will certainly feel better the next time they go up as they will be more acclimated and feeling stronger. The route from the Plaza Argentina base camp up to Camp 1 follows a small hanging valley that is often filled with interesting snow features known as “Penitentes”. The Penitentes are unique to high altitude, dry windy places like Aconcagua where the seasonal snow melts into these pinnacles that can be 10 ft high or more. It makes for some interesting trail breaking, and beautiful pictures.
They are back down at base camp tonight enjoying the luxuries of a cook, and a heated dining tent that they’ll give up when they move higher up the mountain.
Here’s the team calling in from base camp: