Sophie and Dave called in to update us on the progress of the team. They hiked another eight miles yesterday, arriving at the second camp on the approach in good time and with beautiful weather.
This morning, they crossed the Rio Vacas on horseback before the sun hit, which is a really good reason to use horses. That water is chilly!! Their route is taking a hard right turn today, heading west up the Relinchos Valley, which starts as a narrow defile deeply carved by the Relinchos River. The trail follows steep side hills until it climbs up into the upper section of the valley, which is more of a “U” shaped, glacially carved valley and is much wider than its mouth.
About this point, the team will have spectacular views of Aconcagua and the neighboring Cerro Ameghino. This view will dominate their western vista until they hike the past meters into the Plaza Argentina Base Camp.
Today is a tougher day than the first two on the trail. The distance is similar, but they will climb up over 3,000′, and start to feel the altitude a bit more. Fortunately, a comfortable dining tent, replete with table and chairs will await their arrival, and tomorrow is a planned rest and acclimatization day, which is generally welcomed after the tough hike up the Relinchos.
Sophie’s initial post is a bit garbled, a reminder that satellite communication in steep, mountainous terrain is not always perfect, but here’s the update: