Truly the “Roof of the Americas,” Cerro Aconcagua, at 22,841 ft. (6,962 meters) is not only the highest mountain in South America, but also the highest peak outside of Asia. Located just east of the border between Chile and Argentina, the glaciated mountain rises above a very arid environment. Approaching the mountain feels very similar to hiking in the Grand Canyon, replete with whiptail lizards and Chuckwallas.
The group met yesterday in the small, lively city of Mendoza, Argentina, capital of the world-renowned Argentine wine country, after traveling long distances from around the globe. After an equipment check, the team enjoyed a relaxing evening before heading west, to the foothills of the Andes. Today the team drove approximately 2.5 hours to the ski resort of Penitentes, where they organized gear for the “arrieros” (mule drivers) to carry in during the three day approach on foot to Base Camp.
Fermin Avila will be the Lead Guide of this small team. The team will also include John and Tanaia H., Katie M., and Bob P. The team was excited to begin their journey!
The photo above was taken this morning from the mouth of the Vacas Valley, the beginning of the on-foot portion of this journey. The team will ascend for approximately six hours (through parts reminiscent of the Grand Canyon) before arriving at “Pampas de Lenas,” the first camp on the approach. The camp is located at about 9,000 ft (2750 m).
As the team progresses, we have invited the climbers to call in dispatches from the field, so they can share their experience in their own words. These dispatches will initially post as “New Audio File,” until our team in Colorado can edit the post and append it to the team’s dispatch feed. We encourage friends and family to subscribe to the team’s dispatches using the drop down tool to the right of this page.
On occasion, the team will be too busy, or the weather could conspire to prevent a dispatch from being called in via satellite phone. In such circumstances, we urge you to hold onto the old adage: “no news is good news!” However, if you should have any questions about how they are doing, please don’t hesitate to call the Mountain Trip office or drop us an email.
The Mountain Trip Team