Welcome to the trip dispatch page for Operation: Aconcagua. This is an expedition to climb the tallest peak in all of the Americas, Aconcagua, in order to raise awareness and funds for several non-profit organizations that assist our returning wounded service members. The climbing team will consist of only one primary climber, double leg amputee SGT (retired) Neil Duncan, guided by Drew Ludwig, 10-year veteran Mountain Trip guide, and Eliana Sabrina Caamaño, one of our Argentine, Aconcagua specialists.
Sgt. Duncan served as a paratrooper in the 173rd Airborne Brigade for five years. During his military service, Neil served two combat deployments in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Towards the end of his tour in Afghanistan, his vehicle was attacked with a explosive device, causing him severe trauma. His injuries included multiple broken bones and flesh wounds, severe facial trauma, and the loss of both legs.
In 2010, Sgt. Duncan, along with two other war-wounded amputees, conducted a successful mission to climb to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest point in Africa and the world’s tallest freestanding mountain at 19,320 ft. In the summer of 2012, Sgt. Duncan attempted to scale the tallest peak in North America, Denali, with other amputees. Unfortunately, the team was not successful due to weather and tremendous amounts of snowfall, though the team did achieve an altitude of nearly 16,000 ft. during the three-week climb.