Aconcagua Trip Report (#17366)

International expedition led by Helena Artmann (Brazil). It was 4 of us (Helena Artmann from Brazil, Ole Petter Bjertnes from Norway, Ronnie Kilman from Sweden and me, Eric Schaechter from Mexico).

We took 11 days from Mendoza to the summit: DAY1 (Sunday dec 20st 1998) - Mendoza-Puente del Inca-Confluencia DAY2 mon21- Confluencia DAY3 tue22 Confluencia-Plaza de mulas (Base Camp) DAY4 wed23 Plaza de mulas DAY5 thu24 Christmas eve - Plaza de Mulas-Nido de Condores (to bring food)-Plaza de Mulas DAY6 fri25 Cristmas day - Plaza de mulas DAY7 sat26 Plaza de mulas-Nido de condores - DAY8 sun27 Nido de condores DAY9 mon28 Nido de Condores DAY10 tue29 Nido de Condores DAY11 wed30 Nido de Condores-SUMMIT-Nido de condores DAY12 thu31 New Year's eve - Nido de Condores-Base Camp DAY13 fri1 Base Camp-Puente del Inca-Mendoza DAY14 sat2 Mendoza-Santiago(Chile) DAY15 sun3 Santiago-Mexico City ... DAY21 sun10 Mexico City-Tokyo ... But that's another story!!!

We had good weather throughout our climb, except for a 3-day wait because of strong winds and a bit of snow at 5400m in Nido de Condores before we could try for the summit. Our tent (supposedly built to endure this conditions) was ripped by the fast strong winds that were able to lift my weight at 3am in Nido de Condores. Luckily we could repair it with tape. This could have ruined the whole expedition. We set for the summit from Nido (5400m). Usually people spend the night higher (at Berlin, 5900m). We didn't so this was a long day for us! We started at 5am. It took Helena and Petter 7 hours to reach the tom. Ronnie spent 10:45, and it took me 11.30 long hours!!! I was weak but wheather was beautiful and although I almos quit at noon on El Gran Acarreo, I decided I should try some more and kept on going.

There were lots of people trying the mountain. Many, many beginners here - I confess myself to be one of them. This is a big mountain, one not to be taken lightly! I saw too many people going back to Plaza de Mulas and even Puente del Inca because they had gone too high too fast. As always at high altitude, take in as much water as possible. Take your time to aclimatize. Listen to your body. ENJOY!!!

Although this is "only" 6962m (versus 8850m in Everest), it shows the rather normal person like me that if you set yourself to something, you CAN do it!

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