Saturday, January 10, 2004
We just found out today that our
dispatch of two days ago was unsuccessful, and I was
voted to correct that mistake and write today's entry.
our first two nights at Camp Confluencia, a densely packed and bustling
sight. Our first night was packed with two huge teams from Russia and South
Korea taking up much of the available tent sights. Andy said it reminded him
of Himalayan base camps.
8th we hiked up to the incredible South Face of Aconcagua base camp, Plaza
Franzia, for acclimatization. This 10000 foot wall has been described as two
Eiger Nordwands stacked on top of each other. It was absolutely incredible to
look upon, almost beyond belief. The sweeping rock buttress are broken up by
four equally huge hanging glaciers, making any climb a challenge.
we hiked the remaining 10 miles into Plaza de Mulas, the Base Camp for the
Normal Route and the Routes of the Southwest Face. The hike was very scenic,
up an empty glacier valley past numerous peaks. The “Alaska Factor” is in
full effect, with no visual reference an hour hike seems almost no distance at
all. The final mile included a 1200 foot climb, and we arrived to the Refugio
are taking a much deserved rest day at the Refugio at 14300 feet. Tomorrow we
take an acclimatization hike to 16500 feet, and then begin two days of load
carries to Nido de Condores, our camp at 17600 feet.
consensus thus far is that this is a classic climb, with a great approach,
challenging elevation, and incredible support. This trip could be done on the
shoestring or big budget, with as much assistance as desired, with diminishing
the physical challenge. Chow! Chris Simmons
Matt on the Summits of Elbrus and
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