Hello Giannina, family and friends,
greetings from Mendoza, Argentina. Peter, Eva and I are safe and sound back
from the mountain and preparing to head home to our loved ones.
I want to first thank Daan and the Macpac team for the
support with the dispatches, gear, good mountain energy and huge future
thoughts. You are all fantastic, thank you. Also a big thank you to all my
other sponsors La Sportiva, Suunto, MSR stoves, Annies, The Coffee Workshop,
R&R Sports, Oakley, Oasis Sun, Keen, PowerBar, Iridium Sat Phone, Asus
I am very pleased how this expedition turned out. From the
first day of thinking of adventuring on Aconcagua with Eva and Peter, our
minds were becoming one. From training daily our bodies, with our minds
preparing for the cold, high winds and long climbing days, to leaving our
family and friends and co workers behind us to allow our venturous calling
within to guide us on an experience of a life time. All this leads to becoming
more aware of our selves on this earth. Some mentioned that mountains are
beautiful but they do not need to be climbed. This is so true in many ways,
like the Nepalese and Tibetan people would never have climbed their sacred
mountains before the western influence came through their lands and offered
them a way of making a different living. They use to sit in front of their
Mother Goddess of the Earth, praying and meditating for all human kind, still
doing this but yet being allowed to climb upon her shoulders from time to time
to see different views of life. I feel that we have the opportunities these
days to adventure on the ridges, faces, aretes, of these famous, sacred
mountains to bring into our hearts and souls lessons about our own selves,
about our other partners ways, about being holy at all times while climbing,
paying respects towards everything, to become better human beings on this
This is what happened to Peter and Eva, and it happens to me
each time I head out in the hills. The insight gained each time we adventure
into the mountain brings us closer to who we are and what we are meant to do,
finding our calling and just doing it, helping others along the way and
becoming real Human Beings.
So, right now we are back on the pavement of the city of
Mendoza, learned so much about others and ourselves, eating well, resting,
enjoying the sights and sounds of other cultures and preparing our gear and
ourselves for our journey homeward in a few days time.
This dispatch is our last from the Aconcagua expedition of
Jan 2010. We three want to thank you for following us, it is a new experience
for many of you to be apart of our daily climb of a big mountain. We hope that
you enjoyed it and get motivated yourselves to head out in the mountains and
find yourself more from the experiences that the mountains offer you. Each
time is new and enriching and filled with life.
So for now, Peter, Eva and I say to you all good-bye from
Argentina and see you soon in the mountains. Cheers, Marty.
[Today’s dispatch came through very patchy – Sat phone
breaking up and a lot of noise from the wind too, some bits were inaudible,
Hello this is Marty and Peter and Eva,
This is our last day trekking out. The last time I called we made it down
off our camp at Nido de Condores at 5,500m to Plaza de Mulas, which is 4,300m
and it was really good that we got down. Peter was stronger with every step
down, which was great because he was acclimatised there…
[Sat phone breaks up]
Back from last night, a good gathering…
[Sat phone breaks up]
Last night a good gathering, good talks, everyone is happy and high and
ready to get going on the trek out and that’s what today is all about. Woke up
with good ol’ eggs and bread, some bacon… and away we went.
So it’s roughly a 20 mile trek out all the way out to the road head…
So nice to see the history, it’s an amazing trip. That’s really what Peter
and Eva came for and they’re leaving with good partings.
[…inaudible…] Peter and Eva are safe and sound, ready to head to Mendoza…
we’ll probably get there by tomorrow by bus. And then we’ll do a final
dispatch through Email. Thank you Daan and Macpac for all your support and to
all the other sponsors, Suunto, MSR and all the good stuff.
Another journey on this planet. A couple of weeks in the high mountains
always brings amazing insight and the joy of living. So get out there and
venture and make it happen for yourselves and the others.
All the best from Aconcagua and we’ll talk in a couple of days from
Mendoza. I’ll do a final dispatch to let everyone know we’re on the plane.
Much love and a lot of respect to this mountain and to all who followed us
on this journey.
Ciao from Aconcagua
Hello everybody, We were gonna go up and
push a load up to our camp, up to our high camp but unfortunately Peter isn’t
feeling so good… so we decided to make a rest stop at Nido the Condores which
is roughly at 5,500m and the camp would be another 500m above us and then on
for the summit day.
This is what you have to do in the mountains, be flexible and not everyone
works at the same time for summit day. We’re just looking at seeing hopefully
he’ll get some strength back in the morning and he’ll get up to Berlin and
then try for the summit bid. If not we’ll have to think of other alternatives
and they basically will be safe and sound and we’ll make the best of it.
So this is a rest day, it’s a beautiful blue sky and a lot of snow still on
the upper mountain and it looks very exciting to be able to get up to the
So Eva is doing really good and if it comes down to it, Peter might be able
to stay down at high camp and I’ll take Eva up to the summit. We’ll just see
how that goes in the next day or so. We’ll let you know how we’ll get up
tomorrow and it’s important to get people feeling good for the summit bid. So
those are the choices we have in the mountains.
OK, not much more to say and we’ll go ahead and talk with you tomorrow
hopefully from our high camp at around 6,000m.
All the best from Aconcagua,
Hello Giannina, hello family and friends who are following Peter and Eva
and myself on Aconcagua.
We’re at Camp II again. Pushed a carry up to Camp III and Peter and Eva did
really well up to a certain point today and it was best for Peter to head back
down just to rest and recuperate. We’ll go ahead tomorrow and head up to our
high camp. This is what the big mountains are all about: to be able to go up
and down and trying to find out where your physiology is and how you’re doing
with your mental and with your strength. It’s all part of the big expeditions
on big mountains.
So it’s really exciting that they’re progressing and getting higher and
higher: this is the highest point they’ve ever been today. So tomorrow will be
even higher and that’s the excitement. Family and friends who are following…
it’s quite an endeavour to go on a big mountain and these guys are doing a
I just found out that our Swede buddies – the native American and the
original Swede – those guys’ stove busted out, so we’re helping them out and
I’m brewing up water for them and cooking up their tea and I’ll do the same
thing up at high camp to make sure they get a good summit bid. It’s very
important that they get a chance to go for the summit and without a stove you
just can’t make it. So a good lesson learned for them and more than happy to
help them out.
Sending out a lot of good energy from this wonderful mountain and a great
experience for everybody. Looking forward to the high camp and then the next
day, if everything goes well, we’ll go for the summit.
So right now the weather is very good in the morning and it clags out in
the afternoon, so we probably get an early start, cold… but we’ll be committed
and focused and will make it happen.
All the best everybody, we’ll talk again tomorrow from high camp. Much love
from Aconcagua. Ciao
Hello Giannina, hello everybody following Peter and Eva and me up on
So this is a good day! We pushed up to Camp II and that’s at 5,500m…
another 600m up. The weather was beautiful in the morning and then it clagged
in and we had thunder and lightning and some snow all around. But the travel
going up to Camp II was good in the sense that we got our rhythm together and
got the equipment up to our second camp. It just allows us to get a little bit
closer to our summit.
It’s not easy, but knowing it was never meant to be… it makes us reach deep
down inside the soul for hard work. The mountains are hard. Sometimes it
challenges the inner soul and that’s what it’s all about.
Peter and Eva, this is the highest they’ve ever been. They still got close
to 1,400m to go from Camp II, so it really pulls together everything they’ve
learned in the past, about themselves […inaudible…] as we get along… as we get
to Camp III and then onto the summit push.
So they’re safe and sound, letting their family all know they’re enjoying
themselves and there’s nothing but beauty all around so that’s why they’re
doing it, that’s why they’re here. They’re living the now right now.
We’re all buckled in for a cold night and a lot of snow all around us now.
Marty Schmidt - 7th dispatch from Aconcagua, Argentina
Hello everybody following Peter, Eva and Marty on Aconcagua.
Everything is good. We had a great morning and clear skies again. It was
windy and cold though as we took off for camp I. As you can hear the wind is
still blowing in the background in this tent... I just finished up some
cooking. Peter and Eva are in their tent sleeping away.
The climbing itself was a 6 - 6.5 hours round trip and elevation gain was a
bit more than 500m... about 600m. Peter did really well going that high for
that long and it's going to help him for summit pushes. And Eva is fantastic
in the hills, good footwork and breath, she just loves it. It's great being
with these guys and experiencing this mountain with them.
Looking forward to tomorrow which is a rest day so you probably won't hear
from me and then the next day, on the 13th we'll go up again.
Marty Schmidt - 8th dispatch from Aconcagua, Argentina
Hello everybody, it’s Peter and Eva and Marty on Aconcagua at Camp II… eh…
pardon me at Camp I… I’m already dreaming about being at Camp II…
So we’re at 4,900m. We made it up here and all our gear is up and we’re
heading off to Camp II tomorrow pushing a carry of equipment and food.
We also have two other people in our camp - we’re not staying at the
original Canada Camp… it was getting too crowded. So we moved over to a more
quite place that’s just us and in the next pad an American living in Sweden
with another Swede, so it’s really nice to have them along… Duane and Peter
and we’re keeping each other company and helping each other out along the way.
Peter and Eva are doing really well. They had consistent pace going up to
Camp I, are happy and digesting good dinners… they’re in their sleeping bags…
warm bags inside their warm tent. Everything is clicking for them, so nothing
is an issue. Looking forward to tomorrow pushing our carry up to Camp II,
that’s going to be roughly 5,500m… about 600m above us.
Like I mentioned before the weather has come in, the summit is clouded in
and we got a little bit of snow around us right now, so hopefully that’s going
to blow out. If not, we’re still below the cloud layer and if high winds pick
up, we might have to sit tight for a day or so…
I’m sitting in the tent, comfortable, just up at altitude again and
enjoying it with Peter and Eva… great company and looking forward to tomorrow.
It looks like we’re still on target for the 18th or the 19th to summit and
we’ll just be in touch as we progress up. The weather seems to be OK, it’s
just changing a little bit with the winds and the cloud base. Acclimatisation
is going well and pace and all that so…
Looking forward at being in touch tomorrow and letting you know how our
push to Camp II went… new sights and new vistas!
Thanks for joining us and we’ll talk to you tomorrow again.
All the best from Aconcagua,
Marty Schmidt - 3rd dispatch from Aconcagua, Argentina
Hi everybody, It’s Marty and Peter and Eva from Aconcagua.
We made it up to Confluencia Camp (3,380m).
I only have roughly a minute to talk so just want to let
everyone know we’re doing fine. We’ve made it to first camp, the temperature
is 35ºC during the day and down to 0ºC at night. Tomorrow we’re off on a day
walk to the South Face of Aconcagua and back again to Confluencia and then on
to Plaza de Mulas (4,370m).
So letting everyone know we’re doing fine, everyone is
feeling good, acclimatising and happy to be here. Sending all the best to you
guys and talk soon. Bye!
Marty Schmidt - 4th dispatch from Aconcagua, Argentina
Peter, Eva and Marty calling from Aconcagua again.
We took a good track up to the South Face and got up to about 4,000m. Peter
did really well today. We’re looking at doing about a double distance tomorrow
up to Plaza de Mulas (4,370m). So big day tomorrow, we get up at 6 AM and get
out early before the true sun hits us. It gets hot during the day so we’re
trying to move quickly… as fast as we can up to Plaza de Mulas.
So the biggest thing is we’re on target to get up to the face and see the
upper mountain… looking forward to it!
So not much to say except everyone is doing fine and looking forward to
Plaza de Mulas, our base camp.
Marty Schmidt - 5th dispatch from Aconcagua, Argentina
Hello everybody, hello Giannina,
It’s Marty, Peter and Eva from Aconcagua. It’s a beautiful sunset right
now… we’re just below Plaza de Mulas. It was best that we stayed here at
night, about 300m below Plaza. It gives us a better nights sleep and it
settles… Peter had a little bit of trouble with the heat and little… no sleep
the last couple of days… a little tummy… but tonight he’s doing much better
and he’s all psyched up to go for tomorrow. He’s going to be happy to have
So it’s a gorgeous sunset and it’s just a couple more minutes before it’s
gone. I wanted to let you know everything is fine. Very happy that we’re at
this bivy and looking forward to rolling into Plaza tomorrow and start our
carrying up to Camp I and Camp II.
Marty Schmidt - 1st dispatch from Aconcagua, Argentina
Olla and greetings from Mendoza, Argentina. Our journey has
I am able to write this first dispatch from our Hotel Necochea base. Daan will
only need to cut, paste and send this one to you all. Then from tomorrow
onwards it will be Sat Phone calls, 1 to 2 minutes of updates.
Long flights from Christchurch to Mendoza, taking around 20 hours to do so,
adjusting to the different time zones (16 hours behind New Zealand
time), the heat... being 32ºC and above everyday, the beautiful, laid back
city life style with siestas in the afternoon, work in the evening till 9 pm,
family, friends gather for their eating out dinner and stroll around the
famous parks between 10 pm and 2 am, back home for some rest, an espresso,
postre and off to work till 1 pm before having their quiet time at home. This
is their rhythm and one that I have been experiencing since 1986.
Peter and Eva are from Europe, living in Norfolk, Virginia, USA at this time
and wanted to experience the next step with their mountaineering adventures.
So Aconcagua came up during one of our conversations giving them the
motivation to train hard for 6 months and get some experience above 6,900
meters. Our goal is the Normal Route, taking in a 3 day approach trek to Plaza
del Mules, starting at 2,500 meters and reaching BC at 4,300 meters. Our next
goal is to take on the acclimatization, carries to Camp Canada, Nido de
Condores, Berlin reaching 6,000 meters. We will carry our gear high and sleep
low, climbing the mountain almost twice to prepare us for the summit day,
1,000 meters of altitude, reaching 6,962 meters.
So this is our journey to the highest summit in South America. We look forward
to sending our daily updates and for you to follow us along this path.
Today, concluded all the food buying and packing. Good food, rest, all packed
and ready to go leaves us excited to take the very first step in any
adventure... one foot forward, mind clear, body prepared and spirits high.
Looking forward to being in touch with you all along the way.
PS, the only constant is change; just need to let you know that things changed
around during the last days of departing New Zealand. All was planned for my
wife Giannina to travel with me, but other things developed and we decided it
was best for her to stay home for this trip, knowing that SA will never run
away and there is always next year. Plus, at the last minute my plans for
Ecuador changed for a later time, these things happen in the mountain world.
This opportunity opens up new challenges on many different levels and it
always amazes me how everything works out in the end for the better because it
was meant to be.
Be happy, go well, live now.
Marty Schmidt - 2nd dispatch from Aconcagua, Argentina
Here Eva, Pete and Marty on our way to Aconcagua.
The second day in we’ve made it with transportation into Los Penitentes –
at roughly 2,500m altitude. We took a nice long walk – 500m, 600m up for good
acclimatisation and will get some good rest before we take off tomorrow for
the park entrance.
So everything is clicking right along.
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