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  Marty Schmidt Aconcagua, Argentina 2010


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 computers.

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 earth.  

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, sorry. Daan]

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…

[…inaudible…]

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 summit.

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,

Cheers

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 great job.

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 Aconcagua.

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.

Talk soon.

Earlier: 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,

Ciao

 

Earlier: 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.

Talk soon.

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 some sleep.

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.

Earlier: Marty Schmidt - 1st dispatch from Aconcagua, Argentina

Olla and greetings from Mendoza, Argentina. Our journey has begun.......
 
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.
 
Cheers, Marty.
 

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

Hello everyone,

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.

(…)

Talk soon,

Marty


 

 

 

 

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