Julia called in to give us an update from our December 16th Aconcagua team. They are doing well, in great spirits and are excited to start the climb! Today, they rested at the Plaza Argentina Base Camp, giving their bodies a bit of time to adjust to the big jump in elevation from their previous camp.
Tomorrow, they will make their first foray up on the mountain, carrying loads of food and supplies to Camp 1 at about 16,400′. They will climb up into a fairly narrow valley that will quickly broaden. Making their way up the valley, veering off and on an old glacier that is no strewn with rock and barely recognizable as a glacier, they’ll keep climbing up to the site of their next camp. They will drop their loads and “cache” them, covering them with rocks to protect from wind and marauding birds.
After making their cache, the team will descend back to Base Camp for the night. This process of climbing high and sleeping low is called “double carrying” and is a proven way for climbers to both move the quantities of supplies necessary to spend weeks on a big, cold mountain, but also to acclimatize to the thin air of the upper camps, before committing to them.