Julia called in on a beautiful Christmas Day on the eastern flank of South America’s tallest mountain. She reports that it was actually hot today, while the team carried loads up to 18,000′, depositing them at the site of their Camp 2.
Today, the climbers shouldered packs and departed Camp 1, climbing up and counterclockwise into a broad bowl carved by a glacier that has long since disappeared. Traversing to a point almost a thousand feet above their camp, they then climbed up and into a long valley or “col” separating Aconcagua from it’s eastern neighbor, Cerro Ameghino. This long valley gives name to our route, the Ameghino Valley route. After hiking north through the valley for a while, they ascended moderate slopes and crossed an old, remnant glacier before arriving at their destination.
This camp is also known as “Chopper Camp,” for there used to be the remains of a Lama helicopter that had crashed above camp over 20 years ago. It’s one of my favorite camps, as the views expand tremendously from those below, with stunning peaks visible to the north, framing the northern border of the Gussfeldt Glacier.
After dropping and caching their loads, the team headed back to 16,400′ to spend the night. Everyone is doing great and Julia shares warm wishes on this holiday.