Yesterday was a flurry of activity! The team packed up their camp at the 20,000′ White Rocks high camp and made the long descent down to the hustle and bustle of the mountain’s biggest base Camp. Plaza de Mulas is located at just over 14,000′ on the west side of the mountain. Our team approached the mountain from the southeast, climbed up from the east and has descended to the west, making a traverse of the peak. It is a small town, with restaurants, taverns, and internet cafes. hundreds of mules come and go and the Provincial Park Service has a strong presence as well.
When our team learned that there is also a helicopter pad, from where climbers can elect to launch and take the short, 15 minute flight out the Horcones River Valley, they jumped at the opportunity. This is an optional service, but it saves about 16 miles off your knees, and so the majority of the team flew down the valley and met a van we had sent to pick them up at the trailhead. They made the drive down to Mendoza in time for dinner and are now all rested, showered, and are enjoying the thick air of the “muy tranquilo” city.
Congratulations to all the climbers!!!