Great update today from Marty Keogh and Will Devries, who has continued with his theme of listing misfortunes seen along the trail (Mark – I totally know what plant you you intimately discovered today… I feel for you!).
Today, the crew departed Casa de Piedra at an elevation of about 10,000′ and crossed the Vacas River. As Will shares in his dispatch, our crew crossed astride horses, while other climbers opted for a bit more of an… “invigorating” crossing of the icy flow. Once on the west side of the Vacas, they hiked up the north side of the Relinchos River, a tributary river that drains off the east flank of Aconcagua. The trail climbed steeply for the first third of the way to Base Camp, traversing steep drop offs above the churning Relinchos.
They made a quick crossing of the Relinchos (they did have to wade through this time!) and continued along the south side of the river for about five more miles, climbing up and over some alluvial fans of smaller creeks, before picking their way through the terminal moraine of an old glacier to arrive at Plaza Argentina.
Tomorrow will be a rest and acclimatization day, as they gained a lot of elevation today. Taking a day will allow their bodies to essentially “catch up” on their acclimatization. They’ll rest, sort gear and maybe go for a short hike, but the name of the game tomorrow will be to rest and prepare to move up onto the mountain on Thursday.
Here are Marty and Will!