David Kozma called in from “Helicopter Camp,” otherwise known as Camp 2 on the Ameghino Valley route of Aconcagua. The team carried food, fuel and supplies up about 1,600′ to an elevation of 18,000′ as they continue to stage their ascent of the tallest peak in South America.
The climb started out traversing up and left across a broad bowl that drains down into the Relinchos Valley, the same valley that the team climbed up several days ago en route to the Plaza Argentina Base Camp. After roughy 1000′ of climbing, the team veered south (the climbers’ right) and into the valley that separates Aconcagua from its smaller neighbor, the 19,400′ Cerro Ameghino.
The climbers followed the Ameghino Valley south before climbing up a few hundred feet of elevation to arrive at their Camp 2. This camp is also known as Helicopter or Chopper Camp, for the remnants of a Lama helicopter that had crashed above camp decades ago. Not much is left of the chopper, but the name has continued.
After depositing their supplies, they dropped back to Camp 1 for the night. This process is often called “Climbing high and sleeping low” or “double carrying.” It enables climbers to move all the food and fuel they need for a long expedition up the mountain and it also helps them acclimatize, by giving each climber a taste of a new elevation before they commit to it by moving their tents high.
Here is David!