Climber Marcin Wlodarczyk called in an update for the Mountain Trip Decemeber 17 Aconcagua team, who plan to head up to High Camp from Camp Two on the route.
Camp Two, also known as “Helicopter Camp,” features awe-inspiring views, including the summit of Cerro Ameghino just to the east, and to the north, the 22,000 ft. (6700 m) Cerro Mercedario dominating the horizon along with an array of peaks above the Gussfeldt Glacier.
From Camp Two at 18,000’ (5480 m), it’s a 2.5 hike with packs to High Camp, also called Camp Three or “White Rocks/Piedras Blancas,” at about 19,500′ (5943 m). The day begins with a steep climb and then continues gradually up to a shallow basin, filled with bizarre purple and white rocks. Weaving through the rocks makes for some surreal hiking. At the top of the basin, perched on the north ridge of Aconcagua, High Camp.
The team will make their summit push TOMORROW (12/30), waking up before dawn to begin their trek up to 22,841′. Round trip, summit day typically takes teams anywhere between seven and 12 hours, depending on the conditions on the route. This is unquestionably the longest and most difficult day of the trip.
Here’s Marcin (with a shoutout in Polish!):