Nick Shepherd called in from Camp 1 at about 16,400′ on the east side of Aconcagua. The team moved up today and all the climbers did well. The climb takes between 4-5 hours, and gains a lot of elevation, close to 3,000′. This camp is nice, as it has some great views looking far, far down the Relinchos Valley, the same valley that the climbers ascended four days ago. The steep walls above camp often form interesting ice features, a few of which have been climbed as long, high altitude ice routes.
Nick referenced the team getting to experience the use of WAG bags. This is one of the less glorious, but absolutely necessary aspects of climbing on routes that see relatively high numbers of visitors. These bags capture and provide a sound container for solid, human waste, in a manner that is not all that challenging or, well… I suppose one could say… gross. We use this system to help minimize our impact and footprint on this beautiful mountain setting, and it is one of the principles of our Leave No Trace ethics, by which we lead every expedition. Go ahead – YouTube it!