January 25 - Berg Adventures Team Reaches the Summit of Aconcagua
It’s 4:00pm on the 25th of January and I’m calling you from the summit of Aconcagua! It’s been a beautiful, exceedingly clear day here, very little wind, sun all day long. I gave the group an 11 hour turn around and we started climbing at 5:30am this morning and we made it comfortably. We’re tired but proud.
Dee had to go down from Nido de Condures camp a couple of days ago, her and Leila. We talked to them frequently on the radio; they are already down at Plaza de Mules. Dee is fine; this is just the biggest chunk she’s bitten off of mountaineering so far, having only done Mount Whitney before. And then Paul Stempin unfortunately right at the base today, his back was giving him problems so he went down with two of our local guides.
But I’m proud to report that at 3:15pm today, Gary Bacon, Tom Jessor, Bruce, Richard, Daniel and of course Grant and the two Argentine guides, Marcus and Pablo stepped on to the summit. That was our first summit team. Twenty-five minutes later Dave Huber and Wally Berg with Norb right behind them stepped on to the summit of Aconcagua.
There were tears and highs, great exuberant smiles. I told Tom that I know that there is almost an 80 year old, his father Dick Jessor who’s extremely proud. But I would not be able to get far if I started going on and on about all the family members and friends who are proud of this strong team.
I think we have, it goes without saying we’ve had great adventures in Chile and Argentina, climbing at altitude the last few weeks. A couple of people commented to me that the plan of climbing on Ojos first and then coming to Aconcagua was indicated as a great plan to get up this great mountain.
We are going to be starting down soon and of course we are going to have a great time on our way out. We’ll report to you when we get back to the high camp, which we call Camp Berlin at about 19,600 feet (5974 meters). But right now I’m still at 6940 meters (22,770 feet) the highest point in the western hemisphere and I’m going to enjoy the moment a little bit longer.