January 4, 2007 - Happy Birthday Martin

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Martin celebrates his 59th birthday in the Atacama desert

It’s January 4th and this is our first full day at high altitude in the desert and it’s been a very special day.  Today is Martin Glynn’s birthday and he is 59 years old today.  Martin, whose friendship and companionship has been such a dear part of so many Berg Adventures climbers experiences over the years, on Mount Elbrus in Russia, Mount Vinson in Antarctica, Kilimanjaro and now here on Ojos del Salado and soon on Aconcagua.  He’s been one of the real joys of our international travel and climbing in recent years.

The Tres Cruses PeaksHe’s 59 years old today and he told me when we went up on our acclimatization hike when we came back down, Martin just smiled and said, ‘what a place to spend a birthday’.  It really is marvelous here folks.  We are as you know, from the group photo we took, we are on the shores of Santa Rosa Lake at 12,500ft, 3800m.  Beautiful snow capped peaks reaching over 6500m are just behind us off in the distance across the salt flats, the Tres Cruses peaks, flamingos in the lake and we are having a great time acclimatizing.

On our hike today as she always does so well, Jerri kept the conversation going and made the time pass quickly even though we were in the high, thin air.  Her Spanish is quite good and she was asking a number of the Bolivian guides a lot of questions as she always does.  One of the questions was, how do you say ‘nickname’ in Spanish and soon we learned a number of nicknames and made up some new ones.

The team in front of Santa Rosa Lake

Guilherme is Gi-Gi, Rudolpho wanted to be Jose Lito which is going to be his name and is going to stick now.  We had great laughs and great times up there.  We probably walked a little too fast because we came down feeling pretty winded but then I had to remind the group that just over 24 hours ago we were all the way back at sea level.

So we are going to take our time acclimatizing slowly at an easy place to do that in this magnificent, natural setting.  We’ll keep you posted day to day about our adventures in the high desert.

22,841 feet
6962 meters

22,637 feet
6900 meters