January 9, 2007 - Tacos at Atacama Camp

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Charlie masters the bbq at Santa Rosa, but tonight it’s tacos!

It’s January 9th and we’ve moved camp. I’m calling you from 5300m (17,300ft) at the Atacama Camp.  We started out with 4 four-wheel drive vehicles and drove across the barren, open expanse of the high desert here.  This is amazing terrain.  It’s really hard to remember how high you are because the temperatures are remarkably warm. 

Dafna dresses for the weather in ChileWe have slightly glaciated and snow covered peaks above us.  We walk around in shorts a lot. I often see Dafna wearing her sleeveless training tank tops that she wears when she runs back home.  The rest of us are getting in and out of the hot springs without running for warm clothes, just an amazingly mild environment.  But of course the altitude still presents its challenges.

Even though we had those 6 nights above 3800m, Danny told me this morning that he did not like the way his body had adapted to the altitude.  He and Carol who have pushed themselves hard on this trip, they are athletic and they know their limits and they have decided to return to Copiapo to their bags down at the beach and get to a lower elevation.  So they drove back with Juan Carlos and the drivers to lower elevations today.  We hope to still see them in Santiago or Mendoza.  Danny is still wearing his yellow boots but he decided his climbing for this trip is over and it’s time for he and Carol to enjoy a South American vacation.

We’ve moved in and everything looks good.  Charlie just gave me some great news, he told me it’s taco night.  I love it when Charlie makes tacos.  The whole group is still eating very well and I think they will sleep well tonight at this new elevation.  We’ll give you a report tomorrow on how everybody is doing.

22,841 feet
6962 meters

22,637 feet
6900 meters