January 20, 2007 -  Time to Move Higher on Aconcagua

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Oswaldo carries a big load higher on AconcaguaOswaldo carries a big load higher on Aconcagua

Today on Saturday the 20th of January, I want to give you an update.  It’s about 11:00am and we are preparing to begin our carry up from the base camp, Plaza de Mulas.  We’ve been talking to a lot of groups who have returned off the upper portion of the mountain every since we started up this route, we’ve yet to talk to anyone who stood on the summit however.

The weather has not been very good up high.  When we first began our walk towards Confluencia on the 17th we heard reports of more than a meter of snow on parts of the route.  As you know we walked on snow that day and even on the 18th when we did our long 9 hour walk to Plaza de Mulas, in the afternoon we were walking in the snow once again.  I think the weather has changed but our guides who carried loads all the way up to high camp last night came back quite late, after midnight actually and reported deep snow on the route above Plaza de Canada camp where we will be going today.

So we are moving uphill, hoping for compacted snow and improved conditions but we got a lot on our side.  The team is very well acclimatized.  When we went to the medical center yesterday to have our exams, everyone checked out perfectly.  We saw a number of other people there who needed to wait.  We saw an entire Spanish team who was advised to wait at least 3-4 days because of low oxygen saturation and lack of acclimatization. 

Moving through the snow on Aconcagua

We saw a fellow there who was snow blind from the intense reflection of the sunlight off the snow.  He reported to us that he had his sunglasses off for only about 2 hours, but as he said I don’t normally wear sunglasses at home apparently still not realizing that at high altitude the sun is going to be an incredibly intense factor.  Snow blindness is a real hazard if you are not wearing proper eyewear.

This team is anxious to get high and see how we perform.  I can guarantee looking around we have a crew that looks quite humble, realizing they are on a big mountain but I can tell you they are very prepared and I think we are going to have good success, weather permitting, in the coming days.

22,841 feet
6962 meters

22,637 feet
6900 meters