January 23, 2007 -  Strong Winds on the Summit

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Our high camp on a clear day

Okay, it’s the morning of the 23rd now, about 9:00am.  I reported last night that the winds were not that high by Aconcagua standards here at high camp but I didn’t tell you about the winds higher up where they are much stronger. 

We were snug and secure in our tents and I woke up at 2:00am to monitor the winds, hoping they calmed a bit.  At 4:00am Oswaldo and I decided to keep the group in bed a bit longer.  Right now I’m looking at an extremely impressive lenticular cloud on the summit of Aconcagua.  We are not sure how high the winds are blowing up there right now.  The highest that has been reported since we’ve been up here was 140km/hr, now it could be more or could be less.

What we are going to do is get a weather report from the park rangers below and assess whether we should stay here and start up at midnight tonight.  Right now the group is really snug and I visited everybody in their tents this morning.  We have everything we need except good weather higher on the mountain.  We will report later in the day.

[update that afternoon]

It’s about 1:00pm and we have made the decision to start heading down the mountain after receiving a weather report earlier this morning.  There is a chance that the winds will improve but we have decided to move lower on the mountain to talk about our options.  We plan to return to Plaza de Mulas today, enjoy the lower elevation and we will keep you updated with our plans for the next few days.

[update that evening]

It’s about 5:00pm and this is just a short update to let you know that everyone is back down at Plaza de Mulas, with Oswaldo and Juancho just coming in now.  Tomorrow the entire team will return to Mendoza where hot showers and clean clothes are waiting for us.  We will report to you then.

22,841 feet
6962 meters

22,637 feet
6900 meters