January 2, 2008 – Moving into Base Camp

Welcome to Plaza de Mulas

On the 2nd of January the team made the long walk up the Harcones River Valley to Plaza de Mulas base camp. There is no way to make a short trip out of this, although it is always a beautiful trip particularly in the conditions we are having this season. The absolutely clear skies continue and the warm temperatures with just a slight breeze make the hiking very pleasant.

The long trek to Aconcagua base campIt took the group about 9 hours plus 10 or 15 minutes to complete the journey to Plaza de Mulas. They walked in and we moved into our base camp, which will be a comfortable home for us as we continue to acclimatize and as we push higher up the mountain.

At base camp, we eat our meals in a restaurant facility, it is a thick tent. Other trekkers and climbers come by, but we have our regular meal scheduled there each morning and evening time and we had lunch there as well on the 3rd. We spent this day acclimatizing; organizing our gear; making sure our crampons still fit our boots and other such things, still in the sunshine. It is a bit dusty here almost uncomfortable in the afternoon heat. Of course the mules are coming and going in a very colorful place.

Lots of other climbers around.

Plaza de Mulas

I am sorry to say, even though there are 3 satellite dishes here, and we have our own equipment, we are not yet able to upload any photographs of this group. Our group is still getting the chance to enjoy the photographs on the computer in the dining room. Eventually we will get these photos uploaded and sent back to you to enjoy on the web site.

In the mean time we are going to keep climbing. Today is the 4th and we are going to move from 14,100 feet {4,300meters} here at Plaza de Mulas, up to 16,100 feet at the Plaza Canada Camp. We are going to spend the night up there and see how we feel as we move higher on Aconcagua.

22,841 feet
6962 meters