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Title image - BAI takes you to: Aconcagua
Why climb with Berg Adventures

Aconcagua Expedition Dispatch

February 3, 2008 – Team Three Summit Attempt

Aconcagua Park Entrance

Climbing Aconcagua, which is just slightly under 7,000meters in elevation, is one of the highest peaks in the world just outside of Asia and is always a big effort.

Over and over I hear people say, “my friends have no idea how hard this is” or “no one ever told me it was going to be anything like this” - it is truly and underestimated mountain... [lost transmission]... the accomplishment of everyone on this Berg Adventures Aconcagua team.

Dave CohnClimbing Aconcagua by this route we do is also a surprisingly rich and rewarding experience and things happen fast – now, believe it or not it is Sunday the 3rd of February and I am calling you from a river bank along the Horocones River on the way out. The entire team is walking along and I think it will be an enjoyable trek today and to be picked up by the van and taken back to Mendoza.

Yesterday morning, we woke up at Berlin camp, high camp. The summit team from yesterday got to continue sleeping; the rest of us got up at the usual time in the middle of the night and began to prepare for our summit climb. Dave Cohn, Dave Christie, Alex, Opus, Claire, the Bolivian guides and I all started up. Line had not recovered from a stomach illness she had and thought that she should stay down at camp.

Now, Dave Christie, was not moving very well, he is a tough guy and I suspected that he had accumulated some fluid in his lungs, in other words that he had pulmonary edema. I knew if that was the case, I was especially confident knowing that Line, our climbing physician, was waiting back at base camp. Dave wanted to push himself, but it took us more than 2 hours to climb, seriously 100 meters in the early morning darkness. We started our decent. When we got back to base camp, we got Line to listen to Dave’s lungs and sure enough he had fluid in his lungs and his pulse-ox was quite low. We knew he was going to have to go down. In the meantime Dave Cohn had come down with us as well. Alex climbed a bit higher with Nelson, and then decided he was going to be too tired to continue. Later, about 200 meters above where Alex turned back, Opus, Claire and Juancho decided that the winds were too high to continue.

So, our entire summit team for Saturday did turn around, not without a great effort from all. Dave was weak as he descended, but as you heard previously, there are good physicians here at Plaza de Mulas and they examined him when he got down and confirmed there was still some fluid in his lungs, but he was on the mend. They suggested that Dave ride out on a helicopter. Dave wasn’t interested in a helicopter ride out, he wanted to hike. So the physicians, at 10pm last night listened to his lungs again and cleared him to walk out today. Dave is a tough guy and he had an interesting mountaineers experience by actually getting pulmonary edema. We did take care of the situation, and Dave didn’t have to get on the helicopter, he is going to enjoy his walk out today.

We all are showing our various signs of wear from being on the mountain. Mike who proudly stood on the summit wearing his down jacket with his Greece patch proudly proclaiming his home country, had badly banged up his feet and his toe nails were bruised, black and extremely sore. He was examined by the physicians at Plaza de Mulas as well, and they said it is going to hurt a lot to walk out. Mike had reminded us, that back home in Greece before he moved to New York, he worked and road mules a lot, so Mike is going to ride one of these strong Aconcagua mules out today and I am sure he will be the first one down to the road ahead where we will meet our van.