Aconcagua: Nugent & Team from Pampa de Leñas

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Walter Hailes, Katrina Bloemsma | January 07, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua

Today was hot… Our team woke up after a last night under a roof and in a real bed and loaded up on coffee and scrambled eggs before heading back over to Grajales’ packing facility. We put the finishing touches on our packing job for the mules and caught a transfer from Penitentes over to Punta de Vacas where our journey truly began. We took off from the trailhead a little after 10 am and it was already blazing. Strong sun and high temperatures made for a hard day but our team showed a lot of strength by dispensing the first stretch of the trek to basecamp in good time and with strong form. Occasional breezes and some late afternoon wind made the heat bearable. We got moved in to our first camp at Pampa de Leñas after the mule drivers unloaded our gear and waited for a rendezvous with Jake’s descending RMI team. Our minestrone soup was supplemented by delicious beef from the asado that the muleteers had prepared for Jake’s crew. It turns out that our friends at Grajales knew that Gabi, Jake, and myself would all be in Leñas tonight and sent up extra meat for a celebration. Now, I’m laying under the stars with a full belly thankful for great friends and excited for tomorrow’s continued adventure with a great crew!

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

The trailhead at Punta de Vacas and the beginning of the approach to Aconcagua. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Hi Mer, this is so great to be able to follow you. Sounds wonderful! Love Mom and Dad

Posted by: Delese and Steve on 1/8/2014 at 5:00 pm

Good Luck, Patrick and all you climbers.  We’ll be following you every day!

Love, Mom and Dad

Posted by: sheila on 1/7/2014 at 5:50 pm

Hi Daddy!  We are following you on the blog.  Glad you made it there safe.  Have fun, miss you lots and love you!


Posted by: Gavin Blanchette on 1/7/2014 at 2:13 pm

Good work, team.  Stay strong!

Posted by: Geoff on 1/7/2014 at 2:09 pm

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