Aconcagua: Scott & Team Reach the Summit!
We woke early to clear skis filled with unfamiliar stars. The wind was on us from the moment we crawled from our tents, taunting the climbers as they packed and tried in vain to drink down their coffee before the heat was stolen by the gusts. At 4am we marched, uphill into the darkness with only the bubble of light produced by our headlamps to guide us. Slowly, we made progress. One switchback after the next. Hour after hour, we toiled uphill, the wind a constant companion. It chilled us to the bone, no matter how many layers of down were added. On and on we climbed, past the ruins of the Independencia hut, across the Gran Traverse to the cave. Ever higher, one foot in front of the other. One step, one breath. The air is getting thinner with every meter gained. Harder and harder we breath. Onward from the cave, up the daunting Canaleta Couloir to Guanacos Ridge. Upward we go, ever so slowly, our muscles at their limit without precious oxygen to fuel them. Our legs are burning, one final step. No more mountain above us. The summit! Success! After so many days of carrying loads, one after the other. Moving camps day after day. We are finally on top of Aconcagua, The Stone Sentinel. 22,841 feet. The tallest mountain in South America. We’ve done it!
RMI Guide Nick Scott
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