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Aconcagua Expedition: Cifelli & Team Reach Camp 1, Establish Camp

THE CLIMB BEGINS
Today we awoke for an 8am breakfast, the last luxurious basecamp breakfast for a week and a half. Hell has it really only been a week in this dust?! From meeting in peruivian airports to tent mates, how have we only known each other 9 days and in tents for 7?

We quickly ate our food and stashed away our future mountain lunch. Before long we were making our way up the mountain again. This time we kissed goodbye to the sweet creature comforts of basecamp… have no fear the speaker made it on the pack list! Up the winding switch backs, through the penetentes, over the glacier streams, and up the final scramble to our new home, campo uno. We set up camp, acquainted ourselves with our new bathroom situation, and started treating our water.

Tonight we feast on quesadillas and Indian style tasty bites… good thing we have our blue bags at the ready (RMI please take the hint). Tomorrow we have another big day, a carry to 18,000' feet. On this trip we’ve learned many things. We’ve learned why the moon waxes and wanes differently in the southern hemisphere. We’ve mastered the game of euchre. We’ve etched our guides pet peeves into our brains so as not to do those things..purposefully at least. But what we have yet to learn is our future on this mountain, we can only continue to set ourselves up for success, having each others back, and controlling what’s in our power to control. Summit or not, one thing we will walk away from this mountain without a doubt is what we’ve learned about ourselves, our proven strength, our attitude, and our camaraderie as a team of strangers turned friends.

I’d like to make a call out to our two biggest fans Eddie and my mom Michelle, and our other fans the polish team and the burrows. We have yet to decide on a team name, please send your suggestions in the comments, no guarantees we will use it, but we would love your thoughts!

And lastly. Happy early birthday to my ride or die Ambre, I love the hell out of you and I hope you have the best birthday. Lord knows I was thinking of you crossing that river!

Climber Mikayla Demers


Comments (4)

I’ve been bragging about my bad-ass best friend to anybody who listens… so honored to receive a mountain-side birthday wish!

You have been, and always will be, the shining image of perseverance. I know in my heart that little J will see you as one of his hero’s <3

Also, make sure you share the chocolate!

Posted by: Ambre Judd on

Thanks for the shout out!  I’m following the team all the way.  I love hearing about your days, food, and team work.  I love the photos as well.

Team names:  I kind of feel like it should include doctor (since there are so many) and burros maybe. Mostly because I like burros and I’ve got ornery, little, Cinderellie the mule. That is if your looking for something fun.  The origin of the name Aconcagua appears to be in dispute.  I found several meanings to include “Snow-capped mountain” - “Stone Sentinel” - and “White Sentinel”. Maybe something with Sentinel? Just some random thoughts.

Looking forward to the next post!

P.S. Love you Mikayla, Captain, Badass, baby girl!

Posted by: Michelle DeMers on

Nice work team! Miss you Norm!

Posted by: Valerie Cognetto on

Shoutout received. You and your team are awesome.  What an epic journey and climb. Congrats to you and all establishing Camp 1.  Team names are tough from thousands of miles away, but has to be something around the theme of the strength of the team. In looking at RMI posted pics, everyone looks so strong.  Looks like shot from Outside magazine on-line. Enjoy the journey and the trek to the next camp.

Posted by: Ed DaPra on

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