Entries By dominic cifelli
One final big day. We walked from Base Camp to Pampa de Lenas, roughly 18 miles in a single push to get us on step closer to the park entrance. Before we are finally out though it is time to celebrate with a big BBQ cooked by the mule drivers. We can hardly wait for that meat!
RMI Guide Nick Scott and Team
Yay TEAM! What a experience! I pray everyone continues to have a safe time. Relax and soak it up
Posted by: Katie on 2/6/2020 at 1:02 pm
February 4, 2020
After many days of walking uphill, we finally turned ourselves downward towards basecamp. The mountain however, did not seemed pleased about our decision. We woke up this morning to raging winds that made taking down the tents and packing for the descent more of a chore than necessary. It seems the storm we were avoiding by advancing our itinerary had arrived. The winds howled at our backs the entire way back to basecamp. Despite the trouble from the weather, we made the trip back to the comforts of Plaza Argentina. A trip that took eight days to go up, we completed in just seven hours on the way down. Everyone was happy to be back in solid structures where the wind couldn’t bother us and to have ample oxygen to fill our lungs with. Just two more days and we will be back in Mendoza. We are so close to civilization we can taste it!
On The Map
February 3, 2020
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
On The Map
Congratulations to the whole team. A special day for all to see. Safe travels as you descend such a magnificent place.
Posted by: Pat on 2/4/2020 at 5:28 am
Congratulations from Mr. C
Posted by: Ken Cwikula on 2/3/2020 at 9:49 pm
February 2, 2020
After many days of carrying loads up hill, we are finally at high camp, poised to make an attempt on the summit. Tonight will be our first of two nights spent at 19,600 feet, but it is unlikely many of us will sleep tonight. This will be due as much to nerves and apprehension as to the altitude. Regardless of whether sleep comes tonight, we will all rise early and begin the slow, steady march towards the top of Aconcagua at 22,842 feet early tomorrow morning, before the first light of dawn is on the horizon. It seems the mountain and weather gods have seen fit to push the worst of the winds farther out into the forecast, lucky for us. It will still be cold and it will still be hard, but this group of climbers just might have the right amount of grit to pull it off.
On The Map
Wishing you a successful day.
Prayers to the winds to take a break on you all.
Mr. C. is watching.
Posted by: Pat on 2/3/2020 at 9:19 am
Thinking of you all today as you push for the summit! Good luck and happy, safe hiking! Hoping for a successful climb for this crew.
Posted by: Marlana D on 2/3/2020 at 4:18 am
February 1, 2020
Due to an unfavorable weather forecast we have made the decision to alter our regular schedule. Instead of carrying to Camp 3 today, the guide team decided to rest at Camp 2 and move up to High Camp tomorrow. This advances our itinerary by one day and pushes up our summit attempt to Monday the 3rd. After carefully studying the weather and consulting with the locals who know Aconcagua’s weather patterns best, the guides and climbers believe that this decision provides us with our best window for a summit attempt. Everyone is feeling strong and has been acclimatizing well. We will give it our best efforts and hope that the winds hold off just long enough to make it to the top.
On The Map
January 31, 2020
So far the weather has been very predictable. Sunny and clear in the mornings changing to cloudy with snow flurries by dinner time. This has been great for all of our planned movement up and down the mountain and today was no different as the sun was shining and the winds calm for our move up to Camp 2. Tonight will be our first night at 18,000 feet above sea level, a hard place to sleep for sure. Despite the lack of thick air, I don’t think any of us would trade the views just to be lower on the mountain. Camp 2 on Aconcagua stares straight out into the central Andes, a view you have to see for yourself to truly appreciate and it’s right off our front porch for the next few days.
On The Map
Hey Daryl and team, pictures look amazing. Keep up the good work we are praying for strength, endurance and good health for you all.
Posted by: Ken Cwikula on 2/2/2020 at 12:20 am
Super Bowl Argentina!! Got my popcorn popping and cheering all of you on ! Yay team
Posted by: Katie and Jeannette on 2/1/2020 at 10:20 am
January 30, 2020
After a hard carry to Camp 2 yesterday, everyone enjoyed the late start to the morning today. It’s not often you get to sleep in on a mountaineering expedition so no one takes these rest days for granted. But besides the extra sleep, the other reason to get excited during a rest day is the breakfast. The guides whipped up a calorie replenishing feast consisting of eggs, bacon, hash browns, fresh veggies and cheese all wrapped up burrito style. With bellies full of warm food and coffee we all retired to a sunny corner of camp to digest our meal. The skies are clear and sunny today. The perfect weather to rest and acclimatize and regain our strength for our move up to Camp 2 tomorrow.
On The Map
We are soo proud of you
Posted by: Katie and Jeannette on 1/31/2020 at 12:38 pm
January 29, 2020
When we woke up this morning the snow had melted, but the chill it left in the air remained. It was by far the coldest morning of the trip so far, but nothing a hot cup of coffee and a warm breakfast couldn’t fix. With our bellies full and our cores warmed we turned our attention uphill to Camp 2. While the route to Camp at 18,000 feet is easier walking than the route to Camp 1, the gain in elevation was definitely noticed by everyone. No matter how fit you are, carrying weight uphill at 18,000 feet above sea level makes you feel like you are breathing through a straw during a workout. Despite the difficulties presented by the mountain today, the team performed well and we were all back in our tents at Camp 1 enjoying some lunch before we were halfway through the day. Tomorrow is another rest day and another opportunity to acclimatize, so the next time we walk into Camp 2 it doesn’t feel quite so difficult.
Great job all! Onward and upward! :))
Posted by: Coeli Scott on 1/30/2020 at 8:11 am
January 28, 2020
After four days of living it up at basecamp, we packed up our gear and moved up hill to Camp 1 at 16,400 feet. We were lucky enough to have clear skies and calm winds the whole way to camp as we meandered through the glacial moraine above basecamp. Shortly after arriving at Camp 1, the weather turned, the temperature dropped, and snow began to fall. After a very dry winter in the Andes, Aconcagua is in desperate need of snowfall and we welcome the fluffy white precipitation as we hunker down in our tents for some rest before dinner. Tomorrow, we load up again and carry half of our food and gear to Camp 2 at 18,000 feet. The trail to higher camps gets easier from here, but the air gets thinner with every step we take uphill. Everyone is still doing well and we can’t wait to see what the upper mountain has in store.
On The Map
Wow so high!! Wonderful job and Daryl all your girls in California keep asking about you. They miss you and are proud of you. Crazy how fast the weather changed.
Posted by: Katie on 1/28/2020 at 2:13 pm
January 26, 2020
We came, we carried, and we crushed it! Today the entire team performed the incredible task of carrying half of our food and gear to Camp 1 at 16,400 feet. Every climber carried the weight up steep and loose terrain without faltering and made it safely back to Basecamp with plenty of energy leftover. We have one more rest day at Plaza Argentina Basecamp before we leave all the comforts behind and begin our slow ascent from camp to camp over the next week in an effort to make the summit.
On The Map
Great job to all of you brave souls on your journey! My prayers are with you all! Way to go Gramps! We are celebrating you from here in Texas!
Chelsea, Patrick, Henry, and Callie
Posted by: Chelsea Miller on 1/28/2020 at 6:00 am
Plaza Argentina looks wonderful! Good job team
Posted by: Katie on 1/27/2020 at 2:38 pm