Entries By nick scott
January 28, 2019
Enough about Lenas and the delicious asado dinner, it’s wonderful and it’s been played out. The truth is that after 17 miles of walking through a high desert over softball sized rocks stacked on top of descending from 19,600’ with heavy packs stacked on top of a long and difficult summit day, an average hamburger would be a shimmering oasis. The magic of Lenas is cemented in the idea of being rewarded after a job well done, ya the meat is amazing, the beer is warm and still some how the best you’ve had and the smoke will bring back fond memories for years to come. It’s the belief that trying difficult objectives over easily accomplished tasks will always make the smallest aspects of life more enjoyable. Anyone can go to Myrtle Beach and get an airbrushed tank top to commemorate their average vacation but to spend a tough 2 1/2 weeks in the high Andes and wrap up that experience looking into the seemingly three dimensional Milky Way after a communal dinner cooked by Argentinian cowboys and ate with one’s own hands is a memory like none other.
We head to the road tomorrow and the comforts of Mendoza. Your loved ones will be within internet range and thanks again for supporting them on this adventure and for following along.
Thanks for your daily updates and keeping everyone safe. You have no idea how much we all appreciate it.
Posted by: Mike Rapach on 1/28/2019 at 6:35 pm
January 27, 2019
It’s strange how things turn out in retrospect. What was supposed to be a nicer day on the summit turned into an extremely difficult one. We listened to the teams rig up for their summit attempt this morning. The tents hardly rippled and the skies were clear, that is until they weren’t. By the time we started packing up camp, a lenticular cloud had formed over the the upper mountain. This cloud formation is accompanied by winds and cold temperatures. While we had some cold and consistent wind the day before, we had sunlight and a clear day. As we descended to Camp 2 we were not envious of the teams struggling across the grand traverse. We collected our caches at the camps and made our way into a warm and inviting base camp for some well deserved sandwiches and beverages. Tomorrow we head for Las Lenas and then Mendoza on the 29th. The Team is in high spirits and eager to get cleaned up and headed for home. This has been a great expedition and everyone has learned a lot about being in the high mountains during the last 2 1/2 weeks. Thanks for following along.
January 26, 2019
January 26, 2019 - 11:09 am PT
Polar opposite weather for the summit team’s return to Colera. At this point yesterday we were in a ground blizzard and wondering if we’d get an opportunity to climb. The guides got up at 1:00 am to see clear skies but strong wind. We wouldn’t start then anyway, too cold. At 3:00 the skies were still clear and the winds had calmed. We set off from Camp with a mix of snow and scree. The forecasted 30 mph winds out of the west were present and account for the entire climb.
The route switchbacks for a while and then you arrive at the defunct storm shelter, Independencia Hut at 21,000’. From the hut, the climb ascends a moderate snow slope and then transitions into a long ascending traverse. We had about 60% frozen scree and 40% snow. After feeling like you’ve walked forever without gaining much ground the climbers arrive at “the cave”, it’s not a cave. From the cave the climb is a steep ribbon of winter snow in a feature called the Candeleta. After crossover stepping for what seems like enough time for someone to recite an epic poem you hit the Guanacos Ridge. This ridge goes up, down and never flat; however, towards the end you get a spectacular view of the South face of Aconcagua. Just 10-15 minutes more and your standing on top of the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas.
We are back in camp and will begin the process of heading to Mendoza tomorrow morning. Starting with a down carry of our gear and remaining food to Plaza Argentina. From base camp, mules take our equipment to Penitentes while we stop for one last Argentine asado (Cookout) at Pampa Las Lenas. The following morning after a night of meatmares and red wine to celebrate, we will return to Mendoza for a wine tour or some much needed pool time. Thanks for following along!
January 26, 2019 - 7:25 am PT
This is Mike, we reached the summit of Aconcagua just a few minutes ago. The storm blew out around midnight and we hit the trail at 3:45am. I’ll write more once we are back in camp safely, we have a long descent ahead of us.
On The Map
Congratulations Team!! Job well done!
Posted by: Doug Sherwood on 1/26/2019 at 1:13 pm
Way to go team!! I couldn’t be more proud.
Posted by: Randy Salo on 1/26/2019 at 12:50 pm
January 25, 2019
We had cold temperatures and moderate winds this morning when we woke up. The upper mountain was engulfed in a dark grey cloud with snow eventually spinning lightly through the air. Our high camp at 19,600’ was visible so we drug our feet getting camp broke down. The weather didn’t seem to be getting better or worse, so we headed up. Cold gust of wind and overcast skies followed us up. We are at camp, hunkered down in our tents. The process of making water keeps the guides busy for the remainder of the day and well into the night. Our fingers are crossed that since the precipitation arrived earlier then expected, it will blow out overnight. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll likely have a weather day here at Colera and attempt on the 27th. You all will know more, when I know more. Good night from 19,600’.
On The Map
Can’t wait to hear!! Love and prayers for all.
Posted by: Mary Hall on 1/26/2019 at 8:46 am
Hey Mike , Nick , Blessings for Perfect weather for your summit day!
Posted by: Dave Kestel on 1/26/2019 at 4:43 am
January 24, 2019
This camp has an amazing view, especially when we have so much moonlight with a near full moon. If you can get yourself out of the tent during the night, the light illuminates the Polish Glacier and all the surrounding peaks. This Team has enjoyed the plentiful stars and seemingly 3D Milky Way during the first part of the trip and now the moon light will brighten the path early on our summit day.
The rest day has been fairly standard, big breakfast and lots of reading and hanging out in the tents. There have been some high clouds that have made the day cooler than previous and we have been fortunate with such favorable weather. Tomorrow we will pack up camp and move up to 19,600’. The day will go by fast as we get tents set up, make lots of water and prepare for a summit attempt on Saturday morning. The next five days include a lot of effort and ground to cover, fingers crossed the winds are light and the sun burns bright.
On The Map
Good luck in the next few days - stay strong!! Tell Sam Hall hi, this is his sister Annie :-)
Posted by: Annie on 1/24/2019 at 11:43 am
January 22, 2019
The Team has really lucked out where the weather is concerned. We don’t have the lightest winds in the forecast but we are hoping they stay manageable. We enjoyed another warm night with a spectacular moon following whatever lunar phenomena happened a few nights ago. We are at 18,000’ and enjoying some more tent time. There comes a point where having slightly longer days would be nice, reading 300 pages of a book in two days is quite easy with how much tent time we get. Now that we are at Camp 2, the wait for a summit window becomes more realistic. The schedule is to carry food and fuel to high camp tomorrow and rest the following day. This will get us three nights at this elevation. Ultimately, the forecasted winds might force our hand to move up a day earlier or burn a weather day in hopes of lighter wind. Until then, we have a crowded camp but with a spectacular view. Thanks for following along.
On The Map
January 21, 2019
Not much to write about today. We had a breakfast burrito brunch after a few rounds of coffee. The weather has continued to be warmer then expected with light winds tugging at the tents. We are all in the tents with sleeping bags clipped to the outside to lower the temperatures. While anxious to move to Camp 2, everyone needs this time to continue acclimating. Tomorrow we move camp to 18,000’ and will be in a better position for the next summit window. Currently there is a large lenticular cloud sitting on the summit, several teams moved to high camp yesterday for a summit attempt today, hopefully they are on their descent.
Fingers crossed for cooperating weather! Good luck team!
Posted by: Renee Sherwood on 1/22/2019 at 4:51 pm
Hey team—Keep up the good work. You rock! (pun intended)
Posted by: Randy Salo on 1/22/2019 at 12:18 pm
January 20, 2019
We had an unusually warm night last night, the drainage near our tents was running with water until early morning. With a light wind in camp, we headed for our Camp 2 located at 18,000’. The camp is technically called, Guanacos 3 since it is located on the now closed Guanacos Route. A guanaco is part of the South American camel family consisting of the llama, vicuña and alpaca. The route today takes us into the Ameghino Col with amazing views of the central Andes here in Argentina. The peaks of La Mano and Mercedario standout the most.
Today is a shorter day and since we are back in camp by 2 pm the Team gets to enjoy a casual afternoon in the tents. Tomorrow we have a scheduled rest day to continue our acclimatization. The weather is forecasted to be dry with 20-30 mph range. Everyone is doing well and glad to be moving higher up the mountain.
January 19, 2019
We could not have asked for a better day to pack up and move our camp to 16,400’. With little wind and warm temperatures, the Team did well today. They shaved some time from the carry day, better acclimatization, slightly lighter packs and nicer weather made all the difference. Camp is located between Cerro Ameghino and one of the many rock buttresses that make up Aconcagua. There are great views to the East and often we see lighting in the clouds that develop over the high desert once the sun sets. There is still a lot of mountain left to ascend. Tomorrow we carry some food, fuel and gear to Camp 2 located at 18,000’ and return to Camp 1 for some rest and continued acclimatization. The Team sends it’s love to family and friends following along. We are all ducked into the tents to avoid the sun for a little while.
On The Map
I can see the reason one would climb to such heights in order to stare into the beauty of the world around all of you. Continued success Team
Posted by: John Condon on 1/19/2019 at 6:20 pm
January 18, 2019
The winds have calmed down here at Plaza Argentina. The Team is enjoying a rest day before we move up the mountain tomorrow. This second rest day is necessary for the Team to acclimate properly with the quick ascent to 14,000’. Aside from sorting some gear, working on tents and a few naps, we are all eager to head up to Camp 1. The winds are forecasted to build over the next few days so we will get our camp established at 16,400’ and see what the weather and mountain give us.