All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
Mark Twain

25. feb 2006. I have just returned back to Denmark after spending some 3 weeks on climbing Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina, the highest mountain in the world outside Asia. Story not finished yet.

Here are the pictures from the trip (opens in a new window).

Before going to Tibet's Chang Tang last autumn I was asked by a Swiss girl, Sabina, if I wanted to join up for a climb of 6962 meters Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina after I returned home again. I kind of declined, having all my attention on the forthcoming very hard solotrip in Northern Tibet. Back home again from a successful crossing of Chang Tang, something I had been planning for years, I somehow felt a huge anticlimax. I had done it - what to do now in expedition terms? Then Janne Corax from Sweden mailed and asked if I wanted to come to Argentina in January to climb Aconcagua. After some hesitation, I bought a flight ticket, packed my things and jumped onboard a flight to Mendoza in Argentina.

Onboard the flight from Madrid to Santiago de Chile, I spend some times reading about the routes on the mountain, and particularly one sounded appealing, the false polish route on the north side. The book told the normally route on the west side was characterised by being crowed by many climbers making me hesitate on this route since I like to do something not too mainstream.

When waiting for the flight from Santiago de Chile to Mendoza I ran into two guys from the UK. They were on the way to Aconcagua again after they had to give up a summit attempt due to avalanche conditions high up the mountain in 2004.



Timetable for climbing Aconcagua
28.01.06 Arrivial in Mendoza (flying in).
29.01.06 Staying in Mendoza.
30.01.06 Staying in Mendoza, buying permit.
31.01.06 Mendoza - Penitentes
01.02.06 Penitentes - Casa de Piedra
02.02.06 Casa de Piedra - Las Vacas
03.02.06 Las Vacas - Plaza Argentina, basecamp (4195 m)
04.02.06 Plaza Argentina, restday (4195 m)
05.02.06 Carry fuel and food to deposit just below camp one - down to base camp again.
06.02.06 Going up to camp one and stay there (4928 m)
07.02.06 Restday. Tom and Jeffrey carry food and fuel to camp two.
08.02.06 Carry load up to camp two - down to camp one again.
09.02.06 Went up to camp two and established camp (5843 m)
10.02.06 Restday. Tom and Jeffrey move up to their camp 3.
11.02.06 Stefan got a really strong headage. Going down to base camp to consult doctor.
12.02.06 Restday in base camp. Stefan feeling better.
13.02.06 Moving from base camp to camp two in 8 hours. 1.65 kilometers climbed that day.
14.02.06 Restday in camp two.
15.02.06 Reach the summit, 6962 meters. Start-out at 4 AM. Reach the summit at 2 PM. 3 hours for going down to camp two again. 13 hours in total.
From camp two to base camp.
Base camp to Las Vacas. Stefan slide on the way down, hit a stone with his head and is unconscious for a couple of minuts.
Las Vacas to Penitentes. Walked some 10 hours that day with 30 kg's backpacks. This day was harder than summitday!
Penitentes to Mendoza by public bus.
Mendoza where most time was spend on restaurants and cafés
Flying back to Denmark. Took some 33 hours including 2 x 7 hours stays in airports :(