Post #116: Summitting Aconcagua
6969m/22,841’ Tuesday February 18 2014.
This has been the first expedition in the past few years
that I have not been able to update my blog regularly. Also, my SPOT Beacon’s batteries froze up
because it was such a cold start to our summit day this past Tuesday. My apologies nonetheless, but it just goes to
show you that you can’t always rely on technology in the mountains, even in
this day and age. Rest assured, I will
try to continue to provide updates and coverage on my future expeditions and
ski projects, just like I always have.
Today, Wednesday February 12th, is a rest day. We arrived in basecamp at Plaza de Argentina at 4200m yesterday following three days of trekking in. It is very hot and warm, even up here at basecamp... very much a Mars-like landscape with reddish rocks and purples and maroons etc. It is dry and the wind will be the biggest concern for climbing, though today is dead calm and t-shirt weather. We have barely seen a cloud in 5 days!
It's frustrating that the technology is poor here to send out posts or photos.
The Mission 14 Team is off and running! Finally leaving for Aconcagua after waiting on baggage sent to the wrong destinations by the airlines.
Here's the current schedule:
Today, Saturday 8th: Nick's gear arrived!... We depart for Los Penitentes, a ski resort outside of Mendoza... We will overnight there.
Tomorrow, Sunday 9th: hike from Punta De Vacas through the high desert step North to Pampas De Lena's at 2800m 9500' and spend the night.
My bags arrived with me on my plane when I got here to Mendoza two
days ago. This is my 5th consecutive expedition without any
major problems, so my luck has been quite good. Unfortunately Nick and his wife Sandi arrived late on Feb. 4th and have no bags! And, what's amazing is that they have
called American Airlines and LAN 5 times in the past two days and have
been told several different stories.
Why is it that the airlines didn't put their bags on the plane
when they left JFK in New York, and now they have been told that one bag
is in Miami, one in Sao Paulo, and one in Buenos Aires?
It's summer down here in
Argentina... hot, dry, and pleasant! Especially when you consider I left Denver
yesterday morning when it was a balmy 10 degrees.
It's 6:30 pm and I checked into my hotel in Mendoza, a city of about 500,000+
people just east of the Andes. It's kind of like being in Denver... You can see
the mountains from here at the same distance, except they are much higher. At my hotel,
my altimeter shows 3100' above sea level, but I don't know for sure if that's
Post #111 – Headed
South for some Summer – Aconcagua PreviewFeb 3. 2014
Climbing a mountain and travelling to a place on another
continent is always exciting. But what
makes it much easier is that I get to do this mountain for a second time, so
the traveling will seem more relaxing.
I’m en route to Dallas then Santiago Chile, then Mendoza Argentina. Follow me along for the ride and maybe just
maybe in a couple of weeks I will be standing on the Summit of Cerro Aconcagua
at 22,841’/6969m for a second time much like I did in 2010.
Post #110 – Snow Cat Skiing, Princeton (14,197'), and
Aconcagua Expedition PreviewFeb
Go Broncos! Lets hope the United in Orange pull off a big
Super Bowl win! Meanwhile, January was a
great month, full of great projects, trips and skiing.
I started the month down south at Wolf Creek Ski Area
shooting a story for Explore Colorado.
Felt very blessed to get a chance to snow cat ski with the Pitcher
family, the owners of the resort. It's a
bummer the snow conditions were less than normal, but we had tons of fun
Post #109: Skiing Powderlicious Conditions and Avalanche Dangers, Oh My!
January has brought plentiful snow to the Central Mountains of Colorado.
Here in Vail we have been spoiled. I have taken advantage of the powder conditions at Vail, but I have also been fortunate to head out of bounds on a few high peaks over the past month and have gone to Vail Pass to ski powder on a few locations. All this training and climbing at altitude and in the cold conditions will prepare me for my return to Aconcagua next month and the Himalayas this Spring!
Post #108: Castle Peak 14,265' Climb and Ski Descent Dec 27, 2013
It was a bluebird flawless Colorado day. You only get about one or two of these days that have almost no wind in the winter in Colorado above 4000m. I ventured up to the top of one of Colorado's Highest Summits for a Classic Winter Ascent of the Northeast ridge of Castle Peak, Highest in the Elk Range, my favorite Mountain Range in the United States.
My good friend Anne Migl joined me and wanted to ski off a Colorado 14er, so I offered to carry her skis and boots up the peak for some good training.
Merry Christmas and
Happy Holidays from the High Peaks......After Christmas Gift Ideas!
SKI DESCENT OF HARVARD, 14,421'
We are closing out 2013 and I look back on a year that has
been such an awesome ride. In addition
to climbing and skiing in Pakistan, I was able to get out to California to the
Sierras on three different trips in order to work on my sequel to Sleeping on
the Summits. There is still work to be
done, but that’s climbing for you….there will always be more mountains to