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Peru with Mountain Madness

Aconcagua Team To Camp 3 (Cholera Camp)

Even at rough­ly 18,000 feet on the North­west side of Aconcagua, humor is in abun­dance among the team­mates at Camp 2. Yes­ter­day, Tino called in with a quick update before every­one went to sleep at Camp 2. Below, we hear from the climbers after today’s car­ry to Camp 3.

We got into Camp 2, Nido de Con­dores, today and every­body’s doing well. The weath­er seems to be work­ing in our favor. We all ate and are get­ting ready for bed because it’s real­ly quite cold. If things go well, we should be sum­mit­ing on Fri­day and back to Base Camp on Sat­ur­day. The fore­cast shows a good clear weath­er win­dow on Fri­day. Today was super nice too, we could’ve been sun­bathing but instead we were haul­ing heavy loads to Camp 2. We’ll call again tomor­row with more of an update. Good­night for now!”

~ MM Guide Tino Villanueva

The team’s progress to Camp 3

Today the team reached Camp 3 with a car­ry and are back in Camp 2 for the night. Every­one is in great spir­its and enjoy­ing each oth­er’s com­pa­ny. We got to speak to most of them on the satel­lite phone to hear their updates first hand. Although slight­ly out of breath, every­one is laugh­ing and excit­ed for the upcom­ing sum­mit push!

Geoff B. (Reigate, Eng­land) offers his humor­ous ver­sion of the last cou­ple days’ events:

(Tino intro­duced him by say­ing Don’t believe too much of any­thing this guy has to say”)

Despite the three hand­some, per­fect, Eng­lish-speak­ing guides want­i­ng to quit after the worst weath­er (quite the con­trary), the one lady and five male clients insist­ed on push­ing on to Cholera Camp (despite its rather for­bod­ing name.) Indeed, the only thing like­ly to make them quit was if one of the clients per­sist­ed with a bar­rage of bad jokes and even worse clothes choice (pic­tures to arrive lat­er). I mean, who wears a Hawai­ian shirt on the mountain?

Cholera camp was reached at 3:40 pm. We did­n’t try the water, lest we caught the dis­ease after which the camp was named. A rapid descent fol­lowed… so that we can do exact­ly the same route up tomor­row! As they said about the First World War, It will all be over by Christ­mas!”… but which one? To mis­quote Cap­tain Oates, we are going now, we may be some­time.” — Team Aconcagua, Dec. 2011

P.S. Most of the above is not serious.

P.P.S. Make sure that when we get back, you have a huge Argen­tin­ian steak wait­ing and/​or a live mule.” (at this last com­ment, laugh­ter broke out in the back­ground among Geof­f’s fel­low climbers)

Todd N. (Wash­ing­ton D.C.) says to Angela, Anna, Lid­dy and TR:

I am hav­ing a great time and look­ing for­ward to try­ing to sum­mit on Fri­day. I miss you all very much and look for­ward to see­ing you next week. I will try to Skype you on Sun­day. I hope you’re being good for mom­my and Sabi­na, because San­ta Claus is watch­ing. Love you very much, Daddy”

Steve B. (Palmer, AK) says to Eva, Ellie, Buster and Vixen: 

Hap­py Hanukkah! Save a latke for me. Hav­ing an awe­some time but miss­ing you! — Steve”

Car­ole C. (Mon­tréal, Cana­da) says:

I have been rais­ing funds for breast can­cer for over 15 years. I was ready to take it to high­er heights. Going up Aconcagua is a great adven­ture and prob­a­bly the most chal­leng­ing of my life. The group is get­ting along well and tak­ing care of me, the only woman of the trip. The orga­ni­za­tion is great and the land­scape is sim­ply amaz­ing. Look­ing for­ward to tell you of this incred­i­ble journey!”

Joshua and Seab­s­t­ian say hola, que tal!” So far, Tino has learned from them that the Ecuado­ri­an guides are the best look­ing and have the best Eng­lish.” Accord­ing to them, their Eng­lish is even bet­ter than Tino’s native Amer­i­can Eng­lish. Hmmm…

Wish them all good luck and con­tin­ued great spir­its as they close in on their sum­mit day! Pro­ject­ed sum­mit attempt: Friday!

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