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Aconcagua Team Turned Around 200ft From Summit!

So close.….. Our per­sis­tent, strong team got so close to the sum­mit today, just to be turned around by moun­tain author­i­ties! Joshua checked in from Base Camp of Aconcagua after two very long days on the moun­tain. His email con­veyed the hard work, patience and dis­ap­point­ment of the team, and the ulti­mate sat­is­fac­tion that 200 feet from the true sum­mit is still an incred­i­ble accomplishment! 

Alex and Dawn tak­ing a break. Joshua Jar­rin photo

I am glad to inform that we are back in Base Camp after two very long days. At the same time, I want to say con­grat­u­la­tions to Dawn and Alex for their great effort. Yes­ter­day, we lucked out with 24 hours of great weath­er. The wind slowed down and we had our chnace. Due to the spe­cial con­di­tions of this expe­di­tion and our strange weath­er con­di­tions, our only option to attemp the sum­mit was from Camp 2. How­ev­er, both climbers are strong and we all agreed that we want­ed to go for it!

Rest­ing at Inde­pen­den­cia Camp. Joshua Jar­rin photo

We start­ed walk­ing yes­ter­day at 6am (weird time I know — but before that we still had strong winds and I did­n’t want to expose my team to frost­bite, which had hap­pened on oth­er teams that had start­ed before us.) I told the clients that a long day was await­ing us — we were look­ing at an 11 hour ascent.

When we had walked 10 hours, we were 20 min­utes away from the sum­mit and every­thing was look­ing good. At that moment, three rangers were com­ing down from the sum­mit and ordered us to turn around. I tried to explain to them that I was aware that it was a late sum­mit but that we were ful­ly informed of the weath­er fore­cast and that we were plan­ning to take a direct route back down. On top of that, we were ahead of sched­ule. Our team was a bit tired (as is expect­ed being so close to the sum­mit!) but noth­ing out of a nor­mal ascent, and actu­al­ly, they were doing great! The ranger’s argu­ment was that I had my clients roped up, and some­one who need­ed to be roped up is not in good enough con­di­tion to go to the sum­mit. (I have always roped up clients close to the sum­mit just to put every­one at ease for an addi­tion­al safe­ty mea­sure). In the end, the ranger’s clos­ing argu­ment was maybe you are right, but we are the park rangers here…”

Alex near­ing the sum­mit. Joshua Jar­rin photo

Ouch! Sad­ly, we had to fol­low their orders and turn around. I want to say thank you again to Dawn and Alex who under­stood that we made it to the top, but just did­n’t take the clas­sic pic­ture” due to cir­cum­stances out of our con­trol. We are all relax­ing in our tents and prepar­ing for the hike out tomor­row, hap­py and content.”

Well, in the end every­one was doing their job to the best of their abil­i­ty and an offi­cial sum­mit was just not in the cards for our team this time. We are look­ing for­ward to our upcom­ing Aconcagua expe­di­tions and are wish­ing improved weath­er con­di­tions for the teams to come!