icons/avalancheicons/bootscompassfacebookicons/gloveshandsicons/hearticons/helmeticons/ice axeinstagramminusmountainicons/pathsMap Pinplusicons/questionicons/guideicons/ropeicons/gogglesicons/stafftenttwitteryoutube
Mountain Madness Climber

Final Aconcagua Team Takes Off!

Cer­ro Aconcagua, the high­est sum­mit of South Amer­i­ca stand­ing on Argenti­na’s bor­der at 22,841 feet / 6962 meters, is noto­ri­ous for high winds, cold tem­per­a­tures and gen­er­al­ly trech­er­ous con­di­tions. Last sea­son was arguably one of the most dif­fi­cult sea­son in the his­to­ry of the moun­tain for those trech­er­ous con­di­tions, caus­ing many groups to turn around with­out hav­ing reached the sum­mit. This sea­son, our teams took to the moun­tain with high hopes of greater suc­cess. Our Jan­u­ary Nor­mal Route team unfor­tu­nate­ly encoun­tered some of those high winds, but con­grat­u­la­tions are in order to the team for push­ing as far as only a cou­ple hun­dred meters short of the sum­mit before turn­ing around. Our final team of the sea­son has begun their expe­di­tion, and MM Guide Gas­par Navar­rete checked in:

Final day on the approach to base camp. MM Collection

We start­ed off the expe­di­tion in Pen­i­tentes, where we made final prepa­ra­tions for the climb. This trip, Moun­tain Mad­ness is going to climb by the Pol­ish Tra­verse route. The mem­bers of the team are: Atul and Der­rick from the US, Daniel from Cana­da and myself, from Ecuador, as the lead guide.

The team hang­ing out in the mess tent. Gas­par Navar­rete photo

We just fin­ished the long day of prepa­ra­tions after get­ting per­mits at the park office back in Men­doza, fin­ished pack­ing in the city, and after that, the three and a half dri­ve to Pen­i­tentes, but not before stop­ping at Uspal­la­ta for a great Argen­tin­ian lunch. Once we arrived, we start­ed reor­ga­niz­ing all our climb­ing gear for the mules to car­ry it the next morn­ing and for the next three days until we arrive at Base Camp.

Plaza Argenti­na / Base Camp. MM Collection

It will be three days of hik­ing with new expe­ri­ences, beau­ti­ful land­scapes, and prepar­ing men­tal­ly. All our expec­ta­tions will prob­a­bly be a bit dif­fer­ent from what we are about to expe­ri­ence, but we are liv­ing our dream and will have to accept it as it comes. Hope­ful­ly, if weath­er and con­di­tions per­mit, we will com­plete this climb­ing expe­ri­ence all togeth­er on the sum­mit of Aconcagua with a big smile on our faces. If a sum­mit is not pos­si­ble, we will still have that sat­is­fied feel­ing of hav­ing tried to reach a goal. But now we just want to think what is com­ing ahead and we all do not try to wor­ry much about the rest.

~ MM Guide Gas­par Navarrete

Pen­i­tentes above base camp. MM Collection