Meaningful Accomplishments on Aconcagua
Madness Guide Mark Pugliese writes to share he and his team’s experience on a difficult summit attempt on Aconcagua.
Team one of seven back in Mendoza and finally warm! This has been one of the coldest and windiest expeditions I have ever been on.
We battled through gale force winds and cold that was unlike anything I’ve seen in the mountains to date. I want to congratulate my team for a safe and enjoyable expedition, even if the summit was not reached.
It is often hard to look back on an expedition in which no summits were achieved as a success, but this one in particular is a perfect example of how summiting is not the only goal in the end. This group was one of the most closely knit and team-oriented groups I have ever had the pleasure of guiding. Their positive attitudes and persistence got them through days and days of horrible weather and demoralizing setbacks. I truly believe each member of this group will take away something from this expedition that will enrich their lives for countless years to come, and they should be proud to have earned that gift.
The team at our highest point (20,300 ft./6187m). Mark Pugliese photo
On the other side of the coin, I was able to grow as a person on this trip as well. This group of gentleman has so much diverse life experience from all over the world that as much as I was able to teach them about the mountains, they were able to teach me about life. Everything from retirement accounts to relationships, they spilled the wealth of their knowledge to me in those dark windy days high on the mountain, and that is something that will enrich my life for years to come.
As a final word, thank you boys for an incredible 20 days, and I hope to get the chance to climb with you again!
~MM Guide Mark Pugliese