THe team reached the top! Congratulations to all of them. I will leave the chronicle to the writer and member of the team Stephen McGhee, posted today in his blog.
I heard the stoves fire up at 4:24 AM. My tent mate Jeff and I immediately began putting on our layers for our summit push.
After a miserable rest day with freezing temperatures and 75 mile per hour winds, we were all interested in what we would find as we stuck our heads out of our tents. It was cold and calm which is typical for July in Argentina at least at 19,200 feet.
After slamming pound cakes for quick energy and making sure we each had with 2 liters of water we all met Dennis Carruth at the trailhead. Our dear friend Dennis had decided the night before to call it summit at high camp. He is one of the most tenacious and loving men I know. One of his biggest reasons for making this decision was the intense altitude headaches he has been enduring. We all hugged our beloved Dennis as he headed back for base camp. We hugged him with great respect for his choice and headed up the mountain.
It was 6:30 AM and I could tell our guide Mike was more intentional than ever about this day. Our goal at this point was to put the 5 remaining team members on the summit of Aconcagua. Sunrise at 19,000 feet is spectacular and the climb to 22,834 feet would be intense. The snow covered mountains and colors had all of us in awe. This mountain is a serious feat and you cannot believe the vertical and wind on certain sections and traverses. And we had perfect weather.
You would not believe the emotional and mental toughness displayed on this day by all 5 of us. There were many times where finding another step just seemed impossible and as you know, what seems impossible is not.
Today, Mike and Rollo, our guides put 5 members of the Aconcagua Man Team on the summit of Aconcagua, an emotional and exhausting endeavor and each of us is better for it. The typical summit success rate for Aconcagua is roughly 30 percent for all groups that attempt it. Today this team shattered that statistic.
Tonight we have Ramen noodles and descend with our gear to base camp tomorrow on the other side of the mountain. Stay tuned and thank you for your prayers. We felt them all day long.