With a truly international team of five climbers and two guides, we launched our first Aconcagua expedition of the 2010-2011 season yesterday!
The US, Norway, Ireland, Australia and Argentina are the nationalities represented in the team. Guides Mike Bradley (Colorado, US) and Rolo Abaca (Mendoza, Argentina), are in charge of this first trip, via the Ameghino Route.
They had a day to relax in Mendoza, where the climbers enjoyed the local Hyatt and dinner at a fine steak restaurant, did their gear check, got the climbing permit and participated in the group meeting. (See picture).
Then the team rode the three hours into the Andes to get to Penitentes, the small ski resort from where we begin the hike in to base camp. There they met the gentle and sophisticated creatures called mules (kidding, they are mean, tough, wild and stubborn animals), spent one night to gradually acclimatize to altitude, and finally began the hike in today.
They are going to be at base camp Plaza Argentina by Wednesday, if everything goes ok. I will be reporting their progress from the office in Mendoza, every two or three days (or every time I get sat phone calls from Mike).
More news from the mountain coming soon...