Archive for January, 2009

Aconcagua – Climbing Itinerary

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

So as I hinted at in my last blog post, I will head down to Argentina to climb Aconcagua. I leave tomorrow morning, and hopefully will be back in one piece at the end of the month. In case you want to know what I will be up to, you can check out this link (look for “Aconcagua January 2009″, should be a link once our trip starts in a few days), which should lead you to any updates we manage to send out about our trip. Also, I am posting below the proposed itinerary so that you get an idea for what it takes to get up and down this thing. See you all back in Feb!

Update: We successfully made it to the top and back! Will post more info later!

Jan 5: Arrive in Mendoza. Our staff will meet you at the airport and transport you to your hotel;

Jan 6: Sort Gear and visit the Permit Office in Mendoza, private transport to Pentitentes (2720 metres/8,900 feet) sleep in hotel;

Jan 7: Drive to Punta de Vacas. Walk 8 kilometers/5 miles, to Las Lenas (2,700 metres/8,800 feet). Easy trail walking; mules carry baggage. Camping;

Jan 8: Walk 18 kilometers/11 miles, to Casa de Piedra (3,200 metres/10,500 feet). Easy trail walking; mules carry baggage. Camping;

Jan 9: Walk 15 kilometers/9 miles, to basecamp, “Plaza Argentina” (4,200 metres/13,800 feet). Trail walking; mules carry baggage. Camping;

Jan 10: Rest in basecamp;

Jan 11: Carry loads for acclimatization safety to Camp 1 (5,000 metres/16,400 feet). Walking on scree and through melted ice mixed with rocks. 4-6 hour hike. Return to basecamp;

Jan 12: Rest day in basecamp;

Jan 13: Return to Camp 1, spend the night there;

Jan 14: Carry loads for acclimatization safety to Camp 2 (5,900 metres/19,400 feet). Walking on scree and through melted ice mixed with rocks. 6-7 hour hike. Return to Camp;

Jan 15: Return to Camp 2, spend the night there;

Jan 16: Rest in Camp 2; prepare for summit attempt;

Jan 17: Climb Traverse to connect with normal route at Independencia to Summit (6,962 metres/22,835 feet). Descend via upper Normal Route and traverse back to our Camp 2;

Jan 18, 19, 20: Extra days for further summit attempts, weather, and additional acclimatization;

Jan 21: Descend to Plaza Argentina;

Jan 22: Descend to Las Lenas camp, walking 33 km;

Jan 23: Return to Mendoza in transport and have celebration dinner, stay in hotel.

Jan 24: Depart Mendoza and head home.

An email and a Favour

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

As some of you may know and have read on this blog, earlier this year I went to climb a 6000m mountain in Bolivia’s Cordillera Real. The trip was organized by two gentlemen, one a Bolivian named Iván Berdeja, and one a German named Christian. I have been keeping in touch with Iván, as he’s got lots of climbing experience, and with the latest email I sent about going to attempt Aconcagua, I got this reply:

Dear Wiktor,

I have very bad news. Our friend Iván died on Oct. 17 at the Cordillera Quimsa Cruz during a hike with a group of Italians. There was a lot of fog and he went forward in search of a path (there is a part with no path), he slipped and fell 250m. I can not describe to you the sadness we feel here. Ivan was a very, very good person.

I very much regret having to write that. At the same time I wish you a good expedition to Aconcagua. Please, will you leave a note in memory of Ivan at the summit?

Luck and greetings,

So I’ll say that this was totally unexpected, and I don’t really want to write any more commentary about it. I will let the letter speak for itself. However, what I will do is take a picture of Iván to the top of Aconcagua and leave it there (if I make it up). May he rest in peace.

Ivan Berdeja