David Cole
Mountaineer  |  Everest Summiteer  |  Adventurer
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Welcome to my South America Expedition photo gallery (Dec 2011)   6,962m Aconcagua

Final packing in the early hours of the morning in Mendoza, Argentina.

Scenery on the way to Aconcagua.

Do we look excited?

The trailhead of Parque Aconcagua. From here, we have a 3 day / 45 km trek to base camp.

For 2 days we walked along this glacial river.

1st night's stop at Pampa de Lenas camp. "Check in"...."and where would the concierge be?"

Mules carrying loads all the way up to base camp.

Loading the mules. Each mule can carry up to 60kg.

Starting out on the 2nd day....

Day 2 we hiked 15km to get to the next camp.

A little R&R on the way....

It's colder than it looks.....

James on a mission!

James still on that same mission!

"I think we might be in Argentina!"

2nd night stop at Casa de Piedra camp.

Who needs red bull to kick start the day?.....try an icy cold river crossing!

On the final approach to base camp we hiked 15km and gained a 1,000m of elevation.

First glimpse of the entire east side of Aconcagua and the polish glacier.

Argentinean cowboys on returning from a load carry to base camp.

Hopefully this mountain will be the final 7th Summit!

"What is there not to love about this place?"

Almost at Plaza Argentina base camp.....

Base camp at 4,000m - home sweet home for a few days.

Enjoying a bevo....we love scheduled rest/acclimatization days!

Park services on the job!

These pilots were often flying extremely close to the mountain to gain much needed lift in the thin air.

Load carrying up to Camp 1 at 5,000m. Polish glacier seen high above.

Views of the upper mountain & the polish glacier towering 3,000m above.

James doing the long, hard slog up to Camp 1.

Rocky outcrops tower above our tent at Camp 1 (5,000m)

Camp 1.....great views, clear skies, but temperatures plummet on sunset.

Views of the full moon from camp.

James climbing a steep slope on the way to Camp 2 at 6,000m

A hard day getting to Camp 2....

High in the clouds.....Camp 2 established at 6,000m.

Having a reflective moment?

Camp 2 - killing time, watching water boil!

View of the polish glacier route (1,000m elevation gain) from Camp 2

We planned to climb this glacier, but aborted due to poor snow conditions.

A close up of (what's underneath) the lower polish glacier....humbling!

Ice crystals growing on my sunnies! Typical night temperatures in the tent were -15~-20C

On the summit taking the views in.

Thumbs up! This makes the 7th summit!

Summited 6,962m Aconcagua at 1pm on the 19th December 2011

A climber nearing the summit....dwarfed by the knife edge ridgeline in the background.

Sweet success....reaching the summit of Aconcagua and completing the Seven Summit Quest!

Storm clouds seen quickly forming here, shortly after leaving the summit.

Just 1 hour after enjoying perfect conditions on the summit, a storm moved in.

James & others seen descending here in strong winds and deteriorating conditions.

The following day, the storm unleashed it's full fury on the upper mountain.

Ahhhh...civilization! Base camp at Plaza de Mulas.

We stayed here for a night before hiking the 30km out to the park trailhead.

Give way to overtaking traffic!

Taking in the mountain vistas.

Looking back up the valley to the south face of Aconcagua.

"Don't molester the ducks"....or the little bird on the sign post for that matter!

1 Goal  -  12 Years  -  7 Summits !

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David Cole @ Copyright 2011