Friday, 15 January 2010

Aconcagua Base Camp, 4200m

After three fantastic days of trekking through the Rio Vacas, we’ve finally arrived at Plaza Argentina, Aconcagua Base Camp! As we arrived, we witnessed a fairly pale looking Dutch climber, strapped to an oxygen tank, being casevaced back to Mendoza with a suspected pulmonary oedema. Since we have been here, a further five climbers have suffered the same fate. A constant reminder to us all that this is no walk in the park.

There’s nothing luxurious about base camp but it offers everything we need to start to seriously prepare for our summit attempt. A good tent spot, clean [possibly?!]running water and even a bit of solar powered internet access!! Showers cost $20 a pop but are free if you take a five minute walk down to the nearest ice-lined stream..... obviously we invested in the latter - there’s nothing like a good bit of glacial melt to wake you up in the morning!

The team has all stuck well together so far and we’ve met some incredible guys. Just to name and shame two:-
Tony Hodson has already raised upwards of £11,000 for Help for Heroes [ please check out his website ] he’s a fantastic guy and the work he has done and is doing for H4H is incredible.

Jantoon Reigersman will be joining us on Everest in three months time and with a successful summit he shall set a new world record for the largest ascent having already deep sea dived down to 152m [ a European record in itself!]. Next month he plans to cycle from sea-level to base camp where he will meet up with us before tackling Everest, no doubt with his beautiful blonde wavy hair looking as pristine as ever! For more info check out his website at it really is an incredible story!

Over the next couple of days we’ll complete a series of carries and ascents to the mountain camps. The idea is to climb high but sleep low to aid acclimatisation and maximise our chances of reaching the summit. We’re all coping fine with the altitude so far but we’ve had other things to deal with.....Jarv takes photos of everything, YES EVERYTHING!! And Pete found out last night that Matt’s bladder holds more urine than could fit in the 500ml pee-bottle that he was attempting to fill [sorry Pete!]. Andy is suffering a little with the altitude, but to be fair, he is a good 8ft taller than all of us anyway so its hardly a level playing field!

We’ll be back in touch as soon as we get the chance!


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