Dispatches - Aconcagua #1 2022

December 15, 2022

Join us for the first of our southern summer expeditions to climb South America's highest peak, Aconcagua (6,962m/22,840ft).

The Adventure Consultants Aconcagua Expedition #1 runs from November 29 to December 17, 2022. The team includes:

Aconcagua #1 Guiding Team
Expedition Leader: Ang Dorjee Sherpa - USA/Nepal
Guide: Popi Spagnuoli - Argentina
Guide: Sergio Gomez - Argentina

Team Members:
Paul Askey - New Zealand
Kyle Bennett - Australia
Michael Bennett - Australia
Felice Burrows - Australia
Dayne Goodwin - New Zealand
Paul Hersey - New Zealand
Shelley Hersey - New Zealand
Tammy Mitchell - Australia
Lacy Shelby - USA
Jody Watkins - USA
Matthew Watkins - USA
Sam Willis - Australia

29 November 2022

Aconcagua Expedition Meets in Mendoza

29 11 BriefingWith much excitement our team has converged in the South American city of Mendoza. Team members have been arriving over the last couple of days, each being met first for an equipment check, ensuring they each have the right equipment and clothing for the mountain. Today, after final gear checks were out the way the team met for an expedition briefing. An important part of any expedition where the team have an opportunity to meet each other, their guides and learn more about how the expedition will operate over the coming days.

29 11 Welcome Dinner Mendoza AD

 


After the briefing the team headed out to one of the many restaurants that line the streets of Mendoza and an excellent meal was enjoyed by all. Everyone is in good spirits, has arrived healthy and ready to start the expedition in earnest tomorrow! We look forward to sharing our journey with you! Ang Dorjee for the Aconcagua #1 Expedition.

28 11 Gear checksPhotos: (Top L) Team briefing, (R) Welcome Dinner and (L) Gear Checks by Ang Dorjee Sherpa.

 

30 November 2022

Expedition Underway!

30 11 Leaving MendozaIt was a leisurely start in Mendoza this morning. With breakfast eaten and bags packed, team members were rearing to get underway; and before long we were on the road. It's a short 3-4 hour drive through the foothills of the Andes to tonight's camp at Puente del Inca. We stopped enroute in the town of Uspallata for a delicious lunch, and to stretch our legs before continuing onwards.

30 11 Puente del IncaOur camp is located near Puente del Inca (2,740m/8,990ft), not far from the base of Aconcagua. The area is famous for a natural arched rock bridge (Puente del Inca translates to Bridge of the Inca), formed by minerals in the water and home to a natural hot spring. The team are camping in spacious dome tents and will enjoy two nights camped here while they begin to acclimatise. The newly established camp features comfortable sleeping tents along with communal lounge and dining tents (pictured). Everyone is happy and healthy and excited that the expedition is now underway! Ang Dorjee for the Aconcagua Expedition Team.

Photos: (L) The team ready to hit the road to Puente del Inca, (R) Puente del Inca, (Below) The team enjoying lunch and the food looks good!, Tents at our Puente del Inca Camp by Ang Dorjee Sherpa.

30 11 Team having lunch Upsallata30 11 Lunch Upsallata

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 11 Tents Puente del Inca30 11 Sleeping tents Puente del Inca

1 December 2022

Acclimatising in Puente del Inca

1 12 View hike to 3400m Popi SpagnuoliThe team rose this morning after a comfortable night in their camp and headed out on an acclimatisation hike. Ang Dorjee set the pace for the group, it's important when acclimatising that you give your body time to adjust, and taking a slow but steady pace when first climbing to a new height is crucial to that. With regular stops enroute to remain hydrated and soak in the views, the team all climbed to 3,400m. After some time to take photos they descended back to camp for an afternoon resting and relaxing. Tomorrow, the trek to Aconcagua Base Camp (Plaza Argentina) begins! Ang Dorjee and Popi for the Aconcagua #1 Team.

Photos: A selection of pictures from today's acclimatisation hike by Popi Spagnuoli and Ang Dorjee Sherpa and the Puente del Inca Camp by Popi Spagnuoli.

1 12 At 3400m above Puente Popi Spagnuoli

1 12 At 3400m above Puente 2 Popi Spagnuoli1 12 At 3400m above Puente 3 Popi Spagnuoli1 12 Team acclimatisation Popi Spagnuoli

1 12 Puente Camp from above Popi Spagnuoli

 

  

 

1 12 Team hike to 3400m1 12 Team at Puente del Inca1 12 Puente Sleep interior Popi Spagnuoli1 12 Puente Lounge Popi Spagnuoli

2 December 2022

Punta de Vacas

2 12 Punta de Vacas TeamWith much enthusiasm the team began the three day trek today to their base camp at Plaza Argentina. Departing from Punta de Vacas, the trek takes the team through the dry, arid landscape of the Vacas Valley, before gradually climbing up onto the lower slopes of Aconcagua. Today the team trek from the road end at Punta de Vacas to Pampa de Leñas (2,950m) where they camped for the night and enjoyed a traditional Argentinian BBQ cooked by our Arrieros (muleteers), the food was amazing!

Photos: The team at Punta de Vacas and (Below) on the trail by Popi Spagnoli.

4 12 Trek to Plaza Argentina 11 PS2 12 Traditional BBQ

 

 

 

 

 


2 12 BBQ Prep2 12 Pampa de Lenas dinner

4 December 2022

Plaza Argentina

4 12 Popi and AD taking team shot PSWe had brilliant views of Aconcagua in the distance as we approached Casa de Piedra (3,250m) last night, which of course meant we must stop for an obligatory photo! Today we left camp early, crossing the river, Rio de las Vacas, which we have been trekking alongside for the last two days and heading up the smaller tributary Arroyo Relincho. Here the terrain changes as the valley narrows and the trail becomes steeper.

After 6 hours of trekking we arrived at Plaza Argentina, it's been a brilliant three days of trekking, we've gained around 1,200m in height and trekked around 38km. The team is all healthy and happy, and looking forward to a day of rest here at base camp tomorrow, along with a hot shower! Ang Dorjee for the Aconcagua #1 Team.

Photos: (L) The team near Casa de Piedra with Aconcagua in the distance, (Below) A selection of images from the trek and Casa de Piedra Camp by Ang Dorjee Sherpa and Popi Spagnuoli.

 
4 12 Trek to Plaza Argentina 10 PS4 12 Trek to Plaza Argentina 13 PS4 12 Trek to Plaza Argentina 8 PS4 12 Trek to Plaza Argentina 6 PS

 

 

 


4 12 Casa de Piedra PS4 12 Casa de piedra Camp PS 

4 12 Trek to Plaza Argentina 4 AD4 12 Trek to Plaza Argentina 3 AD

 

 

 

 

 


4 12 Trek to Plaza Argentina 9 PS4 12 Camping enroute to Plaza Argentina Popi and Ang Dorjee PS

 

 

 

 

 


4 12 Dining PS4 12 Dining Plaza Argentina AD

5 December 2022

Resting at Plaza Argentina

5 12 Foxy loxyThe team is enjoying resting at Plaza Argentina today. We are at 4,200m, and it's an ideal height to spend a couple of nights letting our bodies adjust to the altitude before climbing higher. 

We have sorted our food for the mountain and tomorrow we plan to climb to Camp One and then descend back here. For now, we continue to rest and enjoy our surroundings, including watching some of the local wildlife as they come in close to the camp looking for food! Ang Dorjee for the Aconcagua #1 Team.

Photos: (L and Below R) Wildlife around Plaza Argentina and (Below L) The yellow dome tents are our camp by Ang Dorjee Sherpa.

5 12 Yellow domes AC Camp Plaza Argentina AD5 12 Deer near Plaza Argentina

6 December 2022

Carry to Camp 1

6 12 Penitentes ADWaking early for our carry to Camp 1 today rewarded us with a stunning sunrise over base camp and surrounding mountains. Another beautiful day has dawned - we've been really lucky so far with the weather, long may it last!

6 12 Team leaving for C1 ADThe climb to Camp 1 is always tough the first time as we slowly plodded our way up to 4,950m, just shy of the 5,000m mark. The climb takes us up the slopes above base camp, through the spectacular fields of penitenties, unique formations of snow and ice (pictured left).

Everyone on the team managed the climb well, carrying reasonably heavy loads through to our equipment cache at the camp. It's a significant milestone in our journey and marks the start of the climb in earnest. We're all back at base camp now, happily ensconced with cups of tea, resting and readying ourselves for the next stage of the climb when we return to Camp 1 for the night. Ang Dorjee for the Aconcagua #1 Team.

Photos: (L) Climbing through the unique penitentes field, (R) Team #1 ready to set out to Camp 1 by Ang Dorjee Sherpa and (Below) Sunrise at Plaza Argentina by Popi Spagnuoli.

6 12 Plaza Argentina sunrise PS6 12 Plaza Argentina sunrise 4 PS6 12 Plaza Argentina sunrise 3 PS

10 December 2022

Climb to Camp 2

12 1 Camp 1 to Camp 2 JB ChandesrisYesterday the team completed a carry to Camp 2, a climb that took them up some 600 vertical metres of well packed scree slope to the camp at Ameghino Col (5,500m). The weather remains fine, with a little wind and the team coped well with the 4 hour climb, all returning to Camp 1 in good shape.

Today we climbed to Camp 2 again, this time for the night. Tomorrow we plan to rest here as our acclimatisation continues. Ang Dorjee for the Aconcagua Team.

Photo: The climb between Camps 1 and 2 by JB Chandesris AC Archive

11 December 2022

Resting at Camp 2

12 1 Camp 2 JB ChandesrisToday the team are resting at Camp 2, with crystal clear weather and a light wind. The guides are doing lots of cooking as the team refuel and rehydrate in preparation for tomorrows climb to Camp 3. The team all spent time today, fitting crampons, with some of the team taking a short hike.

Preparations are being put in place for an anticipated summit day on the 13th December. Ang Dorjee for the Aconcagua Team!

Photo: Camp 2 by JB Chandesris AC Archive

12 December 2022

Summit Push is On!

12 12 C3

12 12 Team heading to C3 2 ADToday the team had a relatively 'easy' climb from Camp 2 to Camp 3, also known as Camp Colera. The team employed the luxury of porter support to the camp which helps reduce their loads, easing both the difficulty of the climb and aiding in the preservation of energy for tomorrows summit push. They were also helped with the weather today which produced little wind.

12 12 Team heading to C3 3 AD

 

 


The team are all settled now, have spent time melting snow and preparing a hot drinks and the guides are now busy preparing a pasta dinner for the group. It's summit day tomorrow, and today's light winds bode well. They group will head off around 3.30am or 4am if the winds are light, or maybe a bit later if it is windy, to see if it drops off a bit. Ang Dorjee for the Aconcagua #1 Team.

Photos: (Top) Camp Colera, (L) Climbing to Camp Colera under a cloudless sky and (R) Climbing through rocky terrain on the approach to Camp Colera by Ang Dorjee Sherpa.

13 December 2022

Summit Success!

Earlier today Ang Dorjee called via satellite phone from the summit of Aconcagua! Congratulations to the team members that stoically climbed through cold winds that made for a challenging climb and reached the summit alongside Ang Dorjee. All of the team are now safely back at Camp 3. 

We look forward to hearing more from the team, and seeing some summit photos once they descend to Plaza de Mulas. AC Office for the Aconcagua Team.

14 December 2022

Descent to Plaza de Mulas and Summit Photos!

13 12 On the summit AD

Today the team made the knee-cracking descent to Plaza de Mulas following their successful ascent of South America's highest peak, Aconcagua. In doing so they are well on their way to completing the 360 route, as Plaza de Mulas is located on the western side of the mountain in the Horcones Valley. Tomorrow their descent will continue as they make their way alongside the Quebrada de los Horcones to Punta del Inca where their adventure began. Once again, well done to all those who summited! AC Office for Ang Dorjee Sherpa.

Photos: (Top) The team on the summit of Aconcagua, (Below L) Taking a moment on the summit to rest and enjoy the view and (R) Descending to Plaza de Mulas Base Camp.

13 12 Resting on summit AD14 12 Descending to Plaza de Mulas AD

15 December 2022

Full Circle

15 12 Plaza de Mulas ADToday marks the completion of our 360 degree route of South America's highest peak, Aconcagua. Our last day of trekking is complete, as we return to Mendoza. We rose early as its a long day, leaving Plaza de Mulas before the sun had hit the tents. The day once again dawned with clear skies and we're thankful to have experienced unprecedented fine weather for this time of year, which is often renowned for tough, stormy conditions.

Under the clear blue sky we hiked through the arid Horcones valley back to Punta del Inca where our adventure began. Passing by, we pushed on to Mendoza with the comfort of hot showers, proper beds and a cold beer forefront in our minds. Ang Dorjee for the Aconcagua Team #1!

Photos: (L) Early morning at Plaza de Mulas, (Below) Hiking out the Horcones Valley by Ang Dorjee Sherpa.

15 12 Hiking Horcones Valley 2 AD15 12 Horcones Valley AD

Intro Photo

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