Aconcagua (Argentina)

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I climbed Aconcagua in January-February 2001 on the False Polish Route. I spent 17 days on the mountain, and summitted on the 14th day (February 2nd) at 11:15am on a perfect sunny windless day. I did the trip alone, though I met a number of other climbers along the way. Aconcagua is the highest mountain in both North and South America. For that reason alone, it attracts many climbers.

While at Base Camp, I did two carries to Camp 1. While at Camp 1, I did one carry to Camp 2. On the the 11th day I had planned to move up to Camp 2, but very strong winds forced me to set an intermediate camp (1+) at the col between Aconcagua and Ameghino (a 5883m summit). To divide the push to the summit from Camp 2 (about 1100m), I decided to bivvy at Independencia. Despite the elevation (6300m), I slept well. On the 14th day, I left Independencia at 7am and reached the summit (6959m) a little over 4 hours later. For 45 min I was alone at the top.

Begining of the hike toward Plaza de Argentina, long the Rio de las Vacas

First view of Aconcagua from Casa de Piedra

Approaching Plaza de Argentina

Base Camp at Plaza de Argentina

My tent is the rightmost one in the center (yellow).

On the trail to Camp 1

Fields of penitentes

Penitentes are ice formations caused by the combination of the sun, the cold, and the wind. They often are taller than 6 feet and can be quite difficult to traverse.

Camp 1

Between Camp 1 and Camp 2 (with climbers going down in the scree)

Camp 1+ and view of Ameghino

At Camp 2 with Brandon and Chris

View from Camp 2 (looking down)

The Polish Glacier

Traverse from Polish Glacier to Normal Route

View of the Normal Route from summit

View of South summit taken from the top (North summit)

Me at the summit