Mendoza is just as nice as I remember from 2005. Families walking the streets, the warm winds blow along the tree lined streets and love is in the air! Yes the Latin culture is alive and well in Argentina!
I arrived around 10 PM on Friday night after a long journey from Colorado. My flight connections could have been better thus avoiding two 6 hour layovers in airports. But I arrived on schedule and with my bags so I am not complaining.
I met up with the team at the very nice Hotel Montanas Azules for breakfast. We have a 8 in total with quite the international flair: South Africa, France, Canada, Peru and Argentina. Oh and the tokens Yanks!
In addition to being a wine area, Mendoza is the gateway to the mountains of Argentina. It is a large city of over 150,000. All climbers must pass through here to get their climbing permits. They have moved the office from a log building in a park to a modern museum in central Mendoza since I was here in 2005. The process is simple - fill out the forms and pay your $334 permit fee (high season). The office was full of aspiring climbers but the process was smooth and friendly.
It is quite the change in climate from the cold snowy Colorado. Today is s around 90F with an equal amount of humidity! But we are leaving in a few minutes for Pententities and the start of our 3 day trek to Plaza Argentinas or Base Camp.
It is such a small world. I met with Brian Ostrike who climbed the north side of Everest basically with only his partner this last spring. He was climbing for Lungivity to raise money for lung cancer research. This disease took his mother's life. He was handing off the Irdiuim satellite phone that Jon Miller loaned out. Jon runs the website The Rest of Everest which publishes a weekly Podcast about Everest and Tibet. Please visit his site, take a look and download one of his entertaining Podcasts. Thanks Jon and Brian!
That's all for now. I will post an audio dispatch in a few days once we are up in the Hills!
Remember Memories are Everything
This is Alan