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« Aconcagua Audio Dispatch: Summit Report | Main | Orizaba Bound and More »

Aconcagua Update: Homeward Bound?

Wow, what a long strange journey ... since the summit! As I write this, I just cleared security and customs at the Buenos Aires Ezeiza International Airport after standing in place for over 5 hours. And I mean not moving. It seems that the problem was that 50 people missed their flight the previous day and staged a sit-down to protest. For some reason they were able to completely shut the airport down. My fellow passengers and I stood in mile long lines waiting for a peaceful conclusion to this drama. The local Argentines apologized on behalf of their country - a sincere gesture.

But once the squatters were removed it was the proverbial crowd surge that took place as the doors were opened. I was genuinely worried about the small children in the 3,000+ person crowd. I was able to go with the flow and soon made it through armed security who some how did not move the squatters. Clearly, I don't get it.

OK, in any event I hope to catch my flight in a hour or so which would be around 1:00AM. Ugggg

The trek from BC was equal eventful. We had Moses-style windstorms that literally covered us with the small, tiny, microscopic grit that dirt can be famous for. As I have said before about Aconcagua - I have dirt where dirt should not be...

We made to the last camp only to be informed that our "mule was lost" who was carrying our tents! OK, perhaps a bad joke since the mules showed up an hour later after we relaxed in the dirt for an hour - after an 8 hour trek from 14,000'. Actually it was fine since we were enjoying the "thick air" of the lower altitude.

Spirits were high given we had 7 of 8 summit with two (Dave and Rudy) doing the Polish Direct route. Only Dave E. did not make it but he did reach almost 5300m - a great accomplishment for the 64 year-old.

I was thrilled to make the summit given the cold and harsh conditions. It was excellent training for Everest - just what I had in mind. We had one member get frostbite on his big toe plus a finger. Pat was helicoptered out with a HAPE victim from another team. Pat will be fine according to Doctors in Mendoza. But it is a lesson to all that even a simple "walk-up" can be threatening to life or limb.

I will post more images next week but for now, please enjoy the shadow of Aconcagua at sunrise

I think I hear the call for my plane .. or maybe it is the crowd outside!!

Remember - Memories are Everything

Climb On!

This is Alan

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This page contains a single entry from the expedition posted on January 12, 2008 6:39 PM.

The previous post from this expedition was Aconcagua Audio Dispatch: Summit Report.

The next post from this expedition is Orizaba Bound and More.

Many more posts and VIDEOS can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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