Partners needed > Aconcagua

Looking for partners for Aconcagua late fall/winter/early spring 2009 ascent

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Mike1:
Thanks harry, you're right, I will have to delay it for a while as I've been monitoring the weather conditions out there and the outlook is bleek.  I'm equipped for -30 F but it is already getting a lot colder in June and it's not even winter yet. It looks like it will be snowing a lot as well.  I think I will put this on hold for a bit until the weather is more favorable, like in early spring, and the schedules that I have set for the ascent will have to be stretched out longer. I'm pretty open and flexible as far as the timed schedule is concerned, but it's the wind that will be bothering me the most.

Mike1:
The latest forcast so far -110F/-79C max at the summit on Sunday 6/21/2009 :o  I'm DEFINITELY holding it off for a while....  I'll keep this post updated on the current weather conditions...

Mike1:
Definitely November... anyone else going up at that time?

7summits:
The first expeditions go at end of November. Not beginning, for several good reasons:
- there are no park rangers and medical services
- Weather is usually still bad
- all access trails to the Basecamps are covered in snow, 2 or 3 years ago, Plaza argentina could not be reached in November due to too much snow...

Cheers,
Harry

MarcoPolo:
Hi Mike1


I would like to make the following remarks, in the most respectful manner to a fellow mountain enthusiast.  I know we climb in order to be allowed to choose our own level of risk, but we also have to look out for each other. 

We are all eager to climb, and we love the lifestyle, so it can be of value to hear what others are experiencing in the mountains, and to learn from those that have made the mistakes, instead of having to repeat them. 

The first thing that came to mind, when I read your post about a winter attempt on Aconcagua, especially when I read your reply 3, was this is suicide, simple as that.  I hope that you do not take this the wrong way, and I am also glad that the other guys threw in some solid advice, and last but not least, that you yourself decided to forget about it.

I am not saying that a winter ascent on Aconcagua is impossible, I am sure it can be done, with proper preparatioons, proper gear and an expedition style siege on the mountain because the group will need to wait for a weather window, and the weather is extreme to say the least.  I am not tempted to climb Aconcagua in winter, but I am sure there are some diehards around, somewhere, maybe The French will do it, or the Russians, me, no way I am a simple soul with a thirst for life.

I was going to write a long essay about every point you mention, but after reading again, I see that I would not know where to start respectfully, I have to say, not a word of it makes any sense to me. 

What I recommend instead is that you take a good look at what you are writing, and go back to basics, read up on some High Altitude Mountaineering techniques and you will soon see for yourself what I am talking about. 

All the above is written as the friendliest advice, because we that love to be in the mountains must look out for each other and keep each other alive. 

Aconcagua is a nice mountain to climb, and on good days it is really a cruise, if done correctly.  But, on bad days, it is a killer.  And as you get higher, the safety envelop gets smaller. 

One minute everything is perfect.  You might be coming of the summit, approaching the most confusing terrain of the mountain, just blow Independencia Hut. you are tired sure, a bit of a headache for lack of hydration and altitude and a bit hungry, but ok, the visibility is not perfect but the day looks promising and you will soon be in camp.  But the next minute you are in deep S##T, stuck way up high and out of reach, with HAMS and then the blizzard comes out of what seems like no-where, with growing winds and the gusts will - sure as hell - soon reach 100 MPH. 

We prepare for the situations we hope never to get ourselves into, that is why we have contingency supplies, contingency plans, conservative speed to save energy, a good eye for the weather and the terrain, and a good climbing plan to fall back on such as turnaround times, trek logs, hydration schedules, and a climbing roster, and off course proper logistics and supplies and a lot of them.  Although Aconcagua has been climbed Alpine Style (even by myself) it is an expedition type mountain, and a serious mountain, and should never be underestimated, but feared and respected.  Sure, the mountain can be good to us at times, and allow us to step to the summit without difficulty, but it can choose to hit hard on those days when it has a mood to do so, it is our job to read the mountain and its weather and act accordingly. 

Hope this was not to long guys, just had to say a few words,

You guys have probarbly all seen this video, this is happening in January 2009, when I ws in base camp, and this is high season good weather time, this group got lost coming down after summiting very late, at 19:00, I believe, and the guide is suffering from HAMS, there were some deaths, real tragic story. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZJCyJinIWU

Regards

Siggi     

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