FTA Dec 2010 Aconcagua False Polish Climb
TRIP REPORT AND PICS
from Ben Kane in Mendoza
Dean, Saul and myself arrived back in Mendoza last night and celebrated our summit success in fine style with a great dinner at Facundo's restaurant and then on to the Irish pub for a few drinks. The past three weeks have been incredible, a really fun time with two great guys.
The expedition started out with a bit of drama, with both Saul and Dean struck don by a nasty gastro infection, but both soldiered on and pulled through to be very strong on the mountain. We encountered some very cold weather in the early part of the trip, especially the load carry days to Camp 1. I decided against moving to Camp 2 due to high winds, and we instead traversed to the more sheltered Camp Guanacos (Camp 3).
We moved up to Camp Colera on the 24th, deciding against a rest day at Guanacos due to a weather report indicating the 25th to be a potential summit day. This was to be a vital decision as the weather indeed turned out to be too good to be true. The morning of the 25th was as still as I've ever seen, not a breath of wind and incredibly warm. We started out in our down jackets and mitts, but 10 minutes later we were stripping down to fleece and shells. A large French group, an Alaskan Mountain Guide's group and some independent climbers made up the push, with about 30 or so people pushing for the top. We summited at 2:40pm, about 8 hours from Colera. We spent half an hour on the top, really enjoying the summit and just taking it all in. The descent was fine, and we made it back to Colera with plenty of daylight left to melt snow and rehydrate.
I have to comment on Dean and Saul - both were very strong, and we made a good team. I also have to thank Lanko, our Argentinian outfitters. Jose and Osvaldo are amazingly helpful. The staff at both Base Camps, Plaza Argentina and Plaza de Mulas were exceptional. Thank you to Carlos and Vanessa (Plaza de Mulas) for the great pizza feast post summit and a big thank you to Paula (Plaza Argentina) for the great food that made it possible for us to get up the hill.
Thanks for following along with us. Take care and hope to see you out in the mountains soon!