Aconcagua 2002!

Dispatch#48 February 15th, 2002.  Aconcagua Base Camp, Argentina. Team V Hi this is Ellie Henke calling in from Aconcagua Base Camp.  It's Friday February 15th and I'm calling in for Team V led by Matt Szundy and CeCelia Mortensen.  We join Team V at Camp II where they've spent two nights.  Yesterday they carried gear from Camp II up to Camp III, this is some of the supplies food and gear that they will need higher on the mountain.  Then they returned last night to Camp II, it's been the second night, and today their plan is to move their entire campo tents sleeping bags and everything, up to Camp III at a whopping 19,200 feet.  The team reports that conditions have generally been pretty good, last night they reported that some wind started up in the middle of the night at about 3am or so.  Sounds like nothing out of the ordinary for Aconcagua, but after the team has enjoyed several calm and sunny mornings I think they are getting spoiled and we're about due for a little Aconcagua wind.  Aconcagua is definitely one of the windiest mountains in the world and it sounds like they've been pretty lucky with the weather.

The team also spent last night congregated in one of their tents and came up with the following cyberbabble, which I hope you'll appreciate as it comes from almost 18,000 feet:

"Recognizing the rhythm of the weather on Aconcagua calm sunny mornings spent building clouds, sheer chaos in the afternoon, ranging from freight train winds, lightning storms, inches of snow, plumes of cloud, snow pouring over the summit and the occasional surprise calm.  The continuous challenge of each step, and the brilliance of that most stunning beauty that surrounds us daily.  The ability to mindfully move through the difficult landscape.  Learning to become one with the endless free."

There's more but we'll leave the team on a scree slope, battling their way up to Camp III, and wish them well as they move closer to the summit and we should be hearing from them again in the next day or so to find out how things went on their move up to Camp III.  That's it from Aconcagua Base Camp.

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