Aconcagua 2002!

Dispatch#59 February 22nd, 2002.  Aconcagua Base Camp, Argentina. Team High Exposure
Ellie:  a quick report that everybody on the mountain from Team High Exposure led by Allen and Forrest are now safely back at camp, they have picked up their tents at Camp IV, had a quick bite of soup and hot tea and everybody is now down at Camp III where they will get a good night's rest for tonight, probably sleep in the morning, and tomorrow head all the way down to Base Camp , where I will be preparing a nice feast awaiting them when they arrive. So everybody's down safe and snuggled into camp, that's it from Aconcagua.

Dispatch#60 February 28th, 2002.  Aconcagua Base Camp, Argentina. Team High Exposure Hello everybody out there in cybercast world, this is Allen Carbert working with Forrest McCarthy on Alpine Ascents' last Aconcagua expedition of the season.  Let me start off this cybercast by wishing all of our best to Matt Lepisto in hopes that he has a speedy recovery, we understand that he has been feeling a little under the weather lately with viral meningitis, so all of our thoughts and best wishes are certainly with him. 

It was a great expedition that Forrest and I led on Aconcagua with the assistance of Willi Prittie and Ellie back at base camp. I guess what was most remarkable about this expedition was that we lost a few people, to say the least, and again our thoughts and best wishes go out to those people.  Tom as you might have heard from a previous cybercast, was suffering from pulmonary edema, a very serious condition, but I understand that he is back in good health and has arrived home safely.  Felix also came down with a chest cold, that developed into pneumonia, Once again a very strong climber who was taken down by something completely out of his and our control.  Donna with a chronic hip flexor problem that's not easy to climb uphill with a heavy backpack on, in that event.  So our thoughts and best wishes go out to all of those people and hopes that they recover and that some time in the near future they might again get a chance to climb Aconcagua.

So in keeping with the tradition of my last expedition I would like to capture some of the most memorable moments that our expedition members had.  Toby remembers getting down from Camp III to Base Camp after the summit attempt for him, and just enjoying the thick oxygen.  He wishes his best to his family, friends and co-workers, he'll be in touch soon.  David F. remembers topping the Canaleta to realize that his goal was mostly accomplished.  And he wishes to thank all the people who in a small way made a sacrifice to help make his adventure happen.  Alex, well she remembers not being able to breathe very well at Independencia, until I was able to peel of the capilene, the neoprene and the polypropylene that was covering up her face. After that she was able to breather much better.  David M, remembering when 66-year-old Takao elected to go into the fast group when we made a carry to Camp I.  I was also surprised by this, he is sort of the strong silent type, and when he raised his hand saying he wanted to go faster, I think we were all taken aback.  

Ellie's most memorable moment was having to ride a mule out that was very spirited.  She was a little bit surprised that the mule needed to be blind-folded, for her to get onto it.  A sign of a not-well-tamed animal, but with her experience as an equestrian, she was able to manage it real well. Forrest, my co-guide, remembers being very, very hot at 20,300 feet on summit day.  Truly an unusual summit day for the entire expedition, in that we had no wind and exceedingly high temperatures in the Canaleta, a lot of reflective sunlight.  It was incredibly unusual, in my eight expeditions on the mountain, it was certainly a unique and stand-out sort of day.  Willi remembers most, chipping out a tent site at Camp IV, primarily out of ice on a very cold and windy day.  He definitely helped us set  Camp IV up by getting this tent site in place and we all thank him very much for that, not an easy task.  My most memorable moment was at Camp I, when I saw Mike, Felix, Dolly, turn back to Base Camp, it was really sort of a sad moment, and kind of a rough time for me personally, just to see people who deservedly should have had a chance to reach the summit, but for circumstances largely out of their control, were unable to do so.  At any rate this concludes the last cybercast for Team High Exposure.  I wish you all well in your future mountain climbing endeavors and all that stuff.  We'll catch up with you later, see you, bye.


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