Aconcagua 2002!

Dispatch#3 December 21st, 2001.  Aconcagua Base Camp, Argentina.

Hello everyone, this is Willi Prittie reporting from the first Alpine Ascents Expedition of the 2002 Season. Today was our first rest and acclimation day at Base Camp.  A little bit of everything today, some snow squalls coming through, a bit of sun, a real mixed bag.  Everybody's here, doing quite well, very good appetites.  We just finished a really tasty fresh vegetable stew and Eric Remza is making cheesecake desserts as I speak here on the telephone right now.  Yesterday we were a bit busy, we skipped the cybercast.  We started the day in a very shocking manner by a very long crossing of the Vacas River.  A lot of water, really spread out, and in several places in between channels there was actually water ice, so we all got a very cold wake up first thing in the morning.  Beyond that there was a few other little moments of excitement.  Having to cross snow bridges in the Relenchos Canyon over old avalanche debris and dodging rockfall in a couple of places.  But all went well and the second half of the day after enjoying beautiful sunny weather on the way up things clouded in and we were treated to snow.  It is almost Christmas time after all.  We did get snow pretty much all afternoon yesterday including the time it took us to set up Base Camp.   We were a bit busy getting the tents set up, given the snow conditions and getting everything else going to get the Base Camp all set up last night.  But things are going well here right now, everyone's acclimating quite well, feeling the altitude but only in a very minor way.  Tomorrow we are in fact planning to make our first carry to Camp I and we'll see how that all goes.

A couple of quick messages.  One from Guy:  "Hi Chari, love Guy."  and another quick message to Bill's Mom: "Bill just broke his leg...just kidding Mrs. Snyder."  That's all from Aconcagua today.

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