Aconcagua 2002!

Dispatch#38 January 27th, 2002.  Aconcagua Base Camp, Argentina. Team Canusa, Team IV Hi this is Ellie calling from Aconcagua Base Camp. It's Sunday January 27th and for once things are a little quiet here at Base Camp.  Yesterday we just got Team Canusa sent off back to the big city and they should be reaching Mendoza sometime this evening.  They had a whole slug of mules carrying their gear out, and they set of yesterday to hike all the way down to Pampa de Lena spend the night there, and then tonight end up in Mendoza. So we wish them well in the big city.

Up on the mountain, Team IV led by Willi Prittie and Eric Remza, have had a little bit on an exciting time.  We all woke up yesterday morning to views of a huge lenticular cloud over the summit and a few lenticulars floating around out east.  And usually that means big trouble, so Willi had some decisions to make, because they were sitting right at camp II which is at Boureaza Col, and being a col this is a low pass where a lot of wind funnels through there.  It was blowing up there yesterday morning it hadn't snowed yet, but Willi had the decision that they were ready to carry some gear on up to Camp II, but it was maybe a questionable time to do it.  They decided to wait out the morning and see what happened,  whether to bail out and go back down to Camp I, or whether to stay where they were and go ahead with their carry.  They did indeed go on ahead up towards Camp III, but they were unable to reach the camp it was just snowing and blowing too hard. So they cached some gear up a little higher and returned to Camp II.  When I talked to Willi last night on the radio, it sounded like they were spending the evening plying cards and according to Willi, the guiding staff is not doing well, apparently the clients are beating the pants off the guides at a vicious hearts game.

So this morning things are beautiful, the clouds are gone, the wind is down, the sun is shining, and when I talked to Willi this morning, they were definitely planning on heading for Camp II and staying there for the night.  Lhakpa left Base Camp this morning and will join them up there, and we wish them well for the final push up to the summit.  So that's it for January 27th, from Aconcagua Base Camp.


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