Aconcagua 2002!

Dispatch#44 February 5th, 2002.  Mendoza, Argentina. Team V Cybercasters !!……. a big South American "Hola" from Matt Szundy, Cece Mortentson and our Alpine Ascents Aconcagua expedition- Team "Mystery"…for now. As always Mendoza, known for its tranquility, large green parks and relaxed living, never fails at welcoming weary travelers. I am happy to report that all of our team members have arrived with their gear and the group is extremely psyched to start our three-day walk to Base Camp tomorrow. Everyone copiously enjoyed our first class welcome dinner last night at one of my favorite restaurants, La Fecundo. With garlic shrimp, world-class red wine, steak and a salad bar that had dozens of interesting fresh veggies, I fear we may well have fantasies of La Fecundo at high camp. You may notice in most cybercasts of our long expeditions, there is often a lot of talk about food. It is quite difficult to keep real foods fresh with such drastic temperature variances. Above Base Camp, digestibility, weight and preparation time are such important issues that we often go with simple meals. People love them, but dreams of La Fecundo have been reported in the past… So we spent the entire dinner discussing what our expedition name should be. A theme has developed, and dozens of witty puns followed as the wine flowed, however good judgment prevents me from allowing everyone's favorite to be official. There was talk of keeping it our secret and dropping hints in our cybercasts… perhaps that's what we'll do. Stay tuned… all I can say is that it will be big.

Tomorrow we leave behind the warm wonderful evenings of Mendoza to join nature and its cyclical rhythms. We will be up with the sun and back in our tents by 8pm as we work our way towards Plaza Argentina our Base Camp. Tomorrow night we sleep at Pampa de lena, (I often bivi out here to see the stars and the moon if it is a calm night)… the next day we continue up the Vacus valley to Casa de Piedra, and the following day we turn North and up through the exciting Relenchos valley to Base Camp.

We will call in again from Base Camp with another update when we arrive on the 7th (Happy Birthday Tobi!). Until then, this is Matt and Cece from Penitentes…. Chao!

Here are some personal messages from the teammates:

May the Tortus find happiness….

Dave Homayk: ….Says HI and sends his love to Patty Chris, Pat and Ben.

John Soebbing: To my family, friends and supporters at CGE&Y, thanks for your encouragement as I ascend Aconcagua.

David Moore: To my princess Lacey, Bubba, Mish, my family and the Amigos as True Management LTD. God Bless…. I'll be back!

Doug Sill: Sharon, JD, Nathan, Adam, Chandra and Zach….sending all my love to you.. "you the man" Nate while I am gone.

Glenn Ceigler: Hello from our starting point to all my family and friends, especially Tess and Keri. I already miss home, well except work; though the next 3 weeks may change that too!

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