Aconcagua 2002!

Dispatch#45 February 9th, 2002.  Aconcagua Base Camp, Argentina. Team V Hi there cybercasters this is Matt Szundy calling from Aconcagua Base Camp with Team V.  As always it's great enter into such an impressive mountain landscape as this arid rugged region of the Andes.  Rocks and striations of every color, red ,orange, brown and gray passed us as we walked the three days here to Base Camp.   As in any desert where water emerges, lush green riparian zones can be found in contrast to this stark, harsh landscape.  The many mountains up to 5000m surrounding Aconcagua, are streaked with snow from earlier storms.  As the sun melts it they form wild penitentes, spikes of ice that stand like pillars up to ten feet tall.  Tomorrow on the carry to Camp I at 16, we must ascend the snowfield that commonly has two to three foot penitentes.  

Everyone is doing great, and acclimatizing well, we're in great spirits, all enjoyed the three day hike into base camp. Today has been spent resting, eating, packing, eating, hanging out, and eating.  We're trying to store reserves to draw upon higher up on the mountain. So for now this is Matt Szundy from Aconcagua Base Camp.

A couple of personal messages regarding the hike in from folks.  The first one is from John Soebbing:  "Overcoming the challenges, crossing the raging river and of climbing the upward slopes has provided lasting memories."  The next one is from David Moore "Dodging the stampeding mules, jumping across rapids, and getting the best suntan and mountain beard you can imagine, love you all David."  Jumping rivers, Star Wars landscapes, gulping oxygen for 30 miles, life is good, love to all, Dave Page.  "Hello to everyone from Base Camp, the guides are spoiling us with food, but I sure could appreciate more oxygen.  The Andes are spectacular, Aconcagua is imposing, miss everyone but still don't miss work.  Good luck on your basketball game, Pat (?), Glen.  So for now this is Matt Szundy calling from Aconcagua Base Camp with the up and coming Team V. Good bye.

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