Aconcagua 2002!

Dispatch#46 February 10th, 2002.  Aconcagua Base Camp, Argentina. Team V Hey cybercasters, this is Matt Szundy and Cece Mortensen at Aconcagua Base Camp with Team V.  We thoroughly enjoyed our rest day today and are anticipating our move to Camp I tomorrow.  Sadly our beloved teammate David Moore, rode a mule out today.  He had a tough day yesterday on our carry to Camp I and chose to leave the expedition.  I would like to read a note explaining his decision in his own words, because I think it very accurately describes how we all often feel and think about our loved ones when we are so far away.

"I climb with Alpine Ascents because they have probably the best acclimatization schedule and safety record in the business.  However high altitude mountaineering remains an extremely dangerous sport that requires the setting of mental and physical goals and personal/responsibility lines before the climb and to be sure to stick to these boundaries for the duration of the ascent.  To move these boundaries is both foolish and is letting the people down the who love you the most.  Yesterday, with moderate AMS, I reached my line.  And although I am now safely down back at Base Camp and I am sure that after a day's rest I could safely continue the ascent, I intend to keep all the promises I have made to the people I love, and return home to my little princess Lacey (His 4-year old daughter).  To climb a mountain like Aconcagua it has to be the primary focus in one's mind.  My mind is elsewhere.  When Glen asked yesterday "How many times have you thought about your daughter today?" I said, "just once...for seven hours."  I'd like to thank Cece and Matt for guiding the group so well, and to my teammates John, Glen, Doug and Dave, you are a strong group of climbers, and it was a pleasure pushing the limits with you.  I wish you all the best, be strong, have fun, but most importantly, be safe.  God bless, Dave."

So CeCe and I now have four strong, motivated climbers, including three for the Polish Direct.  Incidentally we have heard from other climbers that the Direct is in excellent shape.  So we are praying for continued stable weather.   Okay, gotta go, Cece made yet another fantastic fresh veggie salad for dinner.  Hope all is well with our loved ones, Matt.


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