Aconcagua 2002!

Dispatch#53 February 18th, 2002.  Aconcagua Base Camp, Argentina. Team V Hi this is Ellie calling with the latest news from Aconcagua. I've had various conversations with the climbing teams up on the mountain, and I'd like to report that Cece and John reached the summit of Aconcagua today at about 2:00pm.  I also just talked to them at camp IV, it's about 5:00pm local time. Cece and John are now safely back at Camp IV, have completed their summit, returned to camp IV and are now enjoying a good rest and some hot drinks and soup.  Willi and Glen had turned around earlier and had spent most of the day at Camp IV.  Willi will probably return to Camp III tonight to sleep and then return to Camp IV tomorrow morning to help the group pack up and move down.  

Matt and Doug started on the Polish Glacier very early this morning, about 2:00am.  I talked to Matt at 4:00pm local time, they had just topped out on the Polish Glacier, and they still had the summit ridge to finish out to actually reach the summit.  So we're still waiting for news from them to reach the summit, it's been quite a push for them and it sounds like it's going to be a few more hours before they're safely back into Camp IV again.  We've been watching them very carefully because after a beautiful calm sunny morning, by late morning, a big lenticular cloud formed over the summit, and we've seen a few lenticulars out East, and Matt and Doug had to climb right up into that cloud to reach the summit.  Cece reports that when they came down the winds were not as bad as when they went up. It looks bad up there, but with the reports it sounds like its not as bad as it looks.  We'll be waiting for news from Matt and Doug at the summit.  I will not be able to talk to them by radio as they come down the other side and hopefully we'll have news again from them when they actually reach camp IV later this evening.  That's the news from Aconcagua and we'll bring you more news about Matt and Doug as we hear from them.

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