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.
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.