Aconcagua 2002!

Dispatch#8 December 27th, 2001.  Aconcagua Base Camp, Argentina.  Team I, Team II Hi this is Ellie reporting from Group 1 on Aconcagua for December 27th.  We just heard from Willi and he reports that his group just completed their first carry up to Camp III at 19,200 feet.  This is a spectacular camp right at the base of the Polish Glacier and from this camp you can look off to the North to the next big mountain with big glaciers which is Mercedario and also a very interesting, steep looking mountain called El Mano.  The group's enjoying an amazing string of good weather.  We've had several days of morning sun and a few afternoon snow flurries, but no real bad weather at all, no high winds, no deep snow, they've had to dig out a little.  Willi says that it's almost the best conditions he's seen in almost twelve years on the mountain for the Normal Route.  The Polish Glacier on the other hand, seems to have pretty deep snow on it, so we'll see what happens as they get up higher.  

Everyone completed the carry up to Camp III in about three hours.  Then everybody tested their strength working on building their tent sites.  They're planning on spending two nights at Camp II so that they can get these tent sites built ahead of time so that they can move right into them.  They were digging out snow and chipping ice to level the tent platforms, and also building rock walls, they have to build pretty high walls in case the wind comes up, it makes a good protection for the tents, if the weather turns bad.  So tomorrow on December 28th, they'll be ready to move up and they are planning on moving into Camp III and then the following day having a rest day, and if the weather holds, then they'll move on to high camp and hopefully for the summit.

Here at Base Camp, Team II enjoyed their first full day of Base Camp resting, lounging in the sun, some of them did laundry, and the whole group was seen to be gorging on pizza towards evening.  So their first day in Camp went very well.  So that's it for December 27th from Aconcagua, and we'll be reporting again soon with further news.


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