Aconcagua 2005 Reports
Live Reports Aconcagua!
Aconcagua Expedition 2005
Follow our reports here during our 2005 Aconcagua Expedition in the Andes Mountains of Argentina. We have a full group led by Heidi Kloos to climb our now quite famous route, the Upper Vacas. Heidi, Sierra, Tom, Nancy, Kathy and Bill will be going into the Vacas Valley starting Jan 2nd. Follow their reports here!
Live from Aconcagua! Most recent reports at top!
January 2, 2005 5:54 am (9:54 pm Argentina local time)
Here's to starting the New Year off right in Mendoza, Argentina! All clients and and baggage arrived safely in Mendoza on New Year's Day. Heidi sent a message via email early today to let us know they would be leaving Mendoza to head to the mountains where they will spend tonight in the beautiful Andean ski resort town of Penitentes. With everyone in good spirits, I am sure they will have a great time enjoying the scenery (and the hot springs!) as they prepare for their journey to basecamp. Stay tuned for more reports along the way! Val Vanderpool reporting.
January 8, 2005 4:06 pm (8:06 pm Argentina local time)
Great weather, and from what I could make out, fantastic camaraderie at Camp 1 of Aconcagua! Heidi called today and left a voice message to update us on their progress on the mountain. I heard lots of laughter in the background, which is always a good sign! The crew had a rest day today, hanging out at Camp 1 (elevation 13,700 feet) to acclimatize and prepare to continue their ascent higher into the Andes! They plan to move some of their gear tomorrow to Camp 2 (just under 15,000 feet), then return to Camp 1 where they will stay for a third night before making the final move to Camp 2.
Heidi says the weather couldn't be better, and that at times it has even been hot on their trek in! Clear skies, and I can imagine there is no shortage of amazing vistas as they gain altitude. The weather has been exceptional this season on the mountain, so let's hope it holds for them!
Some personal messages to pass along to friends (both two and four-legged) and families: Tom says hi to his dog Hoss in Alaska. Kathy says hi to her kids! Bill is super fired up and psyched for the summit, and Nancy is so strong that the group has nicknamed her "The Mountaineering Barbie" (Nancy, maybe you'll inspire the coolest Barbie ever)!! And, last but not least, Sierra is missing her beans! We'll keep you posted as we receive more updates and anecdotes from the alpine zone as they work their way up, up, and up the mountain!! Val Vanderpool reporting.
January 9, 2005 4:09 pm (8:09 pm Argentina local time)
Sounds like the load shuffle went great today! Heidi left a quick message to let us know that all is still going superbly, that everyone is in good spirits, and having lots of fun. They'll spend tonight at Camp 1, then move to Camp 2 tomorrow. We apparently didn't get a voice message that she tried to leave last Wednesday night, which, to my relief, explains the gap in updates from the crew. We look forward to hearing from them again as they get ever closer to reaching the highest point on the South American continent!! Stay tuned! Val Vanderpool reporting.
January 12, 2005 3:13 pm (7:13 pm Argentina local time)
Gaining, gaining, gaining...Vertical feet and momentum, that is! Heidi called this afternoon from way up there at Camp 3 (17,200 feet) where the team will spend tonight. They plan to haul gear tomorrow to High Camp (Camp 4), the last stop on the way to the top! On Friday they plan to move to High Camp and from there they will assess conditions for a possible summit attempt, which will be Saturday at the earliest, weather and the team's health notwithstanding. So far everyone is doing superbly, and group morale still very high! The weather has been fabulous to date, but there does seem to be a weak weather front moving. Heidi thinks that by the weekend it will have passed through and they'll have a shot at reaching the top.
At this point in the call, the message became a bit garbled, but I was able to make out the following personal greetings to pass along to the team's friends and families:
Nancy would like to wish her daughter Jane a very Happy Birthday! Kathy would also like to say Happy Birthday to Ryan. Tom says hi to Diane, and Sierra wants everyone at "Patagucci" in Ventura to know that she is having a great time and that she says hello!
We'll keep the reports coming as we hear from Heidi, probably every 2-3 days! Keep checking in to follow the team's progress! Val Vanderpool reporting.
January 15, 2005 4:39 pm (8:39 pm Argentina local time)
We received a call from Heidi this evening, but a half of a sentence into it, we were cut off. Hopefully she'll call back again soon, or when they summit! We'll cross our fingers for their success! Val Vanderpool reporting.
January 18, 2005 8:32 am (12:32 pm Argentina local time)
While we can marvel at the seemingly boundless capacity of modern technology, we also have to take the bad along with the good in order to fully appreciate the occasions when it works flawlessly...all of those words to say that when we were cut off on Saturday, Heidi was telling a fine tale of their glorious summit of Aconcagua that, unbeknownst to all, would be forever lost in some techno/communications black hole!
And so we'll relay now as she re-told it on our answering machine early this morning:
On Saturday morning, our team woke up to some iffy weather at High Camp. After a windy, largely sleepless night, they decided that they would climb up a bit higher and see if the conditions might improve as the day went on. The group left camp at 7:00 am, with the exception of Bill, who had been battling a head cold for 4 or 5 days. He decided he should stay behind since he wasn't feeling 100% and healthy for a push to the summit (here's to hoping you're feeling better now, Bill!).
Sure enough, as they climbed to about 21,000 feet in elevation, the clouds cleared to reveal that oh-so-blue Andean sky and they decided to go for it. The weather was perfect, and very warm for Aconcagua, which made the push to the summit all the easier. Heidi said that everyone worked very hard, that it was a great team effort to reach the summit at about 3:30 pm. On top of the South American world (22,841 ft), they basked in the warm sun, shot photos, and enjoyed incredible vistas until around 4:00 pm when they began their descent. The weather continued to hold until they reached High Camp later that evening.
All in all, it was an excellent trip this year to Aconcagua! The team did great, and had a fabulous time on the mountain. Heidi called from Mendoza, Argentina, where they will be spending the day checking out the city and unwinding in the comforts of civilization! Most of the group starts leaving Argentina for the states tomorrow sometime. Hopefully everyone had a fabulous time will leave with many, many stories to tell of their journey and proud accomplishments.
Heidi and everyone on our 2005 Aconcagua team would like to give many congrats to Scott and John's group for summiting Vinson in Antarctica (you can find links to their expedition reports on the home page or in the Expedition Reports drop down menu above). Follow Scott's reports next week as he comes north to warm up in Venezuela! Val Vanderpool reporting.