For a long time, I was planning an Aconcagua expedition in my head. Every time I decided to do it, something appeared that made me doubt again, and I went back to the beginning. Climbing Aconcagua was and will be the most important achievement that I had to live, and I will never forget it. After several Aconcagua treks, I decided to do an Aconcagua expedition, and I don’t regret anything. Here are some of my experiences in the mountains
We ate, took a nap, saw Jake and Alan’s group when they got to camp, then ate and went back to sleep! The following day we wish you good luck and goodbye to our friends. They were climbing as we headed back to base camp. Coming down for the last time, we were thankful that we did not return to this mountain anytime soon. Our last day on the mountain was probably the hardest. We left our gear for the mules and began the 27-mile hike to the trailhead around 8:30 am. The first third of the hike, we descended rapidly towards the Valle de Vacas. Then the uneven terrain, heat, and dry air, combined with Brandon’s excruciating stomach cramps, put our endurance to the test in every way possible. The trailhead’s final approach greeted us with fierce winds, and we were past the hour we expected to arrive. We finally finished at 6:30 pm for a 10 hour day and returned to Penitentes for long showers, steak, and wine.
The following day we got a trip back to Mendoza in just enough time to collect our belongings, go out for the last ice cream, and head to the airport for the long flight home. With a bit of perspective on climbing, I started to realize that on our first attempt at the top, we were making the moves and on the verge of becoming too confident that we would make it to the top. On our second attempt, we enjoyed every minute, spending time with good friends and appreciating the mountain and each other. In the end, the success of the summit was the reward for our resolve. This mountain taught us a lot about perseverance, self-knowledge, and having no regrets. It also reminded us how much we need each other to achieve what we do. After training in big snowstorms, my mental part was fine. Both physical and mental were in balance, but my project’s physical part was the most difficult. It’s crazy how my body reacted between 5,000 and 6,000 m (20,000 ft). I couldn’t keep my balance; I was falling asleep and waking at such a slow pace. It was icy. The coldest time on Aconcagua is 6 in the morning, and I had no stamina in my body to continue hard for the ascent. When the sun shows up, I felt better and was able to get to the top at a faster pace.