Thursday, January 3, 2013

Check in from 10,600'

Randy called in from Case de Peidra (10,600 ft), the second stop on the way to Base Camp, after about a 6 hour trek.  It was another pleasant hiking day, a bit more technical in places than yesterday.  They had a to traverse a few narrow ledges with about a 150ft drop.  He said it wasn't a big deal, but they definitely had to "pay attention".   Let's hope so!

He and Anders are enjoying getting to know the climbing team and their 3 "great" guides. Sounds like a diverse and energetic group, all managing this initial trekking well.  In case you need a little dose of Randy's stats, all the team members' oxygen saturation was around 95%, which is just where it's supposed to be at this point.  (I'm sure you were wondering)

Sleeping last night was a bit challenging for all of the climbers, due to adjusting to sleeping in a tent, the altitude, and I guess just the whole experience.  Anders had 3 or 4 hours of sleep, and Randy only a couple, but he said they still felt good today.  The whole setting up the tent and keeping track of everything was easier today too.

Tomorrow is their first significant challenge; they have to climb about 3000 ft to Base Camp (13,700ft).  Then they'll have an easy rest day before starting the "real stuff".

One cool thing is that they had their first glimpse of the South Face of Aconcagua and the summit.

Randy said the mountain looks enormous and he could see the winds (around 40mph at the summit) just whipping the snow around.  I think he was happy to be at a lower camp in mild temperature waiting for his chicken noodle soup!

More tomorrow!