Aconcagua December 2010 Wrap Up

Our first of two Aconcagua expeditions is now successfully in the books.

We want to give a big congratulations to team members Ralph Drollinger, Fred Simmons, and Bill Simon for a job well done on this expedition.  Congratulations to Bill and Fred to reaching the highest point in the Western Hemisphere and to SMI guide April Mayhew for her first summit of Aconcagua!!  Well done everybody!!

Thanks to everybody for following along with us.  All your prayers and positive energy could be felt from high on Aconcagua located deep in the Andes.

The photo album is now completed with 1627 photo for your viewing pleasure.  You can view it here:  Aconcagua December 2010

Below are some photos from this memorable journey.  The entire photo album can be viewed at the link above.

The team at the trailhead psyched and ready to begin. From left to right: Bill, April, Ralph, Fred, Kurt

Fred, Ralph, and April enjoying the hiking on day 1.

Ralph, Bill, Fred, and April pause for a photo. Pleasant temperatures made for an enjoyable walk up the Vacas Valley.

Fred and Bill in the kitchen tent enjoying a laugh during breakfast of day 2.

Bill on the crossing of the Vacas River on day 2.

April on the bridge crossing the Vacas River.

April has all the team's attention for some instruction on day 2.

Mules with our loads passing us by on day 2. Mules hauled all our gear into Base Camp.

The team gets their first look at Aconcagua near camp on day 2.

Bill psyched up for the icy glacial fed river crossing at 7:30 AM on day 3.

Fred, Bill, and April ascending the Relinchos Valley on day 3.

Ralph crossing the Relinchos River on day 3.

The team celebrating getting to 13,000' on the way to Base Camp.

April and Kurt at 13,000 feet approaching Base Camp.

Kurt, April, Ralph, and Bill arriving at Base Camp at 13,747', 4200m

April serving up bacon cheeseburgers at Base Camp. Yum!!

First acclimatization hike above Base Camp.

April straddling a crack on the glacial moraine.

Icy lakes on the glacial moraine

Bill, Ralph, and Fred next to an icy lake on the glacial moraine at 15,000'.

Fred and Ralph at a rest break on the glacial moraine near 15,000 feet. Aconcagua looms high above.

The team on the glacial moraine with Aconcagua behind.

Bill and Ralph psyching each other up for the climb to Camp 1.

Bill looking strong and happy at 16,000 feet on the way to Camp 1

Ralph, Fred, and April at 16,000' heading towards Camp 1.

Ralph, Bill, and Fred near Camp 1.

Bill flanked by Fred, Ralph, and April at 16,400' cresting the hill to Camp 1.

Team photo at Camp 1 at 16,700'.

April cooking dinner at Camp 1.

The team at a rest break at 17,500' on the route to Camp 2.

April setting the pace for Fred and Bill at 18,300' en route to Camp 2.

April feeling great at 18,500' en route to Camp 2.

Bill and Fred happily settled in to Camp 2.

April at Camp 2 getting ready for our summit bid the following day.

Bill and Fred sporting their alma mater at Camp 2, 19127' on Aconcagua.

April, Bill, Fred, and Kurt enjoying the prep day for the summit bid tomorrow.

The team on a short "tune up" walk to test equipment in preparation for our summit bid.

Bill and Fred at "The Edge of the World" near Camp 2.

Kurt and April at "The Edge of the World" near Camp 2.

Summit day has arrived!! Bill and Fred gearing up at camp.

Bill on summit day 6:30 AM.

The sun rising over the Andes provided a breathtaking backdrop to our climb.

Bill at 20,500' on summit day!!

Fred, Bill, and April at 21,000+ feet on summit day. A slight dusting of new snow fell the night before and added a beautiful decoration to the landscape during our climb.

Fred at 21,500'

Fred at 21,500'.

Looking up at our route from 21,600'

Bill at 22,400'. With only 481' to go the air was so thin we were taking 4-6 deep breaths for each step we took up hill.

22,770'... less that 100' to go to the summit!!

Fred taking the final stops onto the summit of Aconcagua with Bill close behind!!

Bill topping out on the summit of Aconcagua!!

A picture's worth a thousand words. April's smile as she reached the summit says it all!!

Team summit photo. Well done everybody!!

Kurt and April celebrating an elated and emotional moment on the summit.

Merry Christmas to all from the top of Aconcagua (22,841', 6962m)!!

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