On December 28 SMI guides April Mayhew and Kurt Wedberg met Alan Bagley, Andrew Burg, and Scott Evans in Mendoza, Argentina where they staged for an expedition to the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere. They spent the day securing climbing permits, packing gear, and organizing trip food.
On December 29 they started off from the trail head at Punta de Vacas at 2400m/7874′. It will be a 3-day trek in to Base Camp at 4200m/13,747′. Here is their planned itinerary:
Dec 29: Hike from trailhead at 7874 feet to Pampa de Lenas at 9514 feet
Dec 30: Hike to Casa de Pierdra at 10,630 feet
Dec 31: Hike to Plaza Argentina at 13,747 feet. This is our Base Camp.
Jan 1: Rest day, take small acclimatization hike
Jan 2: Acclimatization hike, prepare loads for higher camps
Jan 3: Carry load to Camp 1, return to Base Camp
Jan 4: Move to Camp 1 at 16,732 feet
Jan 5: Rest and acclimatization day hike
Jan 6: Carry load to Camp 2, return to Camp 1
Jan 7: Move to Camp 2 at 19,127 feet
Jan 8: Rest and acclimatization day, prepare for summit bid
Jan 9: Summit bid
Jan 10: Extra day built in for weather/acclimatization
Jan 11: Extra day built in for weather/acclimatization
Jan 12: Extra day built in for weather/acclimatization
Jan 13: Return to Plaza Argentina Base Camp
Jan 14: Hike to Pampa de Lenas
Jan 15: Hike to trailhead, spend night at Los Penitentes
Jan 16: Drive to Mendoza
They will be calling in updates via satellite phone. We will try to post reports as we hear from them.