27 November 2013
What a motivating and inspirational year this has been; continued involvement in the open source communities surrounding Mozilla, moving back to Colorado, having our first child , and now this trip.
After a year of planning, I leave in a week and a half for Argentina to join a small group of climbers, 7 in total. We’ll spend roughly 3 weeks climbing in the Andes; specifically our objective is to climb Aconcagua whose summit sits at 22,841 ft (6,962 m).
I've been out of the high altitude climbing scene for almost a decade. I'm thrilled to be back and overjoyed to be joining KMG on this trip. I've known Josh Kling (the owner) and several of the other team members for quite some time. This will be a reunion with friends both old and new.
The route that we are taking, Folso De Los Polaco 360, circumnavigates Aconcagua and provides a variety of new terrain and views throughout the entirety of the trip. The climb begins by trekking up the Vacas and Relinchos valleys where mules will porter our food and equipment to our base camp at 13,780 ft.
From base camp onwards our group will climb the mountain, ferrying supplies to higher camps as we get acclimated until we are in a position to make our summit bid. All told we'll have 3 additonal camps above 13,780 ft before our bid.
After summiting we descend the opposite side of the mountain to Plaza de Mulas, trekking out the Horcones valley.
Our external communications to the world during the trip will be fairly limited. KMG is bringing a satiliate phone to send out updates and for the rare event of an emergency. Several times during the trip updates will be passed back to the USA where they will be posted to Facebook - Kling Mountain Guides. Updates will be rare and low-bandwith, no update is a good update.
As you might imagine an undertaking of this magnitude means a lot of planning as well as the need for lots of shiny, fun equipment. The climb itself will travel through a wide temperature range; the trek in is relatively warm, as we progress up the mountain we'll slowly begin piling on more and more layers.
For a full list of equipment here is my gear list. For those who have future ambitions of climbing Acongagua I'm happy to chat with you post-trip about what worked and didn't work for this trip.
Research for this trip was greatly aided by what I could scour off of the equipment lists of others and tips from KMG, I hope my list is helpful. Note I've not included group gear on the list, I'll post one once we return.
Very simply a big thank you to my partner, Erin, for helping me realize and chase after this goal. It would've been a big year without including this trip.
Thank you for supporting me with my [sometimes bordering on] obsurd workout schedule of crossfit, running, climbing, and mountain biking (my guilty pleasure). It's been a full year.