I was in Plaza Francia on December 30, meeting the support team and observing the climbers through binoculars. On January 2, already in Plaza de Mulas, the base camp of the Normal Route, I accompanied the dramatic arrival of Rodrigo and Vitor, the first with frostbite on their toes and the second with their fingers. They reached the summit via the South Wall, the most dangerous, but they had serious difficulties getting down at night on the normal path due to bad weather. They wanted to do an Aconcagua 360 route, but finally, I convinced them to come to this route.
In Refúgio Plaza de Mulas, they described the epic that enters the history of mountaineering. One of the highlights of the narrative was meeting the frozen bodies of Othon Leonardos and Alexandre Oliveira, two climbers killed in an avalanche in 1998. This case gained national repercussion due to its drama since the bodies are in perfect condition and good condition. After knowing this, I confess that I regretted a bit of doing Aconcagua Mountain Guides.
Vitor confessed to me that he did not dare to see them. Rodrigo, who found them first, said it was possible to rescue them. This is a delicate and painful discussion. The family of the victims must make the decision. In my opinion, Othon (whom I met and related to on my first try at Aconcagua) and Alexandre knew the risks they were taking. Perhaps the mountain should be the eternal home of these brave adventurers.
Since ancient times, man has wanted to climb the steps of evolution. Mountains gained the status of gods in ancient times. Finally, uploading them represented the approach to the divine, the incomprehensible. At the same time, human beings have always used instinct to consolidate the wisdom of the rational. Everyone has wondered the same thing for years, how to climb Aconcagua?
Why risk your neck, suffer, go through cold and physical exhaustion to reach the top of a pile of rocks, ice and snow? Why trade summer vacations at the beach for risks and complications at altitude? Good question. Most do not know the answer. However, those who arrive there feel a feeling that amusement parks cannot yet provide.
Fullness, I like victory, joy, genuine excitement, and much more. Or, as George Mallory, the legendary English climber who disappeared on Everest in 1924.
It is more challenging to climb Aconcagua due to the low temperatures and the height above sea level. This is a rugged mountain. Compared to the other Seven Summits, it poses a unique challenge regarding altitude that is not felt at any of the other 7, except Everest. Also, the low temperatures make the mountain complex. The weather in Denali is never cold when a 6,000 or 5,600-meter sale on a day ending at 3 or 4 AM is extremely cold. I never felt it on the other side. Technically, neither step is complicated. If you can get a little exposure, if you can get out of the way, you can roll away.