December 25, 2010
While you enjoy your Christmas cocoa in front of your fireplace we’ve got lots of climbers out there enjoying some cocoa of their own around the stoves and in their tents.
Happy Holidays from all of us here at IMG!
What would most people say to celebrating Christmas at base camp on Aconcagua, at 13,600 ft? It’s a place called Plaza Argentina. Most, I think, would say “that’s nuts”. But that’s exactly where our current Aconcagua crew was last night, with guides Eben Reckord and Kelly Ryan. And, they’re loving it. Probably no place they’d rather be. They’re ending this year by starting a big adventure. Pretty cool, huh? So far, so good. Always a few headaches on arrival to a new and higher altitude but it’s all par for the course. Christmas day will be a rest day for the team. They’re wishing all of us and we’re wishing all of them a very Merry Christmas!
One Vinson expedition for this season is now complete and another one is about to begin. Senior IMG Guide, Greg Vernovage, leaves Christmas morning to meet a new team of IMG climbers for an attempt on Vinson Massif. IMG Senior Guide, Aaron Mainer, will meet them on the Ice. It’ll be Aaron’s second trip of the season. What a great New Year’s resolution – climb Vinson Massif. Now that’s what we call a heck of a way to start off the new year.
The weather is slowly warming up in Antarctica but doesn’t mean that the team can’t still experience temperatures in the minus 20-30 degree F range. It’s all relative. Christmas in the air and New Year’s on the Ice. Fairly impressive stuff. I bet they’ll sneak a little wine or champagne into the food bags.
Ang Jangbu reports by Thuraya satellite phone that the team had a good hike to Barranco yesterday, at 13000 feet. En route, the trail took them to 14,500 feet, just below Lava Tower, where the team was snowed on! They took it nice and slow, with the long ascent and descent. Great acclimatization! Everyone is doing well. Today they will be heading to Karanga, for another night at 13,000. Machame is a great route, what a prime acclimatization profile!