February 19, 2019
I received a Garmin inReach text yesterday at 3:05PM local time in Argentina, “All is well. 100% on top!” After all the hard work and patience, everything has paid off. Robert, Leo and his crew of climbers have successfully topped out on the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere and they’ve done it in great style. I’m awfully proud of this team for sticking together, working hard and accomplishing the goal that they set out to do.
They are all currently down at the Plaza de Mulas basecamp. Tradition is to eat some pizza and have a soda or a beer. There may be a backcountry shower or two lined up this afternoon as well. The plan now is to organize and reorganize all the gear for the mules, and then hit the trail in the morning for the long walk out to the highway. Some people dread this walk, but I always thought it was a great way to unwind after a couple weeks on the mountain and reflect on the climb before hitting civilization.