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ACONCAGUA – Day 1 December 22, 2006

Posted by Jason in Aconcagua.
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Vacas Valley trek to Pampas De Lenas

The nervous energy from the day before had evaporated as we just wanted to finally start the trek into base camp. A 3 day trek through the Vacas Valley to the east of Aconcagua.

Start of the Vacas Valley Still squeaky clean! Wet feet! Camp 1 - Pampas Lenas

We were dropped off by Aymara , the company we were using to arrange Mule transportation to base camp and base camp services. The Mules were ready with our bags and at 11.15am we finally began the long walk in.

The sun was shining and there was plenty of blue sky above, however the everpresent high winds were with us as usual. We headed up the narrow Vacas Valley following the high´s and low´s of the river most of the way. The valley is quite beautiful and much different from the wide Horcones valley we travelled up a few days before.

The path is rocky and dusty as it winds its way up the valley until finally we reached the first days camp at Pampas De Lenas (2,800m) at 5pm.

We check in with the GuardaParque and receive our trash bags for the journey ahead which must be checked out when we leave. After a month of the climbing season gone, we are still only numbers 207 and 208 on this route. We have seen no one on our trail today except the Mules being driven up the valley.

We put up the tent and weigh it down with as many rocks as we can find and cook our evening meal, soya, rice and a chili sauce.

An hour or so later, we see more figures enter the camp site, one of which looks familiar. Amazingly, one of the members of this expedition was Geoff Bonney, whom we had participated in voluntary work with earlier this year with a company called Global Vision International! It was great to see him, its such a small world!

We drank coffee into the early evening watching the sun go down, and as the temperature quickly dropped we retired to the haven of our tents to rest before the next days trek.

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