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We Did It! January 10, 2007

Posted by Cheryl in Aconcagua, Argentina, climbing, mountaineering, South America, Travel.
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At the summit…. in the absence of the South African flag, this ones for my adopted land…

Part of me can´t believe it! We actually managed to get to the top of Aconcagua!! I was utterly amazed and burst into tears as soon as I saw the metal cross marking the summit. This I think was more out of relief than anything else – Jason was talking about making a second attempt a couple of days later if we failed the first time. I couldn´t have faced it!! It was the hardest thing I´ve ever done. We set out for the summit at dawn (about 6.30am). It was bitterly cold and for the first hour or so I was trying to nurse some feeling into my toes by wiggling them between steps, this despite wearing huge plastic boots (like ski boots) and 3 pairs of thick socks.

It was much warmer when the sun hit us later on, but I was still wearing absolutely every item of clothing I had brought to the mountain – 7 layers on my top half including a down jacket the size of a duvet over everything else.

It was an eight and a half hour slog up the mountain. The altitude affects you in an unbelievable way. We were literally taking about 5 steps a minute (one every 12 seconds, or so!) and still had to stop and rest often!! It was unbelievably slow.

Anyway, we´re back in Mendoza now, but feeling utterly exhausted. Will write some more detail when feeling up to it.

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