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We Did It! January 10, 2007

Posted by Cheryl in Aconcagua, Argentina, climbing, mountaineering, South America, Travel.

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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