Mule? Check. Permit? Check. Food? Check.
The last two days have been full of running around the city, gathering supplies, buying a shitload of food and spending an even bigger shitload of money.
Food? ~$500 (maybe? haven’t totalled yet)/group
Mule? $360/for one
Bus ? $53/person
And of course there is fuel and backpack repairs and water bottles and whatever else we have gathered the last few days. Yesterday we traveled to a huge grocery store and got the bulk of our supplies. Today was spent getting odds and ends and packing up all said food. At this point, we are just about done…. which I have to say, I am SO thankful for. If you have ever done food packout for more than a few days, you know how annoying it can be!
So…. we off tomorrow…. we will catch a bus to a camp that is run by the company we purchased our mule support from. There we will get bags ready for the mule and spend one last night organizing. And then on the 2nd, we will depart for base camp — eat and sleep and acclimate.
Here is our itin for you nerds out there who are interested in this stuff (starting on Feb. 1)
- Bus ride at 3:30; Camp at Los Puquios
- Start up Vacas Valley, camp at Pampade Lenas (2800m)
- Camp at Casa de Piedra (3200m)
- Plaza Argentina (4200m)
- Rest day
- Carry up to Camp 1 (5000m); stay at Plaza Argentina
- Rest at Plaza Argentina
- Travel up to Camp 1 to stay (5000m)
- Rest day
- Carry to Camp 2 (5850m); stay at Camp 1
- Go to Camp 2 (5850m) to stay
- Carry to White Rocks (Traverse — 6000m); stay at Camp 2
- Go to White Rocks to stay (6000m)
- Summit (with love and to celebrate Valentino)!; sleep at White Rocks
- Descend to Plaza de Mulas (4300m)
- Descend to Los Puquios
- Bus back to Mendoza, celebrate with much wine and steak
We also can build in two days into this schedule (for alternative summit days, for bad weather, for altitude acclimitization, etc.), but we must be back in Mendoza on the 19th. So, there you go….
So… why do it? Why climb uphill for 14 days in a row? Why put our bodies through the damage of high altitude climbing?
Mountaineering is just really walking uphill day after day — trying to stay warm and eat enough calories. But, if you have ever stood on the summit of a mountain, no matter how high, but if you have worked hard to get there…. you know the amazing feeling of the wind and sun on your face and the feeling of accomplishment.
That is what we are hoping for.
So — keep us in your minds and hearts. send us as much go-juice-energy as you can muster!
We will be thinking of you all and doing our best staying safe out there on the mountain! We will be in touch as soon as can.
Much love — aurora