During the southern summer of 2002, an Adventure Consultants team endeavored to climb the highest peak outside the Himalaya, Aconcagua (6,962m/22,840ft). Their journey is documented below.
Adventure Consultants Aconcagua Expedition 2002 Dispatches
Dates: 29 January - 21 February 2002
Expedition Leader: Mike Roberts (NZ)
Assistant Guide: Paul Rogers (UK / NZ)
Owen Davies (Canada)
Andy Maluish (Australia)
Darren Scott (Australia)
Haruki Inokuchi (Japan)
Imran Zainal Abidin (Malaysia)
George Holloway (USA)
29 January 2002 - Meeting in Mendoza
Hi all, we have just finished our group introductory get together on yet another warm very pleasant Mendoza evening. George and Imran arrived as planned at noon today completing the team. After an adventurous descent from Plaza de Mulus (the Base Camp of the standard route on Aconcagua) on horse, Owen was also back in Mendoza after his week-long acclimatization trip. Owen was so competent in his horse riding that the Muleteers left him to bring the mules out of Base Camp on his own. The Muleteers caught up with him only when he was half way down (at Confluenzia).
In the last week Andy has gathered an immense knowledge of Mendoza and he was kept busy all day making last minute purchases of difficult to find items such as 4.5 volt batteries for Petzl headlamps. Darren's discerning tastes left him with the job of visiting the central market and tasting and selecting the cheese for the expedition. George processed aspects of his application for Everest. Hauruki immediately took to the charms of Mendoza whilst recovering from his three-day journey.
Tomorrow at 9.00am we will complete our permitting requirements before heading to our destination for the night, Puente del Inca. On Friday morning we begin the three-day trek into Plaza Argentina, the base camp on the Polish Glacier side of Aconcagua.
During our stay in Mendoza we have heard several reports confirming the unseasonably cold temperatures and the unusually large amounts of summer snowfall on Aconcagua. We are optimistic that February will bring the sun and stabilization of the stormy weather pattern.
The next time we are in contact will be from Base Camp. All are excited and anticipating a rewarding adventure of a lifetime.
This is Paul and Mike signing off for now, love and thoughts to all.
12 February 2002 - Aconcagua climbers reach the summit!
Paul Rogers reported in by phone at 6.00pm local time on Wednesday 13 February. The expedition had a summit attempt on February 12 and two of the team members made it to the top of Aconcagua (6.962m) at approximately 3.00pm - they were Darren Scott (Australia) and Haruki Inokuchi (Japan). Both guides, Mike and Paul, turned back with the other four members of the team at various stages to assist them back to lower camps.
Mike then stayed on at Camp II at the base of the Polish Glacier with Owen Davies, and he and Owen were to make another summit attempt starting at 6.00am their time on February 14. All the other members were back at Base Camp, and all were well. We hope to have news of the second summit attempt soon.
14 February 2002 - Second summit day on Aconcagua
Expedition Leader Mike Roberts and Owen Davies reached the summit of Aconcagua on February 14, via the False Polish route. The summiteers on February 12 also climbed via the False Polish route, as the Polish Glacier route was not in condition this year from a lot of recent snowfall. All the team are now packing up at Plaza de Argentina Base Camp and will travel back to Mendoza by Sunday February 17. Congratulations to the successful summit climbers!