Thursday, January 24, 2013

Aconcagua Group @ Camp 1 - UPDATED! January 24, 2013

Jared called yesterday and reported that they had moved to camp 1.  They woke to still winds and warm weather that lasted until they made it to camp 1.  They moved up from basecamp at Plaza Argentina to our usual camp 1 site at around 16,200'.  It sounds like they were able to get the tents set up and move into camp just about the time the graupel started.  Graupel is basically a heavy snow pellet that is very common down on Argentina and will often fall from the sky in the afternoon as things go from warm mid-day to cooler at night.

On the way up they picked up some of the gear from their cache at 15,400'.  It sounded like the plan was to get up in the morning and back carry to bring the rest of that gear up before making a carry up toward Camp 2 at 18,200'.  The hope is to get some of the work done before the wind event forecasted for later in the week and then to start to look for a weather window 4-6 days out for a summit attempt.

We have been feeding Jared weather forecasts via sat phone messages and he has been confirming how accurate they are as we talk each day.  This allows us to see how accurate the forecasts are and to start to look for a summit window.  The main thing we are looking for is an opportunity to go up high while the wind is not blowing too hard.

More details as we get them.

UPDATE from call Afternoon of Jan 24, 2013:  Jared called to say that they retrieved the cache from 15,400, but decided not to carry themselves up to C2.  They are planning to carry tomorrow, the 25th. Evidently we are back into the cycle of snow and graupel in the afternoon, which is much like the afternoon thunderstorms of places like the Rockies in the summer, generally minus the thunder part.  Jared swears they are all still having fun, getting along, and enjoying themselves.  Let's hope they keep it that way!

Right now they are starting to look at working around a break in the weather that may pop up around next Tuesday.  There is a lot of ground to cover between now and then.  First they need to spend their second night at 16,200' w/o incident, then repeat the whole progression in a few days at C2, and then a day after that at C3, but right now they are on track and it is good to at least have things mapped out, so you know what you have to work with.

Olivia and I have moved our operating base to Kauai, Hawaii, for the next week, so we are enjoying keeping track of who is where at what least we did not cross the date line.

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