THE JOURNEY  Aconcagua – 6960m

Aconcagua (sentinel of stone) is the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere at 6992m or 22,841ft and one of the Seven summits (the highest peak in each continent). To give you an idea of how high that is, its higher than when I fly from London to Paris!!

Why Aconcagua?

Via the Polish Direct route, it offers a technical climb, but more importantly I used at as a test to check to see how well I could acclimatise and cope for sustained amounts of time above 4000m. I’ve been to nearly 6000m before, but I had acclimatised for almost 3 weeks at 3000m (on my South American adventure) and the 6000m peak was only a 2 day climb, so Aconcagua was very different.

I also used it as a test bed for some of my Inmarsat sat comms kit and also to collect lots of nice media for the campaign.

What route?

Polish Direct: A 45 degree to 60 degree 1000 vertical meter climb, and a real challenge as you start the climb at 6000m. The air pressure is far thinner, so it makes anything remotely physical far harder, as you just can’t absorb as much oxygen at sea level.  Its a real challenge, on a massive mountain.

Stats:

Elevation: 6992m / 22841
First summited:1897 – By a British climber, Edward Fitzgerald
Location: Argentina  map
Duration of expedition:  19 days (we spent 14 days on the mountain)
Lowest temperature on our climb: -25 degrees centigrade (-13 Fahrenheit)
Steepest angle: 60 degrees
Climbing Difficulty: PD+
Percentage reaching the top: Less than 50%