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Mt. Aconcagua

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Mt. Vinson

 

Elevation 6,962 metres (22,841 ft)
Location Argentina
Range Andes
Coordinates 32°39'20"S 70°00'57"W
First ascent 1897 Matthias Zurbriggen (first recorded ascent)
Our route False Polish Glacier
 

On Christmas day December 25, 2001 Adam Mallory, age 19 and his father Dan Mallory age 50 left Toronto for Argentina, South America to attempt to summit Mt. Aconcagua (“the stone sentinel”), the highest mountain in South America and in the world outside of the Himalayas at 22,841 feet located in the Andes Mountains in Argentina near the border of Chile.

We started acclimatizing at 8,858 feet on December 27, 2001 and began our climb early on December 29th, 2001 at an altitude of 7,628 feet.

Our route was the False Polish Glacier route which was more remote, more scenic and more difficult.

Our minds were on the Andinista cemetery at the base of the mountain where we viewed the graves of about 150 people who had died on the mountain from various causes.

After overcoming the challenges of exhaustion, headaches, bleeding noses, snow storms, high winds, sun burned tongues, faces and nostrils, and severe cold, we finally arrived at the Independencia high camp at 20,600 feet.

A room with a view

After an evening of very cold temperatures, nausea and vomiting, nose bleeds, and being awoken through the night gasping for air from the low oxygen, we awoke on summit day to begin our summit attempt at 9:15am.

After many hours of long and steep snow covered climbing, we reached the summit at 5pm in semi cloudy conditions and after a short stay, we began the long downhill return arriving back at our tent just before dark. A very long and exhausting day.

Adam Mallory and Dan Mallory - Aconcagua Summit

The climb down was less taxing particularly with the extra oxygenated red blood cells. We descended the mountain arriving at the base of the mountain in darkness on the evening of January 13th, 2002 quite exhausted but thrilled to have reached the top of South America’s highest mountain 20 days after arriving in the country.