Aconcagua 2016 – 27hour summit success

….continuing beyond, i could see teams ahead fresh out of camp 3. By now i genuinely was worse for wear ,was it the altitude,dehydration or hunger or all of the above. I needed to take shelter and fuel up. It’s now in the early hours of 13th January and by now the predicted forecast meant the weather was to subside & winds reduce to 30kph , but they hadn’t and didn’t look in any way to conform … Yip typical. Huddled taking shelter at independencia 6300meters ,fuelled up on energy bars & gels with a mix of dried fruit & nuts i set about the next section of the climb. A huge long traverse called Gran Acarreo leading to the base of the Canaleta. The traverse was raging with winds now gusting 90kms ,the exposure crossing this real difficult but not technical section was causing climbers to turn around abandoning the summit, I knew that this section was critical. Meeting climber after climber retreating with the effects of the exposure written all over there face ,i pushed hard. With a beautifully manicured rosy red face i reached a refuge cave were i too was badly distressed from the sheer effects of the altitude & from my rapid ascent direct from basecamp. Their was light at the end of the tunnel ,because by now i had greatly reduced my exposure to the elements by hugging the large hanging cliffs above which lead to the ascending Canaleta section which was made up of a mix of loose scree & snow underfoot. My head was busting but i was still feeling strong it was a fine balancing act of progressively moving forward and handling the physical atmospheric changes in my body. I was pushing hard and it was tough probably as tough as I’ve ever had it , it felt like an 8000 meter giant mountain….and their it was i could see it ,touch it …..the summit. One hour on i stumbled up top, standing on the summit of the highest mountain in America & South America Aconcagua 6962meters or just under 23.000ft the winds dropped to a mere breeze , it was if mother nature relentless in her fight defending vigorously her precious summit had finally surrendered…. The feeling was incredible, the views breath taking ,the trials & tribulations the obsticals physically & mentally that needed battling was all worth it for this one moment in time ….it was all worth it. I pulled out the Donegal & Ireland flag from my expedition pack holding it proudly high that this season few succeeded making the taste of success even more sweeter…what an honour to hold those summit flags aloft i was bursting with pride. Not realising through my stubbornness & ambition to summit and with the only chance with the smallest weather window for the opportunity ,I had reached the summit expedition style from plaza de Argentina base camp in just 27 hours ,and man my body i knew it…physically i was in a world of pain, from what generally takes a standard expedition team 15 days, I had smashed to bits my own personal ambitious plan of 5 days to achieve… And it felt brilliant just brilliant….euphoria With a quick sat lite call to Sharon signalling my success, but i knew i was only half way their and the decision was made to traverse the mountain defending to basecamp plaza da mulas 4100meters via camp Nido & camp Canada. Finishing the climb with an expedition time of 31hours ascending & decending a combined 18,480ft from basecamp on the east to basecamp on the west traversing the might of Aconcagua. I dont think sleeps going to be an issue tonight… I couldn’t but not reflect on what was a battle of mind over matter , re- confirming once again that with the right focus the right plan and a positive mental attitude believing in yourself …you can achieve anything in this life..and nobody should stand in your way. Jason