Aconcagua #2016 expedition

The 5am departure from the hotel in Mendoza signalled that all the hard work ,training preparation and sacrifices make had all come to this moment in time and finally the Aconcagua expedition 2016 was well and truly on. Earlier that evening i got my first opportunity to meet with the other team mates all Texan and proud of it with the exception of an Asian climber Ming ,living in Texas, born in China & who was soon to become my tent mate. The others seamed real characters and the wonderful thing about expedition or adventure is the unknown that lay ahead both in the mountain and the individuals you climb with…. I’m sure all will unfold. Departing we took a four hour mini bus ride fully loaded with gear, food and equipment and somewhere in there was eight exited climbers along with our Argentinean mountain guide Milli ,who wore a great cool free spirited attitude to life yet a serious side to the expedition ahead. On arrival at the entry point of Aconcagua and the the foot of the Andes mountain range we checked into the park rangers station were individually we presented our mountain permits granting us permission to climb the highest mountain in America /South America. Out side sat the helicopter that would fast track us into basecamp. The views on route were breath taking as the skill full pilot navigated his way with AC/DC playing in the helicopter headphones, super excited in an understatement. Then it appeared the small basecamp settlement which was now to become home for the next while. Spotted with the small expedition tents from other mountaineering teams and larger dome tents providing back up services of food water and emergency if required. For me it was in heaven, strange as it may seam I’ve become very comfortable slipping into expedition mode, removed from the outside world and totally reliant on the natural instinct to survive alone & at one with Mother Nature. Building my small expedition tent no bigger that a match box with my head torch on and temperatures now dropping below freezing it was time to put the final touches to my expedition pack. The following morning we were treated with incredible high winds and a not promising weather forecast for condition to deteriorate badly. Prior to starting Millie called an expedition meeting outlining the plan and as this was a fast track summit push we had to have it perfectly planned to execute. After lengthy discussions I soon realised that all of my team members , Bill Richard John Ming Robert Micky & Steve had little or no experience in big mountains … Unnerving when i knew what lay ahead. Jason