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Aconcagua Custom Expedition 2015

Two mountaineers navigating a glacier on a Gasherbrum II Expedition

On Thursday, January, 22, Adrian and Gay flew into Mendoza, Argentina, after leaving their successful expedition in Antarctica where they reached the summit of Vinson Massif. They met Gay’s daughter Camilla in Mendoza along with Alpenglow assistant guide Reuben Shelton. Here’s Adrian’s snapshot of the crew on Friday, January 23, getting weighed before their heli to Base Camp, and Adrian commented that he bet that they wouldn’t weigh 285 kg when they returned!


Adrian Ballinger's Instagram photo in Mendoza, Argentina, before he and his assistant guide climb Aconcagua with two climbers

Gay and Camilla both decided to attempt to climb all of the Seven Summits of the world and do as many of them as they can together. As a Seven Sumit, Aconcagua is the tallest mountain in South America and in the Western Hemisphere.

After flying to Base Camp and staying there on Friday and Saturday, the team set out to tag Camp 1 on Sunday, January 25. Camilla and Gay did great! They were acclimatizing at home before their climbs with Hypoxico traning systems and their dedication is paying off. They were able to move well from Base Camp to Camp 1 at 16,500 feet.


Camilla and her mother Gay, on Aconcagua with Alpenglow Expeditions

On Monday, January 26, all four team members arrived safely in Camp 1 where they plan to stay for 2-3 days before moving up on the mountain. Everyone is doing great and we will post more pictures as soon as we receive them.


Gay, Camilla, and Adrian enjoying delicious snacks at Camp 1 on Aconcagua

January 27, 2015 – Team 2 is doing great at Camp 1. Adrian just sent us the photo above and said that life can’t be any better at 16,500 feet! They’re enjoying fresh brewed Coffeebar coffee, prosciutto and manchego with crackers, and candied ginger. Emily Harrington did a great job food shopping for the crew before they left!


Reuben making Coffeebar coffee on Alpenglow Expeditions' Aconcagua climbing trip

January 28, 2015 – Team 2 moved strong and quickly made it to Camp 2 where they are spending time making snacks, playing games, and enjoying expedition life. Camilla, Gay, and Adrian are doing well. Reuben (pictured above) is Alpenglow’s newest barista and he’s cranking out coffee like it’s his job (it is, isn’t it)? Adrian commented “Two-at-a-time Aeropress technique is not taught in the AMGA curriculum, but it should be!” Everyone here at home thinks that’s pretty accurate. As you can see, they’re in good spirits! We’ll keep you posted as they continue to send fun pictures of their climb.

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January 30, 2015 – Team 2 is resting in Camp 2 and moving to High Camp (Camp 3) tomorrow. It’s rare to have camp all to yourself on one of the Seven Summits, but that’s exactly how the team has been enjoying it! Locals have told Adrian that it’s been an extremely quiet season. While this has been difficult on their businesses, it’s been incredible for Alpenglow’s climb and the solitude is creating a truly unique experience for the team.

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January 31, 2015 – The team arrived in High Camp at 20,000 ft (6000 m) to find more than 20 tents of other teams destroyed by wind. Broken poles, ripped tents, and gear strewn for miles. However, this didn’t dissuade them and they feel amazing, their Marmot gear is bomber, and tonight is the summit push for Reuben, Camilla, and Adrian! 

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February 1, 2015 – Adrian just sent us this photo of Camilla and him, at their high point on Aconcagua, along with a few words. “Today the mountain called the shots. With high winds forecast for the next two weeks, we made our summit push on Aconcagua. When we woke at 3 a.m., it sounded like a jet engine was roaring just above our tent. But you never know if you don’t go. We pushed hard to over 22,000 feet before the consistent 50mph winds and cold temps finally beat us back. It was an epic day, and perhaps more memorable than an easy stroll to the summit.” 

Feburary 2, 2015 – Team 2 is in Mendoza as the expedition comes to a close. They had a lot of fun and made a great effort on Aconcagua, we are proud of them.