Aconcagua National Park

11-13th May 2003.

Time restrictions due to pending flights kept Aconcagua to a day trek rather than the 2 weeks needed to reach the 6,959m summit. (It has to be said that it was Jason's part of the plan)

We started the day to glorious sunshine and Jason was very keen to reach the south face of the mountain. We started at 9am, (nothing opened in town until then) and walked through the national park.

Not one of Claire's best photos - altitude sickness had started to set in for the girl from the plains of the Shire. We had been walking for about 6 hours from a height of 2700m to about 4000m here.

This was the only flat bit of the trip, and it was at the end. Previous to this photo we had been walking for a couple of hours like drunken idiots without the fun or the booze. By this stage we had been walking for 7 hours into the wind and up hill.

Claire is well into a Jesus-trip by this stage.

Here are the layers in the rocks that we passed.  At this stage, Claire failed to see them as she was so busy putting one foot in front of the other to get to the south face.

Here is part of the Horcones glacier that we followed up the Francia valley to the south face of Aconcagua. The contours of dirt through the glacier are testimony to its continuous upheaval.

Adventure Jason posing in front of the glacier

Here is the south face of Aconcagua with huge mounds of snow, glaciers and frozen waterfalls overhanging.

It was about 4200m where we were.  The view is quiet breathtaking when you are standing below it (nothing to do with the altitude sickness). This picture doesn't do it any justice.

We left the south face with another 3 hours of sunlight to get out of the park.

This is us happily wandering down the mountain content in the knowledge that we had succeeded to get to where we had planned.

Us, two hours away from the end of our 12 hour walk.

It's pretty dark by this stage, though the moon is pretty full... Claire's walk is spiced up by Jason remembering the young boy that was grabbed by a Puma (mountain Lion) here some 5 years ago.

The climbers graveyard was quite an experience... hundreds of people had come from all over the world to die up this mountain.

I (Jason) am coming back to climb this one day!

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