After accreditation with the chief ranger and mandatory medical check-up (oxygenation in the blood, pulsations, blood pressure, and auscultation of the lungs), we went to our assigned place, where we promptly started to set up the tent, since the sun goes down as I mentioned above. The cold begins to be very intense. We prepare some hot broths, and we get exhausted in the down sacks.
The next day was a stage of rest and acclimatization in our Aconcagua ascents. We took the opportunity to gather the equipment that the muleteers had brought with the mules, and we exchanged experiences with other members of different expeditions. The general comment among the expedition members was about the prevailing lousy weather; just now, we decided to make the ascent !!! It is notorious how the meteorological processes, unfortunately, affect all the activities to be carried out in the open air, which of course includes the aeronautical operation so involved at this time by the occurrence of the El Niño phenomenon, caused by the change in the flow of the Humboldt current. Of the eastern Pacific.
We saw many people with hypothermia and acute mountain sickness (AMS) who were waiting to be evacuated by the helicopter that provides services in the park. In most cases, it must be done using mules due to bad weather and in Ultimately, accompanied by park rangers, if the mountaineer can move on his own. Aconcágua is very hard to overcome.
This picture began to affect my mind quite negatively since I could not disconnect my “conservative” instinct as an aircraft pilot, where I always have a sure and safe escape alternative. A few days after completion, Our Aconcagua treks, analyzing the situations experienced sitting comfortably in front of the fire. I consider that despite having prepared conscientiously, having trained and ascended a considerable number of mountains, and having investigated all the details related to this hill, it may not have been enough as to undertake a large company with reasonable chances of success.
Later we began our journey to the high altitude camps on a cold but sunny morning, although the forecast warned us that we would have clouds and snow in the afternoon. The pace was slow but steady, walking alone, looking straight ahead, focused on what one is doing and his deepest feelings: What immense beauty was developing around me! How many things that one does almost automatically, such as opening a tap to drink water or having the privacy of a heated bathroom, are greatly surprised if they suddenly begin to be lacking! How inconsistent we humans are, if we lack it, we miss it, if we have too much, we waste it … I hope that each one of us can do their introspection and realize that they could collaborate by putting their grain of sand to achieve once and for all to have a world more clean and sustainable.