DANIELA KROULÍKOVÁ REPORTS FROM ACONCAGUA: “BASE CAMP REACHED!”
12. 12. 2018
Daniela Kroulíková (23), a talented young Czech mountaineer and a member of the Kilpi Racing Team, continues in her attempt to reach the second summit of the 7 SUMMITS challenge, the feared Argentinian Aconcagua mountain. To achieve that, she and her team established a demanding 21-day timetable:
Day 1: Arrive in Mendoza before noon, Airports pick up and transfer to the Hotel.
Day 2: Mendoza to Penitentes (2,700m).
Day 3: Penitentes to Confluencia (3,368m).
Day 4: Trek to Plaza de Mulas ( 4,250m).
Day 5: Rest day at the base camp.(4,250m)
Day 6: Explore the local terrain. We may do acclimatization hike and rest at the base camp (4,250m).
Day 7: Carry equipment and food to camp 1 (4,900m) and overnight at camp 1.
Day 8: Touch Camp 2 and back at base camp,. (we will deposit some kit at camp 2).
Day 9 & 10: Rest day at the base camp (4,200m).
Day 11: Ascent to camp 1 (4,900m). Ascend to Camp 1, called “Plaza Canada” and sleep there for the night.
Day 12: Ascend to Camp 2 called “Nido de Condores” (meaning Condor Nest), which is located in a high pass at 5,400 m and provides a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains.
Day 13: Carry equipment to camp 3 and back to camp 2.
Day 14: Ascend to camp 3 (6,000m).
Day 15: summit day 6,962m.
Day 16 & 17: Spare days in case of bad weather conditions.
Day 18: Return to Base Camp.
Day 19: Return from base camp to Penitentes and back to Mendoza.
Day 20: Transfer to Mendoza, check into a nice hotel and enjoy a fancy Argentine style meal.
Day 21: Transfer to Mendoza airport; depart for the country of residence.
However, after they got to the Base Camp of the highest mountain of both the Southern and Western Hemispheres, the situation changed. “We got to the Base Camp in two days. But the acclimatization is difficult, we have headaches, stomach problems. Thank God there are medical checks here, so we got some injections and everything is OK.” To support the acclimatization process, they go climbing in the surrounding of the Base Camp. “We’ve done several climbs nearby the Camp to get used to the conditions here. We also ascended to the Camp C1 (4 900 m) to bring a part of our food supplies there. We also spend a night in the camp and in the morning we climbed to Camp C2 (5 400 m) and ascended back to Base Camp,” Daniela described the situation.
Besides the acclimatization process, there is another factor, which makes the ascent to the Argentinian giant even more difficult - adverse weather conditions, which Aconcagua is infamous for. “The mountain doesn’t let us to get any higher! Extremely strong wind tears tents and carries them away. At night, temperature drops to -38 °C. Fortunately, we have warm clothes and sleeping bags, so we only wake up with our hats covered in frost,” Daniela jokes. But then she adds that the wind also caused a fall of one of the climbers there.
Daniela and her team now do their best to be ready for the summit ascent. “Now we have two rest days ahead of us, then straight to Camp C2 (5 400 m), where we overnight, the next day C3 (6 900 m). From here, finally a 10-13 hour walk to the summit (6 962 m). Only a few people have reached it this year!”
We keep our fingers crossed for Daniela and her team to make it to the very top of the mountain!