I wanted to make this brief, because I know there are a lot of reports on Aconcagua, but here's a little different approach. We walked in on Feb 1, 6 1/2 hours from the Horcones Ranger station to Plaza de Mulas, with light loads since we had hired a mule. There were three of us, My brother, Peter Bakwin and his long time friend Buzz Burrell from Boulder Colorado. And me, Chris Bakwin from Bozeman/Livingston, Montana.
We spent the night in the Refugio Hotel there ($15) since neither Buzz or Peter like to camp when there is another option (I guess me too). The next day we got our gear from the mule guys, it took a day for them to get it in, they didn't show up 'til noon. I loaded up with Gear and headed up towards Nido, but found that I had WAY TO HEAVY OF A LOAD and had to stop at Canada, wore out. Peter and Buzz continued their rest day, the plan was I was to meet them on the way up tomarrow AM. Well I got up at 4am and hustled up the rest of the way to Nido (approx 1200' vert) but it became clear to me that the haul yesterday took to much out of me for a summit bid that day. I met Peter and Buzz and filled them in, returned to my tent at Canada and slept. Peter and Buzz went on to summit in 10 hours then returned for a steak at the refugio at PM.
Later that day I moved up to Nido, bringing only minimal stuff since I had found another climber who said I could share his tent. The plan was to rest a day then continue on but reports of a storm tomarrow night (the 4th) changed our minds to an attempt in the morning.
Set off at 5:30am, due to a malfunctioning alarm, I felt pretty good, By Berlin it was clear my new companion was having some trouble, so we agreed I go on alone. I really tried to pace myself and slow down as I feel this is what works for me at altitude, but was passing quite a few groups. I reached the summit in 8 1/2 hours from Nido (up almost 5000') and got back to Nido at 5:30pm. The next morning I walked down to Plaza de Mulas and on out and was in Mendoza for Steak, Beer and admiring the pretty women walking by on the sundrenched sidewalk that evening.
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