Aconcagua (6.962m), Argentina, 2002
Seven Summits, South America
Friday 29th of March 2002, after two earlier attempts in 1999 and 2000, Boris reached the summit of Aconcagua!
Aconcagua 2002, a succesfull expedition by Ice-X!
It's the first time a Dutch climber reaches the summit of Aconcagua all solo, without any help from other people or mules, during the 'off season' (after closure of the park on March 15, oficially considered as a winter ascent).1
The Ice-X climbers want to try to climb all the Seven Summits, the highest mountain of each continent. July 2000 the top of Europe - 5.642 meter Mount Elbrus in the Caucasus - was succesfull on the programm. This time Aconcagua, with 6.962 meters the highest of South America, was the main goal.
1 The Expedition Commission of the NKBV (Dutch climbing and mountaineering association) confirms to have no record of earlier similar succesful attempts. Also other international climbing organisations and climbers 'allow' us to write this claim here. If anybody begs to differ, please contact us asap.
Solo Off season!
# Boris before departure:
"I want to enter the Parque Provincial Aconcagua little after 16th of March - the day the Park closes. By that time not much other climbers will be in there anymore and conditions are more severe than in December / Februar, the highseason, when big crowds arrive at basecamp to climb. As the winterseason starts end of March on the mountain, lots of snow, storms and extreme cold are very possible. What I like most is the lonelyness, I have to take care of myself, I'll have to cope with this lonelyness,nobody to help me, just me and the mountain, very pure, the idea to do a first ascent."
"Because the park will be closed OI have to do some extra effort to get access. Before a notary in
Mendoza a declaration must be signed in which I state that I have the required experience, and equipment for a solo off-season expedition, that I take all responsibility myself and a whole lot of other points. The required insurance is arranged by Hienfeld, via the NKBV, the Dutch mountaineering association."
"I'll be in South America for a whole month, which should give me plenty of time for climbing Aconcagua. If there's some time left I might do some more climbing elsewhere or just lay back and relax. There're no fixed plans for after Aconcagua, so no rush."
"Technically the normal route on the mountain is not difficult. The altitude of almost 7 kilometers, the time of year and the fact that I'll climb solo still turn it into an extreme and daring expedition."
# Boris after the expedition:
"It was everything I wanted, everything I expected and more. Entering the park there were three other groups of climbers, but as I climbed to high camp, the last group left the park and I was completely alone on the mountain. A very exclusive experience with large mental impact. Most of the days the weather was perfect, except one. I encountered the Viento Blanco - the feared snowstorm - the day I tried to reach the summit, giving me frostbite on my nose and fingers."
"Temperatures dropped below 20 degrees C minus. Emotional pressure caused by the lonelyness was more severe than I thought, even much worse than the physical effort. Probably this was the hardest time I ever had. Still there were tons of exceptional moments, wonderfull views, moments of pureness, spiritual completeness, little birds visiting me in the morning, great changes in the way I think, moments of surpise and great happyness. Unforgettable, untouchable, mystical."
Chile (west) and Argentina (east) fill up the southern part of South America. You can find Cerro Aconcagua a bit east of Santiago de Chile.
Current weather in Argentina and Chile
These links show the current weather in Santiago de Chili, Mendoza and Punta De Vacas. On these pages you can also find a satellite photo and two maps with the forecast and temperature.
Santiago de Chili is situated about 100 km west of Aconcagua. The weather here is a good indication for the weather on the summit as bad weather from the Pacific can reach the mountain within one hour. Mendoza is a large city 50 km east of Aconcagua at about 700 meter altitude. Punta De Vacas is a village at the foot of Aconcagua.