Friday, March 21, 2003

Aconcagua diary, continued:

Part 4 of 7

March 21st: This morning we hurriedly scaled the ledge and made it to the plateau. The snow is very deep from the storm. We passed through the plateau, and decided not to leave a camp, but press on.

10:00: We have reached the arrête. It is a relief to walk on rock, for the snow was extremely tiring. Now we must walk along the knife-edge to the summit. Simple, so simple.

14:00: A late lunch. Our spirits are up, for the snow here has mostly been blown away. We are all feeling well, and have no problems. Michael still has not run out of film, and is now recording pictorially the day to day progress of Peter's beard. Hernán keeps complaining that the toilet seats are cold here. I wonder how much heaters would cost in these parts.

15:00: A stiff wind has picked up, but the air remained clear. The sights are beautiful, for now we can see our target, a great boost to the morale of our team. We can also see other mountains all around, most with their peaks below us. We shall continue until five o'clock.

18:00: Cold dinner. Cold air here. The wind continues to blow, but the only snow comes from the plumes torn from the fields. The summit itself is sporting a plume that caught the last rays of the day. Symbolic, I thought. Was it a taunt? We will pack in for the night, and reach the summit tomorrow.