Once again, there's no continuity to this blog. Since last time I wrote about my plans for tackling the non-technical but daunting peak of Cerro Aconcagua in Argentina, there have been almost no updates. None of the intermediate posts about gear and training that I had planned. The Master's thesis (maybe more in another post) simply expanded to occupy all available time. I simply have to announce that I'm sitting here in Mendoza, amidst a 34 degrees kept comfortable by the abundant leafy trees, just two days away from starting on what will be an approximately 20-day expedition.
The way things have turned out, perhaps the less talk about the upcoming trip, the better. The amazing expanding thesis also cut into a lot of training time so I'm definitely short of a gallop there. Plus in the last few weeks I've had some kind of mysterious illness with very mild but nevertheless energy-reducing symptoms. All in all I don't feel that confident. The worst case scenario is that at basecamp they'll decide my oxygen levels are below par and send me back to Mendoza.
Still, I need to honour my big talk in previous posts by at least acknowledging that I'm about to start the attempt. This morning when I checked into the hotel where everyone is meeting I talked to a guy who is making a second attempt: last year he lost feeling in his toes just a couple of hundred metres from the summit and had to turn back. He said his boots had been on their last legs and just failed him. Given that I've been pretty studious about getting all the right gear and equipment, that's at least one situation I should avoid. Anyone interested can get updates on progress with the expedition at the Adventure Consultants web site