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Flatlander1

Aconcagua 2006 Expedition - Climbers Wanted

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Hi Everyone:

 

I'm putting together an expedition to Aconcagua scheduled for Decemebr 22, 2006 to January 14, 2007 to climb the Polish Glacier Direct and/or False Polish Traverse depending on team size, skill levels and route conditions. For move information I encourage you to visit my web site at www.adventureclimbing.ca

 

Brad

554597-Aconcagua.JPG.f15ea053ced3afa7f4d0d9a60127f02a.JPG

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Why not the regular Polish Glacier route? The Polish Direct is rarely in condition and typically is bullet-proof ice up to 70 degrees. Why would you do this or the walk-up False Polish that traverses over to the Normal Route, when you have a great route like the regular Polish glacier right there?

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Hi Ryland:

 

There are many reasons why I have advertised the Polish Direct and Traverse Routes for this climb but there is nothing to stop climbers from attempting the Normal Polish Route if they feel confident.

 

First, this climb is being organized for climbers of varying degrees of skill. Some climbers may not have the technical skill to ascend the Polish Normal or Direct Routes (glacier travel and crevasse rescue) but will feel confident ascending the Traverse (crampons not required). Others may not want to carry all the technical gear required for either the Normal or Direct Routes. Some will plan to ascend the Polish Glacier but may later change their mind due to conditioning, weather, recent accidents, etc.

 

Additionally, the Polish Direct is considered by many to be the safer, albeit steeper, of the two routes. This past season the Polish Direct was in fantastic condition due to the high snowfall last winter. Many climbers made the ascent using poles only and it was considered a staircase. However, this route was in dangerous condition the past 4 years due to the ice conditions you mentioned.

 

Brad

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The polish traverse requires crampons. Trust me. Also, the direct is almost always in better condition than the regular route. DO NOT GO UP THERE WITHOUT CRAMPONS.

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Hi Alex:

 

Actually we crossed the Traverse twice on our trip and didn't require crampons. The first during an acclimatization hike and the second on our summit attempt. The second time I suggested we take our axes for traversing the last bit of ice due to the objective hazard below of a 400-500 foot steep runout into large rocks. There were good steps to follow but in some sections they had been polished by previous climbers and the hot sun. For the remaining ice there was little hazard beneath if one were to slip. For the most part you would have slid 10' into small rocky sections. As for crampons while we were on the route there was probably 1000 feet of ice to cross but nothing difficult given the trail that had already been put in and the fact that the surface of the ice was more like neve. Attached is a shot looking back at Camp 2 from part way up the Traverse.

 

Brad bigdrink.gif

556435-IMG_2361.JPG.368e92a37323f109c24d23aecd0bc1f3.JPG

Edited by Flatlander1

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Wow. Thats crazy. Maybe you camped in a different spot than us. I noticed there was a somewhat large camp on the normal route side of the glacier ( i think). Maybe that was the one in your picture? Anyway, we camped directly below the glacier, and crossing in the morning without crampons would be horrendous, nearly impossible, at least in the icy condition we found it. Anyway, im just reminiscing at this point, Im sure you know what your talking about. Did you meet Daniel Lopez in base camp? He has the huge blue tents, great guy to make friends with. Have a good trip.

 

alex

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Hey Alex:

 

We camped in the lower section of Camp 2 while our buddy Walt was on the upper section closer to the base of the Polish glacier. The camp you see in the photo is Camp 2 at 19,200 on the Polish Glacier Route. We began our traverse fairly low down on this section. If you want to see a bigger size photo check these two links:

 

http://www.summitpost.org/images/original/181480.JPG

http://www.summitpost.org/trip-report/178324/aconcagua-2006.html

 

You can blow-up the photos pretty large by clicking on them again. In the shot of Camp 2 our tent is the yellow one on the extreme left while Walt's tent is the blue one on the right seemingly in the middle on nowhere.

 

As for Daniel Lopez, well we had two enjoyable pizza and beer dinners there and met a lot of interesting people. Imagine, pizza and beer at almost 14,000 feet! I can't wait to do it all over again.

 

Cheers,

 

Brad

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Hey Guys,

Direct route is not as bad as you think; I did it on Jan 3th, 2005. It is really very cool route, fast, and no crevasses, I sumited at 1pm and started climbing at 5am, and returned via False Polish, which is just a hike and not steep at all, mt Si at 20,000ft, and later in January you probaly will not use crampons (on False Polish that is) but it is a good idea to have them;

 

I did it solo and dragged 2 Italian guys following me, I was kicking steps all the way, because they were struggling. I had an ax and an icetool, Italiens were initially using poles for 500ft or so and then used one pole and one icetool.

 

It was icy for about 600ft of the route around first band of rocks you have to cross, it gets steeper there maybe 55deg but not 60; hard to measure but it did not feel like 60; the ice is not continuous there, because there are snowdrifts (very hard snow), which you can use and definitely in January will not be toe-pointing climb all the way, like some people make you believe; If you have some ice climbing skills I would go solo, less trouble and you can likely to find company for the summit day. 300ft below the summit ridge you probably find deep snow, just past the second band of rocks, but it is only for short while, once on the ridge, the snow will be hard and grade very gentle for 800m to the summit. Aconcagua is not the most exciting climb, try NZ or BC for this, but it is a very pleasent climb, or hike on normal route. Really the high elevation is the only challenge there in summer.

 

PM me if you need other practical info, and Daniel Lopez crew is really cool, great characters and great food. I hope this is helpful and have a great trip.

 

Be fit 3000ft at 55deg at starting at 19,500ft is hard. I was able to run for 1hr at 8.5-9mph in November and December and I was doing 80mi on the bike in 5hrs. This allowed me to kick teps all the way very comfortably.

 

And I could not agree with you more, if you are genuine climber you don't need to pay $5500 to be led to the top. This is only for people who don't have any experience. I did the trip including airfare, permit expenses in Mendoza and mules on the way down only from Plaza de Mulas and transportation for $1800.

 

--Tony

Edited by tony_seattle

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Update

 

As of March 31, 2006 there are five climbers who have reserved spots on the expedition by submitting their $250 USD deposit. Due to the amount of interest so early I have decided to limit the total number of climbers on this expedition to a maximum of 12 for logistical reasons.

 

Thank you for your interest,

 

Brad Marshall

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Expedition Update

 

As of June 2, 2006 this expedition has been filled, however, climbers may submit their names for inclusion on a short-list created in case any climbers withdraw. Thank you for your interest.

 

Brad Marshall

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Expedition Update

 

One climber has withdrawn from the expedition so a position has become available. If interested please contact me as soon as possible at info@adventureclimbing.ca as the position will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

 

Thank you.

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Brad is planning another Aconcagua expedition for 2008-2009. I joined his 2006 team and climbed the Polish glacier direct . It was a great trip. If you're looking for an unguided, relatively cheap, laid back expedition where you can climb independently, this may be the ticket .

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