Sunday, December 23, 2012

Getting ready to go 12-09-12

Nothing happens according to plan:
It seems like the fundamental truth of extensive climbing expedition is that if there is something that CAN go wrong, it WILL go wrong. You need to be incredibly flexible and roll with the punches. Even in the final days leading up to the event, you can have an entire shadow of doubt cast over your plans. This trip was not an exception.

The Team: Jared, Tony, Ryan

I was battling with my own stomach issues down in South America. Whatever I had acquired in Bolivia was still hanging on. Midway through my Bolivia trip, I had contracted a stomach bug. I was dry heaving, had a mild fever and was getting really good at filling the toilet bowl with liquid from my bum. It subsided but I was left with nausea and lightheadedness while in Mendoza. I was worried that I was having another bout of Giardia, so we called the hotel doctor (which is a free service). She visited the room and told my that I just had gastroenteritis and gave me some nausia and stomach pills. I am still a little skeptical of my stomach status but there is not much I can do now.

I think Tony is doing fine, but haven't talked to him in a week. To further complicate matters, he is out of commission in Montana taking a wilderness EMT course up until the day he flys out of LA. So our current plans are on hold for a few days until he arrives in Mendoza.

Ryan had climbed Mount Orizaba in Mexico as an acclimatization peak a week before our scheduled departure for Aconcagua. He had began having bowel symptoms right after and was reporting to me that it was likely Giardia. He reported typical symptoms of sulfur farts, loose stool every hour and extreme fatigue and nausea. Up until the day before his scheduled departure, he was unsure of his status.  A day after he was supposed to arrive, I contacted him and he said he was not comming.

The Sponsors:
Cliff Bar and Mountain House were awesome with helping me out on the trip. Cliff bar supplied me with enough daytime snacks for Ecuador and Argentina and Mountain House provided the breakfast and dinner meals. Mountain house approved my request for 30 additional pouches just a week before my departure. They mailed them to Ryan and unsure of his status, he forwarded them to Tony to bring down for the climb.

The Final Plan:
The past six months have been a rollercoaster. The path has been anything but straight. Riding up, down, sideways and backwards, I have somehow managed to stay aboard. Now comes the final test. The feeling that knots your stomach as you inch up in height before the final drop. So many new unknows have been tossed into the mix further complicating this ascent of Aconcagua. My gastroenteritis and Ryan's Giardia and the inability to contact Tony until the day before his flight. But it isn't an adventure or an accomplishment without adversity. So here I am. Humble and ready to take it all in. Turned out that Ryan had to to bail because of his stomach, so it will be Me and Tony. So off we go!

Packing Up:
Tony and I jammed and were able to get everything done at the last minute. We were able to get permits by 1pm closing time, two ice screws and 9 fuel canisters from Fernando since all the shops were closed on Sunday. To further complicate matters, the ATMs would only allow 100 dollar withdrawals with a 10 dollar transaction fee. Luckily there was a casino that didn't charge where i was able to make the eight trips necessary for the $750 climbing permit without a fee.
At Pago Facil Wallmart paying for permit
At Pago Facil Wallmart paying for permit
Showing proof of payment at permit office 1 hour before the close
Signing my life away
Just in time
Strategizing food Needs
Shopping list
Shopping in foreign markets is fun
Tony went straight to the wine
What a mess
Picking and choosing freeze dried meals
Packed Ready to go!

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