Success! Team Aconcagua traversed Mount Aconcagua. The team was advised by CLC founder, Mark Steelquist, and led by CLC Rock & Alpine crew leader, Ian Bellows. Ian and the other four members are all young adults who learned leadership and mountaineering skills through the CLC program. All have lead other youth on training climbs of the Cascade volcanos - Mt. Adams, Mt. Baker, Mt.Hood and Mt. Rainier.
Aoncagua is the highest mountain outside Asia, at 6,960.8 metres (22,837 ft), and the highest point in both the Western Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere. It is the second tallest mountain of the Seven Summits. Being a high altitude desert, Aconcagua has routes that can be entirely snow-free, requiring no technical climbing or running belays. (A running belay involves a team of roped climbers who travel simultaneously rather than one at a time).
The CLC climb occurred during the southern hemisphere's summer. The sun was above the horizon line about 14 hours per day. Nautical Twilight adds slightly less than an hour of useful light before sunrise and after sunset. It was truly dark just under 8 hours per night. Because most of the climb was on the north side of Aconcagua, the mountain did not obscure the sun or cast deep shadows on our camps or route, except at Colera, when they ascended the north western flank of the mountain and the sun rose at about 25 degrees south of east.
The following is a brief record of the trip. Each caption is a message sent from the team's inReach device, which provided live updates to friends and family.