Goodbyes to Family - 3 Jan 2012

family goodbye m ray and jay m

It is always hard saying goodbye to family but this time is especially hard as we will be gone for such a long time and not sure how frequently we will be able to communicate from the mountain. Can you believe that there is a webcamera at the Plaza de Mules base camp on the one side of the mountain (
However, we will be summiting from the other side of the mountain (Plaza de Argentina base camp side) and will descend to Plaza de Mules on 19th January if all goes well. We are both really really super excited for the trip which and have been training for about 5 months. We have a huge kit bag with lots of special thermal clothing as temperature can drop to -30°C on Aconcagua. Above base camp we will wear ice boots and crampons to ensure a good grip. The biggest challenge will be the thin air at the high altitude (about 45% of normal oxygen levels) so it will be like climbing with a single lung. We will have several rest days along the route to help with the altitude acclimatization. We have included a number of snacks in our packs like chocolates and biltong which will be a welcome treat and keep energy levels high. You use a lot more energy at altitude because the heart must pump the blood more rapidly to absorb adequate oxygen. Basically this means that even sleeping is exhausting.

We are also keen to meet the rest of the team at the airport tomorrow morning at 6:15am. Our guide is Sibusiso Vilane from Adventure Dynamics International, and has twice summited Everest, therefore we are great hands. I believe that there will be about 10 people in the team, all South Africans. I will be wearing my ADI T-shirt so that they can spot us easily. We are required to get all our kit into one large bag, then they will check us in as a team with all the team equipment. I just could not fit everything in the single bag so we have an extra bag between us...I hope this doesn't cause any problems. I made a last minute decision only to take a small camera with disposable batteries with, so that we don't need to worry about charging camera batteries. I hope this turns out to be a smart move as the big lens camera would have been nice for the panoramic shots. I believe that one of the members of the team will be carrying some professional photographic equipment so I trust that he will get all those nice shots for the whole team. The flight will leave at 9h30 from Joburg to Beunos Aires and then onto Mendoza close to the Chile border. Time to get some shut-eye and enjoy my own bed for the last time. Good Night All.

Page 8 of 8

Terms and Conditions | Site Map | Weblinks | Copyright Summit7 2012