Day 18. Good news from Osprey
Early in the morning we went up to Camp Canada to bring down some of our group equipment. This time it was much easier to go up. Apparently we were already well acclimatized. Oddly enough, a lot of groups climbed up with huge backpacks, although the forecast forecasted terrible weather with winds up to 100 km per hour at the summit.
I spent the rest of the day reading a book about Aconcagua and playing cards. In the evening I could use the Internet and the great news was waiting for me in my e-mail inbox: Osprey becomes our official sponsor! It’s a huge support for our cause and it’s cool that companies like Osprey see the value in strengthening the visibility and rights of LGBT+ people in sports like mountaineering and rock climbing. This is our first official sponsor and the most amazing thing is that they found out about our campaign somewhere in the Internet and wrote to me that they want to support us! As a rule, it happens often other way around: athletes and expedition groups actively seek and write to potential sponsors.
As part of the sponsorship, we are planning a scholarship for a new team member in the amount of 3.000 euros. You too can apply for the Pink Summits Scholarship to become part of the team and join our adventures and expeditions. We especially welcome applications from LBTQ+ women, people with disabilities, refugees and migrants, and anyone who is not able to join our expeditions due to financial constraints, but who already has some experience in trekking, mountaineering or rock climbing .
Days 19-22. The last days before the final ascent
We spent two days at the base camp, most of the time playing cards and reading books in the cafe (I read everything that was available for the guests in the cafe). We were waiting for good weather. A hurricane was currently raging on the mountain. Judging by the number of people in the cafe-bar, many were waiting for the weather window.
Out of boredom, we walked with Chris to the nearby glaciers. It was a cool feeling to stand next to these giant blocks of ice, through which a raging river was tunneling its way.
In the evenings, we were met by stunning sunsets, when the entire western slope of Aconcagua was ablaze with bright fiery colors, playfully reflecting the last rays of the sun onto the clouds around.
On the third day we set off from the base camp straight to Nido de condores. There are only four of us left out of eight people. One felt sick because of the altitude, and the rest no longer saw the point in waiting for good weather.
It was much easier to go up this time due to the light pack and good acclimatization, but the last meters still seemed like an eternity. I had to take several breaks to catch my breath.
Right after we set up the tents, a hurricane began. We spent the rest of the day lying in the tent, hiding from the wind. Chris was sorting out pictures on his phone and I was listening to podcasts in Spanish. Thanks to these podcasts, my Spanish has improved a lot: I began to understand almost everything that others say. But I have still problem speaking about complex topics, stammering at every third sentence.
The sunset was as always bright and blazing, but we could not admire it for a long time: the hurricane did not subside. Just a couple more days and we are finally going to the top. We are very tired of waiting. We wanted to go home as soon as possible. Back to the place, where it is warm and cozy, where our family and friends are around, where we can enjoy delicious food and basic necessities like shower, normal bed, toilet. I even missed my work, despite all the stress of the previous year.
The next day the wind stopped blowing. The weather was great and the sky was clear. There was also much less snow: the hurricane blew away most of it. We climbed up again to the Cholera camp. Tomorrow night we plan to climb to the summit.
Surprisingly many climbers went up to Cholera with us. This is not surprising: tomorrow is the only day when there is no hurricane wind, no snowfall and the trekking path was more or less cleared of snow by the previous hurricane.