Saturday, January 24, 2009

Down from the mountain

An awfully cold, snowy mountain for being Aconcagua in the summertime!  We might have gotten snow on all but three or four days of a two-week trip.  Afternoon clouds frequently engulfed the summit and spread snow down to various lower reaches.  I don't think there was one truly hot day of the trip, including the usually-scorching three-day trek in.

Our group did great - mostly Americans, but an Aussie and a Brit thrown in for good measure, ages 25 - 64.  Our Aussie had to leave us at camp 3, but the other nine climbers made it to the summit in less-than-ideal visibility.  I stayed in the tent and slept off a fever and GI bug, but recovered by that evening and descended the next day without issue.  Hmm - I hope my various India bugs haven't decided to stick with me!  Dave and Lhawang were great to work with, some fun tent conversations and only a little kicking each other in our sleep.

Despite the lack of hot weather, there's no shortage of UV or just general harshness up there.  Part of the recovery process back in town is just letting my nose and face sort out their various burned and chapped layers.  Amazing how long it takes for this recovery - my muscles are ready to go, but it takes longer for this.

Now a week in Mendoza, where there is no shortage of heat.  Today it is 100 degrees (or 38 C), certainly too hot to run and sometimes too hot to move much!  Yikes!  It's supposed to finally cool off tomorrow - whew.  Hopefully some running, biking, reminding my body what it's like to move faster than 2 miles an hour...  

The next trip leaves tomorrow, so the other two guides and their living room full of food will be gone, and I'll have the apartment to myself for three days.   A little reading, a little cooking, a little relaxing - mmm.

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