After a bit of arguing, we decided to stay to climb Aconcagua as far as the body would allow. We were already acclimatized and ready for the Aconcagua climb. So we thought we could go to camp 1 on Monday, to camp 2 on Tuesday, attempt the summit on Wednesday, return to base camp on Thursday, hike to Penitentes on Friday and return to Mendoza to take the flight home on Sunday. It was a tight schedule, but the decision felt good. He knew that he would not question this decision. Even if we returned home without reaching the top, we would see that we gave it our all. Sunday, we had a great time with Rob and Ned. It was great to be with them, and I think our minds were at ease knowing we had another shot at the top ahead of us. The following days, the hikes to Camp 1 and Camp 2 were much more accessible than being fully acclimatized, even with our huge backpacks. Climbing just us was so natural and easy somehow. We were very lucky that in Camp 1, we were able to be hermit crabs and move into Rob and Ned’s tent that they had left there for their return. Camp 2 was just as desolate as our previous trip there. We set up our tent and walked in the direction of the trail to make sure we knew everything we were going the following day, as navigating the penitents without the sun would be potentially frustrating. After some days that didn’t exactly settle well and a stormy night, we woke up around 3:00 a.m., had some instant cappuccino and oatmeal, and left at 4:45 a.m. We immediately noticed that the breeze was warmer than we expected, and it took off a lot of our layers. The trek out of the camp passed quickly, and we soon found ourselves reaching the summit
We meet several guided groups, in trains of about ten people. We had arrived in Independencia at 21,000 ′ feelings strong before we knew it, although a little colder. I say “cabin” loosely because, although it is considered the tallest human-made structure in the world, I’m not sure that a 4 ′ tall roofless enclosure would consist of a cabin in my book. Leaving the cabin, we cross the Gran Accaro towards the Canaleta. Here we are faced with horrible winds and exhaustingly loose terrain. On a big rock before the Gutter, I put on more capes, and Jake put his backpack down. Although we enjoyed the beautiful sunrise from the crossing, it now became apparent that the sun would not hit us until near the top during our Aconcagua hike.