The last two descents of the Aconcagua treks had been speedy and efficient, but this one was painfully long. Climbing Aconcagua with our entire team on our back, spitting snow in our faces, and extreme frustration and disappointment was one of the most challenging descents I have ever done. My mind analyzed everything from giving up the Seven Summits altogether to optimistically figuring out what it will take to get back to the summit if the weather cleared. Despite how sad it was to be back at base camp without reaching the top, I fell asleep grateful for so many things. I was thankful that Everest and so many of our climbs had worked, grateful for Richard, who came back to this mountain to climb it with me, and as he looked up to the top where the wind, he was grateful. Be at base camp and not high up in unpredictable weather. By midafternoon, the water gushing up the mountain from the glacier was so full of sediment that it immediately clogged a filter. Instead, we found some branches on the penitents and created small pools to filter the water. These pools were working at night, but sadly they froze in the morning. From Camp 1, we also had the pleasure of starting to use our orange bags, which are given to us to take out our human waste. The tent got a little cozier with the three of them sleeping from head to toe, and suddenly a sloped tent site was a problem to deal with. The next day, we took the team to Camp 2 at 19,200 ′ at the Polish glacier base.The following day was a crystal blue sky, and it was tough not to guess our decision. The most tricky thing about the great mountains is that it is a different world at the top than at the bottom. As the day progressed, Lucas and Lucinda, Dominique, and their group began making arrangements to leave as soon as possible. But I was not ready to let go of Aconcagua, not yet. We’ve run out of the mountains before, and we’re sorry, and John and Julien would be back at base camp the next day. I wanted to stay at least long enough to enjoy more time with them, as we rarely get a chance. Also, I had a nagging temptation to return to the mountain in the few days that we had left in the back of my mind. Negotiating the mules’ situation was much cheaper and more convenient for everyone if we went out simultaneously as the rest of the group. We were on a countdown from Dominique when he let people know if we were in or out. He couldn’t leave the mountain without knowing that we had given him every last chance. We called my friends on the satellite phone, asked them to check the weather, and recorded the temperature and wind speed at various heights over the next few days, and we would call them back in 10 minutes. It looked like the weather will get better and better on Monday and Tuesday, with a clear potential summit day on Wednesday. This Aconcagua hike marked my life forever.