Left the mountain at 6:00pm last night for the drive back to civilization. The climb was great. Quite bit easier than I thought it would be. Even through I was wasted by the time we got off the summit and to the safety of the high camp. Richard and I were able to do the climb quite quickly, as we were somewhat acclimitized from Ecuador. I will give all the details later, but in summary:

Day 1 – Hike to Confluencia (to 3,300mts/10,850ft and taking 3 hrs)

Day 2 – Hike to base camp (to 4,300mts/14,114ft and taking 7 hrs)

Day 3 – Rest Day in Base camp. Doctor gave all clear to go higher.

Day 4 – Load carry to Camp 1 and Camp 2 (almost). Weather starting to turn bad.

Day 5 – Another rest day (after load carry). Overnight storm, everyone above base camp retreated from the mountain. Many tents blown out. Things not looking good.

Day 6 – Forced weather day. Starting to get nervous about the weather.

Day 7 – Move to Camp 1 (Canada) and spent the night (4,910mts/16,100ft)

Day 8 – Move to Camp 2 (Nido de Condores) and spent the night (5,400mts/17,650ft)

Day 9 – Move to Camp 3 (Berlin) and spent the night (5,780mts/19,000)

Day 10 – Summit around 3:30pm after 9 hours slogging up the hill. Weather was a bit lousy, with high winds. Four teams set off from our overnight camp, but only Richard and I made it through the wind. I required full cold weather gear (no skin exposed).

Day 11 – Descent to Basecamp.

Day 12 – 24km (15 mile) hike out and drive back to the `big smoke`.

An excellent trip. But very glad to be out of a tent. Flight back to the USA is tomorrow evening. Tonight we shall celebrate with some beers.

Signing out from Mendoza (where it is warm and sunny).