Mission: Aconcagua 2000

Project

To climb Mt. Aconcagua and to send a message for human rights.

At 6959 masl, Mt. Aconcagua is the highest mountain of the five continents and is located in the Argentine, Mendoza.

I will contract a mountain guide to help carry equipment and provisions. I chose to climb the mountain’s northern face for the duration of 18 days. The route I chose, the northern slope, is considered to be more accessible, but is also higher and longer.

I will broadcast all my expedition through radios Feeling and Libertad four times a day.

A bank account will be opened for the purpose of collecting funds for UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women) and for the Fundación del Hospital Garrahan.*

E-mails will be sent on 12/20/99, 12/24/99 and 1/1/2000.

* Due to time constraints, the money was intended to gather for UNIFEM and Garrahan Hospital Foundation, was made for the Home “The Dirty Faces”, where they eat over 2000 people daily. He opened an account in the name of Ms. Monica Carranza, founder and spread through FM AM Radio Liberty and Feeling.

Goal

To be at the top of Mt. Aconcagua at dawn on the January 1, 2000, to welcome there the new millennium, considering that the change of millennia will be a moment of great significance for Humanity and wishing to broadcast from the top of Mt. Aconcagua (Centennial Stone, in quechua tongue) a message of faith, of hope, of peace, and of altruism.

On the 24th of December, from Plaza de Mulas base camp at 4370 meters, I will transmit a message to the effect that we should never again turn away from difficult situations and that we should learn to get involved.

I want to proclaim a message that awakes all that is still pure in the human race. The message will be especially addressed to all the children of the world because they are the seed and basic material of our future, artisans of a new dawning.

General Information

Some of the tasks will be done at high altitudes, which includes having to melt snow to obtain water and to cook on benzene heaters because gas freezes. The food is prepared inside the tent.

Apart from the risks inherent to the expedition, which are the normal ones in mountaineering, other serious inconveniences that I can find during my ascent are the so called “white wind,” which blows violently sometimes during the day, and the extremely low temperatures (even during the middle of southern hemisphere’s summer) that can reach to -20 and -25°F and the wind factor can reach -50°F. The last stage can take me from 5 to 10 hours due to the strength of the wind.

I will not be able to stay at the summit more than one and a half hours, due to the lack of oxygen at that altitude, to body exhaustion, and to the cold.

The Mountain

As I said, at 6959 meters height, the Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the six continents. It is located in the heart of the Andes, in the Argentine province of Mendoza, approximately 1342 kms west of Buenos Aires. It is a peak much visited by climbers of all nationalities.

When I enter the Mt. Aconcagua Provincial Park I will be given a rubbish bag which will have to be returned when I come back.

The climb can be made through different routes, which offer different levels of difficulty. The toughest one is the southern slope, due to several stretches of vertical wall of rock and ice. The northern slope route is more accessible. Apart from the proper clothing, the climbing equipment consists of sticks, picks, spiked and lined boots, a sleeping bag and a benzene heater.