Home > Expeditions & Adventures > Aconcagua kicking off to yet another difficult season

Aconcagua kicking off to yet another difficult season

December 27, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

In the summer season of the southern hemisphere, Aconcagua (6.965m) – the second highest of the Seven Summits – attracts a big crowd of climbers. Last season was one of the busiest in the past few years, and also one of the most tragedy-struck.

Alpinismonline.com report today that the peak has claimed its first victim this season, a climber reportedly found dead on Monday close to the summit. The mountaineer’s identity has not yet been officially confirmed.

An group of climbers found the body about 50 meters from the top on the normal route and alerted authorities. The recovery was delayed by strong winds. On Tuesday, the rescue patrol found another climber in an exhausted state and had to divert their efforts to him.

Alpinismonline report that 9 climbers have been rescued already this season. Last season six climbers perished on Aconcagua, double the usual annual fatality rate.

Fatalities on Aconcagua in the 2008-2009 season

– Stefan Jaromin (GER), 42 years old, was trying a solo ascent of Aconcagua but in his second attempt something went wrong. Jaromin was found dead on January 3rd.

– On January 6th the Aconcagua´s rescue team was alerted that four Italians and an Argentinean guide were missing on the “Glaciar de los Polacos” Route. They summited via the classic route but lost their way in a sudden storm and mistakenly descended the technical Polish route. Elena Senin, 38, and guide Federico Campanini, 31, both died. The others – Marco Afasio, Marina Acanazio and Mateo Refrigerato – were rescued by helicopter.

– On January 9th British climber Michael Freemann, 42, was just a few meters from summiting when he collapsed and died of a heart attack.

– Pierre-Emeric Benteyn, 35, engineer for Red Bull´s Formula One team responsible for Mark Webber’s car, disappeared on “Glaciar de los Polacos” early January in a solo attempt to summit. Rescue teams were unable to find the climber.

– On January 16th American climber Arthur Michel Lelisle, 51, suffered a fall on the regular route and died of his injuries.

All the tragedies brought together several groups and associations in Argentina in an effort to provide better equipment such as tents, ropes and sleeping bags to the rescue service in order to facilitate faster help to climbers. Several people also volunteered their knowledge and help to improve the services.

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