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South America, Argentina, Central Andes, Aconcagua Attempt and Ascent

Aconcagua Attempt and Ascent. On December 14, Brian Asbury and Glen Frank started up from the normal route's 14,000 foot-basecamp in an attempt to make the second (?) ascent of the Estiban Escaiola route on the west face of Aconcagua. Day one ascended very loose scree slopes to the left of the original line, which lay on the crest of a ridge. The scree slopes apparently consisted of slightly poorer quality climbing at a much easier grade. A bivy was made around 17,800 feet. Day two left the scree slopes and entered a snow- and ice- filled couloir. Rock fall was a concern while in the couloir. The couloir started off at 35° to 40° and became steeper with elevation. The day finished with a pitch of unprotected mixed climbing, up to vertical and 5.6. A bivy was made, in the couloir, at about 19,000 feet. Day three kept ascending the couloir through steep sections up to 80 feet in height. Difficulties of high quality WI4- and steep mixed climbing with 5.7 rock were encountered. A bivy was made at the high point (approximately 21,000 feet). Day four the party descended back to basecamp. This was due to Brian Asbury having a stomach illness. Glen Frank summitted via the Normal Route three days later.

Brian Asbury, unaffiliated