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South America, Argentina, Central Andes, Aconcagua, 2004-2005 Season Overview

Aconcagua, 2004-2005 season overview. From December 15, 2004 to March 15, 2005 there were 6,490 visitors, less than the preceding year. There were fewer trekkers, but more climbers and more ascents. There was also less snow and serious concern regarding rising temperatures and melting glaciers. Park facilities were improved and 20 tons of garbage brought down.

Four climbers died. Two French died on the south wall in a big storm, a German on the Polish Glacier, and a Brazilian on the normal route. He summited at night and died of exposure. There were two other climber deaths in the region, one in Mercedario, San Juan and other in Pissis, Catamarca.

As an interesting sidelight, a backpack lost two years ago by an Argentinean climber was found by the police and returned to its owner. The pack contained lots of equipment and euros. After the two years the money was worth three times its value in Argentinean money. A good investment!

Marcelo Scanu, Buenos Aires, Argentina