I’m back :)

Having spent a long time not blogging (simply, I’m afraid, because there was nothing exciting to blog about), I’m now back to tell you that I have something to say.

It’s this: Aconcagua!

Having spent the last few months out of gainful employment due to redundancy, and also having had the disappointment of last December’s planned Aconcagua climb cancelled due to my two broken heels, it hasn’t been a jolly time on the planned expedition front. Having now however found myself a new job (which I actually started properly just today) then I just couldn’t ignore the mountains.

Why so hasty, you might ask? Well, I’d defend my hastiness in several ways. Firstly, I decided some time ago that I worked (and hard, mostly) because it afforded me the opportunity to do things that I wanted to do. And secondly I’ve been thinking all year about mountains, almost any mountain in fact. I wanted for example to be able to try and go and do Mont Blanc in the summer, but various things (like not knowing when I was going to be working again) have stopped me from being able to commit to it. Thirdly, my Dad is not in the best of health right now. He has a bad (chronic in fact) back condition that has left him incapacitated in bed, and has carers looking after him three times a day. Life is too short for us not to be able to at least try to realise our dreams and ambitions, and this is one my main goals right now, simple as that.

I’ve also been through a lot of soul searching, and also a lot of due diligence as to which company I want to go with to take me there. But I’ve now chosen them (it was ultimately a really easy decision), and my forms and acceptance papers have just (like five minutes ago) been sent off. More on that in a subsequent post. I go this coming December.

Aconcagua is a ridiculously tough undertaking. This is 7,000m. 23,000 feet. The tallest mountain in the world outside of the Himalayas. It has a 30% success rate of summiting. I’m a million miles away from being ready for it, and have a very very tough six months ahead of me. That journey starts here today. No illusions, but lots of drive and ambition. “Excited” doesn’t even come close to how I feel right now.

Aconcagua

Aconcagua

Aconcagua!

The blog is back! I have just had a day of pontificating, deliberating, and just wishing that I had my next challenge mapped out. For some time now I have been contemplating where I would go next, and it was always really going to be Denali or Aconcagua. Why those? Well, they are both members of The Seven Summits, both are higher than I have ever climbed before, and both are achievable, if requiring of a lot of very hard work if I want them enough. And the long and short of it is, I do want them, and want them both.

Then today I was just contemplating what I should do next, and I came across a great picture of Aconcagua on the net. I thus posted a link to it (from Wikipedia I think), onto my Facebook page, which said something like “Aconcagua, it just has to be done”. Within a few minutes a post came in as a reply from one of my oldest friends Steven Cooper, which said simply “always wanted to do that, time and money never added up – do it man!”. So what could I do, apart from go to find a booking site, and get on with it! I am impulsive after all you know! And to Steven, I thank you, you pushed me into realising that I so wanted to do it, and so that is exactly what I am going to (try to) do.

So to cut a long story short, after a few trawls I was booked!

So briefly here are some facts:

Aconcagua is the tallest mountain in the Southern and Western Hemispheres, the second tallest of the Seven Summits, and at a whisker under 7,000m and 23,000 feet, the tallest mountain outside of Asia. It is in the Andes, in the Mendoza province of Argentina, and close to the border with Chile. I will regardless of outcome be attaining so many firsts on this trip, and I can’t wait already. It is going to be a very exciting year, and the prospect of getting to (a gnat’s breath under) 7,000m is dreamy stuff indeed.

I go in December.

Bring it on!