The team is returning to the U.S. now, after 2 out of the 5 team members made successful summit bids. On January 20, 2015, SMI Guide, Tristan “Trippy” Sieleman and Rick Piette topped out on the summit of the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere, Aconcagua (22841 ft)!
Morning penumbra as Aconcagua casts its immense shadow across the Andes. Awesome!
If climbing to the summits of mountains was without challenges, we wouldn’t refer to the trips as adventures!
After the carry to camp 3 at 19,700ft, one team member suddenly came down with High Altitude Pulmonary Edema and was taken to base camp, where he was evacuated by helicopter to Mendoza. He is now doing well since descending and continued to cheer the group on as they worked toward the summit.
Up & Over the Col. When a climber gets life threatening High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (aka HAPE) at 18,040′ walking on even the slightest uphill can be next to impossible. Descent is mandatory & time is crucial.
SMI founder Kurt Wedberg piggybacking the team member over the Ameghino Col at 17,700′ en route to Base Camp on Aconcagua.
Kurt checked in on January 20, 2015: “A big shout out to Rick Piette and SMI guide Trippy Sieleman for reaching the summit of Aconcagua. After Lloyd and I turned back they continued under a cold and windy day and nailed it. I couldn’t be more proud of these guys for a job well done!”
Ricardo huffing and puffing taking 4+ breaths for each step at over 22,000′ above “The Cave” on Aconcagua.
Ricardo and the morning penumbra as Aconcagua casts is shadows across the landscape of the Andes.
Ricardo high on Aconcagua summit day. Wind, clouds, cold, and an incredible backdrop of the Andes.
Ricardo pauses on Aconcagua summit day with the clouds far below.
Tristan high on Aconcagua summit day. Wind, cold, goggles, and the amazing Andes backdrop.
Ricardo & Tristan psyched taking a selfie at the highest point in the Western Hemisphere with the South Face of Aconcagua peeking in between.
Congratulations to all group members for their incredible effort and commitment to the team.
The next SMI trip to Aconcagua is scheduled for November 27, 2015, with a trip to Kilimanjaro (19,341 ft) and Carstensz Pyramid (16,024 ft) scheduled even sooner. Be sure to explore the website for all of our trip and course offerings!
More photos of Aconcagua coming soon!