American climber Chad Kellogg has completed a new route on Aconcagua, going up solo and in alpine style, up the South Face. According to this story, courtesy of ExWeb, the new route took 42 hours to complete, covering more than 2000 meters (6561 feet) of new terrain in the process.
According to ExWeb Chad went to Argentina, along with a good friend, back in December with an eye on climbing Aconcagua, which is the tallest peak in South America at 22,841 feet. The pair acclimatized on the normal route along the Northwest Ridge, taking a week to complete that climb, but in the process, Chad’s friend picked up a lung infection that sent him off the mountain.
Not content with just reaching the summit along the usual route, Chat was looking for something more challenging and interesting. Before making their summit bid, he and his friend did a recon of the South Face, where he spotted a potential new route that he felt he could do. On Dec. 22nd, he received word of a three-day weather window, and he set off to take advantage of it. ExWeb reports that he carried just a down jacket, synthetic insulated pants, a pair of mittens and gear including a 30m rope, 4 screws, 4 pins, and 4 cams. 20 bars, a 300-calorie freeze dried meal, and a stove with one canister.
Kellogg says that he initially thought he could complete the route in just 24 hours time, provided conditions were right higher on the mountain. Obviously it ended up taking longer than that, as he had to deal with a number of issues, including very technical sections, avalanches, and the usual issues that come with route finding along a new line. In the end, he stood on top, but not before dealing with quite a few challenges including running out of all of his supplies. ExWeb’s story comes mostly from Chad himself, and it is a great read all around.
The Aconcagua climb was meant to be a warm-up for Everest, where Chad will be going this Spring. From the sounds of thins, he’s more than ready.
Note: To all the Chad Kellogg bashers out there, I don’t want to hear any comments or e-mails regarding his claims at speed records. The story has been beat to death, and I don’t want any part of it. Any comments will be deleted. Please move along to a different blog/forum.
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