Day 4 Acclimatization Hike to Plaza Francia
We all woke up at 5am again with no sleep whatsoever! At least 5 out of the 17 people snored hardcore! Plus the altitude doesn’t make it easy to sleep. We got some light breakfast and off we went to hike up to Plaza Francia (4300m) for an acclimatization day.
Since Plaza Francia is technically closed due to unstable terrain as it is right below the gigantic south face of Aconcagua it gets hit with rock fall and glacier fall.
We hiked for 6 hours up 7.5 kilometers. Hiking at this altitude takes 2 to 3x longer than at lower altitudes just because the human body can’t perform that well up here. The first part of the hike was in total darkness and then as the sun came out we could see the beautiful Glaciar Horcones Inferior and the remnants of its path. We hiked right through its gravel remains with magnificent views of Aconcagua’s south face.
Once got to our spot we had a 2 hour lunch break to further our acclimatization. We all napped and ate and talked. At the end of the acclimatization lunch the guides performed this beautiful ritual / offer to the mountain of Aconcagua of where they dug up a hole in the ground and we all put in some item inside of it to symbolize our “intention” and to allow Mt. Aconcagua to let us summit. It was beautiful and very emotional.
Off we went back to Confluencia! A long 4 hour walk back in max heat of the sun we had to cover our faces and hands! Almost at the end of the trail right before camp one of our team members slipped and strained her ankle. It was not looking good and so the guides walked her back to camp behind us. We continued our hike down and then again another one of our team members slipped and fell into a ravine but luckily he stopped 1/3 of the way or he would end up in a bad spot! Nothing happened to him thank god!
As we got back to camp after a 10 hour -
/ 16km hike I took a shower and then started getting a raging headache! Altitude? Not sure… it felt more normal… maybe because I am a coffee addict and has no coffee? Probably! A caffeine headache to the extreme!
The team and I went to see the park rangers for an official health check and we all passed. Thankfully the team member with the ankle sprain was informed it’s not broken but sadly she has to take a week off to retry! Maybe she can go in a week with another group. We all wish her best luck!
My health screening was all great with good blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen level and lungs clear!
BAM - headache got 3x stronger! I got total diarrhea and with it I puked and then I also got a glycemic chock + dehydration from sun + lack of sleep. I was KO. I think I felt the worst I have ever had in my life. :/
Peter my climbing buddy helped me get into bed as I took some iodine and drank some Coca Cola and went to sleep at 8pm.
Dreading the sleep as it’s hard to sleep here and we are supposed to wake up at 3am to hike 25km up to Plaza De Mulas (the base camp of this mountain). Fuck! How will I do it with me shitting my pants and puking? There is no way… doubts creep in my mind and I have a mental breakdown…