Dispatches › Summit Xperience Mt. Aconcagua 2010 Dispatch


Thank you for following the Summit Xperience 2010 Aconcagua Xpedition. Jennifer Walker and Agnieszka Tyl will be climbing to the 22,829ft summit via the Horecones Valley Route.

You can follow our journey as it happens through the dispatches below. Thanks for your support!

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Feb 12, 7:30am MST - So, so close...

We are back at hotel in Mendoza..... Missed summit by 686 feet and had to turn around because it was late!!! Very long day but we felt so good at all the high altitude really and just hiked too slow I think....or had no oxygen to hike at our normal pace. good weather but on the traverse past independencia....winds were 80 kph so that was a fight not to fall off the mountain due to winds....we got through it fine and I was very hungry....could have eaten a burger or bucket of chicken at that point....did not have that ...just crappy snacks that we were already sick of eating. we got to our final place at 22,156 and a very experienced porter told us that it was safe and best to turn around now....we did not want to but still had a few hours to go to summit. Our friends...a few of them made the summit and said people were collapsing on the summit and had to be short roped down.....anyone who summited that day basically looked like shit the next day..... we were very tired and knew that the next day was a summit window too but we could not have repeated that the exact next day.....need a rest day first and then the summit window was bad again so we made the decision to descend the next day. sucks but wow....we were higher than we have ever been and felt soooo good at that altitude....it was like nothing for us except that it felt dry to me up that high. I was always sucking on lozenges to keep my throat moist. Our stoves and fuel pumps both sucked and had to leave our rented Chamonix tent back in Confluenzia. We rented one from Inka at base camp....mules and took it up the mountain. The Chamonix tent was so small that we could barely fit in it....they gave us a 3 man and that was too big so we asked for a 2 man....it was truly a one man tent and our gear would have never fit so we made some arrangements right there on the mountain with Inka and our new friends to rent one from them....you would laugh because all they had for us to take was that damn Peak tent....yep, rain every morning in that sucker!!! No other choices so at least it got us up and out of bed before the sun hit to melt the frozen moisture inside.....we just laughed because it was all we were trying to avoid. Also the Chamonix stove sucked and we had to have a shelter just to get it to work...barely ...boiling was slow....One night, Agnes made friends in the Berlin shelter...porters etc... She boiled for at least 4 hours straight and that only gave us 8 liters and dinner. sucky stove....my stove was brand new and seemed to leak so that sucked too. People were always trying to give us advice on our stove but they didn't have to use it . We persevered through it all. We have lots of promised items when we return to the mountain....friends, champagne, etc... I don't think we ever went to bed before...10 pm ....we stayed and partied with the Argentineans...they stay up very late.... they gave us Vino every night too so we made more friends that way too. Sorry our phone did not work but we have tried to call many times. Ate at cow restaurant last night.....very good and very cheap....got photos with the cow too!



Feb 11, 8:37am MST - Xpedition Update

Agnes and Jennifer are safe and well. They are hiking out from basecamp (Plaza De Mules) and should be in Mendoza tonight. Unfortunately there has not been word if they have managed to reach the summit, but we will update this dispatch as soon as we hear.



Feb 8, 7:02 pm MST - Summit Push is on!

I just took a call from Jennifer and Agnes from Camp Berlin. They are in their tent, melting snow and eating in preparation for their summit attempt tomorrow morning. They intend to leave camp at 6:00am and climb from camp at 19,690ft to the summit at 22,841ft. The day will start with a steep slope to the Independencia Hut at 20,920ft. From there they may put on their crampons for the long traverse to the base of the Canaletta. This steep gully is the gateway to the summit which they will hopefully reach after 6 to 8 hours of climbing. They may try to call from the summit so check back regularly for an update.



February 7, 8:18 pm MST - Nido de Condores

Great news! Agnes and Jennifer called today from camp 2, Nido de Condores, 17,720ft! They have had to adjust their schedule due to some bad weather and are now on track for a summit bid on Tuesday Feb 9th. They said that the climb up to Nido had been slower than usual because of the altitude. They were in their tent and about to turn in for the night when we spoke, they were tired but not suffering from any effects of the new altitude. On Monday they will move up to the last camp, Camp Cholera and make a bid for the summit early Tuesday morning. I will post as soon as I hear from them.



February 6, 9:13 pm MST - Weather delay at Plaza de Mules

(Note: Jennifer and Agnes are not able to send pictures back to us - pictures are from previous expeditions)

Jennifer and Agnes called in late last night from Plaza de Mules. They have delayed their move to Camp Canada (16,080ft) by a day due to some very bad weather higher on the mountain. They intend to make the move to Camp Canada today and spend two nights at that camp acclimatizing. They will carry a load to their next camp, Nido de Condores (17,720ft) and weather depending move to that camp early next week.



February 2, 9:13 pm MST - Plaza de Mules

Agnes and Jennifer just called in from Plaza-de-Mules at 14,000ft. They took about 8 hours to hike the 14 miles from Confluencia. Apparently the trail was busy and they had company the whole way. Agnes even meet some Polish climbers and was able to chat with them as they hiked.

They were excited to be going to go to the 'Hotel' and have well earned showers.

They will be using their own tent from now on although Inka Expeditions will still be providing meals at base camp. They will spend 3 nights at Plaza-de-Mules before making their next move up to Camp Canada. Keep checking in for updates on these two adventurous women!



January 31, 9:19 pm MST - Confluencia Camp

Jennifer and Agnes called in to say that they have started their approach to Aconcagua and are at the first camp, Confluencia, 11,000ft. After checking in at the Park Ranger at the trailhead the hike to camp is a mellow 3 hours with 2,100ft of elevation gain. This is a beautiful camp with stunning mountain scenery all around. They will be at this camp for two nights as their acclimatization has started. Their next move will be to base camp, Plaza de Mules. They both sounded in good spirits and send their love to friends and family.


January 28, 9:00 pm MST - Arrived at Mendoza

We got to Mendoza this morning after a long trip on the plane. Lots of new friendship made on the plane. We were able to get our gear in Chamonix, talk to Valeria (took care of all the details involved with climbing), and get some necessities before our departure to the mountains. We have not had a chance to try the Cow yet, but we went to some other restaurant and had lots of Argentineans ice cream.

I am writing this e-mail alone because Jen is taking a shower!
Talk to you soon.

Still showering....just kidding... We had breakfast with a gentleman who was headed off on a 3 week horseback ride celebrating the history of a war hero who fought for independence of Argentina, we got permits today, did our shopping, drank our beer (don't blog that) drank our leche (milk)...packed for our mules tomorrow and had cafe with a woman from Argentina who lived in New York for 29 years....Suzanna! We got free post cards for being 'bonitas chicas', took some video of the pedestrian mall area. Agnes wishes to defect immediately and live here...people are relaxed and they love us both! We are learning the language but they don't even care about that...they just love being around us. We are being picked up tomorrow at 11 am to go to Penatentes Inn. We are ready to go.....

Hugs and kisses....


January 25, 11:45 am MST - Xpeditioner Profiles

Jennifer G. Walker

My name is Jennifer Walker, a chiropractor by profession but a mountaineer by passion.

Climbing started for me in 2001 when a patient and friend, Vann Ryther asked me to hike Mt. Whitney in California with the group at YMCA. It was one of the greatest trips of my life! We left 4 days after 9-11 as soon as the planes were up and running and returned to a war! The following July 2002, I climbed Mt. Rainier with Rainier Mountaineering Inc. and quickly began looking for the next climbing trip. To train I had flown to Colorado to climb their "fourteeners" and fell in love with the state. I decided to move from Cincinnati, Ohio to Colorado so I could climb the Seven Summits. On July 4th, 2004, I moved to Colorado, trained for a month and left the country to climb Mt. Elbrus in Russia and Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa. I have been climbing Colorado fourteeners ever since, getting about 35 of the 54 different mountains checked off my list. For training, I tend to climb the closest ones and some of my old favorites but someday hope to get them all. Aconcagua will be my 3rd of the Seven Summits and the highest I have ever been on my own two feet!

Agnieszka Tyl

Agnieszka Tyl, 27, was raised and grew in Andrychow, Poland, and went on to attend Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL where she obtained her BS in Clinical Laboratory Science.

Agnieszka grew near Beskidy and Tatry mountains where her passion for hiking, skiing, climbing and kayaking truly grew. While in college, Agnieszka became more experienced and educated about outdoors. Her climbing journey outside of her home country started with mountaineering in North Cascades. Since then she has climbed in Canadian Rockies, Sierras and Alaska. In addition to Agnieszka’s climbing passion, she accomplished multiple single kayaking excursions on Lake Superior and Michigan and rafted trough Colorado River for a week in Grand Canyon.

Upon graduation her dream came true when she moved to Lakewood, Colorado where she currently resides and enjoys what Colorado has to offer.

She finds a thrill of exploration in every climb. "It is great to test our abilities and knowledge during this expedition," Agnieszka said.


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