To the Cordon!
After three days hanging out here in Mendoza, it’s time to get out and start climbing. We’ll be in the Cordon del Plata, a subrange of the Central Andes that extends out to the east of the main crest where Aconcagua and some of the other 6000m+ peaks are clustered. Here’s a link with some good info about the area.
I met the guy that wrote this–he’s staying in the hostel as he does every year. Janne Corax is actually kind of famous in backpacking and climbing circles as being the crazy Swede that biked from Sweden to Everest, climbed the peak, and then returned to Sweden by bike. He’s quite a character, but also a wealth of information for climbing in the area. He has been instrumental in giving us recent info on conditions in the Cordon, as well as up on Aconcagua.
It turns out that this hostel is a center for international climbers here in Mendoza. Big courtyards and a friendly staff, many of whom climb as well, make this the ideal place to unwind after a trip or gear up and soak up local info from other climbers. If Camp 4 in Yosemite were in Argentina and had a roof, chicos playing guitars in the courtyard and a cooler always stocked with cold beer, that would be Hostel Independencia.
Now with three days of my trip down, it’s time to get to work and start climbing peaks. Today the group spent our time napping off last night’s excesses, shopping, planning our food for the week ahead and packing up. Tomorrow at 8:30am, our mini bus driver will swing by, pick us up and we’ll be off to the trailhead and not back in town for another week. Cheers!