Aconcagua Climbing Expedition News Blogs Updates

Aconcagua Climbing Expedition News Blogs Updates

(photos in slideshow: Ted Alexander)
News of our recent Aconcagua expedition
for information about our upcoming Aconcagua expeditions

Blog posts: Please click one of the links below to go directly to that blog post or just scroll down

Whole team on the summit - Photo Max Kausch
Camp 1 at night - Photo Gabriel Tarso. Ivy and Lili’s tent at 5050m - Photo Gabriel Tarso
Gary, Roi and Cedric resting at 5100m - Photo Gabriel Tarso. Aconcagua on Max’s glasses - Photo Gabriel Tarso
Max on the way to C2 - Photo Gabriel Tarso. Max at 6000m during sunset - Photo Gabriel Tarso
Gustavo Ziller on the summit of Aconcagua  - Photo Gabriel Tarso. Gustavo Ziller on the summit of Aconcagua  - Photo Gabriel Tarso1
Mt Cuerno 5200m seen from Aconcagua - Photo Gabriel Tarso. Edu chilling at restaurant after the trip - Photo Gabriel Tarso.
Team at C1 5050m  - Photo Gabriel Tarso. Filmin crew at 5600m - Photo Gabriel Tarso

15 February -

  • Update from Leader Max: Jan and another 7 members just summited!!
  • Update from Leader Max: Whole team @6000m c3 getting ready 4 summit!

12 February -

Update from Leader Max: We set camp2 @ 5550m.Summit on 15th.All well

Cedric and Jan at 5000m - Photo Cedric Chamaillard. Cedric and the mules - Photo Cedric Chamaillard.
Our team at the bottom of the south face - Photo Cedric Chamaillard. Team at the start of the approach - Photo Cedric Chamaillard
Panoramic view of camp1 - Photo Cedric Chamaillard

8 February -

We're all very well and happy at Plaza de Mulas 4300m.although our members are so different from each other,they're getting along very well

7 February -

Our whole team is doing very well at 3400m.

4 February -

Hi! This is Max Kausch writing the first dispatch for the SummitClimb February 2015 Aconcagua Expedition. Today is a cloudy wednesday and most of our team is already in Mendoza! We're waiting for our last member who is arriving in 1 hour!

After 2 successful trips in a row (one being the first in 2015 and another with almost 10 expedition members on the summit), we start our third expedition to Aconcagua.

This time we have a very mixed team from all over the world! 4 members from Brazil, 1 from Australia, 1 from Israel, 1 from US and 1 from France.

At this time we have the presence of Ms Jan Smith from Australia. She's attempting to summit Aconcagua as her 6th summit out of the 7 highest in each continent. Jan is aiming to summit Aconcagua and then move to her next summit on the list, Mt McKinley. Ms Smith is 70 years old and we are very proud to have her in our team! She's a 3 time veteran on SummitClimb expeditions!

We also have Mr Ziller and Mr Tarso from Brazil who are shooting a documentary for the Brazilian TV. We hope to contribute and do our best so they can shoot their documentary smoothly.
This is our february team:

Maximo Kausch - Leader - Argentina/Brazil/UK Jorge Spur - Guide - Argentina Eduardo Tonetti - Guide - Brazil/Argentina Lilian Meissner - Brazil Ivy Miranda - Brazil Gustavo Ziller - Brazil (TV crew) Gabriel Tarso - Brazil (TV crew) Jan Smith - Australia Roi Negri - Israel Gary Erwin - United States Cédric Chamaillard - France
Thanks for following our news

Max Kausch 


Bruno and Jorge at the Summit. Edu and Jorge, our 2 guides on the summit.


Luciano, Fernando, Max, Vinicius and Jan on the Summit. Descent to BC.


Huge storm system approaching. Jan at 6000m, camp 3 Colera.


Canaleta at 6800m. Max on the radio to BC


Going back to civilization. Max carrying loads


Our camp 3 at 6000m named camp Colera. Our team at the mountain gear shop.


Sunset from 6600m. Sunset from Nido de Condores 5600m.


Team resting at 5900m. Traverse at 6500m.

28 January & Team Roster for February

Hi, This is Max Kausch writing from sunny Mendoza. Today is January 28th and we're back from the Summit!

Our team split up in 3 and most of us summited on the 24th at 14:30, 15:45 and 16:00. In total, 5 members and 3 guides reached the summit. The weather was perfect thanks to the day the chose based on our weather forecasting system which we receive several times per day on our satellite phone.

We're now preparing the next trip to Aconcagua which starts on Feb 3rd.
thanks for following the news at SummitClimb Max Kausch

  • Maximo Kausch - Brazil / Argentina
  • Lilian Meissner - Brazil
  • Ivy Miranda - Brazil
  • Francisco Loria (Chicão) - Brazil
  • Gary Ervin - United States
  • Gustavo Ziller - Brazil
  • Gabriel Tarso - Brazil

25 January -

We summited yesterday! We had 8 members and 2 guides on the summit!

24 January -

We're at camp 3 at 6000m getting ready for the summit! The plan is to leave at 3am. Everyone acclimatised well. We look forward 4 tomorrow.

Arno Britz enjoying some music at 5050m - Photo Maximo Kausch. Our team on the way to camp 1 - Photo Roberto Mendonça.
Part of the team at camp 1 5050m - Photo Roberto Mendonça. Team on the way to camp 1 - Photo Maximo Kausch.
Team resting at 5050m - Photo Roberto Mendonça

19 January -

Hi there, This is Max Kausch writing a dispatch for the Aconcagua SummitClimb January Expedition 2015. We´re all very well at Plaza de Mulas 4300m and today is January 19th 2015.

Our team went to camp1 5050m yesterday to take a few loads. This really helps on acclimatisation! Our summit push starts tomorrow and we plan to summit around january 23rd or 24th. The whole team is very well and happy resting here at basecamp. Thanks for following our dispatches. Max Kausch, Expedition Leader

Photo Max Kausch

17 January

Hi there! This is Max Kausch writing a dispatch for the SummitClimb January Aconcagua expedition. We´re acclimatising and very well at Plaza de Mulas, Aconcagua´s basecamp 4300m high. Today is January 17th and our rest day.

All the 16 expedition members are acclimatising very well and we all look forward to move up the mountain. We went to the base of the south face on the 15th and took amazing photos. That really helped on the acclimatisation as the human body produces red cells based on the altitude we spent most of the day.

We´ll start setting higher camps tomorrow. Thank you for following the blog at

Max Kausch - Expedition Leader 

Summit of Aconcagua. Summit of Bonete. 
Summit. Aconcagua.
Climbing Down. Parada para - Foto de Celso Pierin

5 January -

Hi there, This is Max Kausch writing a dispatch from the sunny Mendoza. Today is January 5th 2014 and we’re just back from the summit! A total of 5 out of 10 people have made it to the summit on January 3rd.

After a 5 day wait at camp 2, we really insisted and finally had the pay off. Our first day at camp 2 was on December 28th, this is when we noticed a huge change on weather and also on weather forecast. Our team agreed to wait so we stayed there for another 4 nights before moving to camp 3 at 6000m. On new years day camp 2 was completely empty apart from our tents. New year’s eve was extremely windy and 2 of our tents actually broke. We spent NY eve holding the tents together! We wind gusts went up to 90km/h! At the end it payed off as the wind dropped on January 2nd. This is when we moved to C3 and pushed for the summit next day.

We left the tents at 5am and made it to the summit at 12:30pm. The path was very snowy and we had to break trail on the way up. On the summit, big surprise: we were the 1st team in 2015 to conquer the summit of Aconcagua!

We’re now preparing our next trip to Aconcagua, this time with 14 clients! Wish us luck!

Thanks for following the Blog at

Max Kausch, Expedition Leader

Team Roster for January -

Climbing Team

  • Maximo Kausch - Leader
  • Eduardo Tonetti - Guide
  • Jorge Spur - Guide - Brazil
  • Marcio Lage Moreira - Brazil
  • Michele Bastos - Brazil
  • Bruno Rabah Novarini - Brazil
  • Bruno Novarini - Brazil
  • Fernando Schlosser - Brazil
  • Luciano Sarturi - Brazil
  • Jan Willems - Belgium
  • Darliana Tognette - Brazil
  • Francisco Loria - Brazil
  • Vinicius Vieira - Brazil

Trekking Team:

  • Roberto Corrêa de Mendonça - Brazil
  • Arno Iajur Britz - Brazil
  • José Fernando Schlosser - Brazil
  • Jaime Tramontin - Brazil
Final post
Why or Why not
Sunday Feb 18, Plaza de Mulas
Max returns from the communications tent and tells me I need to call home. I know this is not
good. I get in touch with Lisa on a sat phone and then Luke that tells me his girlfriend Maddie is
gone. She falls trying to get into her apartment late at night and dies from exposure in
Lexington Kentucky. She has been a part of our family for the past year and had so much life
left to live. After the shock I start to plan how to get out. It is a 24 mile walk out and Max tell me
a rescue helicopter can pick me up in 45 minutes the weather was good and I had a window to
get out. this was the same place that a week earlier i saw the 2 climbers with life threatening
pulmonary embolism unable to get a rescue chopper. I had been in camp a hour beat and dirty
now quickly packing everything and going to helipad. the rest of the team was also shot and
they leave their tents, food, and hot showers to help me get loaded saying our good bys I am
seeing them for the last time huddled saddened by my bad news as I fly away. I didnt know any of these people a month ago and we dont even speak the same language, but we will be friends
for life. Three days later I am at her funeral in Chicago so lucky to have made it.
I said I hoped to find out "why" by the end of the climb. It has been almost 3 months since I got
off the mountain I am just finishing my last post. it has taken me this long to heal both physically
and mentally from the trip. I had vision of writing about my feelings while standing on top
looking down on the Andes. I have been ask if I made it to the top and I tell people yes to keep
from a longer explanation. I made it as far as I was to go, which was after 3 weeks few hundred
meters from the top. I hear people that climb talk about conquering the mountain, the mountain
can kick your ass at any time by many different ways. With my attempt it wasn't injures and
illness which I had both, it was bad news from home that ended my climb. If your lucky and
prepared the mountain will let you up and down, if your not prepared or take too many risks you
will pay the price.

This is a retrospective account of my time on Aconcagua it isn't a how to live or self promotion
but my attempt to understand why and continue to grow and learn. I have had time to think and
look at what is important without the clutter of everyday life and this gives me direction. I
challenged myself physically and mentally, and removed myself from my comfort zone to
become present and aware. I have always looked for inspiration and gotten if from many places
a coach, friend, co worker, nature, art, my children, my wife. Climbing a mountain inspires me
and in some strange way makes me appreciate my friends, family and life more. Aconcagua's biggest
lesson was how precious life is and not to waste a single day.
So did I find out why? I have forgotten the why nots and list only the Why's. Whats next? I am
now training for another climb this July in Russia to Mt Elbrus not as tall 18,600, but cold and
nasty. I will write on another blog

Have time to think about whats important in life
Have something to train for
Will never regret not trying
See something that I have never seen
Challenge myself physically & mentally
Learn Portuguese? probably not
Met new friends with similar interest
Best steak and Malbec ever
Seeing and feeling the South face of Aconcagua
Its a sin to waste the gifts God has given you I have been blessed to be able to do this.
Only God knows why
Overcoming days like yesterday
Learning Hebrew, a few words
Sunset looking down on the Andes
Living my Life wish
Mate gets me jacked up
Think I can survive a nuclear winter
Thin air makes me goofy
Don't need food
Made me appreciate simple things again Toilette, bed, shower, real food.
I look real scary
Post 9
"I get high with a little help from my friends". Joe Cocker

Camp Colera 20,300 ft
I started the day with a helicopter hovering 10 over my tent shaking Ice loose on us. I here one
of our guides yelling he is going to crash which get my attention and I get out quickly in the cold
with out my outer layers. I got up too fast and moved before my heart rate got up to carry ox to
my brain and almost blacked out. Nido de condores camp 2 is the highest point someone can
be rescued and at 18600 ft the helicopter was struggling to maintain control touching down
sliding and then taking back off, ending up unable to land. The body of a climber is in a red tent
just outside of ours and the park rangers were trying to get the body down this was the reason
for the early morning wake up call.
Starting our last 3 day summit push my knee is still tightly wrapped and very stiff and bruising all of the way to my ankle at this altitude nothing heals and everything is difficult getting dressed packing
even getting to your feet has to be done slowly. Max has 4 bottles of ox but will only use it in case of emergency. We climbed to the high camp Colera above 20,000 ft the highest I have ever been. While
packing this morning I am dragging my bag from my tent doing my three leg crawl and my back
goes into a spasm which was one of my biggest fears it happened on Kilimanjaro and with the
boys help I made it. I struggle getting into Colera, the altitude, the dehydration, bad knee, and
now my back is further restricting my mobility and is starting to take its toll. There is a small
wooden structure maybe 8X10 all 8 of us crawl in to get out of the wind and cold we crash in
one big pile while the tents get made.
I only carried 15 lps now water, food, emergency gear and pack, wearing most of my gear. my double plastic boots are very uncomfortable but came in useful in the steep rocky part of the climb, I could hang a toe in a rock and step up a few blisters but feet in good shape.
The porters are bad ass they carried 50 lbs and when we get to camp they set up the tents and
start melting snow for drinking water. The porter I hired made it from base camp hear dropped
15 lps of my gear and then walked all of the way back down to base camp. We get settled and
boiled water to make our dehydrated meals. I had spaghetti, and roi a 4 cheese pasta we
ended up trading and eat part of our 1200 calorie meal which would be it for the day.
Roi has chocolate I eat some of but nothing taste good and don't trust my stomach or colon. The
climbing at 3am and I try to sleep waking every 15 minutes with apnea. I have to pressure breath
for a few minutes until breathing gets normal and go back to sleep and start the cycle over
maybe sleeping 15 minutes every hour. I don't get out its cold but no wind. We get our wake up call my back is very stiff . Everyone is struggling it takes 30 minutes to dress. I ask for another rest day max tells me today is as good as I will see with the weather. Everyone feels bad but I have plenty of days left on my permit plus its not the altitude sickness as much as my back that needs a rest day. He agrees he has he has his hands full a film crew with equipment and Jans second push it will be just me and my guide Jorge on my summit day.
In my tent as sun comes up we are so close to the top I unzip my window and can see the
summit I can see people turning around and returning. I get out and start moving around
unusually sunny still below 0 but without the wind feels comfortable. The last few days I haven't
been able to spend much time out of the tent we climb get in the tent and prepare for the next
day just getting out for the bathroom which is done quickly. Roi has every episode of braking
bad on his Ipad we have a solar charger to keep it up and use my close line a holder so we can
watch it helps pass the time, funny nothing works above 20,000, I am now using pencil to write
with because ink freezes and doesn't work but not the Ipad.
As I wait I drink a gallon of water and eat a piece of cake with hot tea Max left. The tea they
drink is called Mate it looks like the stuff you scrape from under you mower deck they drink it
from a gourd with a straw with a screen to keep you from sucking in the chunks. It is a ritual
one guy makes is and hands you the gourd with the straw pointing at you and you have to drink
it all pass and pass it back. He adds more mower deck grass and passes it to the next guy. I
hope I don't get a random drug test when I return because after a glass I am so
jacked up I cant sit still. I feel better than I have in days now second guessing my choice to take
a day. I walk up to look at the hard part of the summit day, the traverse and the caneletta, 300
meters from the top. I meet Roi coming down I first think he was on his way from the summit he
has been the strongest climber first to camp caring all of his gear, but then I see him stumbling
and can tell he was in trouble. Without going into detail he was bleeding internally and exiting
as #2. He has been taking 900ml Ibuprofen for headache and that evening Max tells him dude
your F____ked. Joking kind of, Max has every med in the book and is the most knowledgeable
guide on the mountain so if we did get bad I have confidence he would get us off the mountain.

A Norwegian climber dies on the summit I meet two rangers sliding the body down he is in a
metal gurney with snow packed around him. I am not sure what team he was with or if he was
on his own but the two rangers ended up getting him down to base camp eventually getting him
off the mountain, I met them in the med tent at base camp a few days later and Max was
impressed with their effort. The cause of death was high altitude cerebral embolism HACE.

I watch our group return scattered and spent they go strait to the tent and crash in their clothes.
I eat my last dehydrated meal and prep for my attempt in a few hours I feel good. Roi is better
but tomorrow is a long walk to base camp and will test everyone. Max comes to my tent at 9pm
and tells me we have a bad forecast for summit and I need to return to base camp with the rest
of the team restock and return. He said since i am climatized I can bypass lower camps and
climb back plus i will have my own guide. the weather hits in waves where snow and strong
wind blow then calm sunny day follows. I have been above 18000 ft for 5 days injured and now
out of food. I don't like the call but not thinking clearly and looking back was the right move. I can see it in my rambling journal that i wrote the past 5 days.

The next morning we load gear and walk down from summit camp to base camp at plaza de mulas
14600. It took us 5 days to get here from base camp and now we return down hill in one day
with a plan to spend another rest day and then return to high camp for summit bid making it the
third trip up to 20,000 ft. I pack bag not happy and don't pack enough water or get my gear right
for the descent. I send my heavy down gloves and jacket with porter and start without enough
layers on and get very cold and loose felling in my fingers. My heavy double plastic boots are
warm but quickly cause blister on both feet I have to stop often and take care of hot spots. As
we pass the 2 lower camps we pick up gear we left, the body of the polish climber is still there. I
am getting top heavy I fall with the weight a lot. the worst job of the group is the porters load the now frozen poop bags to carry them down for disposal.
I arrive in base camp it is Sunday which is steak night they grill steaks and serve malbec wine it
is wonderful especially after a week of camp food. Max buys everyone hot showers and we are
met with hot pizza in a dome tent the first time we get to talk to each other about the events.
Roi and I go to doctor Roi bleeding has stopped and the doctor said it was a ruptured palp in his
colon. He unwrapped my leg gave me another shot and told me I can continue on. We return
to the dome and wait for the steaks. For the last 3 months i have steered clear of alcohol but
the malbec and steak were calling my name.
Post 8
'i didn't want to miss a thing' Aerosmith

don't know what this has to  do with the post other than i like the song, like the movie, i miss my family and i feel like i have been dropped off on a asteroid
Not the moon but close
writing form camp 2 'nido de condores' (nest of condors) 18600 ft 5500 meters -7c storm getting better.

I  could have gone on with bad news, sorry lost track of time from now on will post by song and post number and where I am at.
Feel great coming into camp one Canada for the last time until i descend in 5 days from now.  I thought  the injury to knee may have ended my climb kind of sad.  I was # 3 to camp today behind Roi and Cedric, now we know the way and we are acclimatized  we run up the mountain 5050 meters feel good I notice my right leg getting tired by end of day. It is from compensating for left knee which will be wrapped until I come down.  I was happy to go higher sad for all the deaths.  Still snowing here thunder snow everyone is excited I stay in tent not feeling good.  This is where we left polish t
After you get to camp there is a lot of work to get set up for the next day.  What to wear, how heavy,  snow slowed things but max and guys built a special green tent 3 rocks, garbage bags, air fresh and tp.
We were shown how to use rock paper sanitizer, unfortunately I became the expert, by the end of the night I am sick to my stomach only warm place is in your bag.  I crawled in and out all night to poop tent freezing, not sleeping dehydrating all night. I found out many other teams came down with the same problem and all food was service stopped. I felt sorry for Roi getting woke every hour by me but he was worried also.   
The ascents to higher camps start quickly from here up we move up again to "nido de condores" nido is  over 18000ft we will have a rest day here and I need it.  Roi ran ahead of the group and got here one hour before anyone else and helped set up tents he was carrying 50 lbs. I crawl  into ours and crash very tiered, Jan makes a tent call she brings me electrolytes, pro biotic, and encouragement that i will get better soon.  Each change in alt makes big temp change we left our vent closed and at 6 am a rescue helicopter flew over dislodging ice frozen to roof of the tent, on us.  We have 2 days her then 2 nights at camp 3 Colera 20,000 ft.  The summit gets closer by the day.
Roi comes to the tent sun has warmed above freezing inside, outside is a different story.  He went for a walk and told me about the sun set where you can see the top of the Andes and he found a rock throne to sit on above the glacier.  I finally got some sleep no apnea felt good and I venture out with a thermos of lemon tea and camera to find Roi's throne.  I find it about 1/4 mile from camp he was right I sit on the throne and thank god I am here.  It has been a good day.
Why   Learning Hebrew 
Sunset above the Andes from Roi's Throne
Living my Life wish
Why not out of bags to go to the bathroom, nothing left on the mountain

1 January -

The team wishes everyone a Happy New Year and reports high winds. They hope to try for the summit on the 3rd. Back to Top

30 December -

Aconcagua team very well@camp2 5650m tx Max.

Matthias flying up the montain, literally - Photo Diamon Pon. Merry Christmas at 4300m - Photo Diamon Pon.
 Mr Miaghi at BC - Photo Marcos Engel. Oops! Problem on Paulo´s tooth - Photo Matthias Muller.
Rodolfo, Max and Marcos at the summit of Bonete - Photo Maximo Kausch. 

27 December -

Hi there, This is Max Kausch writing a dispatch for the December SummitClimb Aconcagua Expedition. Today is december 27th and we´re all fine at BC 4300m.

We´re at BC getting prepared for our summit push on the 01st of january. Weather forecast looks good for the 01st so we start moving up the mountain tomorrow.

We had an extra day at BC today so we can try the summit on the 01st. 3 of us went to a 5050m summit named Bonete. This really helped on the acclimatisation! The team is doing very well and we all look forward for the summit push!

thanks a lot for following the blog

Happy New Year!

Max Kausch -

Approach to Plaza de Mulas - Photo Diamon Pon. Our mules on the way to BC - Photo  Maximo Kausch.
Arrival to Confluencia - Photo Diamon Pon. Diamon Pon trying argentine mate tea for the first time - Photo Matthias Muller

Our lunch table at 4300m - Photo Maximo Kausch. Our team at the start of the approach - Photo Diamon Pon.

24 December -

Hi There

This is Max Kausch writing a dispatch for the December expedition to Aconcagua. Today is Christmas eve and we´re at BC 4300m high. All expedition members are doing great and having fun!

Today is our rest day and we´ll relax here at BC. Weather improved a lot and it seems we might have 5 days of decent weather. I hope this is enough time to acclimatise and be ready for a nice summit window.
The approach went very well and we made it to BC in 7 hours. Today Dr Muller is teaching us some german card games and Mr Diamon Pon tried to teach the team some taichi moves. We´ll start to move up the mountain tomorrow and take our first load to 5000m. Wish us luck!

Merry Christmas

Max Kausch

Expedition Leader 
Back to Top

23 December -

We all made it safely to the south face of aconcagua and returned to confluencia. On the way to basecamp tomorrow. Everyone well. Max kausch

Please note your reply is limited to 160 Latin characters or approximately 135 for non-Latin characters.


1st lunch together - missing rodolfo and herman on the picture - Photo Max Kausch.

half ton. Team having fun. Photo Max.

Weather Forecast for next few days - Source Mountain-Forecast

20 December -

This is Max Kausch writing a dispatch for the december Aconcagua Expedition. We are currently in Mendoza and all members are fine!

The whole team is finally together in Mendoza. All members have already arrived and are now enjoying the city very much. Everything is already packed and ready for the 30 mile journey on mules to basecamp.

Our team will leave Mendoza tomorrow at 2pm and will sleep the 1st altitude night at 2700m in a small town named Penitentes. Our walk start actually on december 21st and the 1st day is very short.

Aconcagua is very dry this season! High winds are currently blowing very fast up the higher slopes in Aconcagua but there is no snow due to a phenomenon named Zonda Winds. Such winds melt down all the snow available on the mountain leaving us with almost nothing to melt. As always we expect one storm late december to dump a lot snow and giving us something to melt.

Right now everyone will only focus on getting to BC and from there on we’ll figure out what the conditions are. Today we had our 1st meeting and discussed every aspect of the expedition including our summit strategy. We at SummitClimb don’t give up the summit and will keep pushing and pushing when possible. Lat year we had a very successful december expedition getting 9 out of 11 people to the summit. We hope to repeat that!

Thank you for following the news at

Max Kausch
Expedition Leader
Back to Top

Team Roster:

  • Maximo Kausch - Argentina / UK - leader
  • Herman Max Binder - Argentina - guide
  • Pedro Ivan Klassen - Brazil
  • Úrsula Bueno do Prado Guirro - Brazil
  • Marcos Engel - Brazil
  • Rodolfo Lucasin - Brazil
  • Diamon Pon - US/China
  • Matthias Müller - Germany
  • Biro Hennerbichler - Austria Back to Top