The epic journey will begin in the UK as the adventurers train and prepare for the long hike up the mountain. In January 2018 the expedition will really get going as the team fly to Buenos Aires in Argentina. Arriving in the early morning a twenty-four hour coach journey will then transport them to the city of Catamarca and a bus will take them to Fiambala.
After 3 days of travelling the adventurers will get a night or two in a hotel before hiring 4x4s to transport them, all their kit and their food stored a hundred or so miles into the desert.
As the vehicles leave, the team will be left alone in the desert, with only the supplies and equipment they have got with them. The rest of the journey to the peak of Ojos Del Salado will be on foot, and the first day involves getting to Base Camp.
The length of the hike means the team will be carrying a lot of food initially but as the days pass this will get lighter as they eat the food, or bury it at certain points to be dug up for the return trip.
The initial hike from the 4X4 drop off point to Base Camp is relatively easy, only slightly up hill, but it will mean transporting a lot of kit and heavy food and fuel so it will be a challenging day.
Once they arrive at Base Camp they can pitch the tents and spend a day or two acclimatising to the slight increase in altitude and desert conditions. The “rest” days will probably involve some very light hiking to transport a little bit of the food and equipment further up the route so there will be less to carry when the real hike begins.
The team will pack up all their equipment and begin their hike from base camp up to the peak of the mountain. This will be a slow process as it is dangerous to push the human body too hard and try to gain too much altitude too quickly. It will be very important for the team to give themselves time to adjust to the rarefied air, by taking things slow and taking rest days, again these “rest” days may be used as a good opportunity to transport some kit, food or fuel further up the mountain.
As they progress along the route it will get progressively more challenging as the altitude increases and the hiking gets steeper!
Near the final assents at the “High Camp” the team will wait and make some final preparations before heading much higher to “Camp 1” or possibly “Camp 2” near the summit. At these camps, depending on the weather they will wait and pick the perfect day to get to the top of the highest active volcano in the world!
The team will have a number of days set aside for attempting the peak. Travelling from the camp, to the summit and back down again will be a seriously challenging undertaking as the weather will be harsh, the air incredibly thin and the route steep! They must be able to get up and down (back to their tents) in the same day as they cannot sleep at the summit. If the weather changes, even if they are close, they may have to head back down and wait for another day. But with determination and a gargantuan effort the team will aim to reach the top of this amazing mountain.
Once the peak as been reached the team will drop down in altitude very quickly and attempt to recover a little from the arduous strain of life at extreme altitudes which can have strong negative impacts on the human body.
Energy levels restored, the group will retrace their steps back to the 4X4 pick up point, picking up their dropped of food supplies on route. If the weather has been kind to them and they have done well and hiked to a good time frame there may be opportunity to bag another smaller peak!
THE END (?)
The team will make their way back from Ojos Del Salado to the UK after their long and challenging journey with a bag full of new and exciting memories!
Diaries will be turned into a book, and the film footage and video diaries will become an exciting documentary. All of which will help to raise money for Ojos Del Salado Expedition 2018’s charities.
The team can then have a well deserved rest...until they decide to climb another mountain. :-)
Ojos Del Salado Expedition 2018
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