Tag Archives: bucket list

Bucket List

17 Feb

I love making lists.  To do lists.  Things to buy list.  New gear.  Places to go.  Things to do.

But my favorite kind of lists?  Bucket lists.  Life lists.  The lists of things that I hope to do in my life.  They range from the practical (sort of) to the absurd.  From building a cob house to trekking in Mongolia.  From having a fantastic wedding weekend party with all my friends and family to climbing a 7000 meter peak.  Yes, many of them are outdoor related.  Many of them include mountains.

Making the list is super fun.  It allows me to dream and think about what I really want in life.  It helps me narrow the focus (even if the list is as varied as having a garden to learning how to make a good loaf of bread to living in a foreign country for a year).  When I read back over the list (and I have been adding and modifying it for years), I see patterns and it helps me to make decisions.

But, you know what is really fun?  Checking things off the list!  That is amazing.

#7.  Trekking in the HimalayasCheck.

#15.  Take a year off to travelCheck.

Incidentally, the other day when I told someone about what I was doing this year, he responded ‘living’ the dream, huh?’.  Yup, yes I am, I responded, grinning.  (and this was coming from a guy who is an athlete for sierra designs and runs his own guiding company).

Being able to actually do what is on my bucket list is a true gift.  I know that.  I am aware of that and feel blessed and lucky.  I AM livin’ the dream.  But what happens when you try for your bucket list and fail?

Aconcagua has been on my list for years.  Ever since I first started climbing mountains in Oregon 10 years ago, Aconcagua has been on my list.  I remember when I took my mountaineering course, hearing tales of Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America, I thought…  I want to do that.  A large part of this year, the planning and scheduling of it, was based off of climbing Aconcagua.  I wanted that summit.  Maybe too much.

So, what happens when you try and you fail?

the team with aconcagua in the background at about 4900 meters

I have had my fair share of frustrations, missed opportunities, disappointments.  Jobs, relationships, friends, students, men, plans, etc.  The list can go on and on, right?  We all have.  But it is what we do with those disappointments, how close we hold on to them.  How much we regret them.  How much we second guess those ‘red-button’ decisions, those decisions that decide the fate of your dreams.

So, no.  We did not make it to the summit.  Aconcagua does not get to be checked off my bucket list.  Today I am sitting with my disappointment, waiting for it to dissipate.  Working on letting go and adding it back to the bucket list and letting that be ok.

on the approach

Trip report is coming.  I promise!

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Mule? Check. Permit? Check. Food? Check.

1 Feb

The last two days have been full of running around the city, gathering supplies, buying a shitload of food and spending an even bigger shitload of money.

lots and lots of food

Permit?  $550/person

Food?  ~$500 (maybe?  haven’t totalled yet)/group

Mule?  $360/for one

Bus ?  $53/person

And of course there is fuel and backpack repairs and water bottles and whatever else we have gathered the last few days.  Yesterday we traveled to a huge grocery store and got the bulk of our supplies.  Today was spent getting odds and ends and packing up all said food.  At this point, we are just about done…. which I have to say, I am SO thankful for.  If you have ever done food packout for more than a few days, you know how annoying it can be!

prepping

So…. we off tomorrow….  we will catch a bus to a camp that is run by the company we purchased our mule support from.  There we will get bags ready for the mule and spend one last night organizing.  And then on the 2nd, we will depart for base camp — eat and sleep and acclimate.

snacks piles for us each

Here is our itin for you nerds out there who are interested in this stuff (starting on Feb. 1)

  1. Bus ride at 3:30; Camp at Los Puquios
  2. Start up Vacas Valley, camp at Pampade Lenas (2800m)
  3. Camp at Casa de Piedra (3200m)
  4. Plaza Argentina (4200m)
  5. Rest day
  6. Carry up to Camp 1 (5000m); stay at Plaza Argentina
  7. Rest at Plaza Argentina
  8. Travel up to Camp 1 to stay (5000m)
  9. Rest day
  10. Carry to Camp 2 (5850m); stay at Camp 1
  11. Go to Camp 2 (5850m) to stay
  12. Carry to White Rocks (Traverse — 6000m); stay at Camp 2
  13. Go to White Rocks to stay (6000m)
  14. Summit (with love and to celebrate Valentino)!; sleep at White Rocks
  15. Descend to Plaza de Mulas (4300m)
  16. Descend to Los Puquios
  17. Bus back to Mendoza, celebrate with much wine and steak

We also can build in two days into this schedule (for alternative summit days, for bad weather, for altitude acclimitization, etc.), but we must be back in Mendoza on the 19th.  So, there you go….

So… why do it?  Why climb uphill for 14 days in a row?  Why put our bodies through the damage of high altitude climbing?

Mountaineering is just really walking uphill day after day — trying to stay warm and eat enough calories.  But, if you have ever stood on the summit of a mountain, no matter how high, but if you have worked hard to get there….  you know the amazing feeling of the wind and sun on your face and the feeling of accomplishment.

That is what we are hoping for.

So — keep us in your minds and hearts.  send us as much go-juice-energy as you can muster!

We will be thinking of you all and doing our best staying safe out there on the mountain!  We will be in touch as soon as can.

Much love — aurora

summit day treats