7 Summits 7 Flights
  • Aconcagua
  • January31st

    Ok, we’re all back in South Africa! Ready to start the big slog of finding sponsors for the next mountain. Can’t say which one it will be yet, but most likely Kili.

    In the mean time, thanks so much for all the support and sponsors up to now!!! Rainmaker logistics, First Ascent, Cintron, Evosat, Xtreme cameras, Freeflight, Gradient, Sat6Rent, Blue Eye eyewear, La Sportiva, Mountain Hardwear!!! Thanks a mil!!

  • January22nd

    Posted in: Aconcagua

    “No human, nor any living thing, survives long under the eternal sky. The most beautiful women, the most learned men, even Mohammed, who heard Allah’s own voice, all did wither and die. All is temporary. The sky outlives everything. Even suffering”
    Bowa Johar, Balti poet

  • January12th

    Summit…..

    Posted in: Aconcagua

    We summitted yesterday, 11 Jan! It was a long and painful day. We waited so long for the right day but they winds have not died down since we got here. So we thought we’ll give it a go anyway and maybe we could fly off…. Aconcagua is considered a very windy mountain but during our time hear the winds have been even stronger and more relentless than usual.
    First, it was a seriously hard day just getting to the summit. Very cold and we were all carrying heavy packs. Eventually we waited 6 hours on the summit for the wind to die down. It took all 4 of us to hold the glider down and nearly got blown off. Frustratingly in the short lulls taking off felt almost possible, but inevitably a huge gust would come up and kill our attempts. Eventually, late in the afternoon, with frozen fingers and aching heads we gave in….. Wrapped up the glider and started the long walk down to camp 2.
    Today we’re back at base camp and tomorrow, with our bellies full of mash potato and steak, we start the 40km walk out with the thought of hot water and clean clothes waiting on the other side.
    As a consolation Pierre and Guy got to fly down from camp 2 to Base camp and it was rather hairy…..
    Pierre had already flown off the summit of Aconcagua in 2008, and our main purpose in returning was to film the flight, so despite our failure to fly yesterday, 7 Summits 7 Flights is still on track. I don’t think I want to come back to this cold windy mountain again…..

  • January3rd

    They say that what goes around comes around, and we have discovered this the hard way. After using mules to bring all our heavy gear in to base camp at 4200m we have now become the mules. For the past three days we have been hauling loads up to Camp 1, a grueling 1000m climb up scree slopes and through moraines. On the first day Pierre was kept behind in base camp by the camp doctor who could hear a slight tickle in his right lung. At these altitudes even a mild cough can quickly develop into pulmonary edema a very serious condition. So the rest of the team made the first carry and we all suffered from altitude sickness with headaches and nausea. A quick retreat to base camp was in order and we were all feeling better the next day. A snow storm welcomed us on our second day of carrying as we tramped up to camp 1 again this time feeling much stronger than the previous day. Pierre also joined us and seemed in good health. Today we stuck our tents and are about to shoulder very heavy packs for the move up to camp 1 and the start of our summit bid. The weather looks good although we are in for a blow tomorrow with winds up to 50km/hour. Numerous other teams are also following the same routine as us – many of them in far more comfort with cooked meals and porters. We seem to be the only team cooking our own food and carrying our own loads. Clem has a case of snow blindness and will stay in base camp with Guy. The rest of us are moving up today. Slowly does it and as they say in Argentina when you are walking here you have to think “Pan y Queso” “Bread and cheese, bread and cheese!.”

  • December31st

    Base camp

    Posted in: Aconcagua

    We’re at base camp after 3 days of walking….. With a lot of entertainment from our freestate farming compadres who walked in shorts and strops all the way – hard core!!!! We’ll see if they continue with strops on the glacier tomorrow… They have lots of biltong and whiskey that they’re sharing with us.
    The rest of the team is well. We all have various heart rates and oxygen levels so not sure what’s suppose to be good or not. Time will tell. Today we had a rest day and went high altitude bouldering. It’s by far the most impressive boulder I’ve ever seen!
    Tomorrow we start carrying loads up to camp 1 at 5200m. Weather is looking bleak for the next 2 days but then we’ll have some sunshine.
    Will update in a couple of days time
    Adios amigos!!! And Happy New Year!!!
    Pierre & Marianne

  • December27th

    Mendoza

    Posted in: Aconcagua

    We had a hell of a trip to get to Mendoza. Jhb – – Ctp – BA – Mendoza. It took 24 hours with a lot of waiting in between. When we arrived in Mendoza there was no one to fetch us (which was organized and paid before hand). So tired and hot we found a taxi and hotel at midnight.

    This morning we went to pay our permits and about to go shopping in about 40 degree heat! I cant wait for the mountains where it will be a bit cooler. Later today we’ll drive to the village we leave for the mountain from. It will be our last chance for showers and cold beers. From there we’ll rely on our solar power to upload pix and news on our site. We hope it works…..

    Oh, the one good thing is that we managed to sneak our 220kg on all the flights without paying excess luggage! What a relief!!!! We expect our food to add an extra 70kg to the mix…….

  • December21st

    We only got funding to buy tickets a week ago so everything is very last minute. Luckily Pierre and I have done a couple of trips to South America so it was pretty easy to sort it out. We also had fantastic help from some sponsors again – Evosat supplied us at the last minute with a satellite modem and air time again, Sat4Rent supplied us with a phone and some free minutes, First Ascent is letting us try out their new backpacks and duffle bags, and Blue Eye has given us some super duper cool looking sunglasses and goggles!!! So, provided we have some sun to charge batteries, we’ll be updating our website every couple of days.

    We leave on Xmas day to Cape Town to hook up with the film crew. On the 26th we leave for Buenos Aires and continue to Mendoza. We’ll do our food shopping in Mendoza and from there will take a 4 hour bus trip to the next town where we’ll meet our donkeys to help carry all our stuff to Base Camp (BC). It’s about 50km to BC which we’ll do over 3 days – slowly enough to acclimatize nicely. From there we will become the donkeys to ferry loads higher up the mountain. The rest will depend on the weather……

    Marianne