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Me at El Dedo (6460m), our high point, with the route up to the Canaleta behind. | by markhorrell
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Me at El Dedo (6460m), our high point, with the route up to the Canaleta behind.

Our summit attempt was a big disappointment. The temperature at Berlin had been -20°C when we started out at 6am, and with the strong winds it was certainly much colder. At El Dedo we were told by our guide Lucas that it was still another 4 hours to the summit, with no prospect of any more shelter from the wind, and the risk of frostbite was too great. Even though it may have been too dangerous to reach the summit that day, I would like to have gone further, as my fingers and toes were still warm when we turned around. When we got back to Berlin at about 11am we still had two spare days to have another go at the summit, but to compound our disappointment Lucas was not prepared to make another attempt because he said the weather forecast was not good for the next few days. It was a great shame, because we still felt we had resources left to try again. We returned to base camp the same afternoon, and were back in Mendoza the following day.

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Taken on January 1, 2006