37Ojos del Salado Military Expedition
“Unfortunately we failed to summit Ojos; three of us suffered altitude sickness. The team had to turn around at 6200m despite having six strong members; we elected to stay as a group rather than spread ourselves across the mountain. Maybe better weather for a summit attempt a day later would have allowed that little extra acclimatisation that we clearly required. Ojos is there for another day, and so are we to climb it.
Not all was lost. We had a great time acclimatising; particularly on Siete Hermanos and San Francisco, both of which we summited as a team of 12 (including Edu and Mario) in good order. Laguna Verde was particularly scenic and we enjoyed being in Chile for three weeks.
Edu, Mario and Juan Carlos have been excellent ambassadors of Chile Montana – we are taking them out for dinner tonight in Copiapo. We have enjoyed their company and become good friends. Edu is very professional with a passion for the mountains. Mario is good fun and a highly reliable stalwart. Juan Carlos is much more than a top cook with his fine local knowledge. As a team of three they worked really well together and I hope they found our help a useful addition.
Thank you for your help in setting this up with me. I hope to return one day to complete unfinished business.”
Simon Smith, Expedition organizer and leader
Expedition members: Alistair Beard, Matthew Beech, Daniel Roberts, Edward Redgate, Andrew Dawkins, Richard Smith, Brian Howard. Peter Donohue, Mike Ward, Simon Smith
ChileMontaña staff: Edu Unzueta (Mountain guide), Mario Perez (Mountain guide assistant), Juan Carlos Briceño (Base Camp Manager and Logistics)