Chris just called to say that everyone is back at High Camp. Ryan, Hazel and Chris all reached the summit. Karin began having some vision difficulties at about 22,000 feet, so she waited for the rest of the team in a sheltered alcove while they went up to the top. Everyone did great, and while we wish everyone had stood together up top, it is important to make conservative decisions at that high an altitude, and everyone is to be highly commended for being one of only a couple of teams to even go for the summit today.
The crew left High Camp for the summit later than planned, as the weather did not allow for an early start. Summit day on Aconcagua is a long one, and the climbers were treated to the experience of descending the long traverse above the west face at sunset. the waning sunlight bathed the team in hues of orange and red, as the snow reflected the evening light. Apparently it was a pretty magical experience.
Chris has the stoves burning ans water heating, so everyone will eat as much as they can (you aren't always too hungry after a summit day) and get a good night's sleep. Tomorrow is a fairly grueling day of descending 6,000 feet to the west side base Camp at Plaza de Mulas. Steak dinner and the ability to sit at a chair are added incentive for the crew to make the long descent.
Congratulations to everyone for a great effort and for working as hard as they could to make this a great day in the mountains.