After several weeks of having finished my Aconcagua ascension, I understood that my training has probably not been all that it could be. Some good ones and others are not so good, but if you want to do an Aconcagua trekking, your training must be optimal. For one thing (well), I’ve been hiking every weekend from Russia, so it’s almost four months of doing 10-20 miles at a time on generally pretty hilly terrain. And he was fitter than ever then, so I don’t think he lost anything. I’ve even been and done the Kilimanjaro twice in that time as well.

On the other hand (not so good), I’ve done very little else. There has been the odd 60/70 mile bike ride, but that’s about it: no gym, no squats, no planks, no nothing. I generally think there is no experience at all like doing that particular activity, so we’ll see. The only thing I think I’m ready for is my team. With a week to go, it is purchased and placed prepared to pack. However, I got a little confused with some of the Americanisms here; it confused me a lot, “climbing helmet” made me smile. However, I am there at the end, and my cell phone was my friend as always. I have some new kit items for this trip. New double boots, new insulated pants, some insulated bottle holders that won’t freeze this time, a collapsible urine bottle (I don’t want to leave my tent in the middle of the night at 20,000 feet unless necessary), and some new approach shoes. My old approach shoes have lasted me almost five years, and they have been fantastic; I bet I’ve walked 2,000 miles with them at least. Therefore, I bought another pair of the same. Oh, and the new 90L backpack, it’s enormous! I’ve had a test of putting everything in the backpack, and it just fits in a pinch. However, I don’t understand how I’m going to squeeze in the extra gear here, so I’m wearing the same clothes for the entire expedition, from what I can see. Yes, 20 days, and I will also take deodorant and wet wipes before you ask me, but that will be it; as I said before, I am a conformist, and doing a trekking Aconcagua for me, was a dream come true

So the only thing that will tell if I’m ready or not from now on is time. By tomorrow, I hope to be approaching Base Camp and New Years Day near Camp Alto. If everything goes well, I am fortunate with the weather, I don’t have AMS, and I am fit enough, then on January 4 or so, I could have a chance to reach the summit of stone sentinel. Between now and the outbound trip, I fly through Brazil and Chile to Mendoza in Argentina for the biggest and most daring expedition of my life down a long road.