Friday, 5 February 2010

Ordeal on Mt. Plata 2010

My 7 day ordeal on Mt. Plata by David Breen.

Last Tuesday I got a taxi to 12 kms from where you start the walk to Plata. I only just arrived at Pirrie Grand camp and the heavens opened. No time to inflate my sleeping mat. I crawled into my sleeping bag and I was inside the tent all Wednesday due to freezing rain. I could not aperate my stove. Thursday it was a bit sunny, then the rain and thunder storms came back.

Friday I climbed to Salto base camp 4,200 m. Then returned to my tent in a storm. Saturday and Sunday was bit better. A cafe gave me the brown runs. Monday climbed to Salto camp to stay the night.

A big snow storm came at 8.30pm and it never stopped for 7 hours. It was like being in a tomb inside my tent. I had no sleep at all fighting the snow wrecking my tent. The snow also stopped the air coming into the tent.

I honestly never felt right, was I going to die? Suddenly, I was fighting for breath, I had to do something to escape the tomb. I got out clearing the snow and I felt a bit better, but got no sleep at all. I found thermals and a goose down sleeping bag no good at all, and I had to put on my Belay jacket. Time passes so slowly in extreme conditions. I was on my own and my watch never got as much use.

The sun did arrive at 8am, crawling out to a deep snowy landcape, and it was freezing cold. I was able to get breakfast. Coffee and a sandwich. After, I spent time digging the tent out.
I was the first to break trail down. On the steep traverse, bouders were flying down ahead of me. I felt tired, so I came back to Mendoza to rest after my ordeal.

The highlights were time spent at Pirrie Grand camp 3,200 m. The birds kept me entertained. They enjoyed my cracker crumbs and a yellow hammer came to look at me. I also suffered with a groin stain and wondered did I have an hernia. After some rest it stopped hurting.

I will be resting in Mendoza for a few days. I will have to plan easy walks that don´t involve extreme conditions.