The Aconcagua Team has reached White Rocks!  Summit attempt could be soon!!

The Aconcagua Team has reached White Rocks! Summit attempt could be soon!!

White Rocks campsite, 19,400' note: this photo shows snow, our team does not have any.

White Rocks campsite, 19,400′ note: this photo shows snow, our team does not have any.

We have a report in from our base camp liaison, Caitlin Palmer with the Alaska Mountaineering School!! She spoke to Colby Coombs around 20:00 Argentina time and got information on the guy’s locations, and updates on how everyone is doing and what they are planning on attempting in the next couple of days.

After a relatively short trip today of 3 hours and 45 minutes, the Aconcagua team arrived at White Rocks (19,400 feet) at 13:15 today. Everyone reports in as doing well and were enjoying resting this afternoon.

The team members aiming for the summit could be arriving there as soon as tomorrow if the weather remains good and everyone feels good. If they decide to make the summit attempt, it will be a slow and steady trip, as is normal at these high altitudes.

As we are getting reports in, the guys are sleeping so they are ready to hit the trail early in the morning. We are sure they are excited, but the temperatures are very cold and they will have to be wearing nearly all of their clothes as well as their big down-filled parkas for most of tomorrow.

View of White Rocks camp and the view of the andes beyond = AWESOME.

View of White Rocks camp and the view of the andes beyond = AWESOME.

Caitlin says that Aconcagua is famous for it’s very viento blanco (white winds) and that the winds get very strong on the mountain, which could cause teams to wait for days and days for a summit attempt. Crossing fingers and hoping they have good luck when they get started on the trail to the top.

Everyone is in good spirits and we hope they are able to maintain their enthusiasm and health as they make an attempt to reach the top of Aconcagua in the next few days.

We are sooo excited to get to be a part of this, and we are grateful to Caitlin for keeping us informed as reports come in to her.

Go Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge Team!!!

Progress from Aconcagua

Progress from Aconcagua

combat-wounded-veteran-challenge-aconcagua-day4-4The CWVC Challenge Warriors are a third of the way up the Aconcagua Summit!

Billy Costello reported in and shared the schedule for the remainder of the week.
“Last night the team stayed at Plaza de Mulas. Today, we climb up to Camp Canada and back down to Plaza de Mulas for the night. Thursday Team CWVC takes a rest day at Plaza de Mulas and then commences the climb once again on Friday.”

The team excitedly relayed this story as well…
The other night, CWVC Team 1 headed out at 2am, with Team 2 following at 4am. While traveling, they were fortunate enough to view several stunning sights – The Southern Star, as well as the Milky Way…oh, and the Space Station came screaming by in the night sky, lit up like a Christmas tree!

The views of the Andes Mountains are breathtaking and the team is doing quite well traversing the summit to this point.

Here are a few pics from the trek from the past day or so. In one of the photos you can see the Summit in the background covered by a cloud.

More to come as our combat wounded and injured veteran team continues its ascent on the Aconcagua Summit. Keep checking the CWVC website for progress updates over the course of the next two weeks. The team returns March 1 to CWVC HQ.

In the news: Tampa Tribune

Howard Altman wrote a short bit about the Aconcagua challenge (you have to dig through the column so here’s what he wrote about us)

I had the great pleasure Friday night of attending the send-off for the latest adventure from the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge, who are embarking on their third mountain climb, this time to Aconcagua, located in the Andes mountain range on the border of Argentina and Chile. At 22,841 feet, Aconcagua is the world’s second-highest.

As with the other trips, the group, run by retired Navy Capt. David Olson, is made up of those who have lost limbs and suffered brain injuries and post traumatic stress disorder as a result of their service and who are helping assess prosthetic design, traumatic brain injury and PTSD. This year’s trip includes four-time space shuttle astronaut Dom Gorie.

You can follow the adventures of the team, which pushed off Sunday and end their expedition March 4, at To learn more about the prosthetics, go to To learn more about the PTSD effort, go to

original location of article:

Combat Wounded Veteran Aconcagua Challenge

Combat Wounded Veteran Aconcagua Challenge

Aconcagua-Combat-WoundedWhere is Aconcagua?

According to Wikipedia,  “Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Western and Southern Hemispheres at 6,960.8 metres (22,837 ft).  It is located in the Andes mountain range, in the province of Mendoza, Argentina, and lies 112 kilometres (70 mi) northwest of its capital, the city of Mendoza. The summit is also located about 5 kilometres from San Juan Province and 15 kilometres from the international border with Chile; its nearest higher neighbor is Tirich Mir in the Hindu Kush, 16,520 kilometres (10,270 mi) away. It is one of the Seven Summits.

Aconcagua is bounded by the Valle de las Vacas to the north and east and the Valle de los Horcones Inferior to the West and South. The mountain and its surroundings are part of the Aconcagua Provincial Park. The mountain has a number of glaciers. The largest glacier is the Ventisquero Horcones Inferior at about 10 km long, which descends from the south face to about 3600 m altitude near the Confluencia camp. Two other large glacier systems are the Ventisquero de las Vacas Sur and Glaciar Este/Ventisquero Relinchos system at about 5 km long. The most well-known is the north-eastern or Polish Glacier, as it is a common route of ascent.

The mountain was created by the subduction of the Nazca Plate beneath the South American plate during the geologically recent Andean orogeny; but it is not a volcano. The origin of the name is contested; it is either from the Arauca Aconca-Hue, which refers to the Aconcagua River and means “comes from the other side”,the Quechua Ackon Cahuak, meaning “‘Sentinel of Stone”, or Quechua Anco Cahuac, “White Sentinel” or the Aymara Janq’u Q’awa, “White Ravine”, “White Brook”. ”

Why are we climbing it?

Because it’s there!!

Our Challenge Warriors are climbing Aconcagua in 2015 to conduct research on prosthetic limbs, residual limbs, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and post traumatic stress (PTS).

What will be researched during the Challenge?

The prosthetists and other members of the research team will test prosthetics in extreme and unique conditions, the effects extreme conditions (long climb, high altitude, extreme temperatures, etc.) will have on traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress related issues. Their research will improve prosthetics (components and technology) for amputees and contribute to treatment options for those suffering from post traumatic stress and a traumatic brain injury.