Since I'm going to be down there anyway...
...why not go for the summit a second time and attempt a speed ascent?
Okay, that's not quite how the story goes. It's more like this: in early 2016, the great Brazilian ultra runner Fernanda Maciel established the official women's FKT on Aconcagua by running up and down the normal route in a blazing 22 hours and 52 minutes. Fernanda is the first woman to have completed the round trip in less than 24 hours; it took her three attempts to do so.
Aconcagua is a beautiful and extremely challenging mountain to run - while the normal route is not technically difficult it covers roughly 16,000ft of ascent over the course of ~35kms and tops out just shy of 23,000ft; above 17,000ft the air's oxygen saturation becomes so low that progress slows drastically. Add brutal weather conditions with summit temperatures of -20 degrees Fahrenheit and extreme wind speeds, and you've got yourself a challenge.
Inspired by Fernanda's achievement I will return to Aconcagua in January and attempt a single push ascent, aiming to match Fernanda's record time. I am excited to be partnering with the indefatigable Libby, who not only has a track record of setting speed records in the - technical - vertical but who also has infinite stoke to tackle yet another enduro sufferfest in her secondary (tertiary?) discipline. Photographer and ultra runner John Evans is also going to join us on the mountain.
This project is made possible by generous gear and financial support from adidas Outdoor.
Many thanks to Globetrotter for providing altitude training in their hypoxic chamber in Munich; as well as to Camp, Lenz, Goal Zero, Petzl, and PowerBar for supporting the speed attempt with cutting-edge gear and nutrition.