A Women's Expedition to the Highest Mountain Outside the Himalaya
I first climbed Aconcagua in December 2014, during a 6 week leave of absence from work (back when I still had a grownup job, ha!). I tackled the mountain solo and unsupported, carrying a ridiculous amount of weight on my back where pretty much everyone else did the smart thing and hired mules to do the legwork. Not just that, I paid for the privilege: since the park administration wants to encourage the use of local logistics providers, they penalize unsupported climbers by upping the permit fee from an already considerable $800 to over $1000... but all that is beside the point.
Here's the point: when I was on the mountain in 2014 I noticed a stark imbalance - not only was I the only woman to be there solo, I was one of very few women on the entire mountain and seemingly the only one that wasn't there with a boyfriend / guy friend / male guide. That didn't feel right to me so I decided to rally a women's team to return to Aconcagua once more and mix up the boys' club. And what a great team it is!
Teresa is a rad chica whose official day job used to be rocket science - OK, not quite; satellites rather than rockets but who’s counting - before she quit the 9-to-5; she has since moved to Mammoth to be a ski bum and work as a ski instructor and eventually ski patroller instead. Teresa skis (duh), climbs, dives, and spent much of 2016 gallivanting through California's mountain ranges to get ready for Aconcagua. Teresa is also the rock of the team: without her passion for wanting to go to Argentina (and her commitment to the expedition as far back as April!) the team might not have gotten off the ground.
Libby may not need much of an introduction since her name is all over the interwebs and she’s a - literal - rockstar of international acclaim. So rather than listing all the rad missions she’s been on, let’s just say that she’s not just a ridiculously badass climber and slackliner but also works as a PICU nurse educator in developing countries and for all of that was inducted into the Hall of Mountaineering Excellence by the AAC in early 2016. She really doesn’t like the dark and alpine starts though, so getting out of the bag on summit day may be challenge!
Kristina is a kickass mountain woman and engineer who seems to have figured out a way to align her passions on and off the job: she’s working as a performance footwear engineer for Nike, and has been featured on iwantherjob.com for it. When she’s not developing the newest pair of world-class basketball shoes, she likes to go for long runs on the trail and does a bunch of ski mountaineering. She’s a passionate storyteller, too, so if you run into her you should ask her about how she taught herself to trad climb on a week-long trip to the Pika Glacier a while back - because really, why wouldn’t anyone plan and successfully execute a self-supported, fly-in only Alaska expedition to get after one’s first trad objectives!
I love mountains, running, and am passionate about seeing more women crush it in the great outdoors. Up until late 2015 I was working a big business job, but finally decided that being outside and loving what I do every day is way more important than making money and climbing the career ladder. Now I'm a dirtbag runner, climber and photographer living the nomad life. For everything else, there's a proper about me page and athlete resume floating around somewhere here as well.
The team is supported by a host of great brands who are contributing a variety of gear that'll keep us moving - thank you!
Our Argentinian logistics provider is Inka Expediciones, the best company around; if you are thinking about your own Aconcagua climb, Inka will take care of you.