11 February 2011, 21:10

While Victor Bobok, in anticipation of the final group of the 7 Summits Club on this season, travels to cities and beaches of South America, we'll monitoring some interesting events that have occurred on the slopes of the highest mountain in South America in the last few weeks.

Richard Parks has beaten the weather to reach the second summit of his epic challenge to climb the highest peaks on all seven continents and trek to both Poles. The former Newport Gwent Dragons player reached the summit of Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America, on Saturday at 2.54 pm local time.

Rapidly deteriorating weather meant that Parks had to decide whether to risk gale-force winds in order to reach the summit of the 22,830ft Argentinian peak. Before scaling the summit, Parks said: "These kind of decisions are always tricky and need to be talked through at length. I am lucky to have the expert guidance of our experienced leaders as well as a good team."

The former Wales international is aiming to raise £1m for Marie Curie Cancer Care through his 737 Challenge - climbing seven peaks and reaching three poles in seven months. Parks reached the South Pole in December and Mount Vinson, in Antarctica, last month. His next challenge will be to summit Mount Kilimanjaro, the 19,340ft African peak.

He now has 155 days to reach five more summits and the North Pole. If he were to be successful in his challenge he would be the first person to climb all seven peaks in a calendar year.





January 29 was a good day for climbers. It also did not offer with good weather, but the wind was stiller and occasional lack of visibility was not an insurmountable obstacle. On this day, American Alan Arnette reached the top. This is another hero of our previous news which set out to climb Seven Summit within a year raising unds to fight Alzheimer's disease. Most of his expeditions was and will be organized by International Mountain Guides. On Aconcagua their team had as summiters 8 clients and 3 guides. Rare luck for this year, and it is show quality of guiding.




A visually impaired Pole and another with only one lung who climbed the highest peak in the Andes, the Aconcagua, have returned home from their expedition.

Journalist Lukasz Zelechowski, who is blind, and marathon runner with one lung Piotr Pogon conquered the 6962 meter peak, with practically no acclimatization, after a 17 hour long nighttime climb on 29 January.

“We were extremely tired and had to climb on very unstable terrain”, Zelechowski has told a press conference in Warsaw.

The two climbers admitted that they paid heavy a price for this feat apart from the obvious fatigue. One of them suffered frostbite, another had painfully burned hands from the scorching sun.

Lukasz Zelechowski had already climbed the tallest peak of the Caucasus, Mount Elbrus, as well as the Kilimanjaro in Africa. “The mountains are my passion. I don’t intend to give up climbing,” he said.

Piotr Pogon, who lost his lung due to cancer when he was sixteen, is still battling with the disease. “I have renewed cancer but I am not giving up. I want to drink as much from life as I can”, he told the PAP news agency.





Speed record for the Polish route, or are not completely Polish?

The name of the Peruvian mountain guide Holmes Pantoja Bayona became known a few years ago, when he in 2006 he set a speed record ascent of Aconcagua via the normal route. His result was 20 hours 32 minutes from Horcones to Horkcones was later surpassed by the Spaniard Egocheaga. February, 3 this year, 32-year-old Peruvian athlete ran the second classics - Polish route, more technical. True, the path was not direct Polish and it is unlikely the record will be so attractive to beat it.


It is interesting to note that setting a record Pantoja came just 4 days after climbing the mountain with clients. It was his 21 th ascent of Aconcagua in 8 years of work as guide.

Starting from the gate of the national park, Apu, as everyone calls him, ran lightly up the camp Colera. There he was waited by his friend Vito Magni. They together traverse on the "Polish" side. At the foot of the steep part, they roped, and an ice wall, "the Polish direct route" climbers climbed, insuring all the rules. But quickly. Time from Horcones to the top was 20 hours, 16 minutes. And recorded. Friends went down for the night at a shelter Elena near Colera, where sat all night without warm clothes. The next day, Apu went down to his Kawasaki motorcycle, left at the entrance to the park. And started to implement further plans. Namely: a couple of days drink wine with friends in Mendoza, to move by motorcycle in Chile, lie a couple of days on the beach, and then home home. In native Huaraz, which is a few more days for its magnificent two-wheeled machine.



Site of Holmes Pantoja: http://www.apuperuvian.com