ACONCAGUA, ARGENTINA (1998)

I chose to climb the Aconcagua - with 6959m the highest mountain of the Andes range - in March, when the climbing season comes to an end, promising a quiet mountain. However, in 1998 an especially strong El Ninho started, with the first snow falling by the end of February...
Slide 3154 Puente del Inca (2720m), where buses can drop you off. The highway continues West and into Chile. The entrance to the valley of the Rio de los Horcones is just in front of the snow-covered summits to the right.  
Slide 3158 Laguna de los Horcones, with the Aconcagua ("White Sentinel") ahead.  
Slide 3160 Rio de los Horcones, coming from the Aconcagua. The most heavily besnowed part of the mountain is the upper part of the Southface. The normalroute goes up via the Northwest slope at the far side of the pyramid-shaped bit (Cerro Piramidal, 6009m) on the lefthandside.  
Slide 3163 Camping at Confluencia (3350m), of the Rio de los Horcones and the meltwater from the Ventisquero de los Horcones Inferior. The plastic bag is provided by the park rangers and need to be returned full (with rubbish) subject to a penalty fine.  
Slide 3170 Camping near (at?) Plaza Francia (4500m), besides the upper part of the Ventisquero de los Horcones.  
Slide 3171 After two nights, sitting out nearly continuous snowing, the South summit (6930m) of Aconcagua basks in morning sunlight.  
Slide 3173 Upper part of the Southface, with the South and North (highest: 6959m) summits just outside of the picture on the left and top-right, respectively. Some go up this way...  
Slide 3175 Leaving a trail, "retracing" my steps down the side of the glacier towards Confluencia, and leaving behind Aconcagua's North summit.  
Slide 3189 Halfway Plaza de Mulas (4250m) and Nido de Condores, looking West towards Cerro Bonete (5100m, the peak above the glacier in the upper right). I had just met the last people coming down the mountain. From now on I would have the mountain all for myself - and for good reason...  
Slide 3198 After spending two nights in Nido de Condores (5350m), waiting for the snow to stop falling, I am halfway up to Camp Berlin (5950m), looking North (and down) towards the Ventisquero de Guessfeldt Sur. Cerro Cuerno is with 5462m the highest peak in the picture (center, top).  
Slide 3199 Almost perpetual snow, and frostbite on my fingers - do resist eating snow with your bare hands! - kept me in Camp Berlin for another two nights (in that tiny hut: you could just crawl through its entrance). Then, I made a final attempt to get higher, but at 6100m the snow reached beyond my waist in many places and I was forced to descend. But: I'll be back!