Aconcagua (22,834 feet)

Aconcagua, which is located in the Andes Mountain Range in Argentina, is the highest mountain in South America and the highest mountain the world outside of Asia.  My Aconcagua expedition was from December 3-18, 2003, and we summited on December 16.  We traversed the mountain, going up the Vacas Valley and coming down the Horcones Valley.  We encountered bad weather most of the way up this mountain.  One of the members of our expedition contracted both high altitude pulmonary edema and high altitude cerebral edema–a double whammy with potential lethal consequences.  We helped him down from high camp and put him in a gamov bag at a lower camp on the mountain.  That night, he rode a mule 26 miles down the mountain and spent 3 days in a hospital.  Fortunately, he made a full recovery and joined us for our celebration dinner.