Friday, January 7, 2022

How I climbed America's "Mt. Everest" (film)

Dr. Erica Elliot, MD (; Ananda, CC Liu (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Aconcagua (award-winning documentary)
(James Smith, premiered 5/21/19) This is a self-shot and edited film detailing what it takes to climb and summit the highest peak in South America and the highest point in the world outside of K2 and the Himalayas. Trip provided by Aventuras Patagonicas.

HONORS: Seven Summits Award, Mountain Film Festival 2019 Semi-Finalist, Irish Adventure Film Festival 2019 Official Selection, Milano Montagna 2018 Best Editing, Monkey Bread Tree Film Awards 2018 Official Selection, International Festival of Outdoor Films 2018.

American climber scales Argentina's giant

Pedro and Aconcagua
The end of my two-year commitment with the Peace Corps loomed on the horizon. I (Dr. Erica Elliott) dreaded the day I would have to say goodbye to my Ecuadorian friends whom I had grown to love, especially my climbing partner, Miguel.

In the fall of 1975, on one of our weekend expeditions high in the Andes, while lying in our sleeping bags side by side under the stars, Miguel and I reminisced about our many climbs together.

Map of South America
Knowing that my departure from South America was only a few months away, Miguel proposed that we organize an expedition to climb Mt. Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the western hemisphere at just under 23,000 feet (7,000 meters).

He wanted to spend our last days together on the “roof of the world.” Mt. Aconcagua, the Mt. Everest of the Andes, is located in Mendoza Province in Argentina, 15 kilometers from the Chilean border.

This towering peak has lured climbers from all over the world for over a century. We planned our trip for December, midsummer south of the equator.

Medicine & Miracles (Dr. Elliott)
That particular year had been designated by the United Nations as the International Year of the Woman, an auspicious time to make the climb.

My climbing friends told me that only seven women had reached the summit of Mt. Aconcagua. The first woman, Adrienne Bance from France, reached the summit in 1940.

They also told me that, as far as they knew, no American woman had made it all the way to the top, based on the list of entries in the ledger at the summit. More

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