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Jin Feibao ascending Mt Aconcagua

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Kunming resident Jin Feibao is attempting to summit each continent's highest peak and trek to both of the Earth's poles within a one-year period. Following his recent trip to Antarctica he is now in Argentina attempting to summit Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America at 6,962 meters (22,841 feet). GoKunming is reprinting transcripts of Jin Feibao's daily telephone reports to Kunming

Tuesday, March 27: 5,400 meters

"Yesterday, we endured the strong wind and climbed for 3 and a half hours, reaching the Camp I at 4,900 meters.

Inka Expediciones - the local travel service which I used, sent a lady to work as my assistant guide, her name is Bobbie. Now I have realized that she is the girlfriend of Alexia [Jin Feibao's guide]. So, while we climb, they are in fact talking about love, and at night, the three of us stay in the same tent. As you can imagine, I have unexpectedly become the highest "light bulb" in South America.

"Light bulb" is the Chinese expression for a person who comes between two lovers. Lovers always prefer some dark place to develop their intimacy. However, we are the only climbing team on this huge mountain at this moment, so I do not feel like a foreigner with them. In fact, I am getting along well with them. I believe their love will grow deeper when we climb higher.

This morning, the good weather ended. The mountain was surrounded by a snow storm, sometimes the visibility was only about four or five meters. But we decided to push forward. So we climbed up very slowly and very carefully. It took us about 10 hours to reach the Camp II at 5,400 meters.

On the way up, I realized that it was too difficult for them to take all of our luggage in such bad weather so I offered to help them take some luggage, just like I helped the man from Boston with his luggage on our way to the South Pole. I fully understand that teamwork is the key for the success of this climbing.

On the way up, sometimes the wind was so strong that we had to use "four legs" - two real legs and two climbing poles - to hold tightly on the snowy ground, otherwise, we would be blown off the mountain.

The good thing about the Camp II is there is a haven built for climbers to use in case of an emergency like today, so we don't need to set up our tent, we can stay overnight inside this haven, it is about eight square meters, with some food and liquid gas tanks inside. Alexia told me that there are another two havens like this in higher places, one is at 6,000 meters, another is at 6,300 meters. This is very good news for me. It shows that Aconcagua climbs are really well-managed. This management method is something which China should learn from.

Maybe it's because I have not rested well, or maybe it's because I have ascended too fast, but after we got to the haven of Camp II, I started to have a headache, and I also had a little fever. Bobbie gave me a painkiller tablet, she said this medicine is specially used for Aconcagua climbers - very effective. Then she contacted the base camp via radio. The news she got from base camp was: judging from the satellite map, this snow storm might last for several days. So we'd better stay here until tomorrow, to wait for the snow storm to pass."

"We stayed in the haven for 24 hours, but the wind is still very strong, the snow
storm has not passed yet, so I guess we might have to stay here for another day.

Wednesday, March 28: Stuck

"One pleasant surprise - Bobbie cooked Chinese rice for me for dinner. It's instant rice, just like instant noodles, which they bought from a local supermarket specially for me. Another pleasant surprise is: Bobbie cooked an Italian-style meal for us, because her ancestors were from Italy. She told me that many Argentineans are in fact descendants of immigrants from Italy and Spain, the original Inca people who lived in this land for thousands of years have now become a minority in Argentina.

In the afternoon, they contacted the base camp with the radio, the base camp told them that the strong wind might be weakened tomorrow, but the snowing might not be over, and the temperature will continue to drop to about -20˚C. So tomorrow, if the wind is not so strong, we might trek up a short distance then come back to stay in the same haven for the night. Anyway, this is a good chance for me to get some rest, because my headache and low fever have still not gone.

Today, we talked a lot about China, both Alexia and Bobbie are curious about China - they said they plan to visit China someday in the future. I told them, if they came to China, they should visit 3 great places: Beijing, Yunnan, and Tibet. I can see that they are very excited when talking about their future China tour. I hope they can choose Kunming as their honeymoon destination."

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