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Synopsis

Mountaineering is an activity where true elation and deep disappointment thrive in equal measure. Nothing exemplifies this more than the story of Mark Horrell's two attempts on Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the world outside Asia, and one of the Seven Summits. This is the story of the second happier half.

In 2005 Mark set off up the Normal Route on Aconcagua's western side, possibly one of the most boring routes on a big mountain anywhere in the world. He spent several weeks staring up a huge featureless scree slope, and was turned back on a cold summit day by a guide who gave up much too easily.

In 2010 he tried the eastern side of the mountain, a much more interesting climb, and was privileged to be guided by a wise old Peruvian who had climbed Aconcagua more times than anyone. It soon became clear that you don't get a record like that unless you are willing to do all you can to defeat every obstacle the mountain throws at you. It was an altogether different experience, and one with many happy memories.

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