Bonete (16,605 feet)

Where: Aconcagua group, Argentine Andes
When: January 2007
Partners: Mike Cressman, Rick Kent & Scooter from Jackson, WY

Scooter heading up as Cerro Catedral looms

My first summit of 2007 was the 16,605-foot Bonete, tucked away in the Argentine Andes right across the Horcones Valley from Aconcagua. Typically regarding as a warm-up peak by those intent on climbing the highest mountain in the world outside of Asia, Bonete is a fine peak that offers truly stunning views of the region.
Cerro Catedral

Myself, Rick, Scooter and Mike started out from our basecamp at Plaza de Mulas one morning, passed by the Refugio, and followed the worn trail up toward the mountain. Mike and I grouped together ahead of the others and enjoy eachother's company and conversation for the better part of the hike.
Views from below the summit of Bonete

As one reaches the northern ridgeline of the mountain, views to the wide, glaciated valley to the west open up and it becomes obvious that you are on a big mountain in a region of bigger mountains. Giants, all around.
Mike, CP and Scooter on Bonete's summit

Reaching the summit, we found a small team of Swiss gentlemen enjoying the light breeze and the cool air amidst the expansive views. Mercedario, a 21,982-foot monster of a mountain, was calm and clear across the way in the distance.
In the distance, Mercedario (21,982 feet)

*Photos courtesy of Rick Kent