How to achieve a successful expedition learning from the best

Matthias Zürbriggen was born in the year 1855 (1856 according to other sources) in Saas Fee, Switzerland. When he was two years old, his parents took him to Macugnana (Italy).At the age of thirteen, trying to escape the life of the poor, he worked in Switzerland and in different countries, such as Italy and France. He tried the most diverse jobs, he was a carpenter, he worked in the post office, then in the railway, he was a hunting guide in Algeria.Due to his travels he became a polyglot. He spoke German, French, Italian and Hindustani.Very young and in a short time, he became a perfect mountaineer, skilled in the work of ice and rock.The feared and famous East Wall of Monte Rosa (the highest and largest in the Alps) was his first success as a guide, accompanying Prochasca, on August 7, 1886.From that moment on, Matthias Zürbriggen was pressured by clients, and he guided on routes and hills that until then he had only known by reference, such as the Matterhorn (Italy), Jazzi (Italy), as well as other summits and traverses.The year 1892 begins and Sir William Martin Conway prepares the first great expedition to Baltoro, in the Karakorum. He sought the collaboration of Charles G. Bruce, A. D. McCormick, Oscar Eckenstein, J. H. Rondebush and the special participation, as guide, of Matthias Zürbriggen and Colonel Lloyd Dickin, along with four Sherpas, who complete the group. How to Climb AconcaguaThis English expedition sailed from Europe to India, traversing the Kashmir chain on foot through the Burzil Pass. His first successes were the first ascents of Pioneer Peak (6,890 masl), buttress of the Golden Throne and the small Cristal Peak.In the years 1894/1895, another Briton requested his services: this time it was Edward Fitz Gerald, who took him as a guide to New Zealand. There he ascended Mount Sealy, Mount Tasman, Silberhorn, and Haidinger; and after two attempts he overcame Mount Sefton.He alone completes the ridge that bears his name to Mount Cook.Matthias Zürbriggen on AconcaguaWith Fitz Gerald he sets off in 1896 in search of the Roof of America. He investigated and discovered the ascent route and on January 14, 1897, he alone achieved the first ascent of Aconcagua (6979m / n.m.).On April 12, 1897, together with Stuart Vines, he achieved the first ascent of Tupungato (6,550 masl).He then travels with Borghese to the Tian Chan. Mount AconcaguaIn the year 1899 and in 1902, he again investigated and explored the Karakorum, with the American couple Bullock-Workmann. He climbs Koser Gunge (6,400 meters above sea level) and other peaks near Skoro – La.His only son emigrates to the United States, which plunges him into a depression. His last reported ascent of him is the Matterhorn, in 1911.He leaves his wife and gradually becomes an alcoholic.He ends his days by committing suicide by hanging in the city of Geneva, on June 21, 1917. The curious news that a Spaniard had set out to achieve the record time of two months on top of Mount Aconcagua, at 6,956 meters, made me remember my adventures on those slopes. My desire to return to the summit experience was immediately reborn, and instead of preparing my ascent of Mount Kenya, as I had planned, I thought of climbing, sixteen years after my first ascent, the famous mountain to interview Fernando Garrido, whom he knew by reference.Location of Aconcagua, Mendoza, Argentina.Aconcagua is a mountain that, like any other, is inextricably linked to my life and my history. In it I lived one of the most terrible and grandiose experiences being lost on its western slope for five days, when they had already prepared my plaque in the Puente del Inca cemetery. Despite this, I returned to its summit a year later, when circumstances forced me to bring the summit book from there, which led to a bitter controversy. I am, to some extent, one of the greatest promoters of such a special mountain, and it was reasonable that the curious and admirable survival of Fernando Garrido was not alien to me, and I would like to learn more about it. And, without thinking too much, I went to Aconcagua, ready to remember old experiences. Life – I thought – is a constant decline.Only these moments of danger, hardness and exaltation stop the vital ramp. Fernando Garrido is a young mountaineer from Aragon, of whom I already knew that he had only been able to climb Annapurna 111 °, a Himalayan peak of 7,500 meters. That time, Garrido intelligently rose above a difficult summit, following and taking advantage of the tracks of a Catalan expedition that did not, however, reach the top. He wrote a simple story in which he spoke of his efforts and the loneliness of so many days. Garrido, a ski teacher at La Molina, had the project of breaking the “record” for permanence at high altitudes, held by the Frenchman Nicolás Jaeger, a French alpinist doctor who, in 1979, had spent 59 days in the Collado del Huascarán, of more than 6,300 meters. Jaeger had based his doctoral thesis on the behavior of man at such heights and later wrote a book on loneliness. Fernando Garrido chose a mountain that was tougher in climatology and higher. If he endured the days he had planned, he would overcome-as it has-the strange but very interesting Cerro Aconcaguaexperience of Jaeger.I set out on the road to Aconcagua when the Spaniard had been at the height for more than fifty days. He had no time to lose if he wanted to carry out the highest journalistic mission in the world: an interview at 7,000 meters. He remembered the extreme hardness of the ascent to Aconcagua and could not arrive on time if I neglected or Fernando gave up on his adventure.