Staff Sergeant Jones Conquers 2nd Peak, South America’s Aconcagua
Anchorage, Alaska - Bradford, Pennsylvania native Staff Sergeant Trevor Jones, a member of the United States Army stationed at Ft. Richardson just north of Anchorage, has taken on the second of his seven most difficult challenges, and has won! Staff Sergeant Jones is attempting to be the only active-duty service member to summit the tallest peaks on all 7 continents. With Mt McKinley having successfully been completed, he turned his attention to his second quest; South America’s Aconcagua. On February 14th, 2011, he reached the summit, and descended safely. And, as an active-duty soldier, he’s doing it to raise money and awareness for those he has, is, and will serve with in the United States Military; the Wounded Warrior Project.
The tallest peak in the America’s, Aconcagua stood ready to challenge Staff Sergeant Jones at a daunting 22,841 feet. Nestled in the Andes Mountains in Argentina near the infamous plane crash site of Uruguay Air Force Flight 541, Aconcagua’s summit, in the Argentine province of Mendoza, is located 3 miles from San Juan Province, 9 miles from the international border with Chile, and 50 miles northeast of the Chilean capitol city of Santiago. Aconcagua is the tallest peak in both the western and southern hemispheres.
After a hasty travel schedule (he left Anchorage on January 30th, and began his ascent a mere two days later), Staff Sergeant Jones began his final preparations. Equipped with only food, climbing gear, a GPS, and a rescue beacon tracking device, Staff Sergeant Jones set out on his journey on February 1st……alone. Battling the 100 degree heat of Mendoza’s lower elevations, Staff Sergeant Jones targeted the summit, where temperatures rival those of Alaska’s Mt. McKinley, ranging from zero to 30 degrees below. Elevation, temperature variations, and the physical challenge itself, weren’t the only obstacles he’d have to overcome.
At 17,000 feet, the ugliness of disentary, altitude sickness, extreme fatigue, high winds, and mind-numbing boredom world-class climbers can face at higher elevations, struck. Confined to his tent to deal with the internal demons and surrounding elements, he was forced to wait it out, at one point even considering abandoning the climb for the normal comforts of home. As his cause was bigger than himself though, he fought through the odds stacked against him, and was able to press on a few days later. With high spirits, he summited 4 days later, and took 2 days for the treacherous descent. He reached the safety of civilization on February 16th.
The Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org <http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/> ) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, with additional program offices in New York City and Washington, D.C. WWP was founded in Roanoke, Virginia by a group of veterans and friends who took action to help the injured service men and women of this generation. Moved by the difficult stories of the first wounded service members returning from both Afghanistan and Iraq, they realized that something needed to be done to help these brave individuals beyond brass bands and ticker tape parades. The resulting objective was to provide tangible support for the wounded and their families on the road to healing. The resulting objective has birthed into what is now the Wounded Warrior Project.
For more information, please contact Staff Sergeant Trevor Jones directly at the contact information listed above, or visit his website at www.armymountaineering.org <http://www.armymountaineering.org/> .