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Golden Retriever Scales Aconcagua


by Unknown

February 11, 2004

Camp4 - Off Route Archive

A golden retriever, outfitted with boots, goggles, and a snowsuit, scaled the western hemisphere’s highest peak last week.

The two-year-old Rubia, who had been training to climb 22,834-foot Aconcagua since she was seven months old, conquered the Argentinean peak as part of a study on how rescue dogs function at high altitude.

The dog’s human companions, Spanish climbers Carlos Valverde and Marc Ortega, fed the four-footed climber a special diet and rubbed cream into her paws to prevent injuries.

“The dog would react and recover better than we would,” one of Rubia’s fellow climbers told the BBC.

While animals aren’t usually allowed on the mountain, officials made an exception for Rubia because of her participation in the rescue animal study. The golden retriever was roped to Valverde and Ortega for the entire climb.

Rubia may not have been the first canine climber to reach the summit. Nearly a decade ago, the Argentinean newspaper Clarin reported that a stray dog was accompanied a group of Austrian and German climbers to the top.

News courtesy Outside Online.

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Dog Ascent Facts
Winelover from UnknownMay 17, 2005
In 1940, Pioneer climber Juan Jorge Link and his wife, Adrienne Bance (the first woman to climb Aconcagua), reached the summit with their dog FIFI. Link summited the mountain four times, always with his dog. On his fifth attempt, the couple disapered to be never found.

In 1945, the expedition that placed the first argentinian female Nelly Noller on top of Aconcagua, founded Fifi's frozen body few meters away from the top.

Over the last 15 years, dogs that follow muleteers or mule drivers (arrieros in spanish), that carry expedition's gear and supplys to Plaza de Mulas BC, often follow climbers all the way to the top.

Photo taken on top of Aconcagua in one of our comercial expeditions this last summer.

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