Sweat and tears: Sam tackles South America's highest mountain

Spy News,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 9 January 2019, 9:39AM

Sam Hayes is attempting to summit the highest mountain in South America and there has been sweat, tears and medical evacuations. 

The Newshub presenter is on vacation in Argentina, spending 18 days hiking in the Andes mountains with the ultimate goal of climbing Aconcagua mountain. 

"It's 6,962m! Why? Good question. I’m not quite sure... maybe just to see if I can? And to get out of my comfort zone so I appreciate all the little things in life a whole lot more when I get home," Sam wrote on Instagram.

She's been keeping followers posted along the way, posting photos, videos and small video diaries on her Instagram Story including a short tour of the camp, weather rundowns, walking the trail and even capturing an avalanche on the mountain. 

Her latest post is from the summit of Mt Bonete, at 5,000m - with another 2000m to go to the summit of Aconcagua. 

"It was a struggle and there were a few tears at the top, in part because two of our group had to be medically evacuated by helicopter from the mountain the day before due to altitude sickness," she wrote.

"I hiked up my first mountain two and a half months ago and it was half Bonete’s size. On this trip I set a goal of getting to the top of this peak. Making it 2,000m higher to the summit of Aconcagua will be a bonus. For now I’m very happy.

"There are times when I wonder why I’m doing this but the view from the top across into Chile and of the wider Aconcagua National Park was phenomenal. The weather was perfect for the summit too.. not so much today.. I’m in my tent, it’s snowing and I can hear either thunder or avalanches. I’m going with thunder." 

This seems to be the new normal for Sam, who spent her Labour Weekend climbing Mt Taranaki.