Project Vertical: The Last Team on Aconcagua

Want to get one of the most popular peaks in the world to yourself? As Sarah Lee learned, it's all a matter of timing.
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12 months. That's all it took for Sarah Lee and her husband to climb three of the seven summits. Their latest tick: Aconcagua, South America's highest mountain, which the pair climbed this month via the Polish Traverse.

"We were the last expedition on the mountain for the season, which meant that we barely saw other climbers," Lee said. "We had the trails to ourselves and we were the only group on the summit on March 3—the last group to touch the summit for the season."

Lee, a member of BACKPACKER and Bight Gear's test team, is a relative newcomer to the outdoors. 

"We used to live in Baltimore and had never hiked before in our lives," she says. In 2017, the pair quit their jobs, sold their house, and relocated to Seattle. Since then, they've summited big peaks from Rainier and Pico de Orizaba to Kilimanjaro and Mt. Elbrus.

In July, Lee will climb Rainier with RMI Guides and the rest of the Bight Gear test team. After that, she's got her sights set on her next seven summits goal: Denali, which she plans to attempt in 2020.

Technology by Garmin

In addition, Bight Gear has teamed up with Garmin for this project, and testers will use fēnix® 5 Plus series watches and the inReach® Mini to track their progress.