At Base Camp for Aconcagua — the Americas' highest mountain — I had plenty of time to find out. Over New Year, I spent five days in Argentina living amid squalor at 14,000ft as I sought to acclimatise in a wintry, overcrowded no-man's land.
To appreciate the place you have left behind. Every serious mountain needs a base camp, where climbers adjust to a higher altitude and prepare for the journey ahead. But the only thing that unites the several hundred people who are at Aconcagua Base Camp at any one time is a desire to be somewhere else: either climbing to the summit, or descending to the prevailing high summer at lower altitudes.