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Aconcagua 2008 picture trip report
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Aconcagua 2008 picture trip report

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Aconcagua 2008 picture trip report

Page Type: Trip Report

Location: Mendoza, Argentina, South America

Lat/Lon: 32.65076°S / 70.00789°W

Object Title: Aconcagua 2008 picture trip report

Date Climbed/Hiked: Jan 7, 2008

Activities: Mountaineering

Season: Summer


Page By: Mathias Zehring

Created/Edited: Mar 9, 2008 / Apr 9, 2011

Object ID: 386686

Hits: 29013 

Page Score: 99.42%  - 110 Votes 

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Okay – this is not the first trip report about Aconcagua normal route. But I have taken some nice pictures that I hope you will like. So I will tell the story by pictures.

The trip was an organized one from December 22nd 2007 to January 14th 2008 – by the German company Adventure Train, that I can recommend warmly – everything worked well, and it was cheaper than other companies. Therefore we did not get full meals all the time at basecamp but prepare some ourselves with the camping stove – no problem but a good exercise for the high camp.

Mendoza to Penitentes

christmas in Mendoza
2007-12-23 – Christmas in Mendoza – this year we have to do without German winter christmas romantic in the South American midsummer season.

morning light above Mendoza
2007-12-24: interesting morning light over Mendoza

obtaining the permit
Each aspirant for climbing Aconcagua must personally obtain his permit in the Mendoza tourist office

Horocones valley
Afterwards we travel by bus into the mountains: valley of the Horocones river just besides the main road

abandonned railway
Two nights for acclimatization in a hotel at Penitentes (2580m). The nearby railway is fine for an afternoon walk. Since many years no one risks of getting hit by a train here.

Cerro Tolosa
Idyllic scene near Penitentes – in the background is Cerro Tolosa (5432m)

at Penitentes
Unknown bird at Penitentes

Penitentes ski station
Penitentes ski station (2580m) – behind the building on the right is our acclimatization peak for the next day, Cruz de Cana (3686m)

climbing in line
2007-12-25: there we climb in single file. The slopes are still green

still flowers
As long as there are still flowers it is worth taking pictures of them

snow shower coming
We did not expect the approach of this short snow shower

starved to death?
Obviously this fellow did not get enough to bite on these meagre slopes

Cruz de Caña
Summit of Cruz de Cana, 3686m. At least we are 20m higher than Grossvenediger

Cerro Mario Ardito
"Backside" of Cerro Mano Ardito (3655m) – on the other side it falls down to the main road

Interesting evening light
Interesting evening light – left in the shadow is our acclimatization peak Cruz de Canaz.

Punta del Inca to basecamp

Aconcagua south face
2007-12-26: there it is – Aconcagua south face as seen from the entrance of the National park at Horocones

obtaining the waste bag
After having controlled the permit each climber gets his waste bag, that must be returned full at the end of the trip

Still green here
Still green here – nice hiking into Aconcagua National Park

dusty track
The track gets dusty but remains very easy

horseman in hurry
The only danger comes from meeting horsemen in a hurry

cold welcome
A snow shower welcomes us to Camp Confluenza (3410m)

nice evening light
But the evening is nice again

Cerro Tolosa
2007-12-27: we are on a daytrip in direction to Aconcagua south face. Look back to Cerro Tolosa

interesting plant
Very interesting plants are growing here!

glacier  Vadretto de los Horocones Inferior
Along impressive glacier "Vadretto de los Horocones Inferior" we are walking long and flat. We are satisfied with having reached an elevation of 4000m – above all Aconcagua hides again behind clouds.

A Halo is a sign for bad weather

snow again
… and there is snow again when we come back to Camp Confluenza.

Cerro Mexico (5007m)
2007-12-28: long walk to basecamp. Only in the beginning remains the valley as green as on the picture. On the left is Cerro Mexico (5007m)

Landscape has turned into a desert. Adverse winds blow constantly. Best tactic is slipstreaming like in cycling sport!

almost final slope
Taking a rest before (almost) the final ascent to basecamp. For some of our group this ascent was already a hard one.

Christmas at basecamp
Still Christmas time at basecamp Plaza de Mulaz

Aconcagua from basecamp
Aconcagua as seen from basecamp. The main summit is on the very left.

acclimatization from Bonete to Berlin

stormy clouds
2007-12-29: storm clouds above the summit. But today is a rest day for us.

clouds above Cerro Bonete
Nice clouds also above Cerro Bonete that we intend to climb the following day.

Instant meals coming
We receive gear and food. Instant meals are waiting for us in the next two weeks.

fine weather
2007-12-30: great weather for our next acclimatization climb – on Cerro Bonete (5004m)

Penitentes snow
Crossing fields of Penitentes snow is a new conquest for an European climber!

route to Bonete
Later there are zigzags over slopes of scree, then we traverse beneath the summit to the right and climb it from there via the easy ridge to the highest point.

Aconcagua overview from Bonete
Over all the ascent is nice because of this instructive overview of Aconcagua and almost the whole normal route.

desert valley
The route to basecamp runs through this desert valley

who counts the tents?
Basecamp plaza de Mulaz: "Who names the names, who counts the people / Who gather'd here together cordial?" (Friedrich Schiller)

neighbouring valley
desert also in the neighbouring valley on the other side of Cerro Bonete

Bonete summit
Man (right) wants to climb mountain (left)

scree surfing
Among the best of these mountains here is the quick and gentle (for the knees) descent through soft scree

Landscape with penitentes
Landscape with penitentes (and the Aconcagua hotel) – very bizarre for an European climber used to the alps

bizarre Penitentes
Penitentes. The slope from basecamp to Nido de Condores is right in the background

expedition feeling
2007-12-31: while the rest of the group does another rest day my partner Johannes and I carry the first loads up to Nido camp. Struggling with the effects of elevation and the heavy backpack for the first time I have the feeling of "doing an expedition".

depot at Nido
Having arrived at Nido we settle a depot in the midst of the nicest campsite. But we should not have done this – three days later the depot was cleared some meters apart to use the site.

Sylvester campfire
Back in basecamp. Sylvester evening with campfire

work for the rest
2008-01-01: now the others of our group carry loads and themselves to Nido de Condores

rest in basecamp
… and we settle back in basecamp

every-morning helicopter
2008-01-02: the every-morning helicopter flight affects us today: Marlis suffered a lung oedema and had to be evacuated

lower part of normal route
2008-01-03: after another rest day (on that I did a walk to Camp Canada just for better acclimatization) we are again in time with the whole group. Today we climb up to camp Nido for staying the first night there

before camp Canada
Behind this pinnacle is Camp Canada – that is only a place for a rest today.

at camp Nido
Settling at camp Nido at 5580m. Views in direction to Chile

calm afternoon
It is a nice, almost calm afternoon on this high plain with great views

evening at Nido de Condores
But in the evening it is getting very soon very cold!

ranger station
Even here there is a ranger station of the National Park office, placed in this little cabin

to Camp Berlin
2008-01-04: today we are climbing up to Camp Berlin. Did not expect these big glaciers at our feet. At least the glacier on the left is named after Paul Guessfeld, first explorer of the Aconcagua mountains in the 19th century.

Camp Berlin (5920m)
Camp Berlin (5920m). In case of an emergency these little huts can be used, but a tent is more convenient. Here we settle a depot of gear and food for the summit day.

Berlin to summit
Looking from Berlin to the summit. But today we descend to basecamp.

the summit climb

walk to the glacier
2008-01-05: rest day. I do only a little walk to the glacier tongue.

global warming?
Allegory for global warming? Normally the creek should have its source at the very end of the glacier – but here the whole glacier seems to melt away under the southern sun!

2008-01-06: starting the summit climb: Unfortunately we are again one man less. We can only beckon to the helicopter with Ralf – our best sportsman – being evacuated with acute pneumonia. At the end of the trip we will meet both evacuees again almost healthy at Penitentes

Cerro Cuerno (5407m)
Heiko and Gerlind near camp Canada. Cerro Cuerno (5407m) is still higher

lenticular clouds at Nido
Having reached camp Nido again we don't like these clouds that announce stormy weather. Therefore we decide to attack the summit the very next day and not to lose an important day just for moving to Camp Berlin.

Cerro Mercedario (6700m)
Evening light at camp Nido: looking through the close-up lens to Cerro Mercedario (6700m

Sunset at Nido de Condores
Sunset before summit day

sunset at Nido de Condores
The final rays of sun at camp Nido

first sun
2008-01-07: we start at 5,30 a.m. in deep night. High layer clouds covers the stars – therefore it is pitch-dark and somehow weird. Weather is different to all the days before and who knows how it develops. But I'm feeling very fine today and am climbing a little bit ahead of the others. First sunshine at about 6000m. On the horizon is left Mercedario (6700m) and in the middle La Ramada (6384m)

long shadow
The long shadow of Aconcagua falls on the world…

Rifugio Independencia
At the ruin of Rifugio Independencia (6370m)

Looking north
Looking north. Thank god the dark clouds have disappeared

next are coming
Uli, Gerlind and Heiko are coming next

Gran Accerero
Above Independencia the long traverse of Gran Accerero starts

Looking back to Independencia
Looking back to Independencia

nice track for crampons
A friendly mountain troll made us this fine track for crampons as a present.

upper part of the traverse
At the upper part of the traverse. In front of the dark rocks starts the steep "Canaletta" slope.

Beginning of Canaletta
Beginning of Canaletta. Also here snow and crampons are a big advantage.

the finger
"the finger" is the landmark at the beginning of Canaletta

upper part of Canaletta
Already at the upper part of Canaletta. Fine climbing with crampons here. I met Matias (almost namesake to me) from Mendoza here who works as porter during the season and wants to climb the summit today himself. Behind him the route runs as white line to the left to the summit. Now I feel the elevation and rests become longer and I don't feel like taking pictures

summit arrival
… until after some final meters via easy blocks I am suddenly standing on the summit plateau. Calm, not to cold and almost no snow here – hard to believe that this is almost 7000m elevation.

sumit view to basecamp
I have climbed nicer lookout peaks – here you are just too high above the things. Basecamp is marginally hidden at the lower left (Aconcagua hotel can be seen)

Tupungato (6570m)
Tupungato (6570) right of the middle can – to some extent - keep up with its elevation

Matias und Mathias
Matias und Mathias at 6962m

summit nap
never too high for a summit nap

on the summit
Done! Also Sabine has reached her big goal.

south summit south face
South summit (6930m) an the upper part of impressive south face. That's something for the REAL alpinists!

lenticular clouds
These clouds will not affect us any more. As a matter of fact it was not stormy until the next but one evening

During descent
During descent

Back at camp Nido
Back at camp Nido. Because two of our group accidentally descended to camp 2 of the Polish route we are expecting a sorrowful night. On the next day things clear and both of them will meet us again safe and sound.

back to civilization

camp Berlin
2008-01-08: for clearing a depot I climb a final time to camp Berlin

fully loaded
Now down to basecamp, fully loaded, each belt of the backpack in use.

descent to basecamp
Finally down on the easy track in the scree

back in basecamp
2008-01-09: back in basecamp – strange effects of mountain air? ;-)

Now man and material urgently have to air

Painful waiting at the basecamp toilet…

dove of peace
A dove of peace flies over Aconcagua

Andes glow
Andes glow

back to civilization
2008-01-10: walking back to civilization

long missed
The first flower after two weeks of desert life is warmly welcomed.

Frozen creeks need caution

stiff breeze
Today the wind is in our back. And the mountain pokes its tongue out at them who have to fight against the stiff breeze.

The marsh was too hard for Otto's boots.

water needed
Gerlind and Karin: not fresh any more but happy…

Also I will soon shift back from mountaineer…

metamorphosis #2
… to civil servant

Aconcagua south face
2008-01-11: driving to Santiago de Chile. Behind Punta del Inca we enjoy a fine view to Aconcagua south face – left is south summit, right is main summit.

view from Cerro San Cristóbal hill
2008-01-12: we use the extra days that we did not need in the mountain for sightseeing in Santiago. 6.500.000 inhabitants – you cannot see the borders of the city even at fine weather from Cerro San Cristóbal hill.

Cerro El Plomo (5424m)
View from Cerro Santa Lucia hill to Cerro San Cristóbal hill. Above haze and smog rises Cerro del Plomo (5424m)

wine tasting
Tasting fine Chilean wine.

aereal view
2008-01-14: on the flight back to Europe we are passing Aconcagua just to say goodbye.

acclimatization table

acclimatization table
tableboard about the acclimatization


south summit south faceCerro Mercedario (6700m)lenticular clouds at NidoAconcagua overview from Bonetefirst sunCerro Mexico (5007m)dove of peace
Andes glowthe fingerAconcagua from basecampAconcagua south faceevening at Nido de Condoresbizarre PenitentesTupungato (6570m)
[ View Gallery - 99 More Images ]


[ Post a Comment ]
Viewing: 1-20 of 53 « PREV 1 2 3 NEXT » 

Anya JingleExcellent job!

Anya Jingle

Voted 10/10

I really like this format of telling your story through pictures. They are great, by the way.
Very enjoyable and informational page. Thanks!
Posted Mar 9, 2008 7:29 pm

Mathias ZehringRe: Excellent job!

Mathias Zehring

Hasn't voted

thank you very much. It is the english version of the slideshow that I have on my german website. I hope that there are not too many pictures.
Posted Mar 10, 2008 2:13 am

Anya JingleRe: Excellent job!

Anya Jingle

Voted 10/10

It's never too many pictures for me ;) Cheers!
Posted Mar 10, 2008 2:26 am

SarahThompsonLove the pictures!


Voted 10/10

Congratulations on a successful trip. The pictures are fantastic, some of the best I've seen of Aconcagua. What kind of camera did you use? I went just a few weeks after you and opted to bring a simple point and shoot thinking it wouldn't be practical to bring a big DSLR.
Posted Mar 9, 2008 8:54 pm

Mathias ZehringRe: Love the pictures!

Mathias Zehring

Hasn't voted

I have a digital Canon EOS 400D with a Tamron 17-50mm 1:2,8 and a close-up lens Canon 70-200mm 1:4. I did not take the close-up lens up to the summit because of its weight, but now I regret it.
Posted Mar 10, 2008 2:17 am

TJ311A Picture...


Voted 10/10

...is worth a thousand words. Excellent trip report. I love your pictures. Makes me want to climb Aconcagua. Congrats on your summit!
Posted Mar 11, 2008 8:51 am

Boriss AndeanNice report!

Boriss Andean

Voted 10/10

Congratulations. Hope to be there soon.
Posted Mar 11, 2008 10:24 am

Mathias ZehringRe: Nice report!

Mathias Zehring

Hasn't voted

thanky you! I hope that you will have the same good conditions that I had.
Posted Mar 12, 2008 1:52 am

WoundedKneeNice idea


Voted 10/10

Really liked the report. Congratulations on summiting!
Posted Mar 11, 2008 6:45 pm

Brad MarshallNice Report

Brad Marshall

Voted 10/10

Great report Mathias. Congratulations to all that summited.
Posted Mar 16, 2008 3:09 pm

NikmanWie bereits ...


Voted 10/10

... beim Projektor-Abend gesagt: schöne Bilder!
Posted Mar 16, 2008 4:24 pm

Mathias ZehringRe: Wie bereits ...

Mathias Zehring

Hasn't voted

danke - insbesondere auch für Deinen Anstoß die Serie auf SP zu posten.
Posted Mar 16, 2008 5:34 pm



Hasn't voted

I loved it. Great Pics and Caps.
Posted Mar 16, 2008 4:28 pm

Woodie HopperDanke...

Woodie Hopper

Voted 10/10

Fuer alles ganz schoenes Bilder. Ausgezeichnet!

Posted Mar 16, 2008 6:15 pm

vvujisicGreat contribution


Voted 10/10

to SP and to all those people who will one day visit this area and climb Aconcagua!
Thanks Mathias for sharing!
Posted Mar 16, 2008 7:45 pm

SusanMWell Done!


Voted 10/10

Enjoyed your pictures! 10+++
Posted Mar 16, 2008 8:09 pm

Alpinist08Amazing pictures


Hasn't voted

Your pictures are so amazing. how di yuo....what did you use for a camera? very impressed
Posted Mar 16, 2008 9:44 pm

Mathias ZehringRe: Amazing pictures

Mathias Zehring

Hasn't voted

I used a Canon EOS 400 D and two zooms. But most important is to have your camara ready and not in the backpack!
Posted Mar 17, 2008 2:02 am

attimountGood job.


Voted 10/10

Congratulations for the ascent.We were there in this season and successfuly summited in 19 February after a hard day from Nino de Condores.
Realy nice pictures.(-;
Posted Mar 16, 2008 10:40 pm

Mathias ZehringRe: Good job.

Mathias Zehring

Hasn't voted

congratulations also to YOU! I think this year was a season with really good conditions at Aconcagua. How was cooking at Nido de Condores. Did you find enough clean snow for melting in the vicinity?
Posted Mar 17, 2008 2:18 am

Viewing: 1-20 of 53 « PREV 1 2 3 NEXT »