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Aconcagua

  Featured on the Front Page
Aconcagua

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Mendoza, Argentina, South America

Lat/Lon: 32.65°S / 70°W

Object Title: Aconcagua

Elevation: 22841 ft / 6962 m

 

Page By: William Marler

Created/Edited: Mar 21, 2001 / Jun 24, 2014

Object ID: 150197

Hits: 362438 

Page Score: 100%  - 332 Votes 

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Overview

 
Climbers at Nido de Condores...
Sunset at Nido
 
December 8, 2003. Moving up...
Hauling loads up to Camp 1 on the False Polish route

Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Western hemisphere, located in western Argentina, near the Chile border. There are about 3,500 climbers trying the summit each year (info from 2002). The 'Normal Route' is non-technical - a walk-up, following the Northwest Ridge. It is the altitude that poses the most problem. That and the sense that this is an easy climb. Every year people die because they underestimate the task at hand. Respect this mountain and you will fare better. You should not attempt alone, you should always have someone watching you. Much of the hiking is on scree. On the Normal and Polish Traverse routes there are no permanent snow fields, but crampons and ice axe may still be required in some sections. If you are fortunate the final 1,000 feet is covered with ice and snow. You can then crampon up this much more easily than when it is loose scree after a dry winter. This year January 7-10, 2008 the Caneleta had hardpacked snow with some icey sections that was easily cramponed making the top section much quicker (in relative terms). Many who neglected to bring crampons were turned back by these conditions.

Getting there and currency issues, customs

 
Aconcagua on December 12,...
Aconcagua from Casa Piedra in the early morning.
Fly to either Santiago (Chile) then Mendoza (Argentina). Or Buenos Aires then Mendoza. Take the bus to Puente del Inca or Penetentes. The entrance to the National Park is either at Puenta del Inca (normal route and south face). Or the through the Vacas Valley near Penetentes (For the Polish Glacier, Polish Traverse and Vacas routes).

You must go to Mendoza Argentina in person to get your climbing permit.

An issue if you go through customs at Santiago airport. There is a good chance that you will have all meat and dairy products from your expedition food confiscated upon entering Chile. Stay in transit and take a short (45 min) flight on Lan Chile or Aerolineas Argentinas to Mendoza, Argentina. This will allow you to keep your food, get your permits, possibly see Aconcagua from the air as they fly close to it at times, and save the 100$ U.S. tax Chile imposes on Americans, Canadians and other nationalities.

If you are entering Chile by bus this will not apply.

Possible food issue. Ourclimbers had their bags searched in Mendoza Argentina for certain food items. While normally climbers are treated seperately in this respects, as the foreign currency is valued we are not hassled. They conficated some food items such as peanuts and items that had been repacked not in the original packaging. Among the items taken were believe it or not..gummy bears. We think the staff was hungry. I packed all my food in 3-day packs in seperate stuff sacks labled, base camp, camp one, and camp two. These were packed at the bottom of my bag under everything and looked like a hassle to get to and open. Thus the customs were reluctant to get that deep in the bottom of my bag. The people that were searched had packed their food in clear plastic making the customs agent job too easy. So pack your food accordingly to avoid any unnecessary hassles.

 
White Rocks Sunrise
White Rocks sunrise
For flights try.
Aerolineas Argentinas - USA - Home Page
www.travelbeyond.com
www.varigtravelvacations
United Airlines
American Airlines
Lan Chile
Air Canada

 
6:30 am January 1, 2006....
Aconcagua from 2.5 hours out of Plaza Argentina
The Argentine Peso was devalued several years ago between 50-60%. The US dollar is widely accepted everywhere, rates of exchange as of 16,01,06 is 3 pesos for each USD.
Check out and compare the rate at the airport, your hotel and the various Cambios on San Martin. They are all about the same. See if your hotel will give you a better room rate depending on what currency you will be paying in. Some hotels and stores offer better rates if you pay in cash as opposed to using credit cards. When changing money in most cases you will be asked for your passport so keep it handy. There is a lot of suspision of counterfit bills especially 100 US. Try to bring down bills that are as new as possible. Older scruffy ones can and will be rejected.

In 2008 a steak dinner with wine can cost $10.00 USD at a sidewalk restaurant. Fancier places might cost you 20-30 which is still a bargain based on the quality of the service and food you will recieve.

Permits

 
 Looking back from the summit...
The summit ridge
Permits 09/09/05 information gathered from Rudy Parras web site
To enter ACONCAGUA PROVINCIAL PARK, you have obtain a permit.
You have to fill out the forms personally. Permits are sold EXCLUSIVELY at
SUBSECRETARÍA DE TURISMO på San Martín 1143. Close to Plaza Independencia. Most cabs know where this is.

When you apply for your permit in Mendoza you will get a ´banking slip´ from the park office, then go to a nearby "Locatario" to pay your permit fee. Then you will return to the park office and get your ´climbing permit´.The whole process takes one or two hours now, more with high season line ups.

Government site for fee structure (in Spanish) http://www.aconcagua.mendoza.gov.ar/tarifas.htm

 
The 19:30 flight from Mendoza...
The south face from the air
HIGH SEASON: From 15th December of year 2011 to 31st January 2012, a permit costs:
  • Climbing USD$ 700-20 days
  • Long Trekking USD$ 200 -7 days
  • Short Trekking USD$ 103-3 days

    MEDIUM SEASON: From December 1st to December 14th, 2008, and from February 1st to February 20th, 2012 a permit costs:
  • Climbing USD$ 550-20 days
  • Long Trekking USD$ 165-7 days
  • Short Trekking USD$ 95-3 days

    LOW SEASON: From November 15th to November 30th 2011 and from February 21st to March 15th 2012
  • Climbing USD$ 300-20 days
  • Long Trekking USD$ 165-7 days
  • Short Trekking USD$ 95-3 days

    Validity of the permits (as from the date of access to the Park) Validity of the permits Climbing 20 days. Long Trekking 7 days Short Trekking 3 days.
    Proceeds from the duties are alloted (supposed to be) to the maintenance and protection of the ACONCAGUA PROVINCIAL PARK.

    Off –season (from March 16 to November 14) access to the Aconcagua Park is no longer free. A permit must be purchased in Mendoza or at the Park Rangers’ Shelter in Horcones Valley. The price of admittance is the price charged during the high season even if the rescuing service is not provided. Neither doctors nor park rangers are available during this period. However, for a “special” price, there is an exception between March 16 and April 1st., of each season.
    To access the Aconcagua Park within these periods, for trekkings or to climb, we suggest contacting the Aconcagua Park’s authorities. There are restrictions regarding the access of MINORS to the Park: they will have to exhibit pertinent authorization signed by both parents and certified by Public Notary or their respective Consulate or Embassy. For further information, please, contact the RENOVABLE NATURAL RESOURCES BUREAU (Dirección de Recursos Naturales Renovables) located in General San Martín Park, phone + 54 261 425 5090 or + 54 261 425 7065 (from 08:00 AM to 01:00 PM) e mail: aconcagua@mendoza.gov.com.ar

    CLIMBING AND TREKKINGS PERMITS The permits must be given in person to each visitor and only in Mendoza. Trekking and tourism agencies are not authorized anymore to get the climbing permits for visitors as it was in the past. Each climber must come in person to Mendoza city to get it. The permits can not be bought either at Puente de Inca or Punta de Vacas. The control of permisses is done in laguna Horcones (normal and south face), the same as in the Rio Vacas (Polish and Polish traverse routes) by the park-rangers. Anywhere inside the park, the permit or the receipt may be required to be shown.

    (Passport or Identity Card required). Neither medical certificate or evidences of insurance are necessary.
    Payment may be either in Argentine Pesos or in U.S. Dollars. No credits cards or checks are accepted. This should not take to long as the staff are normally pretty used to their jobs and are usually pleasent.

    There now are doctors at the two main base camps. (Plaza Argentina and Plaza des Mules) You will after seeing the Rangers have to check in with the base camp doctor and will get an examination which will determine whether you are fit to go higher. This is manditory now and a good idea.

  • Permits are valid from the date of entry to the Park

  • Argentine citizens are entitled to a 50% discount on the above prices.

    Permit / garbage information from: Corax Date: Feb 05, 2005 11:26 PM
    The following is to be found on the back of your climbing permit:

    You will have to pay a U$S 100 fine if you:
    * Do not use the baths provided by the park.
    * Throw garbage along the park, leave or do not use the numbered plastic bags provided by the park.
    * Pollute rivers, streams or waterfalls.
    * Enter either with bicycles or pets.
    * Damage wildlife, plants and natural, cultural or archeological features which are protected by the park regulations.

    You will have to pay a U$S 200 fine if you:
    * Throw garbage, forget or loose the numbered bags in the high camps or during your expedition.
    * Gather or burn wood in the park.
    * Carve insriptions in the stones.

    You will have to pay the equivalent of a 2nd permit or an ascent permit if you:
    * Go beyond the limits of the length if the stay allowed in the permit or go higher than 4300 mts with short trekking (3 days), long trekking (7 days).

    Note:
    * Maximum stay is 20 days with ascent permit.
    * Horcones ranger station open daily from 8 A.M. - 6 P.M.
    * For your safety always check out.

    On matters of poop n scoop
    When arriving in Plaza de Mulas and Plaza Argentina when you check in the Ranger will register you and hand over a numbered "shit-bag". This bag will be your companion all the time on the higher reaches of Aconcagua and if you loose it you have to pay a $200 fine. You're supposed to use the bag as the only alternative for a toilet and if you're doing your business in nature and are spotted by the guards there is a $100 fine. Be warned, the plastic of the bag is not that thick and is not to be trusted. Double or triple pack it in order to avoid quite disgusting leakage in your back pack. The best thing is to bring a number of smaller bags with you and bag it each time. Cache these smaller bags which should freeze overnight. You can then double bag these in the numbered bag for safer transportation to base camp. Your mule provider is in charge of making sure you have brought this and your numbered garbage bag down to base camp. If you lose it he won't sign your permit. If he does then he becomes responsible.

    There are toilets at Pampa Lena (flush!), Casa Piedra and Plaza Argentina. Conflencia and Plaza des Mulas for the normal route. So it is in the upper camps where you will have to collect your waste.

    If not part of an organized expedition, you have to "be contracted to a toilet service" at BC. Asking around a bit and some big organizers will tell you the price is US$100, some smaller US$5/day or US$10 for the whole stay. If you used the toilet services between 20:00 and 08:00 you may not have to pay anything in some of the places. For those on an extremely low budget an alternative is to camp at the restaurant and use the toilets there. You can always use the restaurants toilet if you are giving them some business.

    Here is a Map of the City of Mendoza Mendoza map

    Guiding Companies, Mules and weight of gear

     
    The West face of Aconcagua,...
    The west face of Aconcagua
    There are many groups that guide Aconcagua here are just a few.

    Aconcagua Express
    Guides only you can reach them through their web sites at KL Expeditions
    Aconcagua Express
    or by email info@aconcagua-express.com
    usa@aconcagua-express.com
    joaquin@kladventure.com
    ask for former speed skier, Joaquin Oyarzun
    Tel. (56-2) 2179101 Cell (56-9) 7996441 and (54-261) 15-5694184
    Santiago Office
    Tel / Fax 56-2-2193786
    Sales Office in Concon
    Phone / Fax 56-32-817366
    Marketing Office
    Avda Borgoño # 23730 Concon Viña del Mar
    Phone / fax: 56-32-817366
    Administration Ph & Fax: 56-2-2193786
    Mobil Argentina: 54-261-155-94184
    Satellite Plaza de Mulas: 874-762-641-961
    Satellite Plaza Argentina: 874-762-641-953
    info@aconcagua-express.com
    usa@aconcagua-express.com
    www.aconcagua-express.com

    Alpine Ascents International
    Aconcagua Trip

    Mountain Travel/Sobek
    Mountain Travel Aconcagua Trip

    Skreslet Adventure Services
    SAS Aconcagua Trip

    Field Touring Alpine
    Field Touring Alpine Aconcagua trip

    Alpinistica.
    Alpinistica
    Web: http://www.alpinistica.com
    E-mail: admin@alpinistica.com

    Expedition Aconcagua:
    http://www.alpinistica.com/expedition-aconcagua.html
    Aconcagua Alpine Style: http://www.alpinistica.com/alpine-style.html

    INKA Expeditions
    Contact info:
    Juan B. Justo 343 - Ciudad (5500) - Mendoza - Argentina
    Tel / Fax: ++54 261 4250871
    E-mail: inka@inka.com.ar
    web: www.inka.com.ar
    Aconcagua Trip

  • Fernando Grajales Expeditions
    Fernando Grajales Expeditions
    TelFax: 54-261-4283157
    Cell: 549-261-(15)5007718/9
    Toll free: 800-516-6962
    www.grajales.net

    Osvaldo Carbajal of Lanko-altas montañas
    Villa Los Penitentes, Mendoza, Lanko-altas montañas
    www.lanko.com.ar
    e-mail: info@lanko.com.ar
    expeditions, porters, mules, base camp, etc
    Telephone numbers:
    00-54-261-4443486
    00-54-261-4322291

    Aconcagua Expeditions
    www.aconcaguaexpeditions.com
    Ruta Panamericana 8795
    La Puntilla - Mendoza - Argentina
    E-mail: info@aconcaguaexpeditions.com
    Telephone: ++54 9 261 5940872 (outside Argentina)
    0261 155940872 (from Argentina, outside Mendoza)
    155940872 (from Mendoza)
    Miguel Zubeldia (Ceo)

    Cosley & Houston
    Aconcagua trip

  • AEA Expeditions
    www.aeaexpeditions.com
    Expeditions and trekkings in Aconcagua, Pissis, Tupungato, Mercedario Maipo and Cordon del Plata. Logistic support for expeditions and professional high mountain guides. The company is based in Argentina.
    Phone +54 + 261 15 - 5947613
    Int : +54 +261 95947613

  • Natural High
    Natural High

  • Alpine Trekking organizes mountaineering expeditions in South America and is specialized in Aconcagua.
    Alpine Trekking

  • 7summits Aconcagua trip
    http://7summits.com/aconcagua/trips.php

  • Aymara Adventures and Expeditions
    http://www.aconcaguaaymara.com/
    e-mail: info@aconcaguaaymara.com
    Address: 735 España Avenue -Mendoza- Argentina
    Phone: (++54) (261) 424 4773
    From London, the Uk - +442071930268
    From San Diego, California, the USA – +16195734062

  • Ganesh Adventures Aconcagua trip
    http://www.ganeshadventures.com

     
    January 2004
    Mules on the walk in
    Mules
    Each mule can only take 60 kilos (two 30 kilo bags balanced). So each duffle you bring should not exceed 30 kilos. As a rule clients are allowed 30 kilos including their food. Not including tents and communal gear. You will be charged two days in and one day back for the walk in in the normal route. For the walk out, it will depend on whether you hire mules who just brought gear in or if they came in empty just for you. Try to negotiate in advance for dropoff and pickup. Radios are useful here and the Rangers can be of great help.

    For the Polish side you will be charged 3 days in and one to two days out for the approach and its the same story for the walk out as on the normal route.

    Mule prices can vary but it works to about 150 USD perday for and mule driver and two mules (120 kilos). This is only a guide things change depending on how desperate you are and availability, size of group. Eight people would use 4 mules (2x30 = 60 kilos per mule) plus probably 2 mules (2x60 kilos of communal gear). You would probably have three muleteers.

    Just an example for the Polish Traverse - Group size - 3 people.
    December 2001 it cost for two mules in (three days) and one mule out (two days) including the Mule driver $ 750$US

    Some Mule providers

  • Rudy Parra
    E-mail: rudy@lanet.com.ar or aconcagua@rudyparra.com

  • Fernando Grajales Expeditions
    Fernando Grajales Expeditions
    TelFax: 54-261-4283157
    Cell: 549-261-(15)5007718/9
    Toll free: 800-516-6962
    www.grajales.net

  • Osvaldo Carbajal of Lanko-altas montañas
    Villa Los Penitentes, Mendoza, Lanko-altas montañas
    www.lanko.com.ar
    e-mail: info@lanko.com.ar
    expeditions, porters, mules, base camp, etc
    Telephone numbers:
    00-54-261-4443486
    00-54-261-4322291

  • Daniel Alessio
    Casilla de Correos 33, 5505 Mendoza, Fax: 54-61-962201, E-mail: alessio@lanet.losandes.com.ar, Home phone# 054-261-4962201.

  • Daniel Lopez
    Has a food tent set-up at plaza argentina
    Geocities.com/daniellopezexpeditions
    email: aconca20@yahoo.com or hotmail.com
    phone/fax 54 261 4456509

    Buying equipment in Mendoza
    There are now many shops to purchase equipement that you may be missing upon arrival in Mendoza.
    Orviz is one that has a web site www.orviz.com

    When to climb and guide books

     
    A view of Aconcagua from Camp...
    Aconcagua from Camp Canada
    The best climbing time is from December (colder but less crowded) to February (Jan/Feb possibly better weather but more busy).

    Guide Book
    Aconcagua, a climbing guide
    by R.J.Secor, (1994)

    Video
    "Aconcagua: The Roof of the Americas" from Media Ventures www.adventure-video.com

    A brief description of 33 routes is available on
    Aconcagua Expeditions website
    www.aconcaguaexpeditions.com

    7summits Guidebook
    http://7summits.com/aconcagua/guidebook.php



    Camps and possible itineries

     
    Shadow of Aconcagua in Clouds
    The shadow of Aconcagua in the clouds
    There are 5 routes listed on the left hand side of this page.
    This section deals with the two most travelled, The Normal Route and the Polish Traverse.

    20-12-06 Note the Quanaco route is reported to be closed to the public.. More on this as news filters in. The reason given so far is the perserve this unspoiled portion of the mountain.

     
    Aconcagua
    Looking North from the False Polish route
    POLISH TRAVERSE
    If you go the Polish traverse route allow three days at least for the approach. Here is how it can go. You can alter as you go depending on how you feel.

    Possible itinerary
  • Day one- End of Vacas valley-Pampa laina (8,200 ft) From the road to camp 4-5 hours
  • Day two- Casa Piedra (9,200 ft) 5-7 hours
  • Day three- Plaza Argentina (13,200 ft) 5-7 hours
  • Day four- Rest
  • Day five- Carry a load to camp 1 (16,200 ft) 4-6 hours
  • Day six- Move up to camp 1 4-6 hours
  • Day seven- Rest
  • Day eight- Carry to camp 2 (19,200 ft) (high camp) 4-6 hours
  • Day nine- Rest
  • Day ten- Move up to camp 2 (19,200 ft) 4-6 hours
  • Day eleven- walk to 21,500 feet Independencia to understand the route 2-3 hours
  • Day twelve- get up early 3:00am and start for the summit with headlamps and crampons this is a long day allow 10-12 hours or longer for the round trip. 7-12 hours
  • Day thirteen- decend to base camp then arrange mules with the rangers for you gear and walk out to Casa Piedra to spend the night. 3-7 hours
  • Day fourteen-walk out to the highway at mouth of the Rio Vacas have you pick up scheduled in advance and have the rangers confirm it if possible. If not you will have to walk or hitch hike (which is difficult since it is so close to the border). You can always call the hotel at Penitentes from the truck customs building at the mouth of the Vacas. They will pick you up if you will stay or eat there. So have the number tucked away. 4-8 hours

    On the Polish route, once you have reached basecamp at Plaza Argentina 13,300 feet (takes 3 days to reach). Then its up to camp one at approx 16,200 feet. The next camp, Camp 2 is at 19,200 feet approx. From here you can go up the Polish Glacier or traverse over to the normal route at Independcia (21,500) and up to the summit. A camp is also possible at White rocks, approx 19,900 feet. This will aid you in removing the traverse at the beginning of your summit bid. But will take extra energy carrying all your gear over the travese and setting up another camp. I don’t reccomend it. I only mention it as some people do it. Camps 1 and 2 are not huge and space can be an issue at times. There is a larger flat area down to the right as you enter camp 2. Many people go there. But it is more exposed, so you had better make your tent extra bombproof.

  • Possible traverse submission by author: mconnell
    If you are going to do the "Polish Traverse", consider going out the Normal Route. It means you have to do a carry over of everything, but you get to see both sides of the mountain and can be out from high camp in 2 days. From Camp 2 at the foot of the glacier, traverse directly to White Rocks and head down. Took us about 4 hours from White Rocks to Plaza de Mulas.

    From William Marler. Yes this can be done but we havent as yet as our groups have always brought more gear than was needed. ie food and extra clothes that was left in Plaza Argentina. As well as all the garbage including fuel cannisters you have used up to base camp and above that you have to bring out with you. So we would have had to bring all that extra gear up and over the mountain. If you are a small tight group with your act together go for it. But bring all your garbage.

     
    erecting a tent as sun sets...
    Erecting a tent at Berlin
    NORMAL ROUTE
    On the Normal route a two day walk (overnight at Confluencia) will get you to a large basecamp (Plaza de Mules 13,500 feet approx). Stay on the left side as you enter camp (many loose bolders make there way down on the right side). Then up camp 2 or Camp Canada at 16,200 approx. This is a good acclimatization stop but has limited space sometimes. Some people continue up to Nido des Condores (approx 18,000 feet) which is a large area but can be very exposed to the wind and elements. It is also a very big push from basecamp at 13,500 feet and can break a lot of people. Camp 3 is at Berlin (19,300 feet approx). From here you can go to the summit easily if you have acclimitized well. I use the word easily loosely, most of you will know what I mean. Non technical but a real slog in scree.

    Possible itinerary
  • Day one- Puenta del inca to Confuencia.(9,200 ft) 3-4 hours
  • Day two- Confluencia to base camp. (13,000 ft) 6-7 hours
  • Day three- Rest day
  • Day four- Carry to Camp Canada (16,000 ft)4-6 hours
  • Day five- Move up to Camp Canada 4-6 hours
  • Day six- Rest day
  • Day seven- Carry to Berlin (19,100 ft) 5-6 hours
  • Day eight- Move up to Berlin (19,100 ft) 5-6 hours
  • Day nine- Rest day and trail exploration 2-3 hours
  • Day ten- Summit day 8-12 hours round trip 8-12 hours
  • Day eleven- Clean up camp and decend to basecamp.3-4 hours
  • Day twelve- Arrange mules and walk out to Puenta del Inca or Confluencia 6-8 hours
  • Day thirteen- Walk-out if you camped at Confluencia 2-3 hours
    Note: Add extra summit days for bad weather.

     
    Camp Cólera
    Camp Coléra
    Author: Alpinist
    Date: Dec 30, 2005 12:30 PM

    The conditions at Camp Berlin were quite poor when I was there in December 2005. There was human feces and toilet paper under every small rock, garbage everywhere, and the strong smell of urine in the air. As an alternative, consider camping at Camp Coléra. It is only ~200 feet (70 meters) higher than Berlin and much cleaner. Upon arrival at Berlin, take an immediate left. Follow the trail that traverses the ridge towards the black rocks near the top.

    From Seven Summits
    my 7 summits pages for more info, a complete trip report and 80+ pictures of the mountain.

    Possible food list

     
    Sunset from Camp Alaska
    Sunrise from "Camp Alaska"
    What food to bring? Basically it boils down to what you can carry and prepare easily. Also what you feel your body will crave and digest when (as in most cases) your appetite diminishes as you gain altitude.

    Here are breakfast, lunch and dinner suggestions

    Breakfast

    Bag of cereal
    Milk powder
    Box of raisins
    Small tinned fruit
    Piece of cheese
    Hot chocolate
    or Coffee or tea
    Breakfast bar granola

    Lunches
    Granola bar
    Chocolate bar
    Bag of mixed nuts
    Piece of cheese
    Crackers
    Tin of salmon or tuna or ham or sardines
    Cookies
    Juice crystals

    Dinner
    Cup of soup(s)
    Japanese noodles
    or
    Freeze dried dinner
    or tin or foil pouch of beans
    Small tinned fruit
    Cookies
    Tea or Hot chocolate


    Snacks
    Granola bar
    Chocolate bar
    Peanut Butter tubes
    Bag of mixed nuts
    Piece of cheese
    Cookies
    Dried apricots or similar
    Pringles chips
    Honey tubes

    Optional Bars
    Power bars
    Cliff bars
    Squeeze gels (Energy)

    Local food for the walk to base camp
    Bread or rolls
    Summer sausage
    Cheese
    Hard boiled eggs
    Oranges and Apples

    The next chore then is organizing your food into lodgical packs for transporting to base camp and each of the higher camps. The following is what I use as a guide for doing the False Polish route. It is a guide only as I add or subtract according to clients preferences.

    Pack 1 for walk-in
    Three Breakfasts

    (Pampa Lenia)
    (Casa Piedra)
    (Horse Fly/Intermediate camp)

    Three Lunches and Snacks
    (way to Pampa Lenia)
    (way to Casa Piedra)
    (at Horse Fly/Intermediate camp)

    Three Dinners
    (Pampa Lenia)
    (Casa Piedra)
    (Horse Fly/Intermediate camp)

    Supplimented by fresh produce
    Bread or rolls
    Summer sausage
    Cheese
    Hard boiled eggs
    Oranges and Apples

    Pack 2 Basecamp
    Three Breakfasts

    (Basecamp)
    (Basecamp)
    (Basecamp)

    Three Lunches and Snacks
    (on carry to camp one)
    (on carry to camp one)
    (at camp one)

    Three Dinners
    (Basecamp)
    (Basecamp)
    (Basecamp)

    Pack 3 Camp 1
    Three Breakfasts

    (Camp one)
    (Camp one)
    (Camp one)

    Three Lunches and Snacks
    (on carry camp two)
    (on carry camp two)
    (on move to camp two)

    Three Dinners
    (Camp one)
    (Camp one)
    (Camp one)

    Pack 4 Camp 2
    Three breakfasts

    (Camp two rec)
    (Camp two summit)
    (Camp two decend day)

    Three Lunches and Snacks
    (on rec to Independencia)
    (on summit day)
    (on summit or decend)

    Three Dinners
    (Camp two)
    (Camp two summit)
    (Camp two summit day 2)

    Pack 5 Walkout
    One breakfast
    (Casa Piedra)

    Two Lunches, Snacks
    (on walk to Casa Piedra)
    (on walk out to road)

    One Dinner
    Dinner for one night
    (Casa Piedra)

    On both sides of the mountain that are mainly used (I don't know about Plaza Francia) there are those who provide food for a price. These may include papas frita, omelettes, pizzas, different casserols and lasangnas. These can be a wonderful addition to ones diet and well being. But a word of caution. While I have had many a great meal and suffered no ill effects. Some people have come down with intestinal problems after partaking in some of these feasts. Basecamps are dirty places and while the food providers do their utmost to keep things sanitary slip ups do happen. These Food tents are usually available starting mid-Decemeber.

    Bon appetite

    Mountain Conditions

    Up to date weather conditions can be found at Aconcagua Now.
    Aconcagua Now
    January 15-16, 2007 update. Conditions have been on and off. It is very cold now -21 Celcius at the summit with wind chill making it -34. These conditions can change day to day. The weather tends to work in 5 days cycles. In February things may work better or worse.

    More information:
    aconcagua.org
    Aconcagua.com
    peakware.com
    bielefeldt.de/aconhe
    Skreslet Adventure Services

    Mendoza weather

    Aconcagua records

     
    Looking at Aconcagua through...
    Penetentes on the route up to Camp 1
    Here are some records from the Aconcagua.com web site
    click here

  • FIRST Ascent
    First assent of Aconcagua was led by the English alpinist Edward Fitz Gerald, during the summer of 1897. Fitz Gerald's group acceded to the stony slope of the Northwest side of the mountain after following upstream the Horcones River. After several tries, the Swiss Mathias Zurbriggen reached alone the summit the 14 Th. of January, 1897. Followed a few days later by Nicholas Lanti and Stuart Vines, members of the same expedition, made the second climb following the same route.

  • FIRST ARGENTINE Ascent
    Lieutenant Nicholas Plantamura of the Argentine Army reached the summit the 8th of the 1934 in company of the Italian alpinists P Ceresa, P Ghiglione, R Chabod and the Chilean rancher Mariano Pasten. They climbed along the normal Route.

  • FIRST Ascent OF THE POLISH GLACIER
    In March 1934, The Polish V. Otrowski, K Narkiewicz, S Daszinski and S Osiecki opened a new route to the summit along the beautiful Northeast Glacier, doing also the eighth assent of the mountain. Since then the glacier is called the Polish Glacier.

  • FIRST Ascent BY A WOMAN
    Adriana Bance from France, on the 7th of March, 1940, accompanied by Jorge Link from Germany and the members of del club Andinista Mendoza, Pablo Franke, P Etura, D López y J Semper.

  • FIRST Ascent OF THE SOUTH SUR
    It was done by the French Adrienne Bance, the 7th. of March 1940, in company of the German Lopez Link and Members of the Andinist Club of Mendoza, Pablo Franke, P Etura, D Lopez and J Semper

  • FIRST Ascent OF THE SOUTHERN SUMMIT
    The German T Koop an L Herold reached the Southern Summit of the Aconcagua in January 1947. They followed the Normal Route until the middle of the Canaleta , then they turned to the right (west).

  • FIRST WINTER Ascent
    By the normal Route the Argentines E Huerta, H Vasalla and F Godoy made the first winter climbing between September 11th and 15th of 1953.

  • FIRST CLIMB OF THE SOUTH WALL
    The very important first climb of international renown, was done by the French Paragot,Poulet,Dagory,Berandini,Lesseur and Denis. At the end of February 1954 they reached the summit after seven hard climbing days.

  • FIRST Ascent OF THE EAST GLACIER (ENGLISH GLACIER)
    February 1978 climbing in alpine style, the Argentines Vieiro (+) , Porcelana (+) and Jasson, opened a new route to the summit with important technical difficulties. It is called Argentine Route.

  • FIRST TRAVERSE FROM THE SOUTHERN TO NORTHERN SUMMIT.
    During the winter of 1980, the Catalans Serrat and Villena with a support team, reached the summit by the Polish Glacier. They used skis on the major part of the itinerary.

  • FIRST DESCENT IN A DELTA WING.
    The prestigious French alpinist J M Boivin Flew a double plaza delta wing with L Marchal, descending in 30 minutes to Plaza de Mulas. They climbed three times to the summit until the climatological conditions were acceptable for the flight. This was in January of 1981.

  • FIRST SOLO CLIMB OF THE SOUTH WALL.
    The French Ivan Girardini, in four days, following the French Route/54 and taking the Messner's variation, reached the summit in January of 1981 making this remarkable first.

  • FIRST WINTER CLIMB OF THE SOUTH WALL
    A Japanese expedition made this difficult and hard first assent in august 1981. Hasegawa reached alone the summit after choosing the Messner's exit.

  • FIRST FEMALE CLIMB OF THE SOUTH WALL
    The northamerican Titonne Bouchard and her husband, following the French 54/ Messner Route climbed the South Wall, becoming the first woman in ascending this difficult face of the Mountain.

  • FIRST DESCENT IN PARAPENTE.
    The 11the of February of 1985, the Captain of the French Air force, A Steves, unfolded his light parapente about 200m below the summit. By catching ascending currents he went up about 20 meters above it. He arrived to Plaza de Mulas 25 minutes later.

  • FIRST LOCAL CLIMB OF THE SOUTH WALL.
    The Mendocinian D Alvarez, M Sanchez, D Rodriguez, the Colombian M Barrios and Alejandro Randis, reached the summit the 23 of February of 1986. The climbing was done in alpine style following the original French/54 route.

  • FIRST DESCENT OF THE SOUTH WALL WITHOUT USING ROPES.
    The strong Slovenian alpinist Slavko Sveticic descended in ten hours from Del Guanaco Col until Plaza Francia without carrying a rope. Previously he climbed with M Romic a new variation of the Southwest Ridge, making the first ascension of the Aconcagua's Pyramid (6000m) by the South Pillar. January 1988.

  • FIRST CLIMB OF THE WEST WALL.
    A team from Mendoza, brought together by Daniel Rodriguez, achieve the climbing of this wall in four days. The route goes through the center of the great wall of 2800m and end in the Southwest Ridge, very close to the Southern Summit. They survived some steep ice avalanches and difficult rock passages.

  • FLASH CLIMBS OF THE NORMAL ROUTE.
  • January 1987 L Cichy, Poland 9 hours
  • January 1987 Alejandro Randis, Argentina 8,7 hours
  • February 1987 D Alessio, Argentina 7,48 hours
  • February 1987 M Sanches Argentina 6,32 hours
  • January 1989 M Dacher, Germany 6,15 hours
  • January 1989 M Smith , USA 6,13 hours
  • January 6, 1992 D Porsche, Germany 6,30 hours.
  • January 8, 1992 D Porsche, Germany 5,45 hours.
  • January 10, 1992 D Porsche, Germany 5,30 hours.
  • January 12, 1992 D Porsche, Germany 5,15 hours.
  • February 24, 2003 Christian Stangl - 4h 37 min - www.skyrunning.at
  • March 4, 2003 Christian Stangl - 4h 25 min - www.skyrunning.at

  • FIRST ASCENT OF THE TWO SUMMITS IN ONE DAY.
    The 6th of February of 1991, Alejandro Randis accomplished this climb of the two summits in one day departing from Plaza de Mulas and returning to the same place. Total Time, base camp +Southern summit + Northern summit + Base camp : 14 hours.

  • FIRST CLIMB OF THE POLISH GLACIER IN ONE DAY
    In February 1992, the climber Miguel Lito Sanchez, From Mendoza, became the first alpinist to climb the Polish Glacier departing from Plaza de Mulas and returning to the same place ( by the normal route ) in the same day.

  • FIRST ASCENT OF THE "VIA DE LOS GUIAS MENDOCINOS"
    In February of 1994 R Gabrielli (last governer of The Province of Mendoza); A Lafalla (present governor of the Province of Mendoza); J. Guiaquinta; D. Alvarez; C. Santilli; D. Rodriguez; O Brusadin an Alejandro Randis opened a new Route that is situated at the right of the "Gran Acarreo".

    Avoiding Altitude sickness

     
    Tent and Cloud
    Tent at Camp 2
    You should be prepared for the possible onset of altitude sickness. High altitudes are stressful on the body, and lack of oxygen up high can produce slightly debilitating effects, such as fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, nausea, and a drunken gait. Altitude sickness generally doesn’t occur below 10,000 feet, but people have suffered its symptoms lower than 8,000 feet.

    There’s not much you can do to prevent this problem, but there are ways of alleviating its effects. The key to doing this is simple: take it easy. Take a day or two before beginning the walk in to acclimatize yourself to the elevation. Go at your own pace, and don’t take chances. Even if you’re in excellent shape, don’t be fooled. The lack of oxygen at such high altitudes can definitely throw your lungs for a loop. Walk at a comfortable, slow pace and don’t carry too much weight. Make sure to hydrate yourself regularly, drinking 4 to 5 liters (nalgene bottles) of water per day; camelbacks can be mountain companions because of their convenient water portability. The only problem being keeping the nozzle clean, I find they can get gross and need constant cleaning. My self I attach a 1 litre Nalgene bottle to each side of my backpack so that I can reach them easily without removing my pack. Taking antioxidant vitamins (A, C, and E) also helps reduce the effects of high altitudes. Of course working out before you go is another great preventative measure. While this doesn’t guarantee an easier time when up high, it can enhance your lungs’ ability to cope with the challenges of high elevations.

    Try to spread out your ascent over a period of two or three days to give your body more time to adapt. Play by the “climb-high, sleep-low” theory of ascent: go on a short hike to a higher elevation, then return to the (lower) elevation at which you’ll sleep.

    Physical fitness, as mentioned above, is no guarantee against developing altitude sickness. Past excursions to high elevations without developing symptoms is similarly no guarantee against getting sick. There’s no way to predict who is more susceptible to altitude sickness although trekkers who overexert themselves, those who are panting or breathless, and those who stagger far behind the rest of the group are likely candidates.

    Surefire signs of impending illness include extreme fatigue, headache,
    loss of appetite, and shortness of breath. If you experience any of these symptoms, the best thing to do is take a break from climbing for a couple days to acclimatize. Once the symptoms disappear, it’s safe for you to continue. If the symptoms persist or get worse, you should
    descend to a lower elevation.

    More serious levels of the illness include increasing tiredness, severe headaches, vomiting, and loss of coordination, and are indicative of acute mountain sickness (AMS). If such symptoms appear, don’t hesitate to get immediate medical attention. If serious symptoms go ignored for more than 12 hours, they could have dire--even fatal--effects, such as accumulation of fluid in the lungs or brain. The most important symptom of AMS is loss of coordination. If someone staggers or walks in a drunken gait, check them out for further signs of AMS. A good test is, essentially, the police’s test for drunkenness--ask the person to walk in a straight line, placing one foot directly in front of the other without staggering or losing balance. If the person cannot perform, he or she should descend immediately--and never alone. Go slowly and without exertion, and ideally while it’s light outside. The descent should continue until symptoms begin to decrease; relief usually occurs within 1,000 to 1,500 feet.

    There are prescription drugs out there that you can take for severe symptoms. The most common is called Diamox; it works by stimulating your breathing. Diamox is a strong medication and has some slight side effects, such as an annoying tingling in the fingers and toes. You will urinate more frequently so getting out of the tent at night in a storm could be a problem (if you don’t use a pee bottle). This will also nessisitate you drinking more fluids to compensate. Do not take more than prescribed (some people get really sick), while I avoid taking it, many people find it helps them. My suggestion would be to try it out at home before you head to altitude so you will get to know the symptoms and side effects beforehand. Then when you take them up high you will have a better understanding what it is that is making you feel this way.

    Equipment list

     
    Aconcagua from near the base...
    Aconcagua from the north near Ramada
    Partial Equipment list info:
    Here is a brief incomplete list for you. Minus the Climbing gear
  • 6-pairs socks
  • 6-underwear
  • 2-pairs of shorts for the walk in
  • 3-T-shirts for the walk in
  • 2-bandanas or a sun hat to keep off the sun
  • Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen plus zinc
  • Good sturdy hiking shoes
  • 1-sleeping bag (as warm as you can get)
  • 1-sleeping pad (your choice the more comfortable you are the better you sleep the more energy you will have) you can get a Crazy Creek chair that goes with your pad this is a good investment.
  • 2-expedition weight Patagonia long underwear tops (or 1 depends on how dirty you like to be)
  • 1-expedition weight Patagonia long underwear bottom (or similar)
  • 1 lightweight fleece bottom
  • 1-heavy weight Patagonia or similar fleece jacket
  • 1-Gortex shell jacket
  • 1-Gortex shell pants (full length zippers)
  • 1-Down filled jacket liner from Feathered Friends of Seattle, (optional but I always end up using it)
  • 1-Downfilled Gortex guides Parka 1-Warm hat with ear flaps
  • 2-pairs of heavy duty mittens (in case you lose one pair up high)
  • 1-pair fleece gloves 1-pair ski gloves
  • 1-pair of Koflach double plastic boots, One Sport (warmer)($$$) or Asolo (I prefer Koflach, I find them more comfortable)
  • 1-pair of gaitors
  • 1-pair ski/trekking poles
  • 1-ice axe (If you are doing the Normal route or Polish Traverse this will only be needed for digging level tent platforms. One per tent group would be sufficient)
  • 1-pair of sharp crampons (test them on your boots before you leave and make sure they fit perfectly)
  • 1-headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs
  • 1-cup with spoon attached
  • 1-Swissarmy knife
  • 1- stove of your choice (I use Markhill stormy hanging stone with Blueway cartridges, you can get fuel in Chile or Argentina as it is difficult to fly down) allow 10 canisters per 2-man tent. You can also get white gaz easily.
  • 1-tent (you can bring two if you wish and leave one set up at base camp in case one of you has to stay down for any reason. food for 12-15 days. If in doubt go with less rather than more as your appetite will decrease at the higher camps. You can fo a price purchase food at basecamp after January 1st. 3-1-litre waterbottles each (drink at least 5 litres a day to help acclimitise)

    Hotels

    Hotel Nutibara
    The Hotel Nutibara in Mendoza is a good bet, you can find cheaper and more expensive but the pool is the best. 2005 rates below. They will allow you to store gear at the hotel and understand climbers needs (ie will help you get in touch with mule providers).
    Hotel Nutibara
    2005 HABITACION SINGLE DOBLE (Single-double room)
    ALTA ESTÁNDAR $ 110 $ 150 ($=Argentine Pesos, upper standard room)
    BAJA ESTANDAR $ 99 $ 135 ($=Argentine Pesos, lower standard room)
    ALTA MASTER $ 125 $ 170 ($=Argentine Pesos, upper double bed room)
    BAJA MASTER $ 112 $ 150 ($=Argentine Pesos, lower double bed room)

    2005 HABITACION SINGLE DOBLE (Single double room)
    ALTA ESTÁNDAR U$ 38 U$ 52 (Upper standard room US $)
    BAJA ESTANDAR U$ 34 U$ 47 (Lower standard room US $)

    ALTA MASTER U$ 43 U$ 59 (Upper double bed room US $)
    BAJA MASTER U$ 39 U$ 53 (Lower double bed room US $)

    I have included the Spanish because if you rent a room here or other places in Mendoza you will have to know these phrases to get what you want.

    The Hotel Asylen in Penitentes is another, the food is good and the price is reasonable. There is a hostel next door next to the gas station where the food is good and beds (bunkbeds) are cheaper but you could be 6 to a room.

    Hotel Aconcagua
    San Lorenzo 545, Mendoza, Argentina
    Hotel Aconcagua
    This is a very nice hotel with lots of services. On the more expensive side.

    Park Hyatt Mendoza
    Five star hotel. Formerly the Plaza Hotel. This amazing place combines the old grandure of Argentina with ultra modern facilities. Not a place to hang out for scruffy climbers. But if you like the finer things in life and can afford it. It is a beautiful hotel. (Especially if you have seen it before the renovations). Casino in the back for those inclined.
    Park Hyatt Mendoza
    5500 Mendoza, Argentina
    Tel.: (54 261) 441-1234
    Fax: (54 261) 441-1235
    Mendoza Park Hyatt

    Youth Hostel "Campo Base"
    Campo Base
    946 Mitre, Mendoza, Argentina
    Tel 0261-4290707
    email info@campo-base.com.ar

    More Hotels
    Hotel list

    There are many budget hotels in Mendoza. Taxi drivers can be of assistance here. Let them know what you want to pay and they will take you to the corresponding hotel or hostel.

    Climbing out of season

    Re: Out of season climbing
    Author: Boris Krielen
    Date: Apr 17, 2002 08:35 AM
    Hey William,

    I have climbed Aconcagua and reached the summit friday 29th of March 2002 during the Viento Blanco, the terrible snowstorm. As I was going to high camp, I was the only one in the park, quite an exclusive experience! After the summit, going down through the fresh snow was pretty cool, though routefinding becomes more difficult and danger of avalanche grows. Routefinding during the Viento Blanco is extremely hard. GPS can be a help. Local brochure has a list of waypoints. I didn't take a GPS. In advance, government people told me by e-mail to pay US$ 200 for the permit and US$ 70 more for several legal services and notary-papers. This turned out to be all nonsense. I paid 40 pesos at the entry of the park. Entering the park in high winter - June/September - might be more difficult though. Government and park officials indeed don't encourage this. Danger of avalanche is huge then.
    After 16th of March there are no mules available from Puente del Inca or Punta de Vacas. Mules are not allowed into the park between 16th of March and 15th of November. Outfitters bring the mules down to Mendoza for the wintertime. Therefore I was the mule myself, carrying 32 kilo's. That's the way a real solo-expedition should be like, I think.

    There are no wide rivers to pass on the normal route. On route to Plaza Argentina (Polish Glaciar) the river has to be passed at least twice. This could be a problem without mules. Until July, don't count on snowbridges to cross the rivers lower in the valley. Take a towel and light shoes!
    Thanks Boris

    External Links

     
    Aconcagua from near the base...
    Aconcagua from the north near Ramada

  • www.climbingnet-jansen.ch
  • Images