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Cerro Aconcagua and Cerro Colorado
Trip Report

Cerro Aconcagua and Cerro Colorado

 
Cerro Aconcagua and Cerro Colorado

Page Type: Trip Report

Location: Argentina, South America

Object Title: Cerro Aconcagua and Cerro Colorado

Date Climbed/Hiked: Feb 13, 2009

Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Scrambling

Season: Summer

 

Page By: Brian Kalet

Created/Edited: Feb 23, 2009 / Apr 11, 2009

Object ID: 492532

Hits: 4473 

Page Score: 81.18%  - 13 Votes 

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Stats

Peak Name
Elevation
Cerro Aconcagua
22,841'
Cerro Colorado
15,939'

Itinerary

Date
Day
Location
Sleeping Elevation
Elevation Gain
Distance
1/30/2009
1
Travel to Argentina
-
-
-
1/31/2009
2
Los Puquios
8,777'
-
-
2/01/2009
3
Pampa de Leñas
9,200'
1,310'
8.7 miles
2/02/2009
4
Casa de Piedra
10,500'
1,300'
9.3 miles
2/03/2009
5
Plaza Argentina
13,800'
3,300'
7.5 miles
2/04/2009
6
Carry to Camp I
13,800'
2,900'
3.2 miles
2/05/2009
7
Cerro Colorado
13,800'
2,139'
4 miles
2/06/2009
8
Camp I
16,700'
2,900'
1.6 miles
2/07/2009
9
Rest
16,700'
-
-
2/08/2009
10
Carry to Camp II
16,700'
2,500'
3.8 miles
2/09/2009
11
Rest
16,700'
-
-
2/10/2009
12
Camp II
19,200'
2,500'
1.9 miles
2/11/2009
13
Walk to 20,000'
19,200'
800'
2 miles
2/12/2009
14
Rest
19,200'
-
-
2/13/2009
15
Cerro Aconcagua
19,200'
3,641'
4.6 miles
2/14/2009
16
Plaza Argentina
13,800'
-5,400'
3.5 miles
2/15/2009
17
Punta de Vacas
7,900'
-5,900'
25.5 miles



Total Distance: 75.6 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 23,290’

Days 1-2

I traveled from Grand Junction, CO to Mendoza via four flights. The highlight of the trip to Mendoza was visiting a friend during a layover in Miami. I was picked up and given a ride to get my permit, then drove up to Los Puquios where they offer free camping. I met Willy, a German mountain guide who was also attempting Aconcagua solo. We we were planning on starting the trek up to basecamp the following morning.

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado


Los Penitentes Ski Area

Day 3

Willy and I hiked up left our gear to be carried up by the mules and were driven to Punta de Vacas to begin the hike up to Pampa de Leñas. The hike was rather easy and the weather was great. I was surprised to see no one else at the first camp along the approach to basecamp. Soon after, people started trickling in.

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Vacas Valley

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Lizard in the Vacas Valley

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Mules in the Vacas Valley

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Vacas Valley

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Vacas Valley

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Mule with my pack at Pampa de Leñas. Mules were blindfolded to prevent them from wandering off.d

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Mule with my rolling duffle at Pampa de Leñas

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Vacas Valley

Day 4

We started out the next morning in good weather, but near the end of the hike to the second camp along the approach to basecamp, the winds picked up and a large amount of dust was being blown down the valley.

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Me on the bridge over the Vacas River

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Waterfall above the Vacas Valey

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Looking down the Vacas Valley

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Willy hiking up the Vacas Valley

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Willy taking a break in the Vacas Valley

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Looking down the Vacas Valley

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

High winds and a lot of dust just below Casa de Piedra

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

More dust

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Looking down the valley at the dust

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

The Vacas Valley

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Looking down the Vacas Valley

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Casa de Piedra

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Cerro Aconcagua

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Casa de Piedra

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Looking up the Vacas Valley from Casa de Piedra

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Looking northeast from Casa de Piedra

Day 5

The next morning we started out early and crossed the Vacas River barefoot since I forgot to bring sandals. My feet were in terrible pain from the cold by the time I got across. The hike up the Relinchos Valley was very pretty and soon we were at basecamp.

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Willy hiking up the Relinchos Valley

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Looking up the Relinchos Valley

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Willy hiking up the Relinchos Valley

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Cerro Ameghino

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Cerro Aconcagua and Cerro Ameghino

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Mules heading up the Relinchos Valley

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Cerro Aconcagua and Cerro Ameghino above the
Relichos River

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

The Relinchos Valley

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Cerro Aconcagua and Cerro Ameghino

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Cerro Ibañez

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Cerro Rico

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Cerro Colorado

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Helicopter above basecamp and Cerro Ameghino in the distance. The helicopter was picking up a climber strucken with altitude illness.

Day 6

I carried up to Camp I. It was interesting to see the Relinchos Glacier that was covered almost completely in dirt and rock.

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Penintentes en route to Camp I

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

More Penitentes

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

The dirt and rock covered Relinchos Glacier

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

The dirt and rock covered Relinchos Glacier

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Plaza Argentina

Day 7

After speaking with some guides from Aymara earlier, I decided to climb Cerro Aconcagua. I saw some people heading up in the distance and tried to catch them. I managed to reach the summit just minutes after they arrived. The climb was primarily up a faint trail, then a class 3+ summit block. The views were great.

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Cerro Aconcagua

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Cerro Aconcagua

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Plaza Argentina from Cerro Colorado

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Climbing the summit block of Cerro Colorado

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Cerro Rico from Cerro Colorado

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Plaza Argentina and Cerro Ameghino

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

El Castillo

Day 8

I moved up to Camp I. I spent a long time making my tent windproof. I was able to filter water here despite all the stories I heard about silt clogging filters.

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

My tent at Camp I before extensive fortification

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

The water source at Camp I

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Camp I

Day 9

Rest

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Camp I

Day 10

I carried up to Camp I. This was the first time I really felt the altitude; I was breathing heavily and had a headache.

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Camp I

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Looking northeast en route to Camp II

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Looking northeast en route to Camp II (zoom)

Day 11

Rest

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Cerro Ameghino

Day 12

I moved up to Camp II. Sertting up my tent was a great effort.

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Cerro Aconcagua from Camp II

Day 13

I walked up to about 20,000' to help acclimatize. The views were fantastic.

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Camp II from the Polish Traverse

Day 14

Rest

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Looking northeast from the Polish Traverse

Day 15

I began hiking towards the summit and made it to Independencia Hut very quickly, but then began moving very slowly. I did not know if I was going to make the summit until I was about 30 feet from it. The views of the south summit were the highlight.

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Independencia Hut, the highest refuge in the world

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Looking northeast from Windy Crest

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

The southern summit from Guanaco Ridge

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

The southern summit from the northern summit

Day 16

I hiked down to Plaza Argentina. Carrying all of my gear from Camp I to basecamp was the worst part.

Day 17

I hiked all the way out to Punta de Vacas, the stayed at the Hosteria Puenta del Inca. It was nice to shower and sleep on a mattress.

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Hosteria Puenta del Inca

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Puenta del Inca

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Puente del Inca

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Cementary from mountaineers

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Los Puquios

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Puenta del Inca

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Puente del Inca

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Plaza in Mendoza

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Plaza in Mendoza

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Hotel Petit

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Cerro de la Gloria Monument

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

View west from Cerro de la Gloria

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

View north from Cerro de la Gloria

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

View east from Cerro de la Gloria

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Parrot at the zoo

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Strange animal at the zoo

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Cerro de la Gloria from the Road

From Cerro Aconcagua y Cerro Colorado

Plaza Independencia

Images

Aconcagua

Comments


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Brian KaletRe: Backpack

Brian Kalet

Hasn't voted

Thanks.
My pack is still in great shape.
Posted Feb 24, 2009 10:55 am

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