Cuerno is very close to the border with Chile. This pyramid shaped 5,400 metre peak overlooks Plaza des Mulas the base camp for doing the normal route on Aconcagua. This is another peak that is often overlooked as climbers are focused on Aconcagua. The easiest route would be to follow the crowd up to Nido des condores and head off to the left and follow the line of least resitance. There are no doubt more challeging lines to take from the base of the mountain at the foot of the glacier.
Fly to either Santiago (Chile) or Mendoza (Argentina). Take the bus to Puente del Inca. The entrance to the National Park is either at Puenta del Inca (Aconcagua, normal route and south face).
As of 1999 you must go to Mendoza Argentina in person to get your climbing permit. It used to be easier to take a bus from Santiago to just inside the Argentine border at Puenta del Inca or Penitentes. But now you will still have to go to Mendoza.
There is another 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 expidition food confiscated upon entering Chile. Stay in transit and take a short (45 min) flight on Lan Chile or Aerolinas Argentina to Mendosa, 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 50$ U.S. tax Chile imposes on all Americans, Canadians, (and others). I love Chile but they have made things difficult for climbers (particularly those on a budget) with this tax and with the food issue.
Note on the 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.
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.
This year (December 2001, Polish route on Aconcagua) it cost us for two mules in (three days) and one mule out (two days) including the Mule driver $ 750$US
For flights try.
Due to the current economic problems the Argentine Peso was devalued by 60%. It was traded 1 to 1 with the US Dollar. But it is now approx 293 pesos for 100USD.
To climb Cuerno you will have to enter ACONCAGUA PROVINCIAL PARK, you therefore have obtain a permit. The proximity to Aconcagua will no doubt mean that you will have to obtain a permit as if you are doing Aconcagua. This is a peak that you would want to do as a side trip to doing Aconcagua so this should not be a big deal.
The permit form-filling has to be carried out personally.
New information on Permits 06/10/04 information gathered from Rudy Parras web site
To enter ACONCAGUA PROVINCIAL PARK, you have obtain a permit.
You will have to fill out the forms personally. Permits are sold EXCLUSIVELY in the “General San Martín” Park (approximately 20 blocks from downtown Mendoza), in “Los Robles” Avenue, between “Las Tipas” and “El Rosedal” Avenue (opposite “Independiente Rivadavia” Football Stadium) very close to the entrance gates to the park. Most cabs know where this is.
From rnm1 A change this year is that when you apply for your permit in mendoza you must get a ´banking slip´ from the park office, then go to a bank to pay your permit fee. the bank will stamp this slip & then you return to the park office again to get your ´climbing permit´. the whole process takes a couple of hours now, probably a lot more with high season line ups
HIGH SEASON: From 15th December of year 2004 to 31st January 2005, a permit costs:
MEDIUM SEASON: From December 1st to December 14th, 2004, and from February 1st to February 20th, 2005 a permit costs:
LOW SEASON: From November 15th to November 30th and from February 21st to March 15th of each year: 2004 - 2005
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: email@example.com
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.
Here is a Map of the City of Mendoza Mendoza map
Author: Boris Krielen
Date: Apr 17, 2002 05:57 AM
The information on the official Aconcagua website is not correct. Climbing off-season,from 16th of March till 15th of November is not free. Entering the park shortly after the16th of March - minimum until end of April - will still cost you 40 pesos.
Buy the permit at the Horcones Ranger station. Ranger will be there all winter. There are no people in the park after March. You don't need to go to Mendoza for any formalities, although people from the local government might say so. (so be aware)
Be sure you have a good insurance, because the rangers will start to look for you if you don't show up after 21 days (normal permit-time). This can be expensive and they will charge you all the costs.
Beginning June weather becomes more serious and lots of snow - several meters! - can be expected.
When To Climb
December to March is the best time.
You will be following the Normal route on Aconcagua for most of the 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. Continue up to Nido des Condores (approx 18,000 feet). This is a large area but can be very exposed to the wind and elements. This is also a very big push from basecamp at 13,500 feet. This can break a lot of people. So you should camp at Camp Canada. Then Move up to Nido. From here you can go to the summit if you have acclimitized well.
Note: Add extra summit days for bad weather
I stay at the Hotel Nutibara in Mendoza you can find cheaper and more expensive but the pool is the best. Approx 60 USD for single and 75 USD for double. They will allow you to store gear at the hotel and understand climbers needs (ie will help you get in touch with mule providers). I stay at the Hotel Asylen in Penitentes food is good and the price is reasonable. There is a hostel next door next to the gaz station where the food is good and beds (bunkbeds) are cheaper but you could be 6 to a room. I rent mules from Secundo of Aconcagua Express as he is very reliable
E-mail: to come
There are several others that are good.
Onother service provider (from Elwood 31/01/2002)
Guided trips for the normal route offered by
Juan B. Justo 343 - Ciudad (5500) - Mendoza - Argentina
Tel / Fax: ++54 261 4250871