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Aconcagua Guide Recommendations

Regional discussion and conditions reports for South America. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the South American Climbing Partners section.

Postby mconnell » Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:34 am

All I know is second hand. I've heard good things about Grajales.

One of the rangers told me that a group was left with no gear for a night on the approach by Inka. Even though the group had planned a 2 day approach, Inka decided to carry all of their gear to base camp.

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Postby Theonestar » Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:41 am

Holmes Patoja (good guy, plus he set a record for climbing aconcagua) His (summit post) member name is Krajo

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Postby acuvillier » Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:42 pm

Grajales is a legend on Aconcagua, although the old man himself past away, his company is renown and knows the mountain inside out. There is lots to besaid by hiring locals, and these locals are experienced and super organized. I delt with another co. when I went there in 2002, which I have reservation for. I saw Grajales work... they were really good as well as friendly with all other teams out there.
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Postby mtndonkey » Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:41 pm

I can't speak for local companies, but if you are looking for a guide service in general, not only local, then http://www.sierramountaineering.com/ guides both the Normal Route and Polish traverse. Kurt Wedberg is the owner and guides all over the world. They are really a top-notch company and alot of the guides are AMGA certified and all are very professional. I have used them several times and know many others that have too and only heard really great comments. I highly recommend them to anyone.

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Postby Haliku » Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:58 pm

Check with William Marler and Brad Marshall (send PM) as they both have a lot of experience on the mountain and with various local guides. Cheers!
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Postby William Marler » Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:06 pm

I would have no problem using any of the companies you listed.
I personally use Aconcagua Express. Because of habit and loyality to the old owner "Turko" who eventually developed a bad reputation with the mule drivers and "retired". The new owner works harder on his reputation.
Inka lost some of our gear once but after many trips you come to realize that the odds are something will happen to your gear at some point.

I have used them all successfully.

Good luck and cheers William
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Postby bande » Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:48 pm

we signed up with 7summits. www.7summits.com

Harry has been great in keeping us informed.

We'll be there in Dec also doing the traverse

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Postby climberska » Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:56 pm

Mountain Madness does a great job:


Make sure you are comfortable with the schedule. Some go up faster than others.

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Postby William Marler » Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:22 pm

Sorry I missunderstood the question. I was assuming you needed mules and base camp lodgistics.
You are looking for info on guided trips.
In that case my answer is different. These are all reputible companies. But the knock on some of the local guides is they do not build in as many extra summit days as some of the international companies do. They also can move at a pace that is too fast for non locals. This is not always the case but I have heard this commented by some. Communicating your schedule will be important. But if you are with several strangers in this guiding environment (local) each one of you will have their own pace. So the guides will decide who wins and who loses. Not always fair. Hopefully this works out with a good client to guide ratio of at least 3 to 1.

The price is usually less than international companies.

You can have a great time but you will have to state your needs and expectations clearly in advance.

Alpine Ascents is an international company I would recommend.
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Re: Aconcagua Guide Recommendations

Postby Brad Marshall » Thu Jul 26, 2007 11:07 pm

zipperdoyle wrote:I plan on doing the Polish Traverse route in the middle of December of this year. I'd like to get some feedback on the different trekking companies that people have used in the past. After doing some initial research I found the following trekking companies that most people use:


Any recommendations? If there are any other reliable companies please let me know.

I agree with William that AAI is a good international company to hook up with if you are looking for a guided climb. Lapka Rita Sherpa maintains a tent at high camp on the Polish Traverse Route and wears Addidas running shoes on the mountain :shock: .

If you want to use a local company Xperience Aconcagua does not operate on the Vacas Valley side (Polish routes) but teams up with Inka Expeditions. I had good luck with Inka and poor luck with Grajales. The Inka base camp at Plaza Argentina is well established, has good food and extremely nice employees, many of whom speak fluent English if needed. Inka would be my recommendation for either a guided climb or just support (mules, garbage removal, etc.).

If you climb the Traverse take lots of small US $ to buy food and beer at base camp. The Daniel Lopez tent has great food and atmosphere.
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Postby Brad Marshall » Sun Jul 29, 2007 7:07 pm

Just my opinion but I think Mountain Madness has a better overall climbing schedule. Also, although they are more expensive, they also include hotels and your climbing permit.

If time permits you might want to build in a couple of extra days to spend in Mendoza. This is an amazingly friendly city and you could spends days just shopping, drinking and eating downtown. They also have fantastic wines to sample and great ice cream.

Hope you have a great time down there.
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Postby Alpinist » Mon Jul 30, 2007 6:08 pm

Another vote for Inkas. They didn't guide for me, but they provided other services (mules, a few meals, etc.) They went above and beyond what we paid them, giving us free hot water every morning at Confluencia and Plaza del Mulas, storage of extra gear, access to toilets, etc. They were very friendly and accommodating.
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Postby preved » Tue Aug 14, 2007 11:14 pm

I did vacas valley route with aymara. Tents could be newer for sure, otherwise great.
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