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Aconcagua - Who's Going?

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Re: Aconcagua - Who's Going?

Postby Damien Gildea » Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:34 am

I've never been on a guided trip, but I did use Aymara in February 2010, just for mules, a tent site at Plaza de Mulas, toilet etc, plus a night at Confluencia on the way in with dinner and breakfast. It was just me and my girlfriend. They were fine, very easy and helpful in booking the mules (in their office in town). Only glitch was they didn't have enough tents at Confluencia so I carried our tent in to there, used it, then put it on the right mules the next morning. This was a non-standard thing to do, thus providing the opportunity for things to get messed up, but the Aymara staff at Confluencia made sure this happened correctly, and their breakfast and dinner were fine.

I did not eat at Plaza de Mulas or use their services in any other way. The toilet was a bit dirty, but from what I've seen most of the companies are the same. Climbers not shitting all over the floor would help a lot. Back at Puenta del Inca the Aymara staff handled our mule bags in and out with no hitches, did what they said they would do, roughly when they said they would do it. I had no complaints and would use them again.

I'm not surprised that any company there would have kinks and glitches. There are a number of companies trying to service a market that is often looking for the lowest price, but in an area, and for a task, that is often difficult and sometimes dangerous. I saw some good guides, I saw some bad guides - from every company. Some are too quick to turn around, some not quick enough. I saw people who were obviously trying to skimp on their guided trip when really they needed a bit more assistance - and time - than what they'd wanted to pay for.

Guiding on Aconcagua is a very variable and imperfect situation. It can be great, or terrible. Anyone using these local services, or handing off the job of running a trip to a mountain like this to any company, or individual, needs to do their research and accept a level of uncertainty. You could have a good or bad experience with any one of Aymara, Inka, Grajales etc etc. The more you can look after yourself and reduce the reliance on these companies, the better off you will be.

D
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Re: Aconcagua - Who's Going?

Postby Kiefer » Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:45 am

Was planning on Acon as well but Denali (West Rib) is going to trump it.
I'd rather go back to Alaska anyway.

Maybe December of 2011.Image
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Re: Aconcagua - Who's Going?

Postby WouterB » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:06 pm

benjaminwu wrote:
WouterB wrote:Februari 2011 is reserved for Kilimanjaro, but in December 2011/January 2012 I'm also planning to get up Aconcagua.


WouterB! waXology and I (along with a few others from the Elbrus group you bumped into) are thinking the same timing!


Benjamin, I'm guessing that quite a few SP'ers will go for a (joint?) ascend during that period. For about a year now, a couple of people on this site have pronounced their interest in climbing together in January 2012. I'm now too busy with work/kilimanjaro and a possible move to Switzerland, but I'm keeping my eyes and ears open. There's no doubt in my mind that I will be in Argentina in January 2012. I'll keep you posted of my progress.
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Re: Aconcagua - Who's Going?

Postby aqua » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:36 pm

aconcagua xperience does a fantastic job. They are the guide service with the huge dome tent at Confluencia.
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Re: Aconcagua - Who's Going?

Postby Brad Marshall » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:59 pm

aqua wrote:aconcagua xperience does a fantastic job. They are the guide service with the huge dome tent at Confluencia.


Eduardo Soler did a great job arranging everything for us in 2006 but at that time they didn't provide logistics to Plaza Argentina for the Polish Routes so they subbed it out to Inka. Looks like they might now though according to their site. They also have wine tours organized with Zuccardi if you're interested and they were based out of the Independencia Hostel on Av. Mitre right downtown which was nice.
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Re: Aconcagua - Who's Going?

Postby Brad Marshall » Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:08 am

In case anyone is interested I'm putting together a guide for those wanting to plan their own private expeditions to Aconcagua. It contains some info that isn't really available in guide books but I don't know if I should write it as an article itself or as a TR so it could be attached to Bill Marler's Aconcagua page. Any suggestions? Anyone know if an article can be attached to such a page?
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Re: Aconcagua - Who's Going?

Postby adventurer » Sat Oct 16, 2010 3:34 pm

That's a very gracious gesture, Brad. Given your climbing expertise and experience organizing private trips to Aconcagua, I'm sure a lot of people will appreciate the value of your insights.
"When you travel, if you avoid the people, reject the food, ignore the customs, and fear the religion..... you might as well stay home"
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Re: Aconcagua - Who's Going?

Postby ScottyP » Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:30 am

Brad Marshall wrote:
ScottyP wrote:Hardest part for me is getting the flights set up. What a royal pain the airline industry is these days!


Hi Scott, did you try Expedia?


I am looking. Just trying to find the right connections. I am heading there directly from a business meeting so that adds to the confusion. Aco in Jan Denali in May. Hmmm, perhaps Elbrus at the end of the year for a three-fer ?
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Re: Aconcagua - Who's Going?

Postby Brad Marshall » Sun Oct 17, 2010 7:54 pm

adventurer wrote:That's a very gracious gesture, Brad. Given your climbing expertise and experience organizing private trips to Aconcagua, I'm sure a lot of people will appreciate the value of your insights.


Ok I've posted the article. If anyone wants to see it just search for Aconcagua under articles. If anyone has any comments, corrections or constructive criticism feel free to contact me and I'll update it.
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Re: Aconcagua - Who's Going?

Postby aqua » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:11 pm

Brad Marshall wrote:
aqua wrote:aconcagua xperience does a fantastic job. They are the guide service with the huge dome tent at Confluencia.


Eduardo Soler did a great job arranging everything for us in 2006 but at that time they didn't provide logistics to Plaza Argentina for the Polish Routes so they subbed it out to Inka. Looks like they might now though according to their site. They also have wine tours organized with Zuccardi if you're interested and they were based out of the Independencia Hostel on Av. Mitre right downtown which was nice.

yes you are very right,Eduardo is a great guy and the hostel is a great place and a great location.
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Re:

Postby runnerdanny » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:21 pm

Vitaliy M wrote:Maybe will go...when is the best time?
Also wanted to go to Denali in late May.


Sounds like what I am planning. Looks like I will be out on the mountain with some RMI folks the beginning of January, with a few other friends doing Denali in May. At least those are the plans...
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Re: Aconcagua - Who's Going?

Postby Skeletor » Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:21 pm

I'm heading down to do the Polish Traverse route on Aconcagua at the start of December, and wondering if anybody going at that time might be willing to let me buy into their logistic support services (i.e. transportation, mules, etc.)

I'm going by myself and not looking for climbing partners, but would like to lower the costs involved with getting to base camp. I plan to leave Mendoza for Penitentes on Dec. 3, hitting the Vacas Valley TH the next day.
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Re: Aconcagua - Who's Going?

Postby tommarchall » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:12 pm

Ill be on the same route a few days later. I'll be at the Vacas TH on the 7th. so no dice with splitting costs but i may see you out there!
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