A client is making an early season hike to Mt. Aconcagua next month (October) with Alpinistica (http://www.alpinistica.com). This is not a trek in the national park, this is a hike to try for the summit. His friends pulled out last minute so he is looking for 2 more to make his climbing team. Since the climb is coming up, the climbing fee had been heavily discounted. You'd be surprise how affordable it is.
It is a great opportunity to pay a relatively small fee for the normally expensive and now exclusive (small group) expedition to the roof of Americas. Early season ascent also mean the group get to have the whole mountain to themselves.
Feel free to send me a message if you are interested or have any enquiries about climbing Mt. Aconcagua.
I personally dread going up the normal route because it is one heart breaking scree slope that offers little inspiration. Although the fact that it is the easiest way up still entice many climbers and of course guiding companies, to operate out of that route. The normal route being the Northeast route.
Guanaco route was a better alternative until it was closed down couple of seasons ago. Interestingly many websites still advertise the route, I am not sure how they intend to make it! Recently we've seen the trend switched to ascent using the same approach as Polish Glacier route, ascending from the East using Plaza Argentina as basecamp. Different routes then take on different turn higher up, with the popular '2nd normal route' now joined the Upper Guanaco en route to summit. The approach takes an extra day but it is well worth it as it is more visually pleasant and an overall more enjoyable experience compare to the Normal Route. We will do a traverse, going up this way and coming down the Normal Route, which allows us to get from High Camp to Puente del Inca (the park entrance) in 2 days and the whole experience.
I've been in Mendoza since the Denali guiding season came to an end and I have to say it is a fairly warm winter here. Took a few trips out into the mountains, still a lot of snow but Spring came earlier so I expect the temp to be relatively higher in Oct as compared to previous years. Well it had been the same story for the past couple of seasons; climate change eh? I've been monitoring the weather. It is steadily getting stabler and warmer. I am optimistic mid Oct would make for decent climbing condition. As of now, it is above 0F above 6,000m. -33F with windchill, not so fun!
Vitaliy M. = The 'climb' is really a trek. The route we use is fairly straight forward technically. Although it is still a trek to almost 23,000ft, with factors of mountain weather, altitude sickness and route finding that deterred many from attempting without a guide. Prudent I think.
To be probably the only team that's trying for the summit early season is an experience unlike any other. Although if weather and temperature is a concern, you can always join a later expedition. 15th November officially kick start the Aconcagua season and it remains open till deep into March 2013. Although mind you, the permit fee rises to US$700 during high season vs US$300 during low season.
As always, hit me with more questions about the climb. I am happy to answer them.
In the next couple of weeks we are going to update the website with more programs that we've been running already. That includes the Expedition Patagonia Ice Cap Traverse, expeditions to various South American mountains, customized mountaineering and climbing courses, Leave No Trace Trainer certification program and more.
Stay tuned to our website and follow us on Facebook/Twitter! Or get in touch now with any questions you may have!
Latest update (20 Oct): Just spoke to the girl from the Ministry of Tourism 2 days ago. She confirmed Mt. Aconcagua climbing permit fee is set to INCREASE for the 2012/2013 climbing season. The exact figure will be released in a couple weeks. A 20 days climbing permit was US$720 per climber. The season officially begins on the 15th November 2012.
Expedition seeking interest/confirmed departure:
2 expeditions confirmed departure:
Aconcagua Alpine Style Dates: 11 January 2013 - 5 February 2013 Confirm climber: 1, 2 pending. Available spots: Max. 3
Expedition Aconcagua Dates: 11 February 2013 - 5 March 2013 Confirm climber: 3. Available spots: Max. 3