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XS Baggage charges BA to Mendoza (Aconcagua)

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XS Baggage charges BA to Mendoza (Aconcagua)

Postby markhallam » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:05 pm

Another Q for Anconcagua Vets - and others...

I am flying out from Britain to attempt Aconcagua in February - solo attempt. For the flight out from London to BA I have managed to pre-arrange doubling my baggage allowance ie upping it to 40kg. But it isn't possible to do that for the BA to Mendoza domestic flight on 1st Feb - just told I'll get charged at the airport, but no info on rate. Can anyone share their experience on this? Might not be 40kg but best estimate at the moment is that I won't be carrying less than 30kg.

Thanks, Mark
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Re: XS Baggage charges BA to Mendoza (Aconcagua)

Postby Damien Gildea » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:57 pm

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Re: XS Baggage charges BA to Mendoza (Aconcagua)

Postby Brad Marshall » Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:09 am

Hi Mark:

Who is your flight from BA to Mendoza with? If your taking 40 kilos in checked baggage I would suspect you may be taking too much. I usually fly from Canada via American with a LAN connection from Santiago with less than 35 kilos and have never had a problem. Can you move some of your heavier gear (like boots or tent) from your checked bag to your carry on to lighten the checked bag load?
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Re: XS Baggage charges BA to Mendoza (Aconcagua)

Postby markhallam » Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:44 am

Thanks very much Damien and Brad. I think the answer is on Damiens link - which looks not as bad as I had thought.
Thanks for the advice & comments Brad... yes, I will carry all the heavy stuff I can on me - boots etc. The 40kg was just a wild guess based on a few hasty approximations. I haven't been on a proper expedition for twenty years and I am somewhat rusty. But if your recent experience is that you can easily manage on less than 35kg, that is encouraging. I have the next 2 weekends to put everything together - with the aid of some accurate scales from work, to weigh it all.
Hope you don't mind if I pester you with more questions in the next couple of weeks!! :?: :D
Best wishes, Mark
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Re: XS Baggage charges BA to Mendoza (Aconcagua)

Postby Damien Gildea » Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:42 am

Mark

I've done the normal route twice, once alone, once (last Feb) with my girlfriend. Just hired mules, no guides, porters or BC meals. I think last time we had just the one mule, 60kg total for the two of us on it, plus maybe 7kg or so each in our day packs* for the walk-in. Most of that 60kg on the mules was food, all bought in Mendoza ( plus tent, stove, big boots etc from home, in there too) so in terms of travelling to ARG, around 30kg total should be about right. It's a good route for a minimal-faff trip.

* we went in acclimatised from several days above 4000m in the Cordon del Plata. We did pay for a dinner and breakfast at the Confluencia camp, but used our own tent for the one night there. Two nights is preferable if not previously acclimatised.
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Re: XS Baggage charges BA to Mendoza (Aconcagua)

Postby markhallam » Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:28 pm

Thanks Damien
Well done with 2 ascents of big A! Sounds as if you know what you are doing and thanks for more advice on baggage. I too thought of Cordon Plata to acclimatise but logistics slightly too complex in the time I have available - so I have compromised, going for the Polish Glacier side. I like the thought of the longer walk in to get a little bit more acclimatisation up to base camp. Can't wait to see the mountain from that side as well. I have had occasional fantasies of soloing the Polish Direct, but get more realistic as the time gets nearer - and in truth I would be over the moon if I were to summit via the traverse round to the normal route. I have got 15 days to get up there from arrival at Plaza Argentina - hope that is enough!
Did you write up either of your trips anywhere? I'd be interested to read if you did.
Best wishes, Mark
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Re: XS Baggage charges BA to Mendoza (Aconcagua)

Postby gert » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:48 pm

Two years ago I used LAN from BA to MDZ and they didn't charge me for excess baggage. However, you can find the rate on their webpage.
This time I'm limited to 23 kg for the checked in baggage all the way from Frankfurt to MDZ and I'm surprised that I can handle it. I bring only little food for the high camps as supermarkets in Mendoza are really good. Otherwise I'm used to go "light". ;-)
Enjoy your trip!
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Re: XS Baggage charges BA to Mendoza (Aconcagua)

Postby Brad Marshall » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:51 pm

markhallam wrote:I like the thought of the longer walk in to get a little bit more acclimatisation up to base camp. Can't wait to see the mountain from that side as well. I have had occasional fantasies of soloing the Polish Direct, but get more realistic as the time gets nearer - and in truth I would be over the moon if I were to summit via the traverse round to the normal route. I have got 15 days to get up there from arrival at Plaza Argentina - hope that is enough!


Hi Mark, don't forget you can start your acclimatisation early be ascending the ski hills across the highway in Penitentes. Just walk up the switchbacks to 10,000 feet. You shouldn't have a problem getting to the top in 15 days from base camp if you acclimatise like most people. If you want to climb up and over move up to Camp 3 at the end of the traverse and summit from there which would still be doable in 15 days.

Don't forget to have a few beers at Daniel Lopez's tent.

Good luck and safe climbing.
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Re: XS Baggage charges BA to Mendoza (Aconcagua)

Postby markhallam » Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:19 am

Thanks again Brad - yes I shall certainly try and have a plod up those ski trails - had a look on Google Earth (what did we do before the internet?!). Yes - thought of a camp 3 at the end of the traverse, although I note from your excellent article on Aconcagua Polish routes, that water can be hard work there. I'll remember to look in at Daniel Lopez's tent, but may pass on the beer!
Thanks a lot for the good wishes - hope there will be a TR forthcoming in due course!
Best wishes, Mark
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Re: XS Baggage charges BA to Mendoza (Aconcagua)

Postby waXology » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:31 pm

Hi guys,

digging this up again. Has anyone looked into the sporting equipment allowance most airlines have. You can usually take 1 extra bag of 23kg of sporting equipment free. I' can't workout if climbing equipment is classified as sporting though.

If it is then happy days. two checked bags of 23kg for free is more than enough.

I'm climbing Acon in Dec so will look into this.
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Re: XS Baggage charges BA to Mendoza (Aconcagua)

Postby John Duffield » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:48 pm

A quick scan of the thread, doesn't seem to mention that you should count on your baggage not making the transfer in Santiago. Do what you must, but plan on hanging in Mendoza until it arrives.

I was lucky. Mine arrived in 4 hours after I did. I've heard horror stories of schedules interupted. But then some people have told me their stuff did accompany them.
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Re: XS Baggage charges BA to Mendoza (Aconcagua)

Postby Damien Gildea » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:12 pm

Most airlines don't include climbing gear as 'sporting equipment'. They mean golf clubs, maybe skis etc. Sometimes you can convince them, often not. In the UK it's a huge problem where lots of climbers use (very) budget airlines to go ice climbing in Norway or France/Italy.

If you're flying from Australia to SthAm with LAN/Qantas you'll be on the two piece system anyway, ie. 2 x 23kg. In theory, if you stay on a LAN flight internally, on the same ticket, with no stopover, the 2 x system applies domestically as well. Sometimes the person at the counter may not know this, or may choose not to remember, so you may have to remind them. If you break your journey though, the domestic allowance technically applies.

AerolineasArgentinas on the other hand I think only have a 20kg limit Sydney-BA. For regular expeditioners excess baggage is just a standard part of the budget. I have flown Sydney-Santiago-Punta Arenas with LAN/Qantas ten times in the last decade, usually with about 100kg or more of expedition baggage - once that meant seven big duffels, plus carry-on. I never used to bother asking for a discount or anything, just factored in having to pay $750 or so (5 extra pieces at $150 each) at the counter. Fun times :-o

I've never had any problem losing luggage into or out of South America. I would have thought Buenos Aires would be more of a problem than Santiago. The latter is relatively modern and efficient now.
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Re: XS Baggage charges BA to Mendoza (Aconcagua)

Postby tb00957 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:13 pm

I flew from Mendoza to Buenos Aires domestic (AEP) on LAN, with my two duffles, probably around 70-80 lbs total, no problem at all.
I heard Aero Lineas is more strict, they only allow 30 lbs domestic. I left my stuff in my hotel before flying to Patagonia, so don't have first hand experience but I saw they charge others at the airport counter.
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