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Aconcagua - Solo?

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Postby peladoboton » Mon May 11, 2009 7:31 pm

use the Rudy Parra guide service to hook you up with a mule. they are high volume and pretty flexible. mind yourself on the upper camps if you're alone as you will not have anyone to turn you around if you are not doing well. otherwise, when i was going to do this climb i was going at it solo myself (and just ran outta time to do it in 2006....grrr)
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Solo

Postby Sunny Buns » Sun May 17, 2009 10:53 pm

I have tried Aconcagua on a guided climb but did not summit. The normal route is a walk-up route on well defined trails at least to Nido if there hasn't been snow recently. Weather can be nice, with cool nights, or it can snow and blow for 3 days non-stop. If you get lucky on the weather, which is not uncommon, you would have no trouble solo. If you can get to know another party, maybe they can look in your tent if you don't show up one day!

People did get into trouble with altitude when I was there. On the way in, at Puenta del Inca, you'll see the cemetary with lots of dead Aconcagua climbers. That will remind you to be careful.

Rent mules at Puenta del Inca (9k) to carry your stuff to Confluencia, then base camp, and enjoy the hike in. Spend 2 nights at Confluencia (11k), spend 4-5 days at basecamp (14.5k), spend 2 nights at Camp Canada (16k), 2 at Nido de Condores (18.2k), and then go to Berlin, spend the night and do the summit. OR if you're tough, the trail out of Nido up the Gran Acarara (something like that), looked good to me. Looks like a loooooong scree slog - exactly the same as doing Clear Creek Route on Shasta with no snow.
Confluencia is named for the intersection of two rivers. The normal route goes up the left fork. The right fork goes to the South Face of Aconcagua. I recommend a hike up the right fork to where you can get a good view of the south face. Very impressive. Almost 10,000 feet of nearly vertical snow/rock/ice.

Learn some spanish, via tapes/CD's if you don't already know it. 20 minutes per day, listening in your car or at your desk at lunchtime will set you up well on Spanish.

Fly to Mendoza, get your permit, take a bus to Puenta Del Inca (9k), stay 2 nights, rent a mule(s).

Read RJ Secor's book on climbing Aconcagua. It's right on the money.

We would carry a load of stuff to the next higher camp, stash it in the rocks, then go back down and spend the night. Next day we'd move up.

I saw one person hiking out in tears because someone stole their gear. That was the end of their climb.

In base camp you can pay for showers, and you can pay a guide to provide meals in basecamp - very nice - you'll eat in a tent big enough to stand up in. You can also hire porters to carry your gear higher. There are hamburger stands/beer/pop at basecamp. At night there might be a party or two.

Have fun!

PS Water can be obtained running out of the end of the small snow/ice fields in the daytime, but at night when it gets cold it stops flowing. Fill your containers before it gets cold each day. That's the way it was 8 years ago when I was there. Can't say what it's like now.

Some ballpark numbers:
Number of tents at Puenta del Inca: a few, most people stay in the hotel
Number of tents at Confluencia: 20?
Number of tents at basecamp: 100+
Number of tents at camp canada: 5-10
Number of tents at Nido de Condores: 20-30?
Number of tents at Berlin: (Don't know, I didn't get there.)
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Re: Aconcagua - Solo?

Postby bnkr » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:26 am

You can find a report of climbing Aconcagua solo at www.climbaconcaguasolo.com .
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Re: Aconcagua - Solo?

Postby sneakyracer » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:52 pm

I do not want to discourage anyone from climbing Aconcagua, its a respectable feat to climb it. But, A friend of mine went last year with a guide and she said basically that Aconcagua is a bit of rip-off, commercialized mountain. She said the route is a slog but easy and not really photogenic except for the south face view and some penitentes. She mentioned there was a LOT of trash on the route and that some of the Argentinians are stuck-up and not nice. Regarding the weather she said that cold was not that big of an issue but the wind was. She had a few "interesting" nights inside a tent, fierce winds. She mentioned that getting a good tent spot at the higher camps was almost impossible. Her take was basically that she would MUCH rather climb in Nepal again (even 6K M or less peaks) than go to Aconcagua due to the incredible landscapes and views and the quality of the climbing.

Would I go solo, probably not because going solo to an unfamiliar big mountain, unless you have a lot of experience and top notch, proven, gear, increases the stress factor and risk significantly. But, its totally doable obviously, and like a few mentioned, with good weather and good response to altitude, it might even be pretty easy going albeit long.
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Re: Aconcagua - Solo?

Postby Damien Gildea » Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:23 am

sneakyracer wrote:... A friend of mine went last year with a guide and she said basically that Aconcagua is a bit of rip-off, commercialized mountain. She said the route is a slog but easy and not really photogenic except for the south face view and some penitentes. She mentioned there was a LOT of trash on the route and that some of the Argentinians are stuck-up and not nice. Regarding the weather she said that cold was not that big of an issue but the wind was. She had a few "interesting" nights inside a tent, fierce winds. She mentioned that getting a good tent spot at the higher camps was almost impossible. Her take was basically that she would MUCH rather climb in Nepal again (even 6K M or less peaks) than go to Aconcagua due to the incredible landscapes and views and the quality of the climbing.


Please let us know what mountain your friend is going to next - so we can all go somewhere else. Your friend sounds like an idiot, and a whining pain in the ass. Has she read your post?

There's more than enough information out there about Aconcagua - anyone who goes there, needing a guide, then complaining how easy it is, about crowds and rubbish, is a hypocrite and a tool.

I climbed it last year, for the second time, unguided, just to take my girlfriend up it. It's a big, accessible mountain in a really beautiful area. We were the only people at high camp, and we were alone almost all the time on summit day, including 30 min on the summit, until the descent. I saw no rubbish on the route, and the shit that was there years ago has been cleaned up. We spoke to almost no one else on the mountain and camped away from whomever else was there. There was no 'crowd' anywhere on the mountain, and that was in February.

As for the Argentines, whom I've always found quite friendly? Going on what you've posted about your friend, I wouldn't be nice to her either.
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Re: Aconcagua - Solo?

Postby HeyItsBen » Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:45 am

sneakyracer wrote:some of the Argentinians are stuck-up and not nice.


I know some Americans who are stuck-up and not nice.
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Re: Aconcagua - Solo?

Postby Day Hiker » Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:36 am

Damien Gildea wrote:a really beautiful area

+1

I was quite impressed. It was an amazing place. The entire trip was nothing less than spectacular, including the mountain, the surrounding scenery, the time in Mendoza, and the plane flights to and from.
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Re: Aconcagua - Solo?

Postby sneakyracer » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Damien, maybe the guide service she used wasnt nice. Who knows. I do take her comments with a grain of salt. I guess, like everything YMMV. And yes, people with attitudes are everywhere obviously so it's not exclusive of Argentina and definately not the norm. But she saw what she saw. She had been to Nepal twice before so she was comparing it to that.
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