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Aconcagua Logistics: Need a little advice

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Re: Aconcagua Logistics: Need a little advice

Postby chickentikka » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:44 am

Good Luck! I'll probably see you on your way down (hopefully from a successful summit bid)

It looks like it got snowy and windy all of a sudden there. 50km winds and snow at basecamp.

Did you end up organizing mules? How much fuel are you bringing?
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Re: Aconcagua Logistics: Need a little advice

Postby JDinPDX » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:47 pm

Hola from Mendoza. It is very beautiful here, and hot! There was some initial drama with currency exchange, and the price of the permit. I ended up having to pay 5,100 pesos for the permit, which was way more than I had planned for. If you have proof of a guide, and if you obtain your permit after Feb. 1st, the cost goes way down.

I contacted Fernando Grajales regarding gear transport to Plaza de Mulas, and he was extremely helpful. For fuel I'm bringing 33oz. (X2) +11oz (x1) of white gas, totaling 77oz. I got them filled at Mountain Gear, which was near my hotel. You can also fill them at Orviz. The cost was only like $12.

I am taking the Uspallata bus tomorrow morning to Los Penitntes, where I'll meet up with the muleteer, and begin the long approach.

Also as an FYI, my Spanish is not great, and it has been a challenge communicating. Very few people down here speak English, so I recommend studying up on your Espanol if you want to procure the essential items =)
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Re: Aconcagua Logistics: Need a little advice

Postby JDinPDX » Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:03 pm

I forgot to add that according to local news there was another death on the mountain, bringing the total to 3 thus far on the season. I believe it was a 53 year old German climber that was part of a bigger group. Sounds like the cause of death will most likely be HACE, but that is just speculation on my part from the details I was given. RIP.
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Re: Aconcagua Logistics: Need a little advice

Postby chickentikka » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:10 am

Yep, I get really sad reading all the trip reports from only a a few years ago where they are complaining about a 150 dollar permit fee. It's now nearly $1000. I almost feel like i should get HACE just to get my money's worth on the medical helicopter. I'm hoping that since INKA is taking care of my permit that I'll avoid the solo charge.

Are you spending the night in las penitientes or heading out to confluencia the same day?

Did you see canisters at the places you got white gas? I'm bringing both to make my life easier.

How was the bus from Santiago, or did you end up flying?
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Re: Aconcagua Logistics: Need a little advice

Postby chickentikka » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:11 am

Ok, I've arrived in Mendoza. Yesterday I took care of permits, white gas and food in the morning. I suggest for anyone reading this to go to the office of your mule provider (I used Inka) first thing. They provided me with the form and explained to me how to make the payment. They also gave me a handy map of the area and marked where I could find everything. With this it was easy. Inka is on juan justo and opens around 9 am (although their website says 8:30).

I got to the bus station with all my gear just to find out that the road to las penis-tents [sic] is closed due to rockslide. Apparently this happens a lot. So a good idea is to check with the bus company that the bus service is running that day before you lug your 100 kgs of eqipaje to the station.

So, I'm back at the hotel Aconcagua, waiting. Hopefully I'll get away today.
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Re: Aconcagua Logistics: Need a little advice

Postby chickentikka » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:53 am

Also, I would add that if you do not speak basic Spanish this day of logistics would be a nightmare. No one speaks English here. Or if they do they aren't into using it.

So if you don't speak spanish pay someone to help you through this or make sure you plan this out very well ahead of time.
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Re: Aconcagua Logistics: Need a little advice

Postby chickentikka » Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:45 am

Not sure if anyone is reading this, but the road to las penitientes is now closed until at least Monday. So a full weekend of getting drunk in Mendoza is in store.
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Re: Aconcagua Logistics: Need a little advice

Postby Luciano136 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:06 pm

Thanks for the updates! I also heard speaking Spanish is rather important.
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Re: Aconcagua Logistics: Need a little advice

Postby herdbull » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:17 pm

Just wondering how this ended? I'm planning a trip down there next winter and the more data I can collect the better.

Hope the trip went well!
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Re: Aconcagua Logistics: Need a little advice

Postby chickentikka » Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:18 am

The road was closed for a little over a week. In that time I went to Cerro Plata and climbed that as did many others. When it opened I did an ascent of Aconcagua in just 6 days solo. Pretty rad.

I used Inka for logistics. They have the biggest and arguably best camps that I saw. They were great. In fact, perhaps because it was the end of the season, they didn't seem to give a damn about anything and cooked me dinner and let me stay in a bunkhouse one night for free.

Another company that looked good was Grajales.

I'm very glad I went solo. There was an Inka group that I had become friendly with as I'd met them at the Hotel Aconcagua the day that the roads closed down. They were a nice group but only 2/15 of them managed to summit on summit day. This was probably because Inka did not want to risk camping at Nido De Condores during some high wind days prior to the only summit window. I had stayed up a Nido throughout this and when summit day came was breathing like an oxe. I started at 9:30 from Berlin and was surprised to find that most of them were just doing short trips to Independencia and back to Cholera. I caught up to their only two summiters on the canaleta around 1 P.M.

If you're gonna go guided, go in a small group. Not a big one. If you have one good friend ready to do it with you then do it with them unguided. You can get lots of advice from people for free while there.

I wasn't too lonely (except for the windstorm at Nido). There were several solo climbers, even that late in the season.
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