Aconcagua 2008 picture trip report

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Trip Report
Mendoza, Argentina, South America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Jan 7, 2008
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Aconcagua 2008 picture trip report
Created On: Mar 9, 2008
Last Edited On: Apr 9, 2011


Okay – this is not the first trip report about Aconcagua normal route. But I have taken some nice pictures that I hope you will like. So I will tell the story by pictures.

The trip was an organized one from December 22nd 2007 to January 14th 2008 – by the German company Adventure Train, that I can recommend warmly – everything worked well, and it was cheaper than other companies. Therefore we did not get full meals all the time at basecamp but prepare some ourselves with the camping stove – no problem but a good exercise for the high camp.

Mendoza to Penitentes

christmas in Mendoza2007-12-23 – Christmas in Mendoza – this year we have to do without German winter christmas romantic in the South American midsummer season.

morning light above Mendoza2007-12-24: interesting morning light over Mendoza

obtaining the permitEach aspirant for climbing Aconcagua must personally obtain his permit in the Mendoza tourist office

Horocones valleyAfterwards we travel by bus into the mountains: valley of the Horocones river just besides the main road

abandonned railwayTwo nights for acclimatization in a hotel at Penitentes (2580m). The nearby railway is fine for an afternoon walk. Since many years no one risks of getting hit by a train here.

Cerro TolosaIdyllic scene near Penitentes – in the background is Cerro Tolosa (5432m)

at PenitentesUnknown bird at Penitentes

Penitentes ski stationPenitentes ski station (2580m) – behind the building on the right is our acclimatization peak for the next day, Cruz de Cana (3686m)

climbing in line2007-12-25: there we climb in single file. The slopes are still green

still flowersAs long as there are still flowers it is worth taking pictures of them

snow shower comingWe did not expect the approach of this short snow shower

starved to death?Obviously this fellow did not get enough to bite on these meagre slopes

Cruz de CañaSummit of Cruz de Cana, 3686m. At least we are 20m higher than Grossvenediger

Cerro Mario Ardito"Backside" of Cerro Mano Ardito (3655m) – on the other side it falls down to the main road

Interesting evening lightInteresting evening light – left in the shadow is our acclimatization peak Cruz de Canaz.

Punta del Inca to basecamp

Aconcagua south face2007-12-26: there it is – Aconcagua south face as seen from the entrance of the National park at Horocones

obtaining the waste bagAfter having controlled the permit each climber gets his waste bag, that must be returned full at the end of the trip

Still green hereStill green here – nice hiking into Aconcagua National Park

dusty trackThe track gets dusty but remains very easy

horseman in hurryThe only danger comes from meeting horsemen in a hurry

cold welcomeA snow shower welcomes us to Camp Confluenza (3410m)

nice evening lightBut the evening is nice again

Cerro Tolosa2007-12-27: we are on a daytrip in direction to Aconcagua south face. Look back to Cerro Tolosa

interesting plantVery interesting plants are growing here!

glacier  Vadretto de los Horocones Inferior Along impressive glacier "Vadretto de los Horocones Inferior" we are walking long and flat. We are satisfied with having reached an elevation of 4000m – above all Aconcagua hides again behind clouds.

HaloA Halo is a sign for bad weather

snow again… and there is snow again when we come back to Camp Confluenza.

Cerro Mexico (5007m)2007-12-28: long walk to basecamp. Only in the beginning remains the valley as green as on the picture. On the left is Cerro Mexico (5007m)

slipstreamingLandscape has turned into a desert. Adverse winds blow constantly. Best tactic is slipstreaming like in cycling sport!

almost final slopeTaking a rest before (almost) the final ascent to basecamp. For some of our group this ascent was already a hard one.

Christmas at basecampStill Christmas time at basecamp Plaza de Mulaz

Aconcagua from basecampAconcagua as seen from basecamp. The main summit is on the very left.

acclimatization from Bonete to Berlin

stormy clouds2007-12-29: storm clouds above the summit. But today is a rest day for us.

clouds above Cerro BoneteNice clouds also above Cerro Bonete that we intend to climb the following day.

Instant meals comingWe receive gear and food. Instant meals are waiting for us in the next two weeks.

fine weather2007-12-30: great weather for our next acclimatization climb – on Cerro Bonete (5004m)

Penitentes snowCrossing fields of Penitentes snow is a new conquest for an European climber!

route to BoneteLater there are zigzags over slopes of scree, then we traverse beneath the summit to the right and climb it from there via the easy ridge to the highest point.

Aconcagua overview from BoneteOver all the ascent is nice because of this instructive overview of Aconcagua and almost the whole normal route.

desert valleyThe route to basecamp runs through this desert valley

who counts the tents?Basecamp plaza de Mulaz: "Who names the names, who counts the people / Who gather'd here together cordial?" (Friedrich Schiller)

neighbouring valleydesert also in the neighbouring valley on the other side of Cerro Bonete

Bonete summitMan (right) wants to climb mountain (left)

scree surfingAmong the best of these mountains here is the quick and gentle (for the knees) descent through soft scree

Landscape with penitentesLandscape with penitentes (and the Aconcagua hotel) – very bizarre for an European climber used to the alps

bizarre PenitentesPenitentes. The slope from basecamp to Nido de Condores is right in the background

expedition feeling2007-12-31: while the rest of the group does another rest day my partner Johannes and I carry the first loads up to Nido camp. Struggling with the effects of elevation and the heavy backpack for the first time I have the feeling of "doing an expedition".

depot at NidoHaving arrived at Nido we settle a depot in the midst of the nicest campsite. But we should not have done this – three days later the depot was cleared some meters apart to use the site.

Sylvester campfireBack in basecamp. Sylvester evening with campfire

work for the rest2008-01-01: now the others of our group carry loads and themselves to Nido de Condores

rest in basecamp… and we settle back in basecamp

every-morning helicopter2008-01-02: the every-morning helicopter flight affects us today: Marlis suffered a lung oedema and had to be evacuated

lower part of normal route2008-01-03: after another rest day (on that I did a walk to Camp Canada just for better acclimatization) we are again in time with the whole group. Today we climb up to camp Nido for staying the first night there

before camp CanadaBehind this pinnacle is Camp Canada – that is only a place for a rest today.

at camp NidoSettling at camp Nido at 5580m. Views in direction to Chile

calm afternoonIt is a nice, almost calm afternoon on this high plain with great views

evening at Nido de CondoresBut in the evening it is getting very soon very cold!

ranger stationEven here there is a ranger station of the National Park office, placed in this little cabin

to Camp Berlin2008-01-04: today we are climbing up to Camp Berlin. Did not expect these big glaciers at our feet. At least the glacier on the left is named after Paul Guessfeld, first explorer of the Aconcagua mountains in the 19th century.

Camp Berlin (5920m)Camp Berlin (5920m). In case of an emergency these little huts can be used, but a tent is more convenient. Here we settle a depot of gear and food for the summit day.

Berlin to summitLooking from Berlin to the summit. But today we descend to basecamp.

the summit climb

walk to the glacier2008-01-05: rest day. I do only a little walk to the glacier tongue.

global warming?Allegory for global warming? Normally the creek should have its source at the very end of the glacier – but here the whole glacier seems to melt away under the southern sun!

evacuation2008-01-06: starting the summit climb: Unfortunately we are again one man less. We can only beckon to the helicopter with Ralf – our best sportsman – being evacuated with acute pneumonia. At the end of the trip we will meet both evacuees again almost healthy at Penitentes

Cerro Cuerno (5407m)Heiko and Gerlind near camp Canada. Cerro Cuerno (5407m) is still higher

lenticular clouds at NidoHaving reached camp Nido again we don't like these clouds that announce stormy weather. Therefore we decide to attack the summit the very next day and not to lose an important day just for moving to Camp Berlin.

Cerro Mercedario (6700m)Evening light at camp Nido: looking through the close-up lens to Cerro Mercedario (6700m

Sunset at Nido de CondoresSunset before summit day

sunset at Nido de CondoresThe final rays of sun at camp Nido

first sun2008-01-07: we start at 5,30 a.m. in deep night. High layer clouds covers the stars – therefore it is pitch-dark and somehow weird. Weather is different to all the days before and who knows how it develops. But I'm feeling very fine today and am climbing a little bit ahead of the others. First sunshine at about 6000m. On the horizon is left Mercedario (6700m) and in the middle La Ramada (6384m)

long shadowThe long shadow of Aconcagua falls on the world…

Rifugio IndependenciaAt the ruin of Rifugio Independencia (6370m)

Looking northLooking north. Thank god the dark clouds have disappeared

next are comingUli, Gerlind and Heiko are coming next

Gran AccereroAbove Independencia the long traverse of Gran Accerero starts

Looking back to IndependenciaLooking back to Independencia

nice track for cramponsA friendly mountain troll made us this fine track for crampons as a present.

upper part of the traverseAt the upper part of the traverse. In front of the dark rocks starts the steep "Canaletta" slope.

Beginning of CanalettaBeginning of Canaletta. Also here snow and crampons are a big advantage.

the finger"the finger" is the landmark at the beginning of Canaletta

upper part of CanalettaAlready at the upper part of Canaletta. Fine climbing with crampons here. I met Matias (almost namesake to me) from Mendoza here who works as porter during the season and wants to climb the summit today himself. Behind him the route runs as white line to the left to the summit. Now I feel the elevation and rests become longer and I don't feel like taking pictures

summit arrival… until after some final meters via easy blocks I am suddenly standing on the summit plateau. Calm, not to cold and almost no snow here – hard to believe that this is almost 7000m elevation.

sumit view to basecampI have climbed nicer lookout peaks – here you are just too high above the things. Basecamp is marginally hidden at the lower left (Aconcagua hotel can be seen)

Tupungato (6570m)Tupungato (6570) right of the middle can – to some extent - keep up with its elevation

Matias und MathiasMatias und Mathias at 6962m

summit napnever too high for a summit nap

on the summitDone! Also Sabine has reached her big goal.

south summit south faceSouth summit (6930m) an the upper part of impressive south face. That's something for the REAL alpinists!

lenticular cloudsThese clouds will not affect us any more. As a matter of fact it was not stormy until the next but one evening

During descentDuring descent

Back at camp NidoBack at camp Nido. Because two of our group accidentally descended to camp 2 of the Polish route we are expecting a sorrowful night. On the next day things clear and both of them will meet us again safe and sound.

back to civilization

camp Berlin2008-01-08: for clearing a depot I climb a final time to camp Berlin

fully loadedNow down to basecamp, fully loaded, each belt of the backpack in use.

descent to basecampFinally down on the easy track in the scree

back in basecamp2008-01-09: back in basecamp – strange effects of mountain air? ;-)

smellsNow man and material urgently have to air

urgent!Painful waiting at the basecamp toilet…

dove of peaceA dove of peace flies over Aconcagua

Andes glowAndes glow

back to civilization2008-01-10: walking back to civilization

long missedThe first flower after two weeks of desert life is warmly welcomed.

cautionFrozen creeks need caution

stiff breezeToday the wind is in our back. And the mountain pokes its tongue out at them who have to fight against the stiff breeze.

exhaustedThe marsh was too hard for Otto's boots.

water neededGerlind and Karin: not fresh any more but happy…

metarmorphosis#1Also I will soon shift back from mountaineer…

metamorphosis #2… to civil servant

Aconcagua south face2008-01-11: driving to Santiago de Chile. Behind Punta del Inca we enjoy a fine view to Aconcagua south face – left is south summit, right is main summit.

view from Cerro San Cristóbal hill2008-01-12: we use the extra days that we did not need in the mountain for sightseeing in Santiago. 6.500.000 inhabitants – you cannot see the borders of the city even at fine weather from Cerro San Cristóbal hill.

Cerro El Plomo (5424m)View from Cerro Santa Lucia hill to Cerro San Cristóbal hill. Above haze and smog rises Cerro del Plomo (5424m)

wine tastingTasting fine Chilean wine.

aereal view2008-01-14: on the flight back to Europe we are passing Aconcagua just to say goodbye.

acclimatization table

acclimatization tabletableboard about the acclimatization



Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-20 of 53
Anya Jingle

Anya Jingle - Mar 9, 2008 7:29 pm - Voted 10/10

Excellent job!

I really like this format of telling your story through pictures. They are great, by the way.
Very enjoyable and informational page. Thanks!

Mathias Zehring

Mathias Zehring - Mar 10, 2008 2:13 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Excellent job!

thank you very much. It is the english version of the slideshow that I have on my german website. I hope that there are not too many pictures.

Anya Jingle

Anya Jingle - Mar 10, 2008 2:26 am - Voted 10/10

Re: Excellent job!

It's never too many pictures for me ;) Cheers!


SarahThompson - Mar 9, 2008 8:54 pm - Voted 10/10

Love the pictures!

Congratulations on a successful trip. The pictures are fantastic, some of the best I've seen of Aconcagua. What kind of camera did you use? I went just a few weeks after you and opted to bring a simple point and shoot thinking it wouldn't be practical to bring a big DSLR.

Mathias Zehring

Mathias Zehring - Mar 10, 2008 2:17 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Love the pictures!

I have a digital Canon EOS 400D with a Tamron 17-50mm 1:2,8 and a close-up lens Canon 70-200mm 1:4. I did not take the close-up lens up to the summit because of its weight, but now I regret it.


TJ311 - Mar 11, 2008 8:51 am - Voted 10/10

A Picture... worth a thousand words. Excellent trip report. I love your pictures. Makes me want to climb Aconcagua. Congrats on your summit!

Boriss Andean

Boriss Andean - Mar 11, 2008 10:24 am - Voted 10/10

Nice report!

Congratulations. Hope to be there soon.

Mathias Zehring

Mathias Zehring - Mar 12, 2008 1:52 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Nice report!

thanky you! I hope that you will have the same good conditions that I had.


WoundedKnee - Mar 11, 2008 6:45 pm - Voted 10/10

Nice idea

Really liked the report. Congratulations on summiting!

Brad Marshall

Brad Marshall - Mar 16, 2008 3:09 pm - Voted 10/10

Nice Report

Great report Mathias. Congratulations to all that summited.


Nikman - Mar 16, 2008 4:24 pm - Voted 10/10

Wie bereits ...

... beim Projektor-Abend gesagt: schöne Bilder!

Mathias Zehring

Mathias Zehring - Mar 16, 2008 5:34 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Wie bereits ...

danke - insbesondere auch für Deinen Anstoß die Serie auf SP zu posten.


delmarco - Mar 16, 2008 4:28 pm - Hasn't voted


I loved it. Great Pics and Caps.

Woodie Hopper

Woodie Hopper - Mar 16, 2008 6:15 pm - Voted 10/10


Fuer alles ganz schoenes Bilder. Ausgezeichnet!



vvujisic - Mar 16, 2008 7:45 pm - Voted 10/10

Great contribution

to SP and to all those people who will one day visit this area and climb Aconcagua!
Thanks Mathias for sharing!


SusanM - Mar 16, 2008 8:09 pm - Voted 10/10

Well Done!

Enjoyed your pictures! 10+++


Alpinist08 - Mar 16, 2008 9:44 pm - Hasn't voted

Amazing pictures

Your pictures are so amazing. how di yuo....what did you use for a camera? very impressed

Mathias Zehring

Mathias Zehring - Mar 17, 2008 2:02 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Amazing pictures

I used a Canon EOS 400 D and two zooms. But most important is to have your camara ready and not in the backpack!


attimount - Mar 16, 2008 10:40 pm - Voted 10/10

Good job.

Congratulations for the ascent.We were there in this season and successfuly summited in 19 February after a hard day from Nino de Condores.
Realy nice pictures.(-;

Mathias Zehring

Mathias Zehring - Mar 17, 2008 2:18 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Good job.

congratulations also to YOU! I think this year was a season with really good conditions at Aconcagua. How was cooking at Nido de Condores. Did you find enough clean snow for melting in the vicinity?

Viewing: 1-20 of 53