Hauling loads up to Camp 1 on the False Polish route
Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Western hemisphere, located in western Argentina, near the Chile border. There are about 3,500 climbers trying the summit each year (info from 2002). The 'Normal Route' is non-technical - a walk-up, following the Northwest Ridge. It is the altitude that poses the most problem. That and the sense that this is an easy climb. Every year people die because they underestimate the task at hand. Respect this mountain and you will fare better. You should not attempt alone, you should always have someone watching you. Much of the hiking is on scree. On the Normal and Polish Traverse routes there are no permanent snow fields, but crampons and ice axe may still be required in some sections. If you are fortunate the final 1,000 feet is covered with ice and snow. You can then crampon up this much more easily than when it is loose scree after a dry winter. In January 7-10, 2008 the Caneleta had hardpacked snow with some icey sections that was easily cramponed making the top section much quicker (in relative terms). Many who neglected to bring crampons were turned back by these conditions.
Note. This year 2016-2017 season the mountain and surrounding area may be very dry. I am still trying to get updates. Water sources on the walk into Plaza Argentina can be few and far between. So be advised that you should fill up three bottles for the walk in each day. The mountain itself was normal for water. Lots of pipes at base camp (plaza Argentina). But you are supposed to only use the pipe of the Base Camp provider that you hired for your trip. (as my friend found out). One thing of note is that after many years of successfully using Fernando Grajales the year 2015-2016 did not go so well. My friends group was charged for 4 mules even though only 3 were sent and used. When this was pointed out the employee of Grajales withheld the equipment until the mules were paid in full. Not the sort of service that is normally expected of the company. Perhaps it was just a bad year for them. The group made the summit however and everyone was happy about that.
Getting there and currency issues, customs
Aconcagua from Casa Piedra in the early morning.
Fly to either Santiago (Chile) then Mendoza (Argentina). Or Buenos Aires then Mendoza. Take the bus to Puente del Inca or Penetentes. The entrance to the National Park is either at Puenta del Inca (normal route and south face). Or the through the Vacas Valley near Penetentes (For the Polish Glacier, Polish Traverse and Vacas routes).You must go to Mendoza Argentina in person to get your climbing permit. An issue if you go through customs at Santiago airport. There is a good chance that you will have all meat and dairy products from your expedition food confiscated upon entering Chile. Stay in transit and take a short (45 min) flight on Lan Chile or Aerolineas Argentinas to Mendoza, Argentina. This will allow you to keep your food, get your permits, possibly see Aconcagua from the air as they fly close to it at times, and save the 100-140$ U.S. tax Chile imposes on Canadians and other nationalities. This has been dropped for U.S. citizens.If you are entering Chile by bus this will not apply. Possible food issue. Ourclimbers had their bags searched in Mendoza Argentina for certain food items. While normally climbers are treated seperately in this respects, as the foreign currency is valued we are not hassled. They conficated some food items such as peanuts and items that had been repacked not in the original packaging. Among the items taken were believe it or not..gummy bears. We think the staff was hungry. I packed all my food in 3-day packs in seperate stuff sacks labled, base camp, camp one, and camp two. These were packed at the bottom of my bag under everything and looked like a hassle to get to and open. Thus the customs were reluctant to get that deep in the bottom of my bag. The people that were searched had packed their food in clear plastic making the customs agent job too easy. So pack your food accordingly to avoid any unnecessary hassles.
The Argentine Peso was devalued several years ago between 50-60%. The US dollar is widely accepted everywhere, rates of exchange as of 16,01,06 is 3 pesos for each USD.Check out and compare the rate at the airport, your hotel and the various Cambios on San Martin. They are all about the same. See if your hotel will give you a better room rate depending on what currency you will be paying in. Some hotels and stores offer better rates if you pay in cash as opposed to using credit cards. When changing money in most cases you will be asked for your passport so keep it handy. There is a lot of suspision of counterfit bills especially 100 US. Try to bring down bills that are as new as possible. Older scruffy ones can and will be rejected.In 2008 a steak dinner with wine can cost $10.00 USD at a sidewalk restaurant. Fancier places might cost you 20-30 which is still a bargain based on the quality of the service and food you will recieve.
The summit ridge
To enter ACONCAGUA PROVINCIAL PARK, you have obtain a permit.You have to fill out the forms personally. Permits are sold EXCLUSIVELY at SUBSECRETARÍA DE TURISMO på San Martín 1143. Close to Plaza Independencia.
Most cabs know where this is. When you apply for your permit in Mendoza you will get a ´banking slip´ from the park office, then go to a nearby "Locatario" to pay your permit fee. Then you will return to the park office and get your ´climbing permit´.The whole process takes one or two hours now, more with high season line ups.
The information (pricing) posted below is for people outside of Argentina and South America.
A more complete pricing structure is found here for Argentines, People from Mendoza and the rest of South America.
Polish Glacier route/Plaza Argentina (Vacas Valley)
HIGH SEASON: From 15th December of year 2018 to 31st January 2019, a permit costs:
Climbing USD$ 1,140 - 20 days
Long Trekking USD$ 310 - 7 days
LOW SEASON: From November 15th to December 14th 2018 and from February 21st to April 30th 2019
Climbing USD$ 880 - 20 days
Long Trekking USD$ 240 - 7 days
Normal Route/Plaza des Mulas (Horcones Valley)HIGH SEASON: From 15th December of year 2018 to 31st January 2019, a permit costs:
Climbing USD$ 950 - 20 days
Long Trekking USD$ 310 - 7 days
Short Trekking USD$ 160 - 3 days
LOW SEASON: From November 15th to December 14th 2018 and from February 1st to April 30th 2019
Climbing USD$ 730 - 20 days
Long Trekking USD$ 260 - 7 days
Short Trekking USD$ 130 - 3 days
Validity of the permits (as from the date of access to the Park) Validity of the permits Climbing 20 days. Long Trekking 7 days Short Trekking 3 days. Proceeds from the duties are alloted (supposed to be) to the maintenance and protection of the ACONCAGUA PROVINCIAL PARK. The above pricing was what I could gather from the internet on November 22, 2016. Prices may be subject to change. Off –season (from March 16 to November 14) access to the Aconcagua Park is no longer free. A permit must be purchased in Mendoza or at the Park Rangers’ Shelter in Horcones Valley. The price of admittance is the price charged during the high season even if the rescuing service is not provided. Neither doctors nor park rangers are available during this period. However, for a “special” price, there is an exception between March 16 and April 1st., of each season. To access the Aconcagua Park within these periods, for trekkings or to climb, we suggest contacting the Aconcagua Park’s authorities. There are restrictions regarding the access of MINORS to the Park: they will have to exhibit pertinent authorization signed by both parents and certified by Public Notary or their respective Consulate or Embassy. For further information, please, contact the RENOVABLE NATURAL RESOURCES BUREAU (Dirección de Recursos Naturales Renovables) located in General San Martín Park, phone + 54 261 425 5090 or + 54 261 425 7065 (from 08:00 AM to 01:00 PM) e mail: email@example.comCLIMBING AND TREKKINGS PERMITS The permits must be given in person to each visitor and only in Mendoza. Trekking and tourism agencies are not authorized anymore to get the climbing permits for visitors as it was in the past. Each climber must come in person to Mendoza city to get it. The permits can not be bought either at Puente de Inca or Punta de Vacas. The control of permisses is done in laguna Horcones (normal and south face), the same as in the Rio Vacas (Polish and Polish traverse routes) by the park-rangers. Anywhere inside the park, the permit or the receipt may be required to be shown. (Passport or Identity Card required). Neither medical certificate or evidences of insurance are necessary.Payment may be either in Argentine Pesos or in U.S. Dollars. No credits cards or checks are accepted. This should not take to long as the staff are normally pretty used to their jobs and are usually pleasent.There now are doctors at the two main base camps. (Plaza Argentina and Plaza des Mules) You will after seeing the Rangers have to check in with the base camp doctor and will get an examination which will determine whether you are fit to go higher. This is manditory now and a good idea.
Permits are valid from the date of entry to the Park
Argentine citizens are entitled to a 50% discount on the above prices. Permit / garbage information from: CoraxDate: Feb 05, 2005 11:26 PMThe following is to be found on the back of your climbing permit: You will have to pay a U$S 100 fine if you: * Do not use the baths provided by the park. * Throw garbage along the park, leave or do not use the numbered plastic bags provided by the park. * Pollute rivers, streams or waterfalls. * Enter either with bicycles or pets. * Damage wildlife, plants and natural, cultural or archeological features which are protected by the park regulations. You will have to pay a U$S 200 fine if you: * Throw garbage, forget or loose the numbered bags in the high camps or during your expedition. * Gather or burn wood in the park. * Carve insriptions in the stones. You will have to pay the equivalent of a 2nd permit or an ascent permit if you: * Go beyond the limits of the length if the stay allowed in the permit or go higher than 4300 mts with short trekking (3 days), long trekking (7 days). Note: * Maximum stay is 20 days with ascent permit. * Horcones ranger station open daily from 8 A.M. - 6 P.M. * For your safety always check out.On matters of poop n scoop When arriving in Plaza de Mulas and Plaza Argentina when you check in the Ranger will register you and hand over a numbered "shit-bag". This bag will be your companion all the time on the higher reaches of Aconcagua and if you loose it you have to pay a $200 fine. You're supposed to use the bag as the only alternative for a toilet and if you're doing your business in nature and are spotted by the guards there is a $100 fine. Be warned, the plastic of the bag is not that thick and is not to be trusted. Double or triple pack it in order to avoid quite disgusting leakage in your back pack. The best thing is to bring a number of smaller bags with you and bag it each time. Cache these smaller bags which should freeze overnight. You can then double bag these in the numbered bag for safer transportation to base camp. Your mule provider is in charge of making sure you have brought this and your numbered garbage bag down to base camp. If you lose it he won't sign your permit. If he does then he becomes responsible.There are toilets at Pampa Lena (flush!), Casa Piedra and Plaza Argentina. Conflencia and Plaza des Mulas for the normal route. So it is in the upper camps where you will have to collect your waste.If not part of an organized expedition, you have to "be contracted to a toilet service" at BC. Asking around a bit and some big organizers will tell you the price is US$100, some smaller US$5/day or US$10 for the whole stay. If you used the toilet services between 20:00 and 08:00 you may not have to pay anything in some of the places. For those on an extremely low budget an alternative is to camp at the restaurant and use the toilets there. You can always use the restaurants toilet if you are giving them some business.Here is a Map of the City of MendozaMendoza map
Guiding Companies, Mules and weight of gear
The west face of Aconcagua
There are many groups that guide Aconcagua here are just a few.Aconcagua Express Guides only you can reach them through their web sites at KL ExpeditionsAconcagua Express or by email firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org ask for former speed skier, Joaquin Oyarzun Tel. (56-2) 2179101 Cell (56-9) 7996441 and (54-261) 15-5694184Santiago OfficeTel / Fax 56-2-2193786Sales Office in ConconPhone / Fax 56-32-817366Marketing OfficeAvda Borgoño # 23730 Concon Viña del MarPhone / fax: 56-32-817366Administration Ph & Fax: 56-2-2193786Mobil Argentina: 54-261-155-94184Satellite Plaza de Mulas: 874-762-641-961Satellite Plaza Argentina: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org www.aconcagua-express.comAlpine Ascents InternationalAconcagua TripMountain Travel/SobekMountain Travel Aconcagua TripSkreslet Adventure ServicesSAS Aconcagua TripField Touring AlpineField Touring Alpine Aconcagua tripAlpinistica.AlpinisticaWeb: http://www.alpinistica.comE-mail: email@example.comExpedition Aconcagua:http://www.alpinistica.com/expedition-aconcagua.htmlAconcagua Alpine Style: http://www.alpinistica.com/alpine-style.htmlINKA ExpeditionsContact info: Juan B. Justo 343 - Ciudad (5500) - Mendoza - Argentina Tel / Fax: ++54 261 4250871 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.inka.com.arAconcagua Trip
AEA Expeditionswww.aeaexpeditions.comExpeditions and trekkings in Aconcagua, Pissis, Tupungato, Mercedario Maipo and Cordon del Plata. Logistic support for expeditions and professional high mountain guides. The company is based in Argentina. Phone +54 + 261 15 - 5947613 Int : +54 +261 95947613
Aymara Adventures and Expeditionshttp://www.aconcaguaaymara.com/e-mail: email@example.comAddress: 735 España Avenue -Mendoza- ArgentinaPhone: (++54) (261) 424 4773From London, the Uk - +442071930268From San Diego, California, the USA – +16195734062
MulesEach mule can only take 60 kilos (two 30 kilo bags balanced). So each duffle you bring should not exceed 30 kilos. As a rule clients are allowed 30 kilos including their food. Not including tents and communal gear. You will be charged two days in and one day back for the walk in in the normal route. For the walk out, it will depend on whether you hire mules who just brought gear in or if they came in empty just for you. Try to negotiate in advance for dropoff and pickup. Radios are useful here and the Rangers can be of great help.For the Polish side you will be charged 3 days in and one to two days out for the approach and its the same story for the walk out as on the normal route. Mule prices can vary but it works to about 150 USD perday for and mule driver and two mules (120 kilos). This is only a guide things change depending on how desperate you are and availability, size of group. Eight people would use 4 mules (2x30 = 60 kilos per mule) plus probably 2 mules (2x60 kilos of communal gear). You would probably have three muleteers. Just an example for the Polish Traverse - Group size - 3 people.December 2001 it cost for two mules in (three days) and one mule out (two days) including the Mule driver $ 750$USSome Mule providers
Rudy ParraE-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Osvaldo Carbajal of Lanko-altas montañas Villa Los Penitentes, Mendoza, Lanko-altas montañas www.lanko.com.ar e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org expeditions, porters, mules, base camp, etc Telephone numbers:00-54-261-4443486 00-54-261-4322291
Daniel AlessioCasilla de Correos 33, 5505 Mendoza, Fax: 54-61-962201, E-mail: email@example.com, Home phone# 054-261-4962201.
Daniel LopezHas a food tent set-up at plaza argentinaGeocities.com/daniellopezexpeditionsemail: firstname.lastname@example.org or hotmail.comphone/fax 54 261 4456509Buying equipment in MendozaThere are now many shops to purchase equipement that you may be missing upon arrival in Mendoza. Orviz is one that has a web site www.orviz.com
There are 5 routes listed on the left hand side of this page. This section deals with the two most travelled, The Normal Route and the Polish Traverse.20-12-06 Note the Quanaco route is reported to be closed to the public.. More on this as news filters in. The reason given so far is the perserve this unspoiled portion of the mountain.
Looking North from the False Polish route
POLISH TRAVERSEIf you go the Polish traverse route allow three days at least for the approach. Here is how it can go. You can alter as you go depending on how you feel.Possible itinerary
Day one- End of Vacas valley-Pampa laina (8,200 ft) From the road to camp 4-5 hours
Day two- Casa Piedra (9,200 ft) 5-7 hours
Day three- Plaza Argentina (13,200 ft) 5-7 hours
Day four- Rest
Day five- Carry a load to camp 1 (16,200 ft) 4-6 hours
Day six- Move up to camp 1 4-6 hours
Day seven- Rest
Day eight- Carry to camp 2 (19,200 ft) (high camp) 4-6 hours
Day nine- Rest
Day ten- Move up to camp 2 (19,200 ft) 4-6 hours
Day eleven- walk to 21,500 feet Independencia to understand the route 2-3 hours
Day twelve- get up early 3:00am and start for the summit with headlamps and crampons this is a long day allow 10-12 hours or longer for the round trip. 7-12 hours
Day thirteen- decend to base camp then arrange mules with the rangers for you gear and walk out to Casa Piedra to spend the night. 3-7 hours
Day fourteen-walk out to the highway at mouth of the Rio Vacas have you pick up scheduled in advance and have the rangers confirm it if possible. If not you will have to walk or hitch hike (which is difficult since it is so close to the border). You can always call the hotel at Penitentes from the truck customs building at the mouth of the Vacas. They will pick you up if you will stay or eat there. So have the number tucked away. 4-8 hoursOn the Polish route, once you have reached basecamp at Plaza Argentina 13,300 feet (takes 3 days to reach). Then its up to camp one at approx 16,200 feet. The next camp, Camp 2 is at 19,200 feet approx. From here you can go up the Polish Glacier or traverse over to the normal route at Independcia (21,500) and up to the summit. A camp is also possible at White rocks, approx 19,900 feet. This will aid you in removing the traverse at the beginning of your summit bid. But will take extra energy carrying all your gear over the travese and setting up another camp. I don’t reccomend it. I only mention it as some people do it. Camps 1 and 2 are not huge and space can be an issue at times. There is a larger flat area down to the right as you enter camp 2. Many people go there. But it is more exposed, so you had better make your tent extra bombproof.
Possible traverse submission by author: mconnellIf you are going to do the "Polish Traverse", consider going out the Normal Route. It means you have to do a carry over of everything, but you get to see both sides of the mountain and can be out from high camp in 2 days. From Camp 2 at the foot of the glacier, traverse directly to White Rocks and head down. Took us about 4 hours from White Rocks to Plaza de Mulas. From William Marler. Yes this can be done but we havent as yet as our groups have always brought more gear than was needed. ie food and extra clothes that was left in Plaza Argentina. As well as all the garbage including fuel cannisters you have used up to base camp and above that you have to bring out with you. So we would have had to bring all that extra gear up and over the mountain. If you are a small tight group with your act together go for it. But bring all your garbage.
Erecting a tent at Berlin
NORMAL ROUTEOn the Normal route a two day walk (overnight at Confluencia) will get you to a large basecamp (Plaza de Mules 13,500 feet approx). Stay on the left side as you enter camp (many loose bolders make there way down on the right side). Then up camp 2 or Camp Canada at 16,200 approx. This is a good acclimatization stop but has limited space sometimes. Some people continue up to Nido des Condores (approx 18,000 feet) which is a large area but can be very exposed to the wind and elements. It is also a very big push from basecamp at 13,500 feet and can break a lot of people. Camp 3 is at Berlin (19,300 feet approx). From here you can go to the summit easily if you have acclimitized well. I use the word easily loosely, most of you will know what I mean. Non technical but a real slog in scree.
Day one- Puenta del inca to Confuencia.(9,200 ft) 3-4 hours
Day two- Confluencia to base camp. (13,000 ft) 6-7 hours
Day three- Rest day
Day four- Carry to Camp Canada (16,000 ft)4-6 hours
Day five- Move up to Camp Canada 4-6 hours
Day six- Rest day
Day seven- Carry to Berlin (19,100 ft) 5-6 hours
Day eight- Move up to Berlin (19,100 ft) 5-6 hours
Day nine- Rest day and trail exploration 2-3 hours
Day ten- Summit day 8-12 hours round trip 8-12 hours
Day eleven- Clean up camp and decend to basecamp.3-4 hours
Day twelve- Arrange mules and walk out to Puenta del Inca or Confluencia 6-8 hours
Day thirteen- Walk-out if you camped at Confluencia 2-3 hoursNote: Add extra summit days for bad weather.
Author: AlpinistDate: Dec 30, 2005 12:30 PM The conditions at Camp Berlin were quite poor when I was there in December 2005. There was human feces and toilet paper under every small rock, garbage everywhere, and the strong smell of urine in the air. As an alternative, consider camping at Camp Coléra. It is only ~200 feet (70 meters) higher than Berlin and much cleaner. Upon arrival at Berlin, take an immediate left. Follow the trail that traverses the ridge towards the black rocks near the top. From Seven Summitsmy 7 summits pages for more info, a complete trip report and 80+ pictures of the mountain.
Possible food list
Sunrise from "Camp Alaska"
What food to bring? Basically it boils down to what you can carry and prepare easily. Also what you feel your body will crave and digest when (as in most cases) your appetite diminishes as you gain altitude.Here are breakfast, lunch and dinner suggestionsBreakfastBag of cerealMilk powderBox of raisinsSmall tinned fruitPiece of cheeseHot chocolateor Coffee or teaBreakfast bar granolaLunches Granola barChocolate barBag of mixed nutsPiece of cheeseCrackersTin of salmon or tuna or ham or sardinesCookiesJuice crystalsDinnerCup of soup(s)Japanese noodlesorFreeze dried dinneror tin or foil pouch of beansSmall tinned fruitCookiesTea or Hot chocolateSnacksGranola barChocolate barPeanut Butter tubesBag of mixed nutsPiece of cheeseCookiesDried apricots or similarPringles chipsHoney tubesOptional BarsPower barsCliff barsSqueeze gels (Energy)Local food for the walk to base campBread or rollsSummer sausageCheeseHard boiled eggsOranges and ApplesThe next chore then is organizing your food into lodgical packs for transporting to base camp and each of the higher camps. The following is what I use as a guide for doing the False Polish route. It is a guide only as I add or subtract according to clients preferences. Pack 1 for walk-inThree Breakfasts(Pampa Lenia)(Casa Piedra)(Horse Fly/Intermediate camp)Three Lunches and Snacks(way to Pampa Lenia)(way to Casa Piedra)(at Horse Fly/Intermediate camp)Three Dinners(Pampa Lenia)(Casa Piedra)(Horse Fly/Intermediate camp)Supplimented by fresh produceBread or rollsSummer sausageCheeseHard boiled eggsOranges and ApplesPack 2 BasecampThree Breakfasts(Basecamp)(Basecamp)(Basecamp)Three Lunches and Snacks(on carry to camp one)(on carry to camp one)(at camp one)Three Dinners(Basecamp)(Basecamp)(Basecamp)Pack 3 Camp 1Three Breakfasts(Camp one)(Camp one)(Camp one)Three Lunches and Snacks(on carry camp two)(on carry camp two)(on move to camp two)Three Dinners(Camp one)(Camp one)(Camp one)Pack 4 Camp 2Three breakfasts(Camp two rec)(Camp two summit)(Camp two decend day)Three Lunches and Snacks(on rec to Independencia)(on summit day)(on summit or decend)Three Dinners(Camp two)(Camp two summit)(Camp two summit day 2)Pack 5 WalkoutOne breakfast(Casa Piedra)Two Lunches, Snacks(on walk to Casa Piedra)(on walk out to road)One DinnerDinner for one night(Casa Piedra)On both sides of the mountain that are mainly used (I don't know about Plaza Francia) there are those who provide food for a price. These may include papas frita, omelettes, pizzas, different casserols and lasangnas. These can be a wonderful addition to ones diet and well being. But a word of caution. While I have had many a great meal and suffered no ill effects. Some people have come down with intestinal problems after partaking in some of these feasts. Basecamps are dirty places and while the food providers do their utmost to keep things sanitary slip ups do happen. These Food tents are usually available starting mid-Decemeber.Bon appetite
Here are some records from the Aconcagua.com web siteclick here
FIRST AscentFirst assent of Aconcagua was led by the English alpinist Edward Fitz Gerald, during the summer of 1897. Fitz Gerald's group acceded to the stony slope of the Northwest side of the mountain after following upstream the Horcones River. After several tries, the Swiss Mathias Zurbriggen reached alone the summit the 14 Th. of January, 1897. Followed a few days later by Nicholas Lanti and Stuart Vines, members of the same expedition, made the second climb following the same route.
FIRST ARGENTINE AscentLieutenant Nicholas Plantamura of the Argentine Army reached the summit the 8th of the 1934 in company of the Italian alpinists P Ceresa, P Ghiglione, R Chabod and the Chilean rancher Mariano Pasten. They climbed along the normal Route.
FIRST Ascent OF THE POLISH GLACIERIn March 1934, The Polish V. Otrowski, K Narkiewicz, S Daszinski and S Osiecki opened a new route to the summit along the beautiful Northeast Glacier, doing also the eighth assent of the mountain. Since then the glacier is called the Polish Glacier.
FIRST Ascent BY A WOMAN Adriana Bance from France, on the 7th of March, 1940, accompanied by Jorge Link from Germany and the members of del club Andinista Mendoza, Pablo Franke, P Etura, D López y J Semper.
FIRST Ascent OF THE SOUTH SURIt was done by the French Adrienne Bance, the 7th. of March 1940, in company of the German Lopez Link and Members of the Andinist Club of Mendoza, Pablo Franke, P Etura, D Lopez and J Semper
FIRST Ascent OF THE SOUTHERN SUMMITThe German T Koop an L Herold reached the Southern Summit of the Aconcagua in January 1947. They followed the Normal Route until the middle of the Canaleta , then they turned to the right (west).
FIRST WINTER Ascent By the normal Route the Argentines E Huerta, H Vasalla and F Godoy made the first winter climbing between September 11th and 15th of 1953.
FIRST CLIMB OF THE SOUTH WALL The very important first climb of international renown, was done by the French Paragot,Poulet,Dagory,Berandini,Lesseur and Denis. At the end of February 1954 they reached the summit after seven hard climbing days.
FIRST Ascent OF THE EAST GLACIER (ENGLISH GLACIER) February 1978 climbing in alpine style, the Argentines Vieiro (+) , Porcelana (+) and Jasson, opened a new route to the summit with important technical difficulties. It is called Argentine Route.
FIRST TRAVERSE FROM THE SOUTHERN TO NORTHERN SUMMIT. During the winter of 1980, the Catalans Serrat and Villena with a support team, reached the summit by the Polish Glacier. They used skis on the major part of the itinerary.
FIRST DESCENT IN A DELTA WING.The prestigious French alpinist J M Boivin Flew a double plaza delta wing with L Marchal, descending in 30 minutes to Plaza de Mulas. They climbed three times to the summit until the climatological conditions were acceptable for the flight. This was in January of 1981.
FIRST SOLO CLIMB OF THE SOUTH WALL.The French Ivan Girardini, in four days, following the French Route/54 and taking the Messner's variation, reached the summit in January of 1981 making this remarkable first.
FIRST WINTER CLIMB OF THE SOUTH WALL A Japanese expedition made this difficult and hard first assent in august 1981. Hasegawa reached alone the summit after choosing the Messner's exit.
FIRST FEMALE CLIMB OF THE SOUTH WALLThe northamerican Titonne Bouchard and her husband, following the French 54/ Messner Route climbed the South Wall, becoming the first woman in ascending this difficult face of the Mountain.
FIRST DESCENT IN PARAPENTE. The 11the of February of 1985, the Captain of the French Air force, A Steves, unfolded his light parapente about 200m below the summit. By catching ascending currents he went up about 20 meters above it. He arrived to Plaza de Mulas 25 minutes later.
FIRST LOCAL CLIMB OF THE SOUTH WALL. The Mendocinian D Alvarez, M Sanchez, D Rodriguez, the Colombian M Barrios and Alejandro Randis, reached the summit the 23 of February of 1986. The climbing was done in alpine style following the original French/54 route.
FIRST DESCENT OF THE SOUTH WALL WITHOUT USING ROPES.The strong Slovenian alpinist Slavko Sveticic descended in ten hours from Del Guanaco Col until Plaza Francia without carrying a rope. Previously he climbed with M Romic a new variation of the Southwest Ridge, making the first ascension of the Aconcagua's Pyramid (6000m) by the South Pillar. January 1988.
FIRST CLIMB OF THE WEST WALL.A team from Mendoza, brought together by Daniel Rodriguez, achieve the climbing of this wall in four days. The route goes through the center of the great wall of 2800m and end in the Southwest Ridge, very close to the Southern Summit. They survived some steep ice avalanches and difficult rock passages.
FLASH CLIMBS OF THE NORMAL ROUTE.
January 1987 L Cichy, Poland 9 hours
January 1987 Alejandro Randis, Argentina 8,7 hours
FIRST ASCENT OF THE TWO SUMMITS IN ONE DAY. The 6th of February of 1991, Alejandro Randis accomplished this climb of the two summits in one day departing from Plaza de Mulas and returning to the same place. Total Time, base camp +Southern summit + Northern summit + Base camp : 14 hours.
FIRST CLIMB OF THE POLISH GLACIER IN ONE DAYIn February 1992, the climber Miguel Lito Sanchez, From Mendoza, became the first alpinist to climb the Polish Glacier departing from Plaza de Mulas and returning to the same place ( by the normal route ) in the same day.
FIRST ASCENT OF THE "VIA DE LOS GUIAS MENDOCINOS" In February of 1994 R Gabrielli (last governer of The Province of Mendoza); A Lafalla (present governor of the Province of Mendoza); J. Guiaquinta; D. Alvarez; C. Santilli; D. Rodriguez; O Brusadin an Alejandro Randis opened a new Route that is situated at the right of the "Gran Acarreo".
Avoiding Altitude sickness
Tent at Camp 2
You should be prepared for the possible onset of altitude sickness. High altitudes are stressful on the body, and lack of oxygen up high can produce slightly debilitating effects, such as fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, nausea, and a drunken gait. Altitude sickness generally doesn’t occur below 10,000 feet, but people have suffered its symptoms lower than 8,000 feet.There’s not much you can do to prevent this problem, but there are ways of alleviating its effects. The key to doing this is simple: take it easy. Take a day or two before beginning the walk in to acclimatize yourself to the elevation. Go at your own pace, and don’t take chances. Even if you’re in excellent shape, don’t be fooled. The lack of oxygen at such high altitudes can definitely throw your lungs for a loop. Walk at a comfortable, slow pace and don’t carry too much weight. Make sure to hydrate yourself regularly, drinking 4 to 5 liters (nalgene bottles) of water per day; camelbacks can be mountain companions because of their convenient water portability. The only problem being keeping the nozzle clean, I find they can get gross and need constant cleaning. My self I attach a 1 litre Nalgene bottle to each side of my backpack so that I can reach them easily without removing my pack. Taking antioxidant vitamins (A, C, and E) also helps reduce the effects of high altitudes. Of course working out before you go is another great preventative measure. While this doesn’t guarantee an easier time when up high, it can enhance your lungs’ ability to cope with the challenges of high elevations.Try to spread out your ascent over a period of two or three days to give your body more time to adapt. Play by the “climb-high, sleep-low” theory of ascent: go on a short hike to a higher elevation, then return to the (lower) elevation at which you’ll sleep. Physical fitness, as mentioned above, is no guarantee against developing altitude sickness. Past excursions to high elevations without developing symptoms is similarly no guarantee against getting sick. There’s no way to predict who is more susceptible to altitude sickness although trekkers who overexert themselves, those who are panting or breathless, and those who stagger far behind the rest of the group are likely candidates.Surefire signs of impending illness include extreme fatigue, headache,loss of appetite, and shortness of breath. If you experience any of these symptoms, the best thing to do is take a break from climbing for a couple days to acclimatize. Once the symptoms disappear, it’s safe for you to continue. If the symptoms persist or get worse, you shoulddescend to a lower elevation.More serious levels of the illness include increasing tiredness, severe headaches, vomiting, and loss of coordination, and are indicative of acute mountain sickness (AMS). If such symptoms appear, don’t hesitate to get immediate medical attention. If serious symptoms go ignored for more than 12 hours, they could have dire--even fatal--effects, such as accumulation of fluid in the lungs or brain. The most important symptom of AMS is loss of coordination. If someone staggers or walks in a drunken gait, check them out for further signs of AMS. A good test is, essentially, the police’s test for drunkenness--ask the person to walk in a straight line, placing one foot directly in front of the other without staggering or losing balance. If the person cannot perform, he or she should descend immediately--and never alone. Go slowly and without exertion, and ideally while it’s light outside. The descent should continue until symptoms begin to decrease; relief usually occurs within 1,000 to 1,500 feet.There are prescription drugs out there that you can take for severe symptoms. The most common is called Diamox; it works by stimulating your breathing. Diamox is a strong medication and has some slight side effects, such as an annoying tingling in the fingers and toes. You will urinate more frequently so getting out of the tent at night in a storm could be a problem (if you don’t use a pee bottle). This will also nessisitate you drinking more fluids to compensate. Do not take more than prescribed (some people get really sick), while I avoid taking it, many people find it helps them. My suggestion would be to try it out at home before you head to altitude so you will get to know the symptoms and side effects beforehand. Then when you take them up high you will have a better understanding what it is that is making you feel this way.
Aconcagua from the north near Ramada
Partial Equipment list info:Here is a brief incomplete list for you. Minus the Climbing gear
2-pairs of shorts for the walk in
3-T-shirts for the walk in
2-bandanas or a sun hat to keep off the sun
Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen plus zinc
Good sturdy hiking shoes
1-sleeping bag (as warm as you can get)
1-sleeping pad (your choice the more comfortable you are the better you sleep the more energy you will have) you can get a Crazy Creek chair that goes with your pad this is a good investment.
2-expedition weight Patagonia long underwear tops (or 1 depends on how dirty you like to be)
1-expedition weight Patagonia long underwear bottom (or similar)
1 lightweight fleece bottom
1-heavy weight Patagonia or similar fleece jacket
1-Gortex shell jacket
1-Gortex shell pants (full length zippers)
1-Down filled jacket liner from Feathered Friends of Seattle, (optional but I always end up using it)
1-Downfilled Gortex guides Parka 1-Warm hat with ear flaps
2-pairs of heavy duty mittens (in case you lose one pair up high)
1-pair fleece gloves 1-pair ski gloves
1-pair of Koflach double plastic boots, One Sport (warmer)($$) or Asolo (I prefer Koflach, I find them more comfortable)
1-pair of gaitors
1-pair ski/trekking poles
1-ice axe (If you are doing the Normal route or Polish Traverse this will only be needed for digging level tent platforms. One per tent group would be sufficient)
1-pair of sharp crampons (test them on your boots before you leave and make sure they fit perfectly)
1-headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs
1-cup with spoon attached
1- stove of your choice (I use Markhill stormy hanging stone with Blueway cartridges, you can get fuel in Chile or Argentina as it is difficult to fly down) allow 10 canisters per 2-man tent. You can also get white gaz easily.
1-tent (you can bring two if you wish and leave one set up at base camp in case one of you has to stay down for any reason. food for 12-15 days. If in doubt go with less rather than more as your appetite will decrease at the higher camps. You can fo a price purchase food at basecamp after January 1st. 3-1-litre waterbottles each (drink at least 5 litres a day to help acclimitise)
Hotel NutibaraThe Hotel Nutibara in Mendoza is a good bet, you can find cheaper and more expensive but the pool is the best. 2005 rates below. They will allow you to store gear at the hotel and understand climbers needs (ie will help you get in touch with mule providers). Hotel Nutibara2005 HABITACION SINGLE DOBLE (Single-double room)ALTA ESTÁNDAR $ 110 $ 150 ($=Argentine Pesos, upper standard room)BAJA ESTANDAR $ 99 $ 135 ($=Argentine Pesos, lower standard room)ALTA MASTER $ 125 $ 170 ($=Argentine Pesos, upper double bed room)BAJA MASTER $ 112 $ 150 ($=Argentine Pesos, lower double bed room)2005 HABITACION SINGLE DOBLE (Single double room)ALTA ESTÁNDAR U$ 38 U$ 52 (Upper standard room US $)BAJA ESTANDAR U$ 34 U$ 47 (Lower standard room US $) ALTA MASTER U$ 43 U$ 59 (Upper double bed room US $)BAJA MASTER U$ 39 U$ 53 (Lower double bed room US $) I have included the Spanish because if you rent a room here or other places in Mendoza you will have to know these phrases to get what you want.The Hotel Asylen in Penitentes is another, the food is good and the price is reasonable. There is a hostel next door next to the gas station where the food is good and beds (bunkbeds) are cheaper but you could be 6 to a room.Hotel AconcaguaSan Lorenzo 545, Mendoza, ArgentinaHotel AconcaguaThis is a very nice hotel with lots of services. On the more expensive side.Park Hyatt MendozaFive star hotel. Formerly the Plaza Hotel. This amazing place combines the old grandure of Argentina with ultra modern facilities. Not a place to hang out for scruffy climbers. But if you like the finer things in life and can afford it. It is a beautiful hotel. (Especially if you have seen it before the renovations). Casino in the back for those inclined.Park Hyatt Mendoza5500 Mendoza, ArgentinaTel.: (54 261) 441-1234Fax: (54 261) 441-1235Mendoza Park HyattYouth Hostel "Campo Base"Campo Base946 Mitre, Mendoza, ArgentinaTel 0261-4290707email email@example.comMore HotelsHotel listThere are many budget hotels in Mendoza. Taxi drivers can be of assistance here. Let them know what you want to pay and they will take you to the corresponding hotel or hostel.
Climbing out of season
Re: Out of season climbingAuthor: Boris KrielenDate: Apr 17, 2002 08:35 AMHey William, I have climbed Aconcagua and reached the summit friday 29th of March 2002 during the Viento Blanco, the terrible snowstorm. As I was going to high camp, I was the only one in the park, quite an exclusive experience! After the summit, going down through the fresh snow was pretty cool, though routefinding becomes more difficult and danger of avalanche grows. Routefinding during the Viento Blanco is extremely hard. GPS can be a help. Local brochure has a list of waypoints. I didn't take a GPS. In advance, government people told me by e-mail to pay US$ 200 for the permit and US$ 70 more for several legal services and notary-papers. This turned out to be all nonsense. I paid 40 pesos at the entry of the park. Entering the park in high winter - June/September - might be more difficult though. Government and park officials indeed don't encourage this. Danger of avalanche is huge then. After 16th of March there are no mules available from Puente del Inca or Punta de Vacas. Mules are not allowed into the park between 16th of March and 15th of November. Outfitters bring the mules down to Mendoza for the wintertime. Therefore I was the mule myself, carrying 32 kilo's. That's the way a real solo-expedition should be like, I think. There are no wide rivers to pass on the normal route. On route to Plaza Argentina (Polish Glaciar) the river has to be passed at least twice. This could be a problem without mules. Until July, don't count on snowbridges to cross the rivers lower in the valley. Take a towel and light shoes! Thanks Boris
Aconcagua mount expeditions-Join us in our programmed expeditions with departures schedules via the normal route or via the Vacas Valley.-We also organize private expeditions to attend your needs (on dates and with services that you require)
Ice-X FoundationDutch climbing foundation, supported by very enthousiastic climbers. Seven Summits on our programm (just climbed Aconcagua end of March 2002 all solo and off-season). Lots of info and photos available. Site is in Dutch only yet. English version coming soon! All questions welcome!
Allpaka MountainAconcagua climbing expeditions and trekkings to South American Andes and patagonian ices. Allpaka Mountain.
Aconcagua Expeditions - Mendoza ArgentinaMOUNT ACONCAGUA (22.840 ft - 6.962 masl)Aconcagua Expeditions.com is the most complete website with information and services about Mount Aconcagua.Located at the foot of Mount Aconcagua, in Mendoza - Argentina, we provides you guided climbing and trekking expeditions to Aconcagua with all services by Normal Route or Polish Glacier Route. Our team of guides is highly experienced in Aconcagua climbing expedition. We can provide you complete logistic services in Aconcagua Park (equipment, mules, porters, international transfers, etc.)
Reto Marca 20066 professional sportsman/sportswoman of Spain with the great J.Oiarzabal searching the summit. Very good skechts of route, material,...(text in spanish)
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