Peak Freak and I had intended to take the Polish traverse route, but Plaza Argentina was not open yet due to an avalanche along the mule trail. So the Normal Route was the only viable option for us.
It took 10 hours to summit from high camp at Colera (5850 meters), and 3 hours to return to camp.
I met several new friends from SP during the trip. Corax, Nadios and their team from Sweden summited on the same day as I did. (What a great group of people!). Tom and Jim from Denver also made their summit bid on the same day. And of course, my climbing partner Peak Freak. Thanks for the comradery! Thanks also to Ken from Texas for providing us with additional fuel at high camp following his successful summit attempt and descent.
Had a great experience. Was very lucky with weather and only had one day of snow when at high camp at 19,000. Summit day was perfect with no wind, it was actually to hot for me. It is sad to see people do stupid things on a mountain.They end up getting hurt, or worse. This also puts the climbers around them who end up helping at risk.
I climbed with Aymara, a great local company. The Polish Traverse route is a beauty, not too crowded compared with the Normal route. Only 2 camps instead of 3 for the Normal, so a little bit more difficult but very enjoyable. Summit day was a 14 hours day, not too cold (-10c) but windy. Great expedition.
Summit reached with a french commercial expedition led by Patrick Behrault and Michel Cormier Jnuary 23rd 1993.
We used the wild (and less frequented) vacas route up and down, one of us making with Patrick the polish glacier.
We encountered 3 days of viento blanco before our final summit push.
Long walk up in high altitudes. At this time there was a lot of snow in the canaletta which made the last meters easier than usual. -5°C and nearly no wind on the top. Great views of south summit and south face.
One of the First Brazilians to summit during WINTER Season
Nice day for the summit. Amazing feeling, but legs were very lactic. Involved in a taxing rescue of a texan climber who came down with cerebral oedema. Park doctors tried to pass him off onto us (not very impressed with this). He was helicoptered out and went into coma we were told. Crap end to an amazing experience. Very little snow around and mid day temps ran the streams piss yellow. Nido very windy, but higher up things were relatively calmer. Heading back in September to hopefully make the first Irish winter ascent of the mountain. I'll post again with the details.
Climbed with Nathan. The 3 day approach through the Vacas valley was hot and dry. Met a french girl just below base camp carrying a humungous pack with a tea kettle strapped to it. Ran into her boy friend lounging on a rock further up the trail with a considerably smaller pack. Base camp wasn't crowded as it was early. Weather remained great and camp 1 at 16K was beach weather during the day. The carry to camp 2 at the base of the Polish glacier saw continued good weather with little or no wind. Everything changed once we moved to camp 2. Two French Canadiens played ice hockey on a frozen pond on the glaicer. After 3 days of snow we descended to BC which was now a zoo with arriving and descending climbers. Spent the next 2 weeks traveling in Argentina. Patagonia and the Lakes region are a must for anyone that enjoys the out doors. Will return.
Much snow, but wunderful. Tired and satisfied. The best trip i made. Reach the summit with 4 other climbers, a argentinian and a german guide.
THIS WAS AN INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE!!
Summitted with my friend Marco after being just 15 days in the Andes, on a perfect day. Had lots of snow, which made the scene even more beautifaul. The normal route is indeed a walk up, but the last 300 meters through the canaleta are quite steep: 40 degrees. Don't underestimate it, you have to wotk there!
Many pics of my expedition at: www.climbingtours.net
After a failed attempt on the normal route a few years ago this year the weather holds and we summit 11 days after we left Mendoza. Two nights at 5900m without a tent (we lost our high camp tent during a base-camp rest day - you know, it can be a bit windy on Aconcagua...) add to an alltogether exciting adventure.
this was an incredible experience.
we had 11 days of perfect weather and conditions.
it was a 12 hour climb from camp 2 to the ridge and
an hour on the ridge to the summit. quite demanding.
being well acclimitized from a few weeks and bunch
of summits in ecuador was way helpful.
Aron and I summitted at 5:10pm after 10 hours of climbing the Polish Glacier Direct. Very taxing and physcially demanding route but worth every bit of effort! Luggage delays in Mendoza forced us to acend the mountain in 7 days total with three days for the descent. Trip report for our climb is posted here on SP.
Summitted on the 1st of February in beautiful, nearly calm conditions. This in stark contrast to the intense winds encountered during the previous days at camp one above Plaza Argentina. Descent via Plaza de Mulas was grim - it´s difficult to understand why anyone would choose to ascend the normal route, subjecting themselves to the mind-numbing slog up that terrible, neverending scree slope.
I never even attempted the summit of Aconcagua as I felt dizzy most mornings at the Plaza Argentina basecamp (4200 meters or 13,780 feet). My cervical arthritis flared up and a pinched nerve kept me dizzy most of the time. Even though I did acclimitize well as far as my blood oxygen saturation (%SpO2) was concerned (measured typically 85% to 87%), I never felt 100% good. During my 6 nights stay there at basecamp, I frequently visited the basecamp medical doctor who advised me I was well acclimitized and could ascend higher but was not sure how my cervical arthritis/pinched nerve would react up higher. So, after much debating with myself, I (along with my partner, mdostby) made the difficult decision to end our expedition on Monday, February 7, 2005. Such a difficult decision it was as we have put considerable time, money and effort into our expedition. I thought that by sleeping at higher altitudes I could develop cerebral edema. Mike and I now both feel we made the right decision. "Miguel, your health is first and above everything else," Mike kept telling me. I am very grateful to Mike Ostby (who felt fine all the time) for staying together as a team. I'm very disappointed yes, but I'm safe . Any climber with common sense knows when to turn around and descend. While at high altitudes, making the right decision can be the difference between life and death. On Monday, February 7th,I day hiked to 16,610 ft (a bit beyond Camp 1), and then on Tuesday, February 8th, I day hiked Ibanez Col and walked past it to get a closer view of the South Wall of Aconcagua (from 16,650 ft) and the Lower Horcones Glacier that goes to Plaza Francia.
Cold and tired. 3 days at 5900 is not good for your body. Didn´t summit, but it was worth every step until our turnaround.
Start at 07:15 from Nido De Condores. Quite cold and a bit windy. Arrived at the summit at 16:20. Spent half an hour there. Beautiful views! Back in Nido at 19:30.
Finally got to the summit on my third attempt in 10 months. First attempt failed in bad weather / lack of extra days at Plaza Canada. Second failed at Camp Berlin. Ascended to fast and got slight altitude sickness in Berlin. Descended in 25-30 below snowstorm. Went back to Mendoza and left again the next day for another try. Got to the summit from Nido de Condores.
Great climb! The right side of the Canaleta was covered in snow which made the last 1.5 hours fairly easy. Summitted at 1:56pm on 12/12/04 - 5 minutes on the top was all I got!
Human powered sea-level to summit, and solo
What better way to experience the Andes of Argentina, Chile and Bolivia than to weave though them by mountain bike? Chris Goulet not only hauls along three weeks of supplies through remote high passes, but also his entire high-altitude mountaineering gear and reaches the summit of Cerro Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas, and solos Nevado Ojos del Salado, the loftiest active volcano on Earth. Unsponsored and without outside support, he cycles on through surreal landscapes in absolute desert and across vast salt flats. Lots of difficulties await in the steaming tropical rainforest.
His unique equipment and techniques allow dreams to unfold. This account takes you though the epic with the emotions of an explorer: fascination, determination, anxiety, and with the bonus of exhilarating freedom.
On-line trip report posted at: