It was a low snow year there this year. We used crampons only for the final 150 vertical feet; the windy crest had a dirt track right through the middle of it. The beginning of the season, and our trip was marked by a persistent lenticular and day after day of heavy winds, mainly from C2 up, but sometimes hammering as low as basecamp. Permit fees have gone up. Prices in Mendoza are generally lower, while mountain costs have stayed the same as in the last few years. Cheers to our Danish friends!
Summit by normal route. 5 hour of trek to get there...
My partner and I climbed the route from the trailhead at Puente Del inca in 9 days. Summit day started at 19,600 feet. Round trip took about 12 hours. The weather was great until around 2pm when "Viento Blanco" moved quickly in on us. We survived unharmed, but one French man was not so lucky.
Solo climb via the Vacas Valley. Retreated twice off Polish Direct in high winds/blowing snow. Traversed from C2 to Nido de Condores and descended via Plaza de Mulas.
Nice walk ! Very cold and windy, but made it without problems to the summit, except for cold feet and a dead guy on the way.
Spent 20 days on the mountain with Alpine Ascents. Quality outfit. Our summit window was tremendously windy and few parties made it. Great route for a strong hiker. Views really open up above 17,000 ft.
Unfortunaly I got sick at 6000 meters. We had to go back to base camp. Another try in december 2003 for sure.
William, Laurie, thanks for the Daimox, however I do not hope to use it again. Cheers Frank
Climbed from Nido to the summit with my partner Tony Munch. Thanx to the Guardaparque and everyone at Campo Base! You guys made our stay wonderful. Had a bit of snow but still a great climb. Bring your crampons for the Canaleta!
Climbed Aconcagua with Mountain Link.
Excellent time, wonderful guides, great group of climbers.
Summit day was cold and windy (that unrelenting wind!!) but not nearly as bad as I imagined. It was clear on the summit and the views spectacular, especially that of the South Face!! Tough climb due to the altitude and the weather conditions - NOT an easy walk up.
I was at the summit at 12:20, went down and came up again at 14:00 with Sarah and Mike. During this time we had beautiful weather at the summit, almost no wind. Much better than in the morning, strong cold storm at the traverse behind Independencia was the reason for a lot of people to turn around.
I reached the summit at 1530 on the 5th Jan in the most glorious weather - I was able to spend over an hour on the summit waiting for the other members of my group. Conditions were great for the whole trip with the only serious weather being the wind on the traverse to the Canaletta.
It was a very hard, 15hr, summit day. Make sure that you take enough warm kit - I saw a number of people have to turn back because they did not have the right gloves - what a waste after spending so much time and money!
All the other entries were lame so I decided to sign in. We acclimatized near Santiago at Valla Citos and did a new Route on Mt. Rincogn. I highly reccomend this to anyone rather than doing it on Aconcagua. Then we ran to the South face in 5 hours. We climbed had 3 ice screws, a few pins and nuts. We expected to climb it in three days but spent 6 nights out on the face. A bit of an epic due to the constant poor conditions, we nevertheless made the summit. It was the hardest thing I had ever done, a test of survival due to full conditions.
Well ! All I can say is that because of altitude sickness those were the worst days of my entire life. Yes, I reached the summit but I suffered too much.
We were lucky to have pleasant weather on summit day, although the previous week only 2 people had summitted due to bad storms. You just have to be lucky with the weather when it's your turn for summit day.
The normal route is technically easy, but much will power is needed for the duration of the expedition. The summit day is long and hard, the entry to the Canaleta is just as bad as the real thing. Keep your head down and persevere, just keep going, that's all you can do. The goal is enough to continue, as a bonus you're likely to be the highest person in the world when on the summit. Good luck to everyone...
RJ Secor and I flew to Mendoza in late February 98. RJ came to Aconcagua to obtain additional material for his 2nd Edition Aconcagua Guide and I went with him because I just got laid off and I never climbed down there. We came to climb the seldom attempted Ibanez-Marmillod Route but the horrible weather changed our plans completely. The El Nino was raging in South America that year and Aconcagua had horrible weather. After we aborted the Ibanez-Marmillod at about 6,000m, RJ went to take GPS measurements on the South Face approach and I climbed the Regular Route. Later the Park officials told us, that over 1,500 permits were issued in 1998. I was number 78 to summit.
We have guided the Poilish Direct and Polish Traverse. We have stood on the summit 5 times.
Drop us a line if you have any questions!
Had to pull back at White Rocks due to a bad storm.
I used Mountain Madness for a guide service. There were three of us in our group plus the guide. One guy got sick at Base Camp and had to go home. We made it to Berlin Camp. The weather was horrible. It snowed every day. I tried to summit but I was too beat. I threw in the towel and descended. I just ran out of energy.
Beautiful sunny day!