Climbed to the summit via the Vacas valley route. We went up to regular camp1, then camp 3 of the Guanacos route, and finally to camp Colera. From there we did our summit. We left Base camp on January 5... So no days for acclimatazation, but it still worked fine!
My partner and I had excellent snow conditions on our trip. We found mellow kick-stepping up the low angle glacier which leads to a mellow rock step and a little flat walking to the summit. We spent seven hours round trip from camp 2. The Polish Direct is a lot of walking for an anticlimactic summit day, but still worth the trip.
I had very clear weather on summit day, but it was extremely cold. A very memorable experience.
Summitted with timfoltz. Almost no wind on top. We used an extra acclimation day at Nido. We did use an axe at Nido for chopping ice to melt! 11 days TH to TH.
Successful summit! We went up the false Polish and down the normal route. Circumnavigating the mountain was way worth it.
Summited from Nido and dropped back to Mulas that afternoon
Climbed the False Polish route instead of the Polish Direct after one of our climbing partners got HAPE. Make shure you take your time it is a easy mountain to run up and get hammered by the altitude!!!
me and my climbing parnter had a completly succesful summit on pretty perfect day. We summited in 7 days as we were already acclimatized from travelling in Bolivia. I very highly recomend a few weeks travelling in Bolivia to acclimatize and adjust to teh local bacterias of South America. I saw to many people sruggle with the altitude and getting sick. We climbed unsupported by guides nor mules and paid teh low season permit. Total cost of food, transport, permit = less than $200. It seems that people like to pay a lot of money for guides that wont neccesarily help them much. BUT if you get sick, GO DOWN. be conservative with the altitude
Went with Aymara. Found it quite cold compared to Nepal the month before.
Well... after a rough expedition (I was sick the whole time with what I called concrete boogies, which I guess can be common from all the mule/people crap and dust), and after being sedentary at high camp at 19,300ft. for 3 days... My lungs couldn't take any more... I had to get down. The rest of my group went up while I packed my stuff to go down. I had a great party with the locals at base camp:) which made up for my crappy luck on the mountain!!! All completed by a day of bouldering -which was super fun too:D
My friend Richard and I summitted in perfect weather. We couldn't have asked for better conditions. The trips was perfectly by an Argentinian company. I recommend the less trodden route up the Vacas valley and traversing the Polish glacier.
Listening to the New Year's countdown in about 10 different languages at Plaza Argentina put a smile on my face...
Fortunately poor weather had cleared by the time we reached base camp. Summit in almost perfect conditions (could have been a little less windy on ascent)
Three days hiking through the Vacas valley. Spent 3 days at Plaza de Argentia and did a carry to Camp 1. On day 7 of our trip, we moved to camp one...the wind was raging. A few days later we carried and then moved to camp two. Next day moved to camp 3 (White Rocks) at about 20,000 feet where we watched and waited for the weather to give us a break. It was relentless, lots of snow, and strong winds. After 3 days of misery at high camp we had to go down...no summit window ever opened. We dropped down the other side of the mountain to Plaza de Mulas and walked out to the trailhead via Confluencia the next day. Probably have to do this one again but I think I'll spend a week acclimating in Boliva before going to Argentina.
Polish Traverse Route
Climbed with dayhiker. His description below gives the details. Two other climbers (Scooter and Jyh) also climbed with us summitting shortly after we started down. Great trip and I like the fact that we didn't mess with Berlin and just went for the summit from Nido. After the summit I used the "escape route" for a quick scree descent back down to Nido. 9 hrs 15 mins to the summit from Nido, 1 hr 45 mins down. No view on top due to clouds but otherwise an excellent summit day.
To all you Euro climbers, please pack out your turds!
Started from Camp 2 at around 630am. Reached the summit almost 9 hrs later. Didn't stay more than 2 minutes on it, as bad weather was moving in. I climbed solo and was the last person on summit that day. In fact, I didn't see a soul, not even from distance, as descended back to camp in snow. Great trip. Was a part of Brad Marshall's 2006/2007 expedition. Special thanks to Brad and Sue for organizing the trip.
Climbed with Rick Kent and summitted about an hour later than that speedy guy. Our summit day was from Nido de Condores, which made for a very strenuous day. Here was my complete itinerary:
(02 January through 15 January, 2007)
Day 0: Mendoza, Argentina (2500 ft).
Day 1: Hike to Confluencia (11240 ft).
Day 2: Hike to Plaza de Mulas (14380 ft).
Day 3: Rest at Plaza de Mulas (14380 ft).
Day 4: Summit Cerro Bonete (16605 ft); sleep at Plaza de Mulas *(14380 ft).
Day 5: Rest at Plaza de Mulas (14380 ft).
Day 6: Carry gear to Nido de Condores (18300 ft), sleep at Plaza de Mulas (14380 ft).
Day 7: Rest at Plaza de Mulas (14380 ft).
Day 8: Move to Nido de Condores (18300 ft).
Day 9: Acclimatization hike to 20050 feet (first time above 20kft -- great views). Sleep at Nido de Condores (18300 ft).
Day 10: Rest at Nido de Condores (18300 ft).
Day 11: Summit (22841 ft). Leave for summit at 05:00. Ascent from Nido took me almost 10 hours. Canaleta scree scramble at 22000 feet is very strenuous for a big guy. Sleep at Nido de Condores (18300 ft).
Day 12: Descend to Plaza de Mulas (14380 ft).
Day 13: Hike out to trailhead and take Grajales shuttle bus to Mendoza (2500 ft).
We chose to have an itinerary that was different from the typical Normal-Route itinerary that usually includes a lower intermediate camp, such as Canada, and summitting from a higher camp, such as Berlin. We did this to avoid the huge pain in the ass of heavy carries and moving camps.
The major downside of our itinerary was the long summit day, with 4500 feet of gain. Spend some time around 20000 feet, and you'll see how what would take 3 hours at a lower elevation takes 10 hours here.
The advantage of our itinerary was that we spent six nights (prior to ascent) at base camp (Plaza de Mulas -- 14380 feet), where the elevation and temperatures allowed for good sleep. We were able to access high places to climb from Mulas during the day. Likewise, from Nido, we were able to acclimatize during the day on higher parts of the mountain, while avoiding sleeping at the camps above 19000 feet. We were also able to sleep at Nido for four consecutive nights, without the hassle of moving camp.
Cerro Aconcagua is the one mountain in the area whose surveyed elevation of 22841 feet seems correct. After seeing deviations between surveyed and GPS elevations for Cerro Bonete and Cerro Manso, I thought about the possibility of an error in the GPS's ellipsoid Earth model for that part of the world. But, on Cerro Aconcagua, my two GPSs read 22855 feet and 22850 feet, so their elevation readings agreed with that surveyed, as 22841 feet is within the precision of the devices.