La Mano seen from the Polish traverse on Aconcagua
This is another mountain just north of Aconcagua that is rarely climbed. This is a very striking peak that resembles Alpamayo in shape. Due to its location this 5,500 metre peak can pose logistic problems. The approach would be the same as doing the Polish glacier on Aconcagua but instead of turning left up the Relinchos you would keep going all the way up to the end Vacas valley till you reach the Vacas glacier. Here you would have to find a route up through the glacier or literally find another way through Porto del Tigre or Indio Pass. Once above and on top the glacier. You will see the peak completely from the southeast.
from Corax Date: Feb 05, 2005 4:23 PM
According to a guide in the Aconcagua area, La Mano has only been climbed 6 times. An additional disputed 7'th ascent claim has been made. The peak is by its easiest route a TD, also according to the same guide.
From FabienenCordoba July 2008
Central couloir climbed in 2008, AD+!
Two argentine climbers went up the Canal Central on La Mano and the information is available here (in Spanish):. It seems the canal is <50° with some 4/4+ (French rock grades) at the exit. That would be AD+... It is really unfortunate that the access to the area through the alto rio Vacas is closed now.
Fly to either Santiago (Chile) then Mendoza (Argentina). Or Buenos Aires then Mendoza. Take the bus to Penetentes. The entrance to the National Park is at the Vacas Valley near Penetentes (For the Polish Glacier, Polish Traverse and Vacas routes on Aconcagua). You would continue on up the Vacas valley to access this peak. Special permission may be needed. You would get the necessary info and permission at the Aconcagua Permit office.
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$ U.S. tax Chile imposes on Americans. 45$ for Canadians and other nationalities.
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.
For flights try.
Aerolineas Argentinas - USA - Home Page
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.
A steak dinner with wine can cost $6.00 USD. Check out and compare the rate at the airport, your hotel and the various Cambios on San Martin. They are all about the same. See if your hotel will give you a better room rate depending on what currency you will be paying in. Some hotels and stores offer better rates if you pay in cash as opposed to using credit cards. When changing money in most cases you will be asked for your passport so keep it handy. There is a lot of suspision of counterfit bills especially 100 US. Try to bring down bills that are as new as possible. Older scruffy ones can and will be rejected.
The Vacas glacier
Unfortunately the access to the area through the alto rio Vacas is closed now.
Should it reopen the information below may apply.
For entering ACONCAGUA PROVINCIAL PARK, you have obtain a permit. I would suspect that climbing La Mano would cost the same as if you were doing Aconcagua. This is something that you would have to discuss with the Rangers at the permit office. Due to its location near the border with Chile and the fact that it is off the beaten track expecting a rescue may be difficult.
The form-filling has to be carried out personally.
Permits 09/09/05 information gathered from
Rudy Parras web site
To enter ACONCAGUA PROVINCIAL PARK, you have obtain a permit.
You have to fill out the forms personally. Permits are sold EXCLUSIVELY at
SUBSECRETARÍA DE TURISMO på San Martín 1143. Close to Plaza Independencia. Most cabs know where this is.
A change this year is that when you apply for your permit in mendoza you must get a ´banking slip´ from the park office, then go to a bank to pay your permit fee. the bank will stamp this slip & then you return to the park office again to get your ´climbing permit´. the whole process takes a couple of hours now, probably a lot more with high season line ups
From 15th December of year 2005 to 31st January 2006, a permit costs:
Climbing USD$ 330 20 days
Long Trekking USD$ 60 7 days
Short Trekking USD$ 40 3 days
MEDIUM SEASON: From December 1st to December 14th, 2005, and from February 1st to February 20th, 2005 a permit costs:
Climbing USD$ 220 20 days
Long Trekking USD$ 50 7 days
Short Trekking USD$ 30 3 days
LOW SEASON: From November 15th to November 30th and from February 21st to March 15th of each year: 2005 - 2006
Climbing USD$ 110 20 days
Long Trekking USD$ 50 7 days
Short Trekking USD$ 30 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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
CLIMBING 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.
Permits are valid from the date of entry to the Park
Argentine citizens are entitled to a 50% discount on the above prices.
Here is a Map of the City of Mendoza Mendoza map
Out the season or after the 16th of March and until November 14th, access to the Aconcagua Park now costs as much as the high season. It is recommended to contact the authorities of the Aconcagua Provincial Park for out of season climbing
Note on out of season climbs
Author: Boris Krielen
Date: Apr 17, 2002 05:57 AM
Be sure you have a good insurance, because the rangers will start to look for you if you don't show up after 21 days (normal permit-time). This can be expensive and they will charge you all the costs.
Beginning June weather becomes more serious and lots of snow - several meters! - can be expected.
When To Climb and guided trips
Possible routeSame as Aconcagua December to beginning of March January and February being the best weather.
AEA Expeditions now offers a trip: see their web site for details. Thanks to Corax for this information.
La Mano Expedition
EquipmentEquipment list info:
Here is a brief list for you. This is approximately what to take.
1-pair of shorts for the walk in
2-pair t-shirts for the walk in
2-bandanas or a sun hat too 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
1 lightweight fleese bottom
1-heavy weight Patagonia or similar fleese 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-pair of heavy duty mittens (in case you lose one pair up high)
1-pair fleese gloves 1-pair ski gloves
1-pair of Koflach double plastic boots, One Sport (warmer)($$$) or Asolo
1-pair of gaitors
1-pair ski poles
1-ice axe (mostly for digging tent platforms)
1-pair of sharp crampons (test them on your boots before you leave and make sure they fit perfectly)
1-headlamp with extra batteries
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. Second stove can be usefull to leave at basecamp. Also as a backup should one fail.
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. (drink at least 5 litres a day to help acclimitise)
Ice climbing gear
Mountain ConditionsHere is how it can go. You can alter as you go depending on how you feel.
Day one- Pampa laina
Day two- Casa Piedra
Day three- Base of Porto del Indio
Day four- Rest
Day five- Find route up over the glacier
Day six- Carry up over the glacier
Day seven- Rest
Day eight- Cross the glacier and find a good base camp
Day nine- Rest
Day ten- This peak looks to be an ice climb so from here how much time it will take will depend on the route you find and pick and your own speed and ablity
Day eleven-through ? seventeen. climbing
Day eighteen- clean up basecamp
Day nineteen- descend through the glacier and meet your mules at the base of Porto del Indio in the Vacas valley.
Day twenty walk out to the road. Have your pick up scheduled in advance and confirm it if possible by radios. Radios are a must here as you will be on you own once you pass Pampa lena. You can the arrange for mules to carry your gear out to Penetentes. You can also arrange for a pickup at the road. 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.