My friend Chris Umphres and I failed to summit via the normal route. Because we nelgeted to bring crampons and ice axes, we had no hope against an iced-choked caneleta. Our overall experience on the mountain was generally unpleasant. Every camp site was crowded and the scree was a nightmare. The views, particularly the sunsets and colorful mountains were quite nice, however. The water at Confluencia, as well as the snow at Nido, have unusually high amounts of magnesium. This is a natural laxative. We didn't use Mules on the approach or take much time to acclimate. Hence we were exhausted before we even really started. It was a total suffer-fest. When somebody mentioned surfing in Uruguay- we packed up and got the hell out of there...
expedition climb with german organization adventure train. We had very good conditions with possible use of crampons on the upper 1000m. Because we feared stormy weather on the following days we startet the summit climb at Nido de Condores Camp. It took me 8h to the summit where I stayed more than 3 hours with almost no winds. Great experience!
I invite you to take a look at my picture trip report
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!