Aconcaqua 7 nights? maybe 5 Why wont

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Timpac05

 
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Aconcaqua 7 nights? maybe 5 Why wont

by Timpac05 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:57 am

Here is the plan:
Day one, march up to 13.500 to 14,500
Day two 18,000
Day Three 20,000
Day four Summit then back to !6,000
Day Five out

Two weather days.

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Timpac05

 
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Re: Aconcaqua 7 nights? maybe 5 Why won't this work

by Timpac05 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:12 am

Timpac05 wrote:Here is the plan:
Normal Route
Day one, march up to 13.500 to 14,500
Day two 18,000
Day Three 20,000 Leave tent?
Day four Summit then back to !6,000
Day Five out

Two weather days.


I spend a lot of time trail running 14ers in Colorado. Ran 6 of them over the last three day weekend, two a day. One of them had a 4 mile 14,000 foot ridge line that I ran. Felt great and would have done more if the weather permitted. Other trips in Colorado I have started at about 9000 with full gear skis and hiked up to 13500 on Day one and went on to climb and ski 10,000 vertical on the next two days.

The tallest peak I have been on is 14,439. Been up there many times on hikes, trail runs, skiing. Definitely less oxygen at 14,000 feet, but other wise I felt pretty normal.

The ONLY unknown and concern I have is that I have never been above 14, 439.

I would really like to just hike to 16000 on day one.

What am I over looking?

Tim

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asmrz

 
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Re: Aconcaqua 7 nights? maybe 5 Why wont

by asmrz » Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:12 pm

How do you feel in elevation (above 13,000') while staying there longer than two or three days? There is generally a lag before our bodies react to lack of oxygen.

From personal experience I feel that taking 5 days to get to 7,000 meters (more or less) is extremely ambitious. The body reacts more severely to elevations above cc 4,000 meters (13,000') than below.

What would be the reason to push this on your first try?

Would you acclimatize somewhere else before climbing Aconcagua?

I would think that going down to Argentina and not making the summit is much worse than testing your high altitude fitness while there. IMO, go climb the peak slowly, see how you do when that high, and adjust your thinking afterwards.

There is little to be gained by pushing your body when you are not quite sure how it will behave up there. You want to be safe, that is a must.

I'm sure there are other people here, who can chime on this.

Cheers and good luck, Alois.

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Sunny Buns

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Chelsey Berg

 
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Re: Aconcaqua 7 nights? maybe 5 Why wont

by Chelsey Berg » Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:12 pm

Hi Tim!

Are you coming from USA just to do Aconcagua? What kind of acclimatization routes do you have planned? Are you carrying all your equipment or using mules to Baseceamp then porters? How much weight will your backpack have?

The last couple years on Aconcagua have had complicated weather. I climbed this January and also have a couple friends who work as guides there and said it's been a trend. We used mules to basecamp (100% recommended ) and then carried all our own weight from there.

The issue is from start to Plaza de Mulas, it's over 20miles/38km. Not kidding, even if you use mules and carry a smaller backpack, it's not a good idea to go past Plaza de Mulas (14400ft) on your first day. Plus, my bets are, you won't want to either.

I had to push summit attack back 2 days for bad weather, and also, had white out storms 6 days in a row, which meant we had to open route each morning, which was tough with altitude and the weight. Albeit, going less days, you'll carry less food, but still the weight will be a factor if you're facing snow conditions.

If you've never been over 14000ish, I'd seriously give yourself more time. The people in the tent next me had never been over 18000 and they really had a hard time (and didn't summit). You don't know how your body will react so it's better to be safe than sorry! My partner didn't summit due to altitude issues, and we'd been doing prior acclimatization routes up to 18000ft.

My partner and I went on a long schedule, because we wanted to see all of the park (it's gorgeous!!). That means we took 2 extra days to detour to Plaza Francia, 1 extra to do Cerro Bonete and a rest day since that's what every suggested to us (and I think was very valuable). That said, including 2 bad weather days where we portered stuff to buy time/carry less weight, I summitted day 11 and was out of the park day 13. Here's my schedule which I detailed pretty well: http://www.findingthenorth.com/aconcagua-normal-route/

If you need to cut it shorter, best scenario would be straight to Plaza de Mulas, give yourself a rest day, then Camp 1, Camp 2, Camp 3, summit/Plaza de Mulas, out. Plus 2 bad weather days/wiggle room if you're tired. If just so highly depends on your weather and snow. I have friends who did it in 7 days (no bad weather) but they were doing acclimatization routes to 20,000ft with 45lb backpacks for about a month leading up.

Also, just as a note, it's a gorgeous park and if you can take a little bit more time, do it. If you give yourself the time, you should be able to summit... and your eyes and camera will be grateful too :)

Let me know any other questions, happy to help!!
Chelsey

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Re: Aconcaqua 7 nights? maybe 5 Why wont

by ExcitableBoy » Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:36 am

I doubt that just because you have run a few 14,000 foot hills in Colorado that you would be able to climb Aconcogua as quickly as you suggest.

I've climbed Mt. Rainier in under 24 hours house to house many times with no ill effects. On Denali, however, I spent 5 days before moving to the 14K camp and still experienced mild altitude problems like Chaines-Stokes breathing, head ache, lethargy etc. The point is, when you climb to 14K and back down very quickly you are out running altitude sickness. As asmz points out, above 14K altitude related problems become much more likely and more serious.

Moreover, you should allot for bad weather days. You may get pinned down at one of the lower camps and become unable to move up or down. Also, you are spending what I would consider to be a fair bit of money to travel to Aconcogua, why not take more time to enjoy the trip, not to mention greatly increase your odds of summiting.

If you don't have more than a week to take a holiday, maybe you should go to the Alps, which are more accessible. I've tried to cram big trips into short vacations and it never went well.

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Sunny Buns

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Re: Aconcaqua 7 nights? maybe 5 Why wont

by Sunny Buns » Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:26 am

I would really like to just hike to 16000 on day one.

What am I over looking?


Aconcagua is over 8,000' higher than you've ever been. Your acclimatization will help a lot, but may not help you higher up. In general, the faster you go up, the more likely you are to have problems.

At what elevation have you been sleeping when doing Colorado climbs? That may be one thing you are overlooking. Plaza de Mulas basecamp (14,500') is higher than you have been to date, and you'll be sleeping there after a dehydrating hike of ~20 miles with ~5,000' gain.

Have you overlooked pictures of the Aconcagua cemetery? :shock:

I agree with ExcitableBoy and others above.

If you don't have a family that depends on you to keep a roof over their heads and food on their table, then your plan may be fine - go down and race to the top, except do sleep at BC the first night (14,500') to see how you feel the next day.

If you do have family that depends on you, make sure your life insurance has been in effect for at least 2 years so it is incontestable and will pay off if you earn a Darwin Award on your trip! :)

However you do it, have fun. It's worth taking a right turn before you get to Confluencia and hiking to where you can get good views of the south face of Aconcagua - a 9 or 10K foot vertical face.

Before you go, research altitude sickness and how to prevent it. Here's one link - lots more on the internet:
http://www.altitude.org/altitude_sickness.php

This book would probably be good for you to read. Based on one review, it may be helpful if you number the pages and add page numbers to the table of contents:
https://www.amazon.com/Altitude-Illness ... e+sickness


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