Of the Seven Summits, Aconcagua is the second highest and one of the most technically straightforward to climb. Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Western and Southern Hemispheres at 6960 m (22,837 ft). It is located in the Andes mountain range, in the province of Mendoza, Argentina, and lies 112 kms (70 mi) northwest of its capital, the city of Mendoza. The summit is also located about 5 kms from San Juan Province and 15 kms from the international border with Chile. It is regarded as the highest trekking peak in the world and can be climbed by those without roped climbing experience.
Typically, crampons are required on summit day. All our equipment would be carried by mules to the Base Camp. Above the Base Camp we ascend gradually ferrying load to higher camps but sleeping at lower camps to increase acclimatization.
As with any mountain, there are numerous routes up Aconcagua. We'll be ascending up the Ameghino Valley & Upper Guanacos Valley Route. After the summit we'll return to our previously established High Camp, and then traverse the mountain and quickly descend the Normal Route. Irrespective of the route taken up the mountain, it is high altitude and extreme weather conditions that would challenge the climber going up Aconcagua's slopes.
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Day 01: Arrive Mendoza
Upon arrival in Mendoza, we are picked up at the airport and transferred to our hotel. After checking into your room, time is available to explore the city and its many beautiful parks, or simply relax. Afternoon or Evening there will be a team meeting at the hotel with your guides and an equipment check.
Day 02: Penitentes (2700m)
Get our permits at the Aconcagua Park Service office. Drive west from Mendoza to Penitentes ski area at 8500ft. Lunch stop in Uspallata on the way. Our drive winds along the Rio Mendoza deep into the heart of the rugged Andes Mountains, where we begin our acclimatization in Penitentes. Afternoon hike is recommended.
Day 03: Pampa de Leñas (2950m)
Over the next 3 days, we walk to base camp. We begin the route, which was established in 1934 by a Polish Expedition. Even today the eastern approach is not heavily travelled as the Normal Route. Our stopover for today is Pampa de Lenas(2950m)
Day 04: Casa de Piedra (3240m)
Today we hike a little further to Casa de Piedra at 3240m
Day 05: Plaza Argentina (4200m)
After three days of spectacular, colourful, high desert scenery we reach our Base Camp, Plaza Argentina at 13800ft. We would have hiked approximately 40 kms over 3 days to reach the Base Camp which immensely helps in acclimatizing.
Day 06: Plaza Argentina (4200m)
Rest and acclimatization day at Base Camp. Also, getting organized for climbing higher. To have the best chances for summit we need to acclimatize very well to the low oxygen levels. We will incorporate rest days in our schedule and climb in traditional expedition style. The way to do it is to carry loads to the next camp and return to sleep below at the previous camp. The next day we would move to the higher camp. This is an excellent method for acclimatization.
Day 07: Carry to Camp 1, sleep at Plaza Argentina (4200m)
Load ferry to Camp 1 at 5000m. The route goes up a gentle trail on the rocky moraine-covered Relinchos Glacier situated between Cerro Aconcagua and Cerro Ameghino. Here we will be able to see Nieve Penitentes, unique snow and ice formations created by the direct sun. Return to Base Camp.
Day 08: Rest at Base Camp (4200m)
Rest day at Base Camp
Day 09: Ascent to Camp 1 (5000m)
Leave Base Camp. Move to Camp 1. Also possible rest and acclimatization day in Base Camp, if needed.
Day 10: Carry to Camp 2, sleep at Camp 1 (5000m)
Load ferry to Camp 2 at 5500m. Fantastic view of the Polish Glacier. We ascend scree slopes to a broad ridge crest where we will establish Camp 2. This is an easy day, where we traverse from the saddle to the upper Guanacos, elevation gain is minimum. Today we reconnect with our Upper Guanacos Valley Route! After reaching the Ameghino saddle, a gentle traverse takes us to the Guanacos. Descend to Camp 1 for sleeping.
Day 11: Ascent to Camp 2(5500m)
Today we move to Camp 2. From Base Camp on, there might be changes to the itinerary as needed depending on weather, the group and acclimatization. The movement is kept pretty dynamic and a lot of factors go into deciding the next day’s schedule. The bottom-line is to get the whole group as well acclimatized as possible to the High altitude.
Day 12: Rest & acclimatise at Camp 2
Day 13: Carry to Camp 3, sleep at Camp 2(5500m)
Carry to Camp 3/High Camp. Descend to Camp 2.
Day 14: Ascent to Camp 3/ Camp Colera (6000m)
We ascent to Camp 3 from where we’ll make the summit attempt.
Day 15: Summit (6962m), Sleep at Camp 3
We have the next 3 days for a summit attempt. In case of poor weather we have 2 days of buffer. If bad weather continues we just descend after waiting 3 nights at the High Camp
Day 16: Reserve Day
Day 17: Reserve Day
Day 18: Plaza de Mulas (4260m)
After our summit attempt we descend through the Normal Route and not the one we ascended from. The normal route is on the west side of Aconcagua, all the way to Plaza de Mulas Base Camp.
Day 19: Return to Mendoza
Hike out the Horcones Valley with its impressive views of Aconcagua’s South Face with the gear carried by mules. We reach by afternoon at Penitentes and then head on to Mendoza. If reserve summit days are not used we might descend to Mendoza a day or two earlier.
Day 20: Fly Out!
Transfer to the Airport. Fly Out. Trip Ends!
MENDOZA TO MENDOZA
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of White Magic