Elevation: 6962 m | 22 841 ft
Co-ordinates: 32°39’20″S 70°00’57″W
Dates: 7-25th Jan 2013 | 5-25 Jan 2014
The journey to the top of Aconcagua, the second-highest of the Seven Summits, and the highest point in the Southern Hemisphere, is considered a technically easy climb from the north. The first recorded ascent of this Andes peak, the highest mountain outside Asia, was by Matthias Zurbriggen in 1897.
Day 1: Mendoza
We arrive in Mendoza and, after settling in at the hotel, we will meet the staff and do last-minute shopping.
Day 2: Penitentes (2700 metres)
Travel to Penitentes by van. Organise the next day’s loads.
Day 3: Confluencia (3500 metres)
We drive to Horcones Lake, then trek up to Confluencia and set up camp.
Day 4: San Valentin
Today is for acclimatisation. We will climb up to San Valentin (3800 metres).
Day 5: Plaza Francia (4200 metres)
We trek up to Plaza Argentina. This is at the base of Aconcagua’s south wall with fantastic views!
Trek: 5 hours
Day 6: Plaza de Mulas, Base Camp (4250 metres)
Today we trek into Plaza de Mulas, where we will set up our Base Camp. This is an important acclimatisation day.
Trek: 8–9 hours
Day 7: Rest day
Today is a chance to freshen up and get to know Base Camp.
Day 8: Acclimatisation day
We divide up expedition loads and do a carry up to Camp 1 and Camp 2.
Day 9: Rest day
We prepare to leave for Camp 1.
Day 10: Plaza Canada (4900 metres)
Today we move from Base Camp to Camp 1, Plaza Canada.
Day 11: Nido de Condores (5400 metres)
We ascend to Camp 2 and enjoy the spectacular views.
Trek: 5 hours
Day 12: Acclimatisation climb
We do an acclimatisation and equipment carry to Camp 3 at 6000 metres, and back again.
Day 13: Colera (6000 metres)
Today we climb up to Camp 3, on the North Ridge, and spend the night.
Day 14: Summit (6962 metres)
We leave at 5 am, meet the sunrise at Independencia Refuge (6500 metres), and continue to the summit to savour the feeling of attainment, and the incredible views.
Day 15 & 16: Spare days
Incase bad weather stops us from summitting on day 14, these are spare days, otherwise we descend to Base Camp, Plaza de Mulas.
Day 17: Plaza de Mulas
We return to Base Camp and scrub up for our celebration dinner.
Day 18: Mendoza
We descend to Penitentes from where we will be transported back to Mendoza City.
Day 19: Airport
We set off for home with a great feeling and good friends!
The route you wish to climb will determine the rate and these will vary between
US$ 3995 and US$ 4595 .
Included in the cost
- Professional local guides and a western leader/facilitator
- Transportation to and from the airport
- Assistance to obtain Provincial Park entrance permits in Mendoza
- Transportation in a private vehicle to and from the base of the mountain
- Two nights hotel accommodation in Mendoza on a bed and breakfast basis (twin beds sharing)
- Accommodation in a hotel in Penitentes
- High quality tents in Base Camp and on other parts of the mountain
- All meals in Penitentes and on the mountain
- Welcome dinner in Mendoza
- Mules to carry 30kg of your personal gear into and out of Base Camp
- Dome Dining tent in Base Camp
- Sleeping mats in tents in Base Camp
- Toilet facilities in Base Camp and showers available at a small fee
- Supervision of gear left in Base Camp while you are higher on the mountain
- Internet access in Base Camp (at a small fee), a satellite phone for emergency calls and VHF radios for higher up on the mountain
- Celebration dinner back in Mendoza
- International airfare and departure taxes
- Visa costs
- Items of a personal nature – personal gear, telephone calls, laundry etc
- Staff/guide gratuities
- Lunches in Mendoza and Uspallata
- Alcohol, soft drinks and mineral water
- Personal medical expenses, medical and evacuation insurance
- Any costs arising from flight cancellation/delays, political disturbance or natural disaster
- Extra hotel nights
- Personal porters
- Provincial Park fee
Climbing Aconcagua is very strenuous but does not require that you have any previous technical mountaineering experience; only that you be in good physical condition and be able to hike for 4-9 hours over hilly terrain with a light day pack lower on the mountain and a heavy pack (up to 20kgs) higher on the mountain . The summit push is a long day and the ascent and decent can take as long as 16 hours.
Adaptation to altitude requires attention to regulated height gains and timing parameters. Our itinerary has been tailored to ensure this and incremental height gains are interspersed with rest/acclimatization days. Your acclimatization progress will be carefully monitored by your experienced Guides and Western Leader on an ongoing basis.
Adventures Global will provide a comprehensive medical aid kit which will cater for the majority of ailments. However, we strongly recommend that you bring your own personal kit which should include antibiotics for stomach and respiratory tract infections. A yellow fever inoculation and certificate is not compulsory in Argentina, but highly recommended.
Rescue and Travel Insurance
Whilst most climbers may experience some minor ill-effects of high altitude, those with persistent symptoms will be required to return to lower altitudes or in severe instances require emergency evacuation.
All climbers are thus required to have travel insurance which includes emergency rescue and evacuation cover. Should you be unable to arrange cover locally, you can secure cover on the internet at www.ihi.com
Based on your passport, you may require a visa to enter Argentina. Please check with your local travel agent what your specific requirements are. Please bring at least 4 passport sized colour photos for your climbing permit.
You will be staying at a charming hotel in Mendoza on a B&B basis, twin beds sharing. Single rooms can be arranged (depending on availability) at a $75 surcharge .Two nights hotel accommodation in Argentina are included in the package. Should you require extra nights please inform us soonest so we can secure the booking. Accommodation on the mountain will be in two-man tents sharing and ground sheets and sleeping mats will be provided in Base Camp. Please make sure you have your own thermarest/sleeping mat for higher on the mountain.
Food and Drinks
Drink bottled water in Argentina. Don’t drink tap water or stream water anywhere on the trail. Stick to bottled water, soft drinks or water that has been purified by our staff, who will use a purification pump and boiling.
A recommended gear list is available on request. The bulk of your gear (30kg max.) will be carried by the mules in duffel bags (strong & waterproof) up to Base Camp and you will only need to carry a daypack which will contain your water supply, waterproofs, fleece, camera equipment etc – usually about 5kg. You will carry heavier loads above Base Camp as we set up the higher camps.
Staff and Leadership
The climb will be led by an experienced Western leader who has climbed Aconcagua many times and has summited other mountains elsewhere in the world. He will be assisted by a main guide who has intimate knowledge of the local surroundings, conditions and culture. An additional guide will manage support staff and deal with the setting up of camps and food issues. We will make use of porters for some of the communal load carries.
There will be internet access at a small fee in Base Camp and a satellite phone will be available throughout the duration of the climb for international calls in the event of an emergency. Guides will use hand-held radios to communicate with each other whilst on the climb.
You can use either cash or a credit card for your expenses in Argentina. US dollars are the most acceptable, though banks and moneychangers are also happy with pounds sterling, Australian dollars and most European currencies. There are numerous moneychangers and banks in Mendoza. Whilst on the mountain you do not need to carry money, unless you want to buy a beer, a glass of wine or a soft drink in Base Camp.
Adventures Global supports tipping staff, porters and guides on Aconcagua. It is customary that each climber makes a contribution toward staff gratuities. Staff are hard working and loyal and gratuities serve as recognition of a job well done and are accepted with humility and honour. Gratuities are pooled and distributed to individual staff members depending on their responsibilities and duration of employment. Gratuities will be co-ordinated by the Western Leader – please budget for an amount of not more than $150.
Ice axe with leash
Crampon rubber protectors
Double plastic boots/ Double-layered Mountaineering boots
Spare boot laces for trekking boots (optional)
Expedition socks x3
Trekking socks x3
Liner socks x4
Toe warmers (optional)
Trekking pants x2
Thermal underwear – tops & bottoms x2
Long-sleeved trekking shirts x2
Short-sleeved technical shirts x2
Soft shell jacket
Hard shell jacket
Polartec longs x2
Polartec long-sleeved tops x2
Polartec gloves x2
Silk glove liners x2
Hand warmers (optional)
Neoprene facemask – optional
Woollen hat / beanie
Woollen scarf / Buff
Head torch – plus spare batteries
Goggles – 100% UV & IR
Sun glasses – with side covers
Nose guard (optional)
Expedition backpack – 80 litre
Trekking backpack – 50 litre
Sleeping bag – minus 25˚C
Sleeping bag liner x1
Closed cell foam pad
Pillow / cushion
Thermos flask x2
Knife, fork, spoon
Water-bottles with insulation x2
Large karrimor plastic bags x2
Medium karrimor plastic bags x4
Pee bottle / funnel
Zip-lock bags x10
Sunscreen – maximum SPF
Protective cream for lips – maximum SPF
Large waterproof duffel bags x2
Shorts & t-shirts
Mobile phone & charger
Passport & travel documents
Passport photos for permits
Certified copies of all travel documentation
Currency / credit cards
Pens & pencils
Reading glasses – optional
Clean clothes for travelling home
Personal First Aid Kit
Drugs / Medication / Prescriptions
Preparation for a successful climb
This training information is intended as a guideline and should be used as such. If you are unsure about anything, please communicate with me individually, but most important of all, before you embark on any exercise program, please consult your doctor or exercise physiologist to make sure that you are ready for the increased work load. A focused training program should begin 3 – 4 months before the expedition, but working on your base fitness before that is important as it lays a good foundation for the harder work that will follow.
Climbing big mountains requires cardiovascular endurance (via aerobic training), strength endurance (through strength conditioning) and climbing-specific training (i.e. hiking with a pack). Being in strong physical shape is one of the most important aspects for a successful climb of Aconcagua. During your training, you should be planning to progressively increase your aerobic training and speed of weekly training hikes to give you climbing-specific conditioning that cannot be matched by any other sort of training.
Suggested activities include running, cycling, mountain biking, swimming, walking on an inclined treadmill, doing stair stepping or stepmill training, trail running, walking up and down hills or participating in step aerobic classes. When first beginning a cardiovascular training program, begin with three workouts (i.e,. Monday, Wednesday and Friday) of 30 minutes of sustained activity at a moderate intensity, and build up to 4-5 aerobic sessions of sustained effort for at least 45 – 60 minutes (taking Wednesday and Sunday as rest days, for example).
Be sure to include a 5-10 minute gentle warm-up before working at your target heart rate for the day. For most workouts, choose a level of exertion that allows you to connect a few words together in a phrase, but leaves you feeling comfortably tired at the end of the workout. Remember to cool down with 5-10 minutes of appropriate stretching of the muscles you use most in your activity, including lower back, calves, hamstrings, hips and quadriceps.
Training with weights, backpacks and gym machines will help you build overall strength, particularly in the
lower back, abdominals, upper back, shoulders and legs. Developing strength in your upper back and
shoulders will help with carrying a pack and using trekking poles. The calves, hips, quads, hamstrings and glutes are all involved in ascending and descending steep sections and scree slopes, which will be
encountered on Aconcagua. Before embarking on any weight training, please consult with a qualified gym instructor so that you are well briefed in terms of using the equipment. Most important in strength training is to be sure that you maintain proper form at all times in order to prevent injury or strain.
This involves hiking steep outdoor trails, going up and down stairs or training on an inclined treadmill. In
the months leading up to the expedition, it would be important to do some long walks in the mountains.
Remember our summit day is likely to be 15 – 18 hours long, involving steep inclines and descents. On
our summit push, we will ascend about 1000 vertical metres and descend about 1000 vertical metres the
Remember: All of your training is geared towards giving you the strength and endurance to stand on the roof of the South American Continent and successfully get down again.