Aconcagua Argentina – Never Give Up Your Dreams

Starting from camp 2, climb obliquely to the left (direction East), until you reach the glacier. It is climbed directly to the right of it (orography left), slopes of 30 to 35 degrees. Then the glacier begins to gradually rise until it reaches a maximum inclination of 45 to 48 degrees, around 6,450 – 6,550 meters. Here you cross the “bottleneck” and continue straight up, while the Aconcagua 360 Route slope decreases slightly. Finally, the edge that limits the south wall is reached. Here the inclination decreases very noticeably and it is possible to walk in the snow. The descent can be done by the same route or by the normal route, the latter being the most advisable and fastest option.

The descent along the normal route is developed first by the “canaleta”, then to the north in a traverse crossing next to the “Peñon Martinez”, arriving at the “Portezuelo de los vientos” and, finally, the “Independencia” refuge at 6,250 meters . From this shelter directly down to the North-East. Camp 2 is perfectly located.

How to Climb Aconcagua

The “Stone Sentinel” rises to the sky, to the south, (an immense wall almost 3,000 meters high and 7 kilometers wide). The legendary French mountaineer Lionel Terray visited the great wall during the southern summer of 52/53, after climbing the once mythical Fitz Roy. He considered then that the impressive wall of ice and rock constituted a colossal alpinistic problem. And he was not wrong…

The aspect of the South wall as a whole is one of difficulty, danger and, at that moment, almost impregnable. But it is very clear that mountaineers of all times hate the word impossible. During the southern summer of 53/54, a strong French expedition led by Rene Ferlet reached the bottom of the “Horcones inferior” ravine, on the margin of the glacier of the same name. There they installed their comfortable base camp, in what is now known as “Plaza Francia” (4,100 m), ready to besiege the wall of the great mountain.

After acclimatizing and carefully studying the slope, they chose the large spur that limits the gigantic central avalanche channel of the wall to the right. This spur is relatively protected from any falling ice or rocks. Towards the end of the second third it is interrupted to give rise to a large balcony of ice called “Upper Glacier”. This is a hanging glacier that pours its ice cascades into a void of almost 2,000 meters and constitutes one of the main dangers of climbing on the south face.

Aconcagua Guided Climb

They used more than a month of acclimatization and preparations, during which they equipped the first difficult sections of the spur with fixed ropes. Towards the end of February, 6 climbers launched themselves to the top. The group was made up of G.Poulet, R. Paragot, P. Lesseur, L. Berardini, A. Dagory, E. Denis, at that time the best French mountaineers, which was equivalent to saying in the world.

For seven days they struggled between the unstable rocks and the ice, severely affected by the cold, they finally managed to reach the top. There was then talk of “heroic bravado.” Undoubtedly the French created one of the hardest routes in the world, being at the time, the most difficult wall, with the greatest slope and the highest above sea level, that avant-garde mountaineering managed to climb.