Just by reviewing the main data on Mount Aconcagua (6,962 m), the highest peak in the world except for the Asian ranges, one has a primary approximation to the dimension not only of the future planned expedition, but of the mountain itself.
First, the height. Its summit of almost 7,000 meters above sea level is located on the border of the “death zone”, a mountaineering denomination defined by the Swiss doctor Edouard Wyss-Dunant above 7,500 meters, where there is no It is not possible for the human organism to acclimatize to such altitudes, but only to adapt for a limited period of time.
There is no doubt that Aconcagua is a very large mountain, due to its height, its distance in the approach from different routes and the unevenness that it is necessary to overcome to climb to its top. Although the normal routes of ascent do not present major technical difficulties, the natural conditions represent their greatest demand and risk: the extremely dry air, rarefied by the height, is the enemy to defeat on the journey to the summit. The humidity of the air above 4,000 meters is barely 10% and the partial pressure of oxygen at the top is 37% of that present at sea level.
The actual stay on the hill also represents an extreme difficulty to overcome in order to obtain results, both in the long approach stage and in acclimatization and the stay in the high-altitude camps, with the consequent discomfort implied by the transit and permanence in such wild environment.
A conventional expedition to Aconcagua takes between 12 and 16 days in the mountain under normal conditions. Meanwhile, in the high altitude camps, above 5,000 meters, between 4 and 6 nights will be necessary.
The total difference in altitude to overcome from Horcones along the normal route to the summit is 4,000 meters, while the difference in altitude on the day of the summit, starting from the Berlin camp, is 1,100 meters. Signed by the obligation to comply with the health protocols established as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Aconcagua (Mendoza, Argentina, 6960.8 m) 20221-2022 season officially begins next Monday, November 15, after yesterday’s publication of the decree that regulates it.
The legal instrument that governs the activity in the Provincial Park in the summer season, which runs until April 30, 2022, contains in its articles most of the presumptions that were unofficially handled until this Friday, three days before the start. In our opinion, the most important provision is the limited extension of the period of ascent to the highest peak in America itself, with entry to the Park for that purpose only from January 1 to 31 of next year. Therefore, between those dates and until February 15, summit attempts will be possible, considering that an expedition of these characteristics can take about 15 days.