Thousands of workers, many of whom were foreigners, were needed to bring the tracks to the site and set up the infrastructure. The cruelty of the climate, the pests and the hardness of the work, caused many to die and as their bodies were not claimed and there was no time to take them down to the city, they were buried in that place, and for this reason the railway cemetery was built in Puente of the Inca.
One of the oldest tombs that are recognized dates back to 1908, belonging to a doctor, it is about Dr. Eduard J. Cotton, English. The man was at the scene trying to combat a diphtheria epidemic that had broken out. According to the story, a woman coughed in his face and thus contracted the disease that cost him his life, his son also died in the epidemic and the two were buried in the cemetery.
Cotton had been an expedition companion of his compatriot Edward Fitzgerald on the ascent of Aconcagua in 1897.
In 1928 the British officer Basil Marden had the audacity to attempt the summit of Aconcagua in winter and alone, in the month of July, the following summer they rescued his frozen body, which no one claimed and that is why it was decided to bury him in what until now then it was the railway cemetery of Puente del Inca, Climbing Aconcagua
this was the first mountain climber buried, and in this way the history of the Andinista Cemetery began.
The largest cross in the cemetery corresponds to Juan Fiorini and dates from 1903, among the valuables, there is a cross carved by the artist Chipo Céspedes that was donated on the anniversary of the Club Andinista Mendoza, that cross had been cut to steal it, but they rescued her in time.
The development of the cemetery can be marked in three stages: the first is the railway, then that of the climbers who died on the mountain and now the volunteer, because many ask to be buried there.
Aconcagua and its dead
Each tomb in the cemetery hides a story of adventure and mystery that ended fatally, workers who were never claimed, epidemics that the area experienced, deadly avalanches, baqueanos and mountaineers who left their lives around Aconcagua.
It should be clarified that there are graves in the cemetery in which it is impossible to determine their identities, due to the large number of years in which no type of registration or care was carried out.
There are more than 20 climbers who died on Aconcagua, whose bodies still rest, frozen, on the mountain and in their memory memorial plaques have been placed in the cemetery as a tribute.
The concern about the abandonment of the cemetery reaches the point that there are relatives of great mountain men who today do not take their remains there for fear of looting due to the abandonment of the place.
Some of those who rest there:
John Stepanek Aconcagua Guided Climb
First dead on Aconcagua. Austrian by birth, he had settled in the city of Rosario. He, together with Miguel Gossier, attempted the summit of Aconcagua in 1926. They were surprised by a strong six-day storm. Gossier, who had run out of his license, proposes to return, Stepanek decides to attempt the summit alone. Twenty years later his body is found in the Gran Acarreo at 6500 meters. by the Military Expedition commanded by Lt. 1st Valentin Ugarte. After being buried for 20 years in the cemetery of the City of Buenos Aires, he was finally buried in the Cemetery of the Andeanists.
Juan Stepanek, in memory of the precursor who died on Aconcagua. Cemetery of the Andinistas Aconcagua Hike
Captain of the Ninth Regiment of Lancers of the English Army. The British soldier had arrived at Puente del Inca from Santiago de Chile, in the first days of July 1928, with the intention of carrying out a winter expedition, alone, to Aconcagua. Skis and a sled were part of his equipment, with which he left on the 16th of the same month. He never returned, they went out in search of him in the middle of winter but they reached the Plaza de Mulas Superior, at that time called the Ryam Field, but only finding his sled so they thought that he would be about to attempt the summit in the next few days. In the following summer, his remains are found by a guide from the area, named Carlos Lobos, who was accompanying a group of climbers. The body by its position seemed. Head of the expeditions to Aconcagua in 1945, 1946 and 1951, Golden Condor of the Mountain Troops specialty, installed the shelters on Aconcagua: Presidente Perón at 6,700 meters, Eva Perón at 6,400 meters, Lieutenant Plantamura at 6,400 meters. and the Exploradores Baqueanos de Cuyo at 4,400 meters. He rescued the bodies of Juan Stepanek, Juan Jorge Link, Adriana Bance, Walter Schiller and Albert Kneild. He was head of the first Japanese Expedition to Aconcagua in 1953. Vice President of the Argentine Ski and Mountaineering Federation. President of the Mendoza Association of Mountaineering and Skiing. Head of the Olympic Ski Team. Oslo and Switzerland 1952. Peronist Gold Medal for the installation of high altitude shelters. Cross of Honor of the Government of Austria for his activities in the mountains. Author of the book Historia del Aconcagua.
Colonel Carlos Driolet
Head of the High Mountain Skiers Company 8 Lieutenant 1st IBAÑEZ”, between 1965 and 1966.
Lieutenant Colonel Jorge Santos de Oro
He died on October 14, 1993. Head of the High Mountain Skiers Company 8 Lieutenant 1st Ibáñez, between the years I961 and 1962.