How to climb Aconcagua – Conquering the Summit: How to Successfully Climb Aconcagua, the Tallest Peak in the Americas

How to climb Aconcagua – Here is the detailed guide.

Understanding the Challenge: Aconcagua’s Magnitude and Significance

Aconcagua, standing tall at an impressive height of 6,960.8 meters (22,837 ft), is the highest mountain in both the Western and Southern Hemispheres. Located in the Andes mountain range, in the province of Mendoza, Argentina, this majestic peak poses a daunting challenge to mountaineers from around the world. Its towering presence, rich history, and breathtaking beauty make it an enticing destination for adventurers seeking to test their limits. In this article, we will delve into the magnitude and significance of Aconcagua and explore how to climb this awe-inspiring mountain.

Aconcagua’s magnitude is best understood through its sheer elevation. Reaching nearly 7,000 meters, it stands as the second-highest of the Seven Summits—the highest peaks on each continent. Only Mount Everest surpasses it in height. The immense vertical gain and the extreme altitude of Aconcagua present climbers with a formidable physical and mental challenge. The thin air, sub-zero temperatures, and unpredictable weather conditions demand careful planning, endurance, and acclimatization.

Beyond its grandeur, Aconcagua holds significant historical and cultural value. The mountain’s name originates from the Quechua words “Ackon Cahuak,” meaning “Stone Sentinel.” For centuries, Aconcagua has been revered by indigenous communities as a sacred place, shrouded in mystique and folklore. Its prominence in Inca mythology has contributed to its cultural significance, and it continues to inspire a sense of reverence among those who embark on its slopes.

Climbing Aconcagua requires meticulous preparation and a deep understanding of mountaineering techniques. Here are some essential considerations for those aspiring to conquer this mighty peak:

  1. Physical Fitness: Aconcagua’s high altitude demands excellent cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength. Prioritize a comprehensive training regimen that includes cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and hiking to simulate the demands of the climb.
  2. Acclimatization: Gradual acclimatization is crucial to combat the effects of high altitude. Ascend the mountain slowly, allowing your body to adapt to the reduced oxygen levels. A typical ascent involves multiple camps, each at increasing altitudes, to facilitate acclimatization.
  3. Gear and Equipment: Invest in high-quality gear designed for extreme conditions. This includes proper clothing, mountaineering boots, crampons, ice axes, helmets, and a reliable sleeping bag. Consult experienced climbers or mountaineering experts to ensure you have the appropriate equipment.
  4. Guided Expeditions: Due to the challenging nature of Aconcagua, it is advisable to join a guided expedition led by experienced professionals. These experts possess invaluable knowledge of the mountain, weather patterns, and safety protocols, enhancing your chances of a successful ascent.
  5. Weather Awareness: Aconcagua’s weather can be unpredictable and harsh, even during the climbing season. Stay informed about weather forecasts and be prepared for sudden changes. Flexibility in your itinerary is vital to account for adverse conditions.
  6. Mental Preparedness: Climbing Aconcagua is as much a mental feat as a physical one. Prepare yourself mentally for the rigors of the journey, including the potential setbacks and the perseverance required to overcome them. Maintain a positive mindset, stay focused, and be aware of your limits.
  7. Environmental Responsibility: Aconcagua’s pristine environment deserves utmost respect and preservation. Adhere to Leave No Trace principles, dispose of waste properly, and respect the local flora and fauna. Minimize your ecological footprint to ensure the mountain’s beauty is preserved for future generations.

Embarking on a journey to conquer Aconcagua is an undertaking that demands dedication, resilience, and a profound appreciation for the natural world.

Preparing for Aconcagua Climbing Success: Essential Physical and Mental Conditioning

Climbing Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas, is a challenge that requires careful preparation both physically and mentally. Standing at a towering 6,960 meters (22,837 feet) in the Andes, this majestic mountain demands respect and thorough conditioning to ensure a successful and safe ascent. In this article, we will explore the key aspects of physical and mental preparation for climbing Aconcagua, providing valuable insights on how to climb Aconcagua.

Physical conditioning is an essential component of any successful climb, and Aconcagua is no exception. The altitude, extreme weather conditions, and steep terrain demand a high level of fitness. It is crucial to engage in a comprehensive training program that includes aerobic exercises, strength training, and endurance-building activities. Incorporate activities like running, cycling, swimming, and hiking to improve cardiovascular fitness. Strength training exercises such as squats, lunges, and core workouts will help develop the muscles needed for the climb. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts to mimic the challenges of Aconcagua. Building a strong physical foundation will enhance your endurance, reduce the risk of injuries, and increase your chances of reaching the summit.

Equally important as physical conditioning is mental preparation. Climbing Aconcagua requires mental resilience, determination, and the ability to handle high-stress situations. Begin by developing a positive mindset and visualizing success. Visualize yourself reaching the summit, overcoming obstacles, and staying motivated throughout the climb. Mental exercises like meditation and visualization can help you stay focused and calm during challenging moments on the mountain.

It is crucial to familiarize yourself with the technical skills and equipment required for Aconcagua. Acquire the necessary knowledge and experience in using crampons, ice axes, and other mountaineering gear. Take mountaineering courses or hire a professional guide to gain the skills needed to navigate the mountain’s steep slopes and crevasses. Practice using the gear in a controlled environment before attempting the climb, ensuring that you are comfortable and confident with the equipment.

Acclimatization is another vital aspect of preparing for Aconcagua. The high altitude poses a significant challenge, and the lack of oxygen can have severe effects on the body. Gradual acclimatization is essential to prevent altitude sickness and increase your chances of success. Plan a climb itinerary that allows for proper acclimatization with scheduled rest days at designated camps. Ascend slowly, allowing your body to adjust to the decreasing oxygen levels. Stay hydrated, maintain a balanced diet, and listen to your body’s signals. If experiencing symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headaches or nausea, descend to a lower elevation to recover.

Proper gear and equipment are fundamental for a successful Aconcagua climb. Invest in high-quality mountaineering gear, including thermal clothing, waterproof outer layers, sturdy boots, and a warm sleeping bag. Pack essentials such as a first aid kit, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a reliable navigation system. Prioritize lightweight gear to minimize the strain on your body during the ascent. Test all your equipment beforehand to ensure everything is in working order.

Lastly, join a reputable climbing team or hire an experienced guide. Climbing Aconcagua is a significant undertaking, and having the support and expertise of professionals can greatly increase your chances of success. Guides provide valuable knowledge, assistance with logistics, and ensure safety throughout the journey.

In conclusion, climbing Aconcagua requires meticulous physical and mental preparation. Engage in a comprehensive training program, focusing on aerobic fitness, strength training, and endurance-building exercises. Develop a positive mindset and practice mental exercises to enhance resilience and focus. Acquire the necessary technical skills, gradually acclimatize to the altitude, and invest in high-quality gear.

Assembling Your Gear: Must-Have Equipment for Aconcagua Climbing

Assembling the right gear is crucial when preparing for a challenging climb like Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas. The mountain’s extreme conditions require careful consideration of equipment to ensure your safety and comfort. Here’s a detailed overview of the must-have equipment for Aconcagua climbing: How to climb aconcagua

  1. Climbing Boots: Invest in high-quality mountaineering boots designed for cold weather and high-altitude climbing. They should provide excellent insulation, ankle support, and compatibility with crampons.
  2. Crampons: These traction devices attach to your boots and provide grip on icy and snowy terrain. Choose crampons that are compatible with your boots and suitable for steep slopes.
  3. Mountaineering Backpack: Opt for a durable, spacious backpack with a capacity of around 60 to 80 liters. It should have adjustable straps, a padded hip belt, and external attachment points for carrying ice axes and other equipment.
  4. Sleeping Bag: Select a high-quality, cold-weather sleeping bag that can handle sub-zero temperatures. Look for a bag with a comfort rating of -15 to -30 degrees Celsius and a lightweight, compressible design for easier transport.
  5. Sleeping Pad: A foam or inflatable sleeping pad provides insulation and comfort while sleeping in cold conditions. It helps insulate you from the cold ground and improves overall rest.
  6. Tent: Choose a four-season tent designed to withstand harsh weather conditions. Look for a tent that is sturdy, lightweight, and spacious enough to accommodate you and your gear.
  7. Clothing Layers: Layering is essential for managing temperature changes. Here are the key clothing items you’ll need:
    • Base Layers: Moisture-wicking, insulating base layers to keep you dry and warm.
    • Mid Layers: Fleece or soft-shell jackets for insulation.
    • Outer Layers: A waterproof, breathable shell jacket and pants to protect against wind, snow, and rain.
    • Insulated Jacket: A down or synthetic jacket for extra warmth during rest breaks and summit pushes.
  8. Gloves and Mittens: Pack a variety of gloves to handle different conditions. Have lightweight gloves for dexterity, insulated gloves for warmth, and overmitts to provide additional protection against extreme cold and wind.
  9. Headwear: Include a warm beanie or hat for insulation, a neck gaiter or balaclava for face protection, and sunglasses with UV protection and glacier lenses to shield your eyes from snow glare.
  10. Technical Climbing Gear:
    • Helmet: A climbing helmet to protect your head from falling rocks and ice.
    • Harness: A comfortable, adjustable climbing harness.
    • Ice Axe: Essential for self-arrest and stability on steep slopes.
    • Trekking Poles: Lightweight poles to provide stability and reduce strain on your legs during the approach and descent.
    • Ascenders and Descenders: Used for ascending and descending ropes, especially in technical sections.
  11. Food and Water Supplies: Carry a sufficient amount of high-calorie, lightweight food that can withstand cold temperatures. Consider energy bars, freeze-dried meals, nuts, and snacks. Carry a water bottle or hydration system and plan for water purification methods.
  12. Climbing Helmet: Protect your head from potential falling rocks and ice by wearing a durable climbing helmet.
  13. Personal Items: Don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, lip balm, toiletries, a headlamp with extra batteries, a first aid kit, a multi-tool, and a communication device like a satellite phone or a two-way radio.

Remember, proper gear alone is not enough. You should also invest time in understanding how to use each piece of equipment correctly and practice climbing techniques beforehand. It’s advisable to consult with experienced climbers or hire a professional guide who can provide more specific recommendations based on the current conditions on Aconcagua.

Training on Lower Altitudes: Building Stamina and Acclimatization Techniques for Aconcagua Climbing

Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere, standing at an impressive 6,960 meters (22,837 feet), poses a significant challenge for mountaineers. Climbing this magnificent mountain requires meticulous preparation, both physically and mentally, to ensure a successful and safe ascent. One crucial aspect of training for Aconcagua is building stamina and acclimatization techniques to adapt to the extreme altitude conditions. This article explores various strategies climbers can employ to enhance their endurance and adjust to the thin air at higher altitudes.

One fundamental principle in preparing for Aconcagua is gradually exposing the body to higher elevations. It is vital to start training at lower altitudes and gradually work your way up. Begin by engaging in regular aerobic exercises like running, cycling, or swimming to build a solid cardiovascular foundation. Focus on activities that elevate your heart rate and improve lung capacity, as these are essential for coping with reduced oxygen levels at higher altitudes.

To further enhance stamina, incorporate long-duration endurance workouts into your training regimen. Hiking with a loaded backpack is particularly beneficial, simulating the physical demands and exertion experienced during the climb. Gradually increase the weight and duration of these hikes, gradually working towards longer distances and steeper terrains. This will not only develop your stamina but also strengthen your legs, back, and core muscles, which are crucial for carrying heavy loads during the expedition.

While training at lower altitudes is essential for building stamina, it is equally important to simulate the effects of high altitude. One technique widely used by mountaineers is “live high, train low.” This approach involves sleeping at higher elevations while training at lower altitudes. By residing at a moderate altitude, typically between 2,500 to 3,000 meters (8,200 to 9,800 feet), and commuting to lower elevations for physical exertion, climbers can stimulate the physiological adaptations necessary for acclimatization.

Altitude training masks are another valuable tool for acclimatization. These masks restrict airflow, simulating the thin air found at higher altitudes and forcing the respiratory system to work harder. Incorporating regular mask training sessions into your routine can help condition the body to function optimally with reduced oxygen levels. However, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before using altitude training masks to ensure their safe and effective usage.

Additionally, practicing yoga and deep breathing exercises can aid in acclimatization. Yoga promotes flexibility, balance, and controlled breathing, which can improve lung capacity and increase oxygen uptake efficiency. Focusing on deep, diaphragmatic breathing techniques during yoga sessions can also help calm the mind and reduce the risk of altitude-related anxiety or panic.

Hydration and nutrition play a vital role in both stamina building and acclimatization. Proper hydration helps optimize bodily functions, including blood circulation and oxygen delivery. During training, maintain a consistent water intake, aiming to drink at least two to three liters of water per day. Additionally, consume a well-balanced diet rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats to fuel your body and aid in muscle recovery.

Lastly, ensure sufficient rest and recovery periods during your training program. Adequate sleep allows the body to heal and rebuild, optimizing performance and adaptation. Incorporate rest days into your schedule and listen to your body, avoiding overtraining and the risk of injury or burnout.

Training for Aconcagua is a demanding and rigorous process, but by gradually building stamina and employing acclimatization techniques, climbers can significantly enhance their chances of success. Remember to consult with experienced mountaineers, trainers, or healthcare professionals to tailor your training plan to your specific needs and abilities. With proper preparation and a determined mindset, you can embark on the extraordinary journey of conquering the majestic Aconcagua

Crafting Your Itinerary: Choosing the Right Route and Duration for Aconcagua Climbing

When planning to climb Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America, it is essential to carefully craft your itinerary. Choosing the right route and determining the appropriate duration are crucial factors that can greatly impact the success and safety of your expedition. Here are some considerations to help you make informed decisions:

  1. Route Selection:
    • Normal Route (Horcones Valley): This is the most popular route, offering relatively easy access and well-established infrastructure. It is suitable for climbers with moderate to advanced experience.
    • Polish Glacier Traverse: A more technical and challenging route, it requires additional mountaineering skills, including glacier travel and ice climbing. This route is less crowded but requires more preparation.
    • Vacas Valley and Plaza Argentina: This route is longer and less frequented, providing a more secluded experience. It requires an extended approach and involves more acclimatization time.
    • Ameghino Valley and Guanacos Route: A less popular and more remote option that requires a longer approach and involves glacier travel. It is recommended for experienced climbers seeking solitude.

Consider your experience, fitness level, technical skills, and personal preferences when selecting a route. It’s also advisable to consult with experienced climbers, guide services, or mountaineering organizations to gather insights and recommendations on how to climb Aconcagua

  1. Duration:
    • The average duration for a successful Aconcagua climb is around 18-20 days. This timeframe allows for proper acclimatization and increases the chances of reaching the summit safely.
    • The length of your expedition may vary based on your chosen route, personal fitness level, previous high-altitude experience, and acclimatization needs. It is crucial not to rush the ascent, as it increases the risk of altitude sickness and reduces the likelihood of reaching the summit.
    • Longer expeditions, such as 20-24 days, are recommended for climbers who require more time to adapt to the altitude or want to take a more leisurely approach to ensure proper acclimatization.
    • Some expeditions offer shorter itineraries (14-16 days) but these are usually suitable for experienced climbers who are already well acclimatized or have previous experience at high altitudes.

Remember that acclimatization is crucial for your safety and success. A gradual ascent allows your body to adjust to the thin air and reduces the risk of altitude-related illnesses such as acute mountain sickness (AMS), high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), and high altitude cerebral edema (HACE).

Ensure that your itinerary includes rest days at higher altitudes, which help your body adapt to the reduced oxygen levels. This approach increases your chances of a successful summit attempt while minimizing the risks associated with high altitude.

Ultimately, selecting the right route and duration for your Aconcagua climb depends on your experience, physical condition, available time, and personal goals. It is essential to prioritize safety, proper acclimatization, and realistic expectations to maximize your chances of a successful and enjoyable expedition

Navigating the Permit Process: Essential Steps and Regulations for Aconcagua climbing

Climbing Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America, requires proper permits and adherence to specific regulations. Navigating the permit process is essential to ensure a safe and successful expedition. Here are the essential steps and regulations for climbing Aconcagua:

  1. Research and Planning:
    • Familiarize yourself with the mountain: Gather information about Aconcagua’s elevation (6,960.8 meters or 22,837 ft), weather conditions, routes, and required skills.
    • Determine the climbing season: Aconcagua’s climbing season typically runs from late November to late March. Outside this period, climbing is restricted or discouraged due to extreme weather conditions.
    • Choose a route: Aconcagua offers various routes, each with different difficulty levels. Popular routes include the Normal Route, Polish Glacier Traverse, and Vacas Valley Route.
  2. Obtain the Climbing Permit:
    • Contact the park authority: Reach out to the Parque Provincial Aconcagua (Aconcagua Provincial Park) authorities in Argentina to inquire about the permit process.
    • Submit an application: Complete the necessary forms and submit them to the park authorities. Provide details about your intended route, dates, and climbing party members.
    • Pay the permit fees: There are different permit fees based on the route and the climbing season. Ensure you understand the costs and make the necessary payments.
  3. Mandatory Services and Insurance:
    • Hire a registered guide: The park requires climbers to hire a registered guide or mountaineering agency. Guides ensure safety and compliance with regulations.
    • Acquire insurance: It is mandatory to have rescue and medical insurance coverage for climbing Aconcagua. The insurance must include high-altitude mountaineering activities.
  4. Health and Fitness:
    • Obtain a medical certificate: You may need to provide a medical certificate confirming your fitness for high-altitude climbing. Consult with a physician experienced in altitude-related health issues.
    • Acclimate properly: Adequate acclimatization is crucial for a successful climb. Plan a gradual ascent, allowing your body to adjust to the altitude and minimize the risk of altitude sickness.
  5. Gear and Equipment:
    • Prepare climbing gear: Ensure you have appropriate mountaineering gear, including clothing, boots, crampons, ice axe, ropes, harnesses, and camping equipment. Consider renting or purchasing gear locally.
    • Pack essential supplies: Carry sufficient food, water, fuel, and emergency equipment like first aid kits, communication devices, and navigation tools.
  6. Follow Park Regulations:
    • Respect the rules: Adhere to the regulations set by the park authorities, including waste management, camping restrictions, and designated climbing routes.
    • Attend mandatory briefings: Participate in the mandatory briefings conducted by the park authorities to learn about safety measures, environmental conservation, and emergency procedures.

Remember, climbing Aconcagua is a demanding endeavor that requires proper preparation, experience, and physical fitness. It’s crucial to prioritize safety and comply with all regulations to ensure a successful and enjoyable climb

Climbing with Safety in Mind: Risk Management and Emergency Preparedness for Aconcagua climbing

Climbing Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America, requires careful consideration of risk management and emergency preparedness. Aconcagua is a challenging mountain with extreme weather conditions, high altitude, and unpredictable terrain, making it essential for climbers to prioritize safety throughout their expedition. Here are some key aspects of risk management and emergency preparedness for climbing Aconcagua:

  1. Physical Fitness and Training: Climbing Aconcagua demands excellent physical fitness and endurance. Prior to the expedition, climbers should engage in a comprehensive training regimen that includes cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and altitude acclimatization. Being in good physical shape reduces the risk of injuries and enhances the body’s ability to handle the challenges of high-altitude climbing.
  2. Experienced Guides and Support Team: It is highly recommended to climb Aconcagua with the assistance of experienced guides and a reliable support team. Professional guides possess valuable knowledge of the mountain, its routes, weather patterns, and emergency protocols. They can provide guidance, monitor climbers’ health, and make critical decisions to ensure everyone’s safety.
  3. Thorough Research and Planning: Proper research and planning are crucial for a safe climb. This includes studying the mountain’s topography, weather patterns, potential hazards, and necessary permits or regulations. Climbers should also familiarize themselves with rescue services, emergency shelters, and communication systems available on the mountain.
  4. Acclimatization Process: Aconcagua’s high altitude poses a significant challenge due to the reduced oxygen levels. Climbers must follow a structured acclimatization process to allow their bodies to adjust gradually to the thin air. This typically involves ascending to higher altitudes during the day and descending to lower camps for rest and recovery. Adequate acclimatization reduces the risk of altitude-related illnesses such as acute mountain sickness (AMS), high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), and high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE).
  5. Weather Monitoring: Aconcagua’s weather can change rapidly, and extreme conditions, including high winds, low temperatures, and snowstorms, are common. Climbers should closely monitor weather forecasts before and during the climb. If adverse weather conditions are anticipated, it may be necessary to postpone or adjust the itinerary accordingly to ensure safety.
  6. Emergency Communication and Rescue: Climbers should carry appropriate communication devices such as satellite phones, radios, or personal locator beacons (PLBs) to stay connected with the outside world. In case of an emergency, these devices allow climbers to call for help or request a rescue. Familiarize yourself with emergency protocols and procedures and ensure that your support team has a well-defined plan for responding to emergencies.
  7. Equipment and Gear: Climbing Aconcagua requires specialized equipment and gear suitable for extreme conditions. This includes proper mountaineering boots, insulated clothing layers, high-quality sleeping bags, tents, cooking equipment, and safety gear like crampons, ice axes, and helmets. Equipment should be carefully selected, tested, and maintained to ensure it is in good working condition.
  8. First Aid and Medical Supplies: Carrying a comprehensive first aid kit and necessary medical supplies is essential. The kit should include items for treating common injuries, illnesses, and altitude-related conditions. Climbers should have knowledge of basic first aid techniques and be prepared to administer medical assistance to themselves or others in case of emergencies.
  9. Risk Assessment and Decision Making: Climbers should continuously assess risks and make informed decisions based on their abilities, weather conditions, and team dynamics. It is important to recognize and respect personal limits, communicate openly with the team, and be prepared to adjust plans or turn back if necessary. The ability to make sound judgments and prioritize safety is paramount.

By incorporating these risk management and emergency preparedness strategies, climbers can enhance their safety on Aconcagua

Fueling Your Body: Nutrition and Hydration Strategies for High-Altitude Aconcagua Climbing

When it comes to climbing high-altitude mountains like Aconcagua, proper nutrition and hydration are crucial for your performance and overall well-being. The extreme altitude and physical demands of the climb can significantly affect your body, making it essential to fuel yourself adequately. Here are some nutrition and hydration strategies to consider for climbing Aconcagua (how to climb Aconcagua)

  1. Caloric Intake: Climbing at high altitudes requires a higher caloric intake due to increased energy expenditure and the body’s need for extra fuel to adapt to the thin air. Aim to consume a balanced diet rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. Carbohydrates provide the primary source of energy, while proteins aid in muscle repair and recovery.
  2. Carbohydrates: Prioritize complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. These foods provide sustained energy and help maintain stable blood sugar levels. Include carbohydrates in each meal and snack throughout the day to replenish glycogen stores.
  3. Proteins: Include lean sources of protein such as poultry, fish, beans, lentils, and tofu. Protein is crucial for muscle repair and recovery, so make sure to consume an adequate amount during meals and snacks.
  4. Healthy Fats: Incorporate healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil into your diet. These fats provide essential nutrients and help with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
  5. Hydration: Staying properly hydrated is vital at high altitudes to prevent altitude-related illnesses such as acute mountain sickness. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, even if you don’t feel excessively thirsty. Water, herbal teas, and electrolyte-rich beverages are good choices. Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol, as they can contribute to dehydration.
  6. Electrolytes: High-altitude climbing can lead to increased sweating and electrolyte loss. Replenish electrolytes by consuming foods like bananas, oranges, nuts, seeds, and electrolyte-rich sports drinks. You can also consider electrolyte supplements or dissolvable tablets to maintain proper electrolyte balance.
  7. Adequate Snacks: Plan for frequent snacking throughout the day to maintain a steady intake of energy. High-energy, easily digestible snacks like trail mix, energy bars, dried fruits, and nut butter can provide quick fuel during breaks.
  8. Meal Preparation: If you’re camping or trekking for an extended period, plan your meals carefully. Prioritize lightweight, nutrient-dense foods that are easy to prepare and require minimal cooking time. Pack foods that are shelf-stable and can withstand the rigors of the climb.
  9. Acclimatization: Allow your body time to adjust to the high altitude by gradually ascending and giving yourself enough rest. Adequate rest and sleep are crucial for recovery and proper physiological adaptation.
  10. Consult with Professionals: If you’re unsure about your nutritional needs or have specific dietary considerations, it’s advisable to consult with a registered dietitian or a sports nutritionist who specializes in high-altitude climbing. They can provide personalized guidance based on your individual needs.

Remember, proper nutrition and hydration are essential for optimizing your climbing performance, enhancing endurance, and reducing the risk of altitude-related illnesses. By fueling your body adequately, you’ll increase your chances of a safe and successful climb on Aconcagua.

Mastering the Elements: Weather Considerations and Seasonal Variations for Aconcagua climbing

Aconcagua, located in the Andes mountain range in Argentina, is the highest peak in both the Western and Southern Hemispheres. Climbing Aconcagua is a challenging endeavor that requires careful consideration of weather conditions and seasonal variations. Understanding these factors is crucial for a successful and safe ascent. Here, we’ll delve into the key weather considerations and seasonal variations to keep in mind when planning an Aconcagua climb.

  1. Weather Considerations:
    • Temperature: Aconcagua experiences extreme temperature variations, especially at higher altitudes. Summit temperatures can drop to below -20°C (-4°F) or even lower, and base camp temperatures can range from 10°C (50°F) to -10°C (14°F). It is important to be prepared for these temperature extremes and have appropriate clothing and gear.
    • Winds: Aconcagua is notorious for its strong winds, which can reach speeds of 100 km/h (62 mph) or more, particularly at higher elevations. High winds can make climbing challenging and increase the risk of frostbite and hypothermia. Monitoring wind forecasts and planning the ascent accordingly is crucial.
    • Precipitation: Aconcagua experiences low precipitation overall, with most of it occurring in the form of snow. However, snowfall can happen at any time of the year, and it’s important to be prepared for sudden weather changes. Heavy snowfall can make climbing more difficult and increase avalanche risks.
  2. Seasonal Variations:
    • Summer (December to February): This is the most popular climbing season on Aconcagua due to more favorable weather conditions. Days are generally warmer, with less snowfall and milder winds. However, the popularity of this season means there might be more climbers on the mountain, and it can get crowded.
    • Spring (September to November) and Autumn (March to May): These transitional seasons offer a mix of weather conditions. Spring can bring more snow and colder temperatures, while autumn has a higher chance of clear weather. These seasons are less crowded compared to summer, but climbers must be prepared for variable conditions.
    • Winter (June to August): Winter climbing on Aconcagua is extremely challenging and suitable only for experienced mountaineers. The mountain experiences severe weather conditions during this period, with heavy snowfall, strong winds, and extremely low temperatures. Avalanche risks are high, and access to the mountain may be limited.

It’s important to note that weather patterns can vary from year to year, and it’s crucial to stay updated on the current weather forecast and consult with experienced guides or mountaineering organizations. Proper acclimatization, physical fitness, and appropriate gear are essential for a safe and successful Aconcagua climb, regardless of the season chosen.

Summit Day Strategies: Tips for the Final Push to Aconcagua’s Peak

Summiting Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas, is a challenging and rewarding endeavor. The final push to the summit requires careful planning and preparation. Here are some detailed strategies and tips to help you make the most of your summit day on Aconcagua:

  1. Acclimatization: Adequate acclimatization is crucial to avoid altitude sickness and increase your chances of a successful summit. Spend sufficient time at base camp and higher camps to allow your body to adjust to the altitude. Ascend slowly and follow the recommended acclimatization schedule.
  2. Weather Monitoring: Stay updated on the weather conditions throughout your climb. Unfavorable weather can be dangerous, so it’s essential to have accurate information. Consult with the park rangers or climbing guides for reliable weather forecasts and plan your summit attempt accordingly.
  3. Start Early: Begin your summit day as early as possible, typically around midnight or in the early hours of the morning. This allows you to take advantage of stable weather conditions, avoid afternoon storms, and gives you ample time to reach the summit and descend before darkness falls.
  4. Dress Appropriately: Layer your clothing to adapt to changing weather conditions. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, add insulating layers, and wear a waterproof and windproof outer shell. Don’t forget warm gloves, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect against the sun’s intense rays at high altitude.
  5. Hydration and Nutrition: Proper hydration and nutrition are critical during your summit push. Carry an adequate supply of water and drink regularly to prevent dehydration. Consume high-energy foods like energy bars, nuts, dried fruits, and electrolyte-rich snacks to fuel your body throughout the climb.
  6. Slow and Steady Pace: Maintain a slow and steady pace to conserve your energy and prevent altitude-related issues. Aconcagua’s high altitude demands patience and endurance. Take small, deliberate steps, and regulate your breathing. Use rest steps, where you pause momentarily after each step, to maintain a consistent rhythm.
  7. Use Trekking Poles: Trekking poles provide stability and help distribute the load on your body, reducing strain on your legs and knees. They also aid in maintaining balance on uneven terrain and steep sections. Use them effectively to enhance your efficiency and endurance.
  8. Stay Mentally Strong: Summit day can be physically and mentally challenging. Stay focused, motivated, and maintain a positive mindset. Break the climb into smaller segments, focusing on reaching the next landmark or rest point. Use positive self-talk and draw upon your training and preparation to boost your confidence.
  9. Follow Guides and Climbing Team: If you are climbing with a guided team, follow the instructions and guidance of your experienced guides. They have valuable knowledge about the route, weather conditions, and can provide essential support and assistance. Stay connected with your climbing team, communicate regularly, and support each other during the climb.
  10. Safety First: Prioritize safety over reaching the summit. Be aware of your physical condition and any signs of altitude sickness or other health issues. If you or a team member experiences severe symptoms, it is crucial to descend immediately. The summit will always be there, and your health and well-being should take precedence.

Remember that climbing Aconcagua is a challenging endeavor that requires proper training, physical fitness, and mountaineering skills. It’s highly recommended to hire an experienced guide or join a reputable guided expedition to ensure your safety and increase your chances of a successful summit.

Some FAQs on how to climb Aconcagua

  1. What is Aconcagua, and where is it located? Aconcagua is the highest mountain in both the Western and Southern Hemispheres, located in the Andes mountain range in Argentina.
  2. Do I need prior climbing experience to climb Aconcagua? Yes, climbing Aconcagua is a demanding and technical undertaking. It is recommended that climbers have prior mountaineering experience, including high-altitude climbing.
  3. What is the best time of year to climb Aconcagua? The climbing season for Aconcagua is typically from November to March when weather conditions are relatively stable. The peak season is December and January.
  4. Do I need a permit to climb Aconcagua? Yes, a permit is required to climb Aconcagua. You can obtain the permit from the Aconcagua Provincial Park authorities in Argentina.
  5. What are the different routes to climb Aconcagua? There are several routes to climb Aconcagua, with the most popular being the Normal Route (also known as the Horcones Route) and the Polish Glacier Traverse. Each route has its own challenges and characteristics.
  6. How long does it take to climb Aconcagua? The duration of the climb varies depending on the route and the climber’s fitness level. On average, it takes around 18-20 days for a full expedition, including acclimatization.
  7. What kind of equipment do I need to climb Aconcagua? Climbing Aconcagua requires specialized mountaineering gear, including high-altitude clothing, boots, crampons, ice axe, ropes, harness, helmet, and camping equipment. It is essential to be adequately prepared for the extreme conditions.
  8. Is it necessary to hire a guide to climb Aconcagua? While it is not mandatory to hire a guide, it is highly recommended, especially for climbers without extensive mountaineering experience. A guide can provide valuable expertise, support, and ensure safety during the expedition.
  9. How physically fit do I need to be to climb Aconcagua? Climbing Aconcagua demands a high level of physical fitness and endurance. It is crucial to undertake a comprehensive training program focused on cardiovascular fitness, strength training, and altitude acclimatization.
  10. What are the risks and challenges of climbing Aconcagua? Climbing Aconcagua presents various risks, including altitude sickness, extreme weather conditions, avalanches, and challenging terrain. It is important to be aware of these risks, follow safety protocols, and be prepared for emergencies.

What Climbing at High Altitude Trek Feels Like

Most people who have never climbed a mountain wonder how it feels to reach the top of a mountain. Generally, when people reach the top of the mountain, they find breathtaking views and achieve something great. However, getting all of the peaks requires lots of passion and effort.

Some people also had headaches and fatigue in their bodies. It happens when you face an entirely new environment. If you are going to climb a high-altitude mountain like Aconcagua, you should follow some expert mountaineering advice to survive at a high altitude.

How Hard Is It to Climb Aconcagua?

If you are looking for a challenge, consider climbing Aconcagua. It is a high-altitude trek, but you can climb it easily in your peak fitness. Reaching the summit of this mountain may be a little challenging as you have to face the following: bitter cold, heat, and driving snow.

In a worse case, you may also experience severe altitude sickness, rock falls, extremely cold temperatures, and strong winds. However, you can avoid these difficulties if you consider the Aconcagua Guided Climb. With the guides, you can reach the summit safely.

What Happens to Your Body on High Altitude Treks?

Generally, anything above 8,000 ft from sea level is considered high altitude. Aconcagua Treks is one of the high-altitude treks where the air pressure drops and the oxygen concentration gets reduced.

Your body can’t adjust to high altitudes in a day, so the expedition takes around 22 days to reach the high altitudes, helping your body get used to high heights slowly.

When climbing up the Aconcagua, your body responds to altitude gain by showing these effects, breathing becomes faster, your heart starts beating faster, and you urinate more often. Normally, your sleep becomes shallower and your blood becomes thicker at high altitudes.

If your body doesn’t cope well with altitude gain, you may experience altitude sickness. In mild altitude sickness, you will feel headaches, fatigue, nausea, and lightheadedness.

How to Deal with Altitude Sickness?

Most people work on their ability to take more oxygen with each breath so they can adapt to higher altitudes with decreased oxygen. You can also do acclimatization treks along with your expedition to recover from it. It will help you fight altitude sickness.

You can also take Diamox if you suffer from symptoms of altitude sickness. This medicine helps you breathe faster and consume more oxygen. Ask your doctor to recommend you another altitude sickness medicine if it doesn’t work. Eating adequately and staying hydrated during your treks are important. It helps you recover from fatigue.

You can also talk to your guide about your current medical condition, and they can teach you how to cope with altitude sickness.


Most people are made for mountain climbing since they easily adapt to high-altitude environments. Test if you are also made for mountaineering. However, you should prepare for the challenges you may encounter during your expedition. Climb Aconcagua with a guide to ensure you safely reach the summit.

Where Can You Stay Before and After Climbing Aconcagua

Aconcagua is a tall mountain and part of the Seven Summits and the Andes mountain range. It is located in Argentina, South America, which makes it the highest point in the Southern and Western hemispheres. This place attracts many tourists from around the world. In the high season, usually from mid-December to January, this place will be crowded with people, and finding the best place to stay will become hard.

People become tired after finishing the Aconcagua Ascents and like to rest for a while before going home. When you plan for your Aconcagua, book an excellent place to stay before and after the climbing.

Hotels where you can stay near Aconcagua Provincial Park

Termas El Corazón

The Bianchini-Frost family has run this hotel for 70 years. They offer this beautiful place to stay along with many services. This hotel offers excellent services such as a heated pool, hot tub, sauna, tennis court, gym room, and more. You can get a clean room with everything necessary, such as a bath, AC, safe, flatscreen TV, and more.

Ayelen Hotel de Montana

Inside this hotel, you will experience a whole new world, unlike the one outside. This ski resort offers wonderful comfort, clean and nice rooms, and beautiful views from the large windows. This hotel offers excellent food, and you can rest after a tiring climb. The hotel’s staff and owner provide the best hospitality to its guests.

San Francisco Lodge & Spa

This is the best hotel on the list. You can get to see the breathtaking view, feel the breeze, and breathe the fresh mountain air. This place is only 90 minutes away from Viña del Mar and Santiago de Chile. You can also keep your pet in this hotel.

Hotel Santa Teresa

This hotel features accommodation with free private parking, a restaurant, a garden, and a shared lounge. It offers budget-friendly rooms. It is ideal for a brief stay after the climb.

Inca Hoteles Los Andes

This hotel features many luxuries, including free parking, a seasonal outdoor pool, a soothing garden, free high-speed internet, and airport transportation. You can use the front desk in your room to get useful information about the area at any time.

Centro Turistico Barros

This place offers clean rooms and excellent hospitality. It offers ski in and skis out services. You can also get free breakfast and high-speed internet in this hotel. You can rent a bicycle and enjoy the sauna inside the hotel.


The beautiful city of Mendoza welcomes everyone to achieve their goal of reaching the peak of Aconcagua. However, climbing this mountain needs preparation and adequate rest. Although most people know how to climb Aconcagua, they are not good at finding the right place. You can ask your guide to help you find the best hotel in Mendoza.


Contacting the mountaineering company helps you find the best place to stay before and after the climb. If you hire a guide, you will get the chance to stay at base camp in the utmost comfort during your trip.

How many people are there in the base camps?

The Aconcagua Treks From Plaza Argentina (4250m) you must go up the glacial moraine, following the trail that runs through unstable terrain (mud and stone on ice). See photo 6. The journey is not difficult, but the load carrying and the height are beginning to feel (the mules reach Plaza Argentina). Performance at altitude is greater as the days go by and some rest days are reserved for acclimatization (when needed). C1 is at approximately 4900m, just after a long haul with a 400m drop that goes up to the side of a penitentes field that goes down from the Ameghino See photo 5. At the end of the haul, along the side of a watercourse that comes crashing down, you reach a notorious set, populated with stone walls and plans to set up camp. In this place it is recommended to drink water as high as possible, because the high altitude camps are not very clean in the “bathrooms” area. Climbing Aconcagua


The upper camp is located at approximately 5850m above sea level. From C1 you must follow one of the tracks that zigzag up a long haul until you reach the pass between Aconcagua and Ameghino, at 5400m See photo 6. This place is very exposed to the north wind and has little availability of water or snow in summer, so it is not recommended as a camp, despite the presence of piers, planes and a formidable view. From here you must follow the paths that lead to C2, which is behind a horizontal line of large gendarmes (or turrets). Some trails go along the ridge and others along the northern slope of this cord that separates the Aconcagua and the Ameghino. It is recommended to go up by the second one, because the impulse of the wind

Which comes from the north  makes the ascent relatively easier. Also, the carry and slope are smoother. This is crucial when it comes to lifting loads. From C1 to C2 they are between 3h and 6h, varying a lot depending on the climbers, the number of days on the hill, the weather and the wind. The descent takes less than 1h! The camp C2 has little. In the first place, there are at least 3 different and distant places that are used as a camping place.

Around the turrets (C2-upper) you are relatively sheltered from the wind, but away from water and ice. A little further down and to the north of the towers (about 200m) in the middle of a penitentes field and next to the water there is a second camp alternative, less polluted and with a good view of the glacier routes and the surroundings. However, in high season it is difficult to find space for tents, as it is the most used place. Finally, well below (C2-inferior), Aconcagua Guided Climb

there is a third campsite, not very sheltered from the wind, on an irregular surface of ice and earth. In addition, it is very close to the bathing sector, and although a few meters from the water, you should not trust it too much, since it comes down from the other camps. In C2, as in all the part that joins Plaza Argentina with it, you climb up slopes of earth and loose stone. However, it is good to note that you are advancing on a layer of land that covers the glacier, Aconcagua Hike

and that in some sections it can be quite exposed, when the layer that covers the ice is thin. It is recommended to be careful with it, especially those who drop the carries quickly.

You must leave very early, since the route consists of going around the hill, starting from the east face, to reach its north flank. Estimated time, conservative, from camp 2 to the summit: 10h. The descent takes a little less than half (+/- 4h). I mean, a whole day.

First thing in the morning, then, you must cross all the mentioned sectors of the high camp, until you come out onto a marked path that starts from the upper-north part of the camps, in the middle of a penitents’ field (in normal year) See photo 1 See photo 2. This part takes at Aconcagua 360 Route

Most 20 minutes. Once the trail intersects, it heads decisively and, along a slope that is not very pronounced but steady (without many breaks), until it runs into a snowdrift (sometimes a snowfield). This is found at an altitude of approx. 6300m, after about 2 hours of walking. It has a slope not greater than 45°, but occasionally there are stretches of hard ice, and its downward extension makes it a somewhat exposed snowdrift. See photo 1. You must cross it diagonally, Aconcagua Mountain Guides

for about ¾h, until you come out on land again, about 100m above, a few meters from the confluence with the normal route. Indeed, a few steps after leaving the snowdrift, notorious zigzags appear that lead through a sector of dark rocks to the confluence field, where in all probability expeditionaries from the normal will be observed moving monotonously

From there the story is known. It turns a little to the north, approaching the main northern ridge, which takes the normal route, to reach in less than 1 hour (the distance is short, but the height is present) the rock that barely shelters the Independencia refuge (6500m approx. .) It is most likely that with dawn and the exit towards the north face, at this point the “pencazos” of the north wind become ostensibly present (the gusts are heard coming in advance).

How much water should I drink to climb?

The day before the summit attempt, we had a meeting with the guides in Colera; I think that was the last push the group needed to meet the objective. They told us that the entire Acomara Staff was proud of us. Throughout the expedition, we had been a clear example of overcoming, persevering, and struggling towards a common goal. No one knew if we would reach the summit the next day, but at leas Aconcagua Guided Climb

t we knew that no one was going to blame themselves for anything. Finally, the whole group met the objective, and we reached the highest Summit in America. At the end of the expedition, we treated each other as a family because by living together during so many days with them, fraternal bonds are generated. In the end, it is not only an expedition with strangers, but it ends up being an experience with friends and finding and meeting people who have the same love for the outdoors, learning about people from all over the world who have different customs than mine was unique. Thanks Aconcagua Hike

again to Acomara for fixing everything from start to finish. There were many factors to consider, not just financial, but also preparation, logistics, training, acclimatization, and many other things. Acomara took it upon himself to put all of that together and make it work to make my experience excellent. Acomara is an excellent Aconcagua expedition company, and if I had to go back to Aconcagua, I would do it with them


Without a doubt, climbing Aconcagua is a unique and demanding experience. I would be lying if I told you that it is something simple and that it does not require preparation. The fact that it only takes walking leads some people to incorrectly think that it is something simple.

The training must be gradual and regular, it is useless to start training 1 month before the expedition because the results will not be seen, or at least they will not be the expected ones.

This mountain requires at least 6 months of previous training and gradually. Remember that the Aconcagua is like a marathon, and not like the 100 meter flat race.

The personal equipment to climb Aconcagua is another very important factor, especially the boots that we will use in the high altitude camps during the ascent. We must be very careful when choosing our boots, since a bad choice can ruin the expedition, not to mention the risk we run

This is the hardest part of the approach (Casa Piedra-Plaza Argentina), due to the greater physical wear and tear caused by the higher altitude. Between 7 am and 9 am are required to go through the Relinchos, perhaps one of the most striking routes of the excursion. Aconcagua 360 Route

At the end of the afternoon you reach a desolate plain on top of a glacial moraine, quite windy and dry See photo 5. There is spring water ¼h from the camp, on the way to the end of the valley (Plaza Argentina is just below the arm from the hill that divides what is the Polacos Aconcagua Mountain Guides

Glacier to the northeast and the Ingleses Glacier to the southeast). Despite being much quieter and more unpopulated than Plaza de Mulas, Plaza Argentina has grown in recent years and the place is full of tents, with signs offering drinks and beer. The excursion to the Polacos glacier is

Is it dangerous to climb Aconcagua without experience?

Plaza de Mulas, the guides warned us that it would be a challenging and long journey; after the Summit day, this day is the longest in the expedition to climb Aconcagua. In this case, I believe again that the management of the group by the guides was fundamental. Several stretches are quite demanding. Playa ancha and Cuesta Brava are clear examples that Aconcagua should not be underestimated (again, in my head, I should not climbing Aconcagua; I should have just done the Aconcagua trek). Not even before reaching the Plaza de Mulas base camp. Once you have arrived and settled in Plaza de Mulas, you start to take the dimension of this experience’s greatness. The base camp is almost a small town (it is the largest base camp globally after Everest). The Acomara staff treated us in the best possible way; they welcomed us with food and plenty of fluids to hydrate us since our effort was quite challenging. I want to mention the bathroom cleanliness that Acomara has in Plaza de Mulas. Clean, with all the cleaning supplies at our disposal after touring the base camp for a few days, I didn’t see Aconcagua 360 Route a bathroom similar to ours in the other companies. I think it is also essential to invest in infrastructure. Acomara could easily say that the toilets cannot be improved due to the environment’s apparent conditions and restrictions. Still, they made it clear that you can always choose to have the best service to offer your clients, regardless of the environment where one is. During the acclimatization treks to Canada, the group in general responded well. I mainly felt excellent, although the fatigue increased considerably, and I began to dose efforts all the time. I hired a 10-kilo porter with Acomara for the uphill sections since that was where I had to make the most significant effort, and I preferred to save all my energy for the final and decisive days of the expedition. The issue of buying portages was also a pleasant surprise for me since I was able to hire them in advance with Acomara, and I saved a lot of money, much more than if I had booked them directly in Mendoza. Aconcagua Mountain Guides


I thank all the guides involved in our expedition, leaders, porters, leader’s assistants. They were excellent; they were always up to date with our inquiries and requests, in addition to worrying about our safety all the time and making sure we enjoyed the expedition. We noticed that they knew what they were talking about all the time. They knew the territory, the weather, and they have been working there for a long time. They knew how to manage the

What needs we might have, and they always made sure that we had everything we needed for the expedition to run smoothly. I also want to thank and congratulate the porters for their work.

The contribution they make to the expedition’s logistics is invaluable, not to mention that they are the people who make the most physical effort in the mountains. From the moment we arrived at Plaza de Mulas, they introduced themselves to the group and told us that they Aconcagua Treks

would work most professionally, not worry about anything other than meeting our goal. They were cautious when handling our belongings. They carried our things with great care, and when we arrived at the corresponding camp, we had at the entrance to our tent the bag with Climbing Aconcagua

all our belongings in perfect condition. You will understand that it is complicated to keep things orderly and healthy in that climate and in that terrain, and the Acomara porters were always up to the task.

Do you need any technical knowledge to scale the Aconcagua?

Climbing Aconcagua is always a challenge for people around the world. During the Aconcagua climb season, Acomara arranged everything from the beginning to the end of each expedition for many climbers who came to Aconcagua; I am grateful to Acomara because I did not know what I was getting into. I never imagined the challenge that climbing Mount Aconcagua would be. I knew that there were many factors involved. When I booked online and told them about my plans, they helped me with my Aconcagua expedition. I asked them what equipment I would need or what I should bring because climbing Aconcagua is not something that happens every day, and I needed to be prepared. I felt extremely comfortable when I arrived in Mendoza and met with the Acomara Staff and the other Aconcagua expedition members. Aconcagua 360 Route

Once at the hotel, Acomara guides checked all my equipment, even before the expedition began, and ensured that my equipment was adequate and optimal. If we found any deficiency in my boots, for example, they would be with me to rent or buy whatever was necessary. I want to emphasize that both the sales and advice process and the post-sale and subsequent expedition assembly were very harmonious. At all times, I felt the tranquility and confidence in speaking with an expert on the subject. Both Fernando and Nicolas Aconcagua Mountain Guides

answered my questions clearly and thoroughly, without omitting information that could compromise my experience; at all times, I felt that they genuinely wanted to help or advise me and not because I would pay a lot of money for an expedition. It was very gratifying for me to know that companies like Acomara are managed in a more human way and without thinking about making money regardless of the client’s welfare. The guides from the beginning spoke to us about all the expedition’s recurring themes  Aconcagua Treks

and day by day during the expedition. The equipment that Acomara provided for the whole Aconcagua expeditions was of the highest quality. The food you could tell was very well prepared. The portions for breakfast, lunch, and dinner were quite generous. Usually, for lunch, they gave us a packed lunch because we were walking. Many members of the Aconcagua expeditions, including myself, had some restrictions or allergies to some foods and Acomara knew that from the beginning, and they made sure that we did not lack anything to eat or drink. Both the guides and the camp staff made sure we were very well fed despite our restrictions. It was a challenge.

The Acomara facilities in the camps, both at Confluencia and Plaza de Mulas, really showed you that you had not been wrong when choosing Acomara to carry out your expedition. At the confluence, they had domes for different numbers of people, and you could tell at first glance that they were in excellent condition and that, in some cases, it was the first time they were used. I have been lucky enough to climb several hills, Climbing Aconcagua which is not quite common in other companies. Still, in Confluencia, the food was exquisite and exceptionally abundant, dinner always had a soup full of nutrients as the first course, since, as you know, hydration is essential in this environment. Even after finishing your meal, we had the opportunity to talk with the cooks and the staff in charge of the camp, which was one of the most rewarding experiences because that interaction allows you to know others’ customs idiosyncrasies quite different people to your customs and beliefs.

Is Mount Aconcagua really dangerous?

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

Basil Marden

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.

Details to take into account when buying your equipment

Mules Square 4,260mts. to Piedras Conway 4,600mts.

Weather. 1h.

From this point you ascend a steep zig-zag ascent over a wide haul up the west face of the hill until you reach the ridge of the north face, from where another zigzagging ascent begins, reaching Piedras Conway. This place is protected from the wind, where you can take a break.

Conway 4,600mts. to Plaza Canada 4,800mts.

Time.1:30 to 2 hours.

It begins with a traverse to the Northwest until you reach the foot of a large rocky outcrop. From above, continuing to the west, follow the path that leads to another ledge, Plaza Canada, where you can go up to the right.

It should be noted that from Piedras Conway to the East, continuing to the left, follows another path that leads directly to Cambio de Pendiente.

Canada Square 4,800mts. a Change of slope 5,200mts. Aconcagua 360 Route

Weather. 1:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.

You leave in a northwesterly direction taking the left until you reach some rocks that protrude from the ground, from there you have to make a series of steep zigzags until a decrease in the slope of the land (Change of slope). It is an ideal place to set up camp.

Change of slope 5,200mts. to Nido de Cóndores 5,300mts.

Weather. 1 to 1:30 a.m.

From Change of slope, two alternatives can be followed. One, which goes directly to Nido de Cóndores. Generally it is with snow where the straight line is marked by the transit of the mountaineers.

The other, in a southeasterly direction, follows a zigzag trail that ends in an old refuge called Antarctica Argentina (abandoned). Then follows a long journey to the Northeast.

Condors Nest

Nido de Cóndores, spacious but very unprotected, only has some rocky sectors that serve as protection against the wind that at this point can manifest itself with violence.

Small partially frozen lagoons can be seen from which water can be extracted, although care must be taken as they are not always clean. From this camp, in addition to observing several neighboring peaks.

Nest of Condors 5,300mts. to Berlin 5,850mts.

Weather. 2 to 4 hours.

Leaving to the East, you reach a small rocky strip, which you circle on the left side until you reach the top and thus return to the South, until you find a winding path and then go below another large vertical rocky strip.

Aconcagua Mountain Guides

This is surrounded by the left, heading East until reaching a small zigzag that then returns again to the South. In traverse you ascend to the top of this rocky section, and thus be located in the Berlin camp.

This site has two small shelters that admit up to 4 people each (Plantamura and Libertad). If you follow about 30mts. higher up is a third with greater capacity (Berlin). From this camp most climbers attempt the summit.

Berlin 5,850mts. to Independence Shelter 6,400mts.

Weather. 2 to 3:30 p.m. Aconcagua Treks

Leaving Berlin in an easterly direction, up to a rocky strip that you pass to the right in a south-easterly direction, a steep traverse is made that leads to some walls. White Rocks 6,050mts. Then we continue in the direction of a small, very windy hill, towards the Southeast until another rocky sector, called Piedras Negras 6,200mts.

Continue on the journey until you start another series of zigzags that lead to the top of a small hill, where the Independencia Refuge (abandoned) is located.

From here you can see the footprint that comes from the base of the Polacos glacier to continue along the Falso Polacos route from Plaza Argentina. It is also possible to see the valley that comes from the Alta Vieja ravine, which leaves Plaza Guanacos.

Elena Refuge 5,970 meters.

The Elena refuge was inaugurated on January 1, 2011 in the camp known as “Plaza Cólera” at 5970 meters above sea level, which allows, in case of rescues and emergencies, to be able to access from there both mountaineers who go to the North or Normal Route as well as the increasingly busy Route of the Polish Glacier

Independence Refuge 6,400mts. to the Summit 6962 meters.

Weather. 4 to 8 a.m.

at 30 meters From the Independencia shelter in a southwesterly direction, you pass through a pass called Portezuelo del viento where there may be days with winds that make transit impossible. Once you have passed this portezuelo, you enter crossings to the right in a Southwest direction, until you reach the For the descent, half the time spent on the ascent is normally calculated. However, exhaustion often causes this time to lengthen, so it is necessary to anticipate its duration while ascending. You have to be careful when going down the Gran Canaleta, it is misleading because it appears to be near Nido de Cóndores or Cambio de Pending. It is important to find the descent trail and turn right towards the Northeast to get back to the Independencia refuge, which is on the eastern side of the mountain. Then you have to keep left North direction to get to the Berlin camp.

How to face the preparation to climb Aconcagua

In December 2019, Czech air runner Martin Zhor set a new record for the fastest ascent and descent of Aconcagua. He completed the return trip from base camp in just 3 hours, 38 minutes, and 17 seconds.

In 1944, the French Adriana Bance became the first woman to climb Aconcagua. Tragically, she and her husband would later die on the mountain.

In 1947, a British plane rumored to be carrying Nazi spies and a cargo of gold mysteriously disappeared near Aconcagua. In 1999, remains were discovered 100 km away on a mountain called Tupungato. Despite a massive investigation, the mystery of the gold, spies and a cryptic Morse code message sent moments before the crash remains unsolved. Many of the remains remain hidden in glaciers.

The Aconcagua appeared in a 1942 Disney animation called Pedro. Pedro, a “baby glider”, almost crashed on Aconcagua while transporting mail over the Andes, while he was covering for his father who “was lying down with a cold in the cylinder head”. In January 2009, there were five fatalities on Aconcagua in four separate incidents. It is unusual for so many people to die in such a short time on Aconcagua and the events caused shock in the local community.

One of those deaths was that of Italian Federico Campanini, winter climbs in the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges of Asia are crowded, and since peak times on Aconcagua typically correspond at night in Nepal and Pakistan, when a climber summits Aconcagua, he is likely to be briefly (as I was) the tallest person to ever stand on Earth Climbing Aconcagua

Finally, the strawberry of the dessert is one of the largest peaks in the world. With its more than 6,962 meters high, Aconcagua is the most imposing mountain in the range. This does not go unnoticed since almost from any point in Mendoza you can see its top. Climbing Aconcagua is an extreme sport, and a challenge for professional athletes who spend years training. However, this is not an impediment for you to see it up close. You can visit the Mount Aconcagua Provincial Park, get to its base, and in the process enter one of its trails surrounded by nature. This is one of the activities in Mendoza that will leave you speechless and wanting to take thousands of photos.

Did you see all the things there are to do in Mendoza? Walk its streets, relax in hot springs, get to know one of the highest peaks in the world and much more. The official elevation of Aconcagua according to the IGM (Military Geographical Institute), is 6,962 meters. Being the highest summit in South America, and one of the seven peaks belonging to the circuit of the highest mountains of each continent. Located between 60º 50´ Long. West and 32º 39′ Lat. South.

The name Aconcagua comes from the Quechua “Ackon Cahuak” which means stone sentinel. This is the most accepted origin.

On the colossus of America, 34 ascent routes have been traced. The one described in this review is the well-known “normal route”, it is traced on its Northwest face.

Location of Aconcagua, Mendoza, Argentina

Access to the Horcones Valley

From the city of Mendoza, following International Route No. 7, we arrive at Penitentes and Puente del Inca.

Penitentes is located 165 km. from the city of Mendoza and 6 km. from the park. It has an excellent infrastructure of hotels and inns.

Puente del Inca also on the same Route No. 7, 175 km. from Mendoza and at an altitude of 2,750 m, it is a small town where there is an Argentine Army base. It has post office, inn and shelter.

Within the same Puente del Inca there is a chapel Aconcagua Guided Climb

and the ruins of an old hotel swept away by an avalanche. 1 km. Before reaching the town, you will find the Andinistas Cemetery, where the remains of mountaineers who lost their lives on Aconcagua remain. 3 km. from Puente del Inca to the northwest is the Valle de Horcones. After passing the Pyramid of the customs complex and leaving Route No. 7, you enter a dirt road that leads to the park ranger post.

Once the procedures are finished, the same valley is followed, passing by the shore of the Horcones lagoon and thus continuing on the left bank of the Horcones river, until meeting the first bridge (built when the film Seven Years in Tibet was made), that crosses to the right.

Horcones 2,800 meters. to Confluence 3,300 meters.

Time: 3 to 4 hours.

From this point on, the right bank of the Horcones River is maintained, following a narrow track well marked by the transit of mules. After doing 9 km. from Horcones, you reach the union of the Horcones Superior and Horcones Inferior rivers; this place is called Confluence.

Aconcagua Provincial Park

Confluence 3,300 meters. to Playa Ancha 3,500 meters.

Time: 1 to 2 hours.

From Confluencia you can follow two Aconcagua Hike

alternatives. The track that goes to Plaza Francia and the one that goes to Plaza de Mulas. Following the latter, you must cross the Horcones Inferior river through a bridge to then turn right and thus keep to the left bank of the river, heading northeast until the trail detaches from the river, to continue along the valley towards northwest.

Following the Horcones valley, you pass through a mallín (marshy land), crossed by small streams of water that flow into the Horcones Superior river. Here the right bank of the river is maintained, following a well-marked footprint on red earth, which leads us to a large stone which marks the beginning of a wide ravine called Playa Ancha.

Wide square 3,500 meters. to Plaza de Mulas 4,260 meters.

Weather. 4 a.m. to 7 a.m.

After making several fords to the upper Horcones river, you have to stay on the right side of the river and follow the trail, until you reach 4 km. to the ruins of the old Plaza de Mulas Inferior. From this point and to the right you can see the imposing west face. Follow the trail on a steep slope called Cuesta Brava. Once you get over the slope, you go down until you cross a stream and then continue up through moraines to Plaza de Mulas, where the park rangers, the various service providers and mountaineers are located.

The average time from Confluencia to Plaza de Mulas is between 7 to 9 hours. The distance from Horcones to Plaza de Mulas is 38 km.