Aconcagua Climbing – Useful data for the Aconcagua

State of Route 40

Check the status of Route 40 on our website: Status of Route 40.

Important Tips

Bring water and food. A map in paper format.

If you are going to visit the mountain range, have warm clothes, a jacket and a warm hat on hand, even in summer. The climate in the high mountains can be variable and the wind chills.

Bring blankets and a heater for any problem that may occur and require you to spend the night on the route.

It can rain torrentially in summer, and summer melting can cause seemingly dry streams to swell. Be careful on speed bumps and water steps.

In winter it can freeze and temperatures in Andean areas drop to -25°C, it can snow and cut off traffic on Route 7.

We suggest reading our tips for driving in snow if you are going to drive in winter as ice in shady areas and snow can be problematic.

Also read our tips for driving safely in the mountains and on gravel roads.

Aconcagua Mountain Guides

Access to Aconcagua from Route 40

This is the access map to Aconcagua from Mendoza.

From the city of Mendoza, take National Route 7, which connects it with Santiago de Chile and drive west towards Puente del Inca. Go past the Argentine Customs (unless you are going to Chile, in which case you must complete the corresponding controls).

Route 40 reaches the city of Mendoza from the South, coming from El Sosneado and Malargüe, and from the North, from San Juan.

We describe the section of the Route in the Uco Valley in our Section from Pareditas to Mendoza (Section 10).

The previous section, towards the South, is the section from Barrancas to Pareditas and the one that follows is the section from Mendoza to Guandacol, passing through the city of San Juan. 

Aconcagua Ascents

Fuel in the Zone

There is fuel in:

Pareditas, San Rafael, San Carlos, Tunuyán, Tupungato, Maipú, Luján de Cuyo, Uspallata, and throughout Greater Mendoza

Location of Service Stations on Route 40

This is the Sigma Project, which seeks to measure the advance of tectonic plates in that massif using GPS. The data you collect is vast. It is in charge of the Ianigla (of the Cricyt), the UNCuyo, the Directorate of Renewable Natural Resources and the University of Hawaii. Through the so-called Acon GPS Permanent Station and the meteorological station, which are already operational, GPS reference patterns will be established in Argentina, and the variations in height and displacement of that hill and other chains will be specified for seismological purposes; It will also provide information on glaciers using a method similar to tomography Aconcagua Treks

Aconcagua Climbing – Flora and fauna in Aconcagua

climbing the colossus

In 1833, the German Paul Gussfeldt managed to climb to a height of 6,560 m. But it was not until 1896 that serious attempts were made to climb it through the Valle de los Horcones (Edward Fitz Gerald’s expedition). the following year, in the second expedition of Fitz Gerald, the Swiss Mathías Zurbriggen reaches the summit on January 14.

On March 8, 1934, the first Argentine to do so reached the summit of Aconcagua: Lieutenant Nicolás Platamura.

nearby towns

In the vicinity of the Provincial Reserve of Aconcagua there are several towns that have services for tourists (accommodation, food and fuel). We mention the most important located on Route 40 or close to it:

Uspallata

Mendoza City

Lujan de Cuyo

Tupungato

Tunuyan

Maipu

barrel

Tips and advice to visit the area

Weather in Cuyo

Fall and Spring. Little rain. The harvest takes place at the end of summer and beginning of autumn.

Summer. It’s hot; daytime temperatures are very high. Low relative humidity. It is the rainiest season. It can rain torrentially and even hail Aconcagua 360 Route

Winter. It hardly rains. Diaphanous sky, frost in open areas. Except for the school vacation period there are no crowds of tourists.

Climate in the foothills: Uco Valley

It is a very arid zone with barely 230 mm of annual rainfall and an average relative humidity of 45%. The rains are summer, torrential with hail and electrical storms.

In the Pedemonte, there is a great thermal amplitude between day and night and between seasons. In winter there are strong frosts. The areas of lower altitude or close to the rivers have a mild climate.

The average in summer is about 25°C and in winter it is 8.5°C. There is seldom snow in the winter in the low-lying areas.

When to Visit the Cuyana Region

The Uco Valley and the province of Mendoza can be visited all year round. The weather varies but there are always activities to do.

Aconcagua and the park that protects it should be visited in late spring, summer and early fall. Snow prevents access during the period April – September.

Driving Precautions How to Climb Aconcagua

Route 40 in the Uco Valley presents no difficulties as it is fully paved and its northern section is a highway (beware of motorcycles, cyclists and pedestrians). It crosses regions with a relatively flat relief without sinuosities.

If you are going to visit the Andean areas with mountain roads, cornices with some gravel: drive carefully.

The routes that go up to the mountain range are winding, with two lanes (in some sections 3 lanes, which allows slow vehicles to safely overtake).

Aconcagua Guided Climb

National Route 7 has a high flow of trucks to and from Chile. They drive slowly on slopes and curves. Drive carefully.

Aconcagua Climbing – Unforgettable experience in South America

Tuesday 10 / 02 / 04

“When one is stressed and nervous, complaining and complaining is tempting, but such behavior is only useful if someone can fix things for you, and in the mountains everyone is responsible for himself” Aconcagua Hike

Today we set up camp to go to Nido de Cóndores (5600mts). This morning there was a problem between Gladys and Belén, who are tent mates. Apparently Gladys is not very cooperative with daily tasks, I know that she does the minimum and is also the slowest of the group, which causes problems in the marches, as if all this were not enough, poor Belén lost the water she was heating Inside the tent, she began to cry, I think it is the sum of everything that has been said, plus the effort, the lack of oxygen, the tension typical of the situation we are experiencing and fundamentally the lack of “wave” between them.

In general, except for these small incidents, the group works well. Eduardo slept spectacularly and today he is another, on the march to Nido de Cóndores he went very well. It was a very hard journey due to the higher altitude, the 15 kg of the backpack and the steep slopes. It took me a lot of effort but it went well. Leandro did not tolerate the march and Fernando had to help him with the backpack, I do not think he will attempt the summit, the same situation is that of Gladys. Aconcagua Expeditions

The place is moving, how to describe in words the grandeur of the mountains and this landscape that so few people know, I feel privileged and I give “thanks to life that has given me so much”. The summit is already close, from Here you can see the paths of ascent and I take photos. I went to look for snow to melt at 100mts, all in slow motion, I finish doing this and it starts to snow. In an hour everything was white, some began to throw snowballs, as you can see the spirit is excellent.

I am a little worried about the radio news that reports a storm in the high mountains, the people who love me must be scared, but we are very well and I have no way of communicating with anyone. Aconcagua Climb

Snowfall in summer is very rare in Nido de Cóndores and we had the privilege. We dined on sausages with mash and grated cheese for lack of butter and milk. Although it snowed all night we were not cold in the tent.

Aconcagua Climbing – How far in advance should you prepare your expedition?

When we arrived in Canada, I had to go get water from a small stream that was 500 meters from the camp and with a slope of 35 degrees, I got quite agitated. For those who have never been in these situations, it is like walking with shoes that weigh 5 kg each, climbing slopes. It is impossible to run or walk fast, one immediately becomes agitated, nausea, vomiting and headache appear. Aconcagua Expedition

With all this I was really tired, so we ate some delicious noodles with sauce and tuna, made by Mario and we fell asleep at 8 pm. I share the high mountain tent with Mario and Eduardo.

Eduardo couldn’t sleep all night and the next morning he wanted to go back. Insomnia, headache and the permanent feeling of shortness of breath are common, and will increase with altitude. They comment that in Berlin (6000mts) it is very difficult to sleep because of all this, due to these symptoms and the progressive weakening of the body due to lack of oxygen, it is necessary to stay as short as possible above 6000mts. Aconcagua Treks

I slept 4 hours straight and two intermittently. I have a feeling of tension in my head that does not become pain and fatigue if I move quickly, even changing clothes is done very slowly and it is very difficult to put on the boots, it takes me approximately 15 minutes, stopping several times.

For two days, Mario has an irritative cough that is quite annoying for him and those around him, this makes it difficult for him to sleep well, therefore the one who sleeps best, of the three, is me.

Tonight I plan to give 1.5 mg of bromazepam to each of my colleagues, because I think they are “over the top”. I was carrying a heavily loaded backpack, I estimate 15 kg, despite which we climbed from 4,200 to 4,910 (700mts) in 4 hours. It was a major effort done at a slow pace, about one short step per second. When you see the expeditions at this point they seem to go in slow motion and it really is the only way. Climb Aconcagua

“Human beings set goals throughout their existence. They reach some and set others… but what is an achievement worth if you are unable to enjoy life while it lasts and struggle to achieve it? Choose the most sublime goals, the life will take care of the rest”

Aconcagua Climbing – Ancient history on the Aconcagua hill

The Deed of Saint Martin

The epic of the Army of the Andes was unique due to its logistical and human aspects, comparable to those of the Carthaginian Hannibal or Napoleon, who crossed the Alps (through lower passes and with a more benign climate).

A part of the Army, commanded by General Gregorio de Las Heras, crossed through Uspallata, at almost 3,000 meters, with their belongings, weapons, ammunition and pack animals. Arriving in Chile, they defeated the Royalists in Chacabuco. Sealing the independence of the Southern Cone.

Tourism in Mount Aconcagua Park

There are two levels of tourism in Aconcagua Park, the “conventional” and the “athletic” (trekking and mountaineering). Let’s look at the options for each category:

Conventional Tourism Aconcagua Argentina

The Valle de los Horcones sector has the necessary infrastructure to receive visitors and is the most used for leisure, recreation and observation within the Park.

It is located on the valley of the same name, north of National Route 7, up to the confluence of the El Durazno stream and the Horcones river. It has interpretive trails, panoramic views (with signposts). It is the ideal circuit to photograph the park and observe its flora and fauna.

Guidelines to keep in mind:

Only circulate by car in the enabled accesses and only to the parking lot.

Bicycle: use the marked paths and up to the Quebrada del Durazno.

Camping for climbers who enter or leave the Park: maximum 24 hours.

Picnic only in the vicinity of the parking lot or where the Park Ranger designates.

The right to enter the park is charged at its access on National Route No. 7. In the place there are bathrooms and a small, short and very simple circuit with views of Aconcagua.

Andinism and Trekking

See the Official Website of the park.

They move in the area designated for such sports activities, that of Cerro Aconcagua. Area where camping, recreation and sports are held. The “approach camp” is allowed for those who trek and/or climb the approach routes of the Quebradas de Horcones and the Vacas River. The “Base Camps” and “high camps” are the ones made by climbers on their climbs. In general, the followers of trekking do not go beyond the Mirador del Paredón Sur. There is a one day trek, between 1/Nov and 30/Apr. It does not allow camping and is suitable for people over 13 years of age. The current cost for Argentines (2019-2020) is $400 and for foreigners $1,500.

Lagoon Circuit

It is short and costs $150 for Argentines and $300 for foreigners.

It is a self-guided trail, 1 hour long, of an easy level that can be done throughout the year. Even for children under 13 years old. Bring a coat, suitable sports shoes, a hat, sunscreen and a snack. There are no services in the circuit.

Aconcagua Climbing – Wild animals on Cerro Aconcagua?

Flora of Aconcagua Park

This park is located within the Altoandina Phytogeographic Province, which in this region is known as “Cuyana high Andean flora”.

The species that live in this area have adapted very well to cold, dryness and strong winds.

It grows stunted, creeping on sheltered slopes. In the heights it is low, scattered and steppe. At a lower altitude you can see some woody plants such as the goat’s horn that grows up to a meter in height.

The vital cycles of the plants are such that they make the most of the snow-free sunny and hot season between October and April. The Wildlife of the Park

The Birds: The height and the rigorous climate make the fauna especially adapted to its rigors: the condor flies over the valleys looking for food. There are also the gray sleeper, the Andean comosebo, the plumbeous yal, the collared snipe, the Andean pigeon and the Andean hummingbird.

Among the mammals we have the Andean mouse and mouse, the chinchilla and the chinchilla rat. Cultural Resources in the Aconcagua expeditions

Original towns

The human population of this region dates back to about 10,000 years ago. They were hunters and gatherers, who used arrows and stone axes.

In times prior to the arrival of the Spanish, the area was populated by the descendants of these paleoindians: the huarpes. The Huarpes were farmers who used artificial irrigation to grow pumpkins, peppers, corn and peppers. They settled in the valleys of the Cuyo region. 

Climbing Aconcagua

Around 1430, the Inca empire extended from the Altiplano to the south, occupying northwestern Argentina and the Cuyo region.

The southern limit of the Inca empire was located in what is today the area of ​​the Mendoza river valley. The Incas established their domination over the local ethnic groups and built their Inca Trail (UNESCO World Heritage Site).

Inca Trail in Aconcagua

The branches of the Inca Trail coming from the province of San Juan converged at the place of Tambillos in Mendoza (32 km north of Uspallata) it was a post on the road. Upon reaching Uspallata, it turned westward up the Mendoza River passing through the current ruins of Ranchillos and Tambillitos (Inca posts or “tambos”).

In the high mountain area, in the Aconcagua Climb Provincial Park, a section of the Inca Trail is preserved. That crossed over the “Puente del Inca”, a natural arch that crosses the Las Cuevas River to cross the mountain range and enter what is now Chile.

Aconcagua Climbing – Experience outside the Himalayas, Aconcagua

But I also think that we have an incomparable privilege, perhaps we are the only beings aware of the existence of the universe and when humans disappear, and that will happen at the latest when the sun goes out, if we don’t decide to destroy ourselves before, the universe will continue to exist with its great vitality, stars are permanently dying and being born, its rapid expansion that does not stop, but no one will be aware of these Aconcagua Ascents wonders, a living universe changing and uninhabited by a consciousness, and thinking about it, the human species will be a spark between the previous darkness and subsequent to its existence, that although for us who invented time, and who in general relate it to our short life, it can be a lot, for the universe that is billions of years old and with a future it is nothing more than a short and tiny spark, and I am part of that spark, I am aware of my smallness and my privilege and I try to imagine the greatness of the universe or without success…

Nor do I rule out the existence of some other inhabited planet, among so many millions of stars and planets and times as long as eternity, the conditions of ours or similar can be repeated, but contacts are practically impossible due to distances and times…

Everything is much more mysterious than is believed, and all this, (God… the universe… me), is just a mysterious corner of the unattainable truth. For example, I am standing and trying to climb a paleo volcano that is 10 million years old and 7000 m high… how are you? The things that one thinks at 5000 m. Monday 09 / 02 / 05 Aconcagua Guided Climb

At 11 a.m. we leave for Plaza Canada, this is the definitive exit, to attempt the summit, therefore we take everything we need to camp, all the high mountain clothing, I leave the traking boots, and I put on the double ones, the ones I I will use until the return. I am excited because the moment of the definitive effort is approaching, I can’t wait to see that beautiful south wall, whose photo I have at the foot of my bed and I have looked at daily before going out to train, filling me with energy Aconcagua Mountain Guides

In Canada we will continue to acclimatize in altitude, this is essential to slowly adapt the body, to function fully with little oxygen and very low atmospheric pressure. At the top of Aconcagua there is approximately half the oxygen and atmospheric pressure that in the City of Mendoza and to this we must add the effort of climbing with slopes between 30 and 45 degrees, we will see how it goes, I fully trust my strength of will and in the long training carried out, I am only afraid of the weather, with which I certainly cannot, and I do not intend to take unnecessary risks.

Aconcagua Climbing – How to use crampons in the snow

Fernando arrived, who commands the expedition. His presence is very important because he balances the group, plus he is the one with the most experience and knowledge. Welcome dear Fernando!!!

They are discussing where to spend the night before attempting the summit, on Thursday or Friday. Originally it was Nido de Cóndores, now Berlin is 400mts higher (6000mts) which means 2 hours less walking the day we will attempt the summit. Aconcagua

I will support what Fernando says, who commands the expedition. For me he must make the decision and take responsibility for it.

I’m going to try to rent a sleeping bag thicker than mine because here with 10 degrees below zero it works fine, but with 25 degrees below zero I don’t know what will happen, and that’s the probable temperature in Berlin.

Today I tried to communicate with the whole family, but I only managed to talk to Pablo and Chichi (Lili’s mother). I told them about our current plans and experiences and gave them the numbers to call Lili, the girls and mom (Cuca’s phone number). did not answer) I was moved when I spoke with Pablo and told him about the importance of loved ones in these extreme experiences. Aconcagua 360 Route

At approximately 9:00 p.m. I started looking at the stars with my long eyes, I never get tired of doing it and here, due to the height and the absence of smog, that poison that “progress” generates, they look spectacular. I brought a photocopy of the star map of Carlita’s book, and I quickly began to identify the different constellations, starting from the well-known and easily identifiable ones such as the Southern Cross to the south and Orion to the north, so they appeared, “La Popa” ,”La Vela” “Carina” next to Canopus, that great star that, together with Sirius, is one of the brightest and that since ancient times served as a guide for navigators and it is from them that one is oriented to identify the less bright ones. my view Taurus, Gemini, Canis Major and Minor, alpha and beta Centauri, the closest stars only 20 light years from the sun, the Magellanic clouds which are the closest galaxies to ours and discovered by the famous navigator and the beautifull s Pleiades… what a privilege to be able to see and enjoy this, how many men and women from the beginning of humanity, (100 thousand years ago) will have been moved by this spectacle, the same because for the How to Climb Aconcagua universe 100 thousand years is not time, how many questions They will have done looking at the tremendous immensity of the universe, which, as we now know, is approximately fifteen billion years old and has dimensions incomprehensible to the human mind… For example, the Milky Way, our great galaxy, is 100,000 light years in diameter (traveling to 300 thousand km per second for 100 thousand years!!!) and there are millions of galaxies and billions of stars… I remember that Carl Sagan, in his book Cosmos, says that … the sun and our beloved earth with 4700 million years old etc… I try to imagine looking at the sky these dimensions and these times, my capacity is totally exceeded…

Aconcagua Climbing – Argentina awaits you to climb the Aconcagua

The Aconcagua Provincial Park is very close to Route 40, and to the city of Mendoza, it allows access to the highest mountain in the world outside of Asia, Cerro Aconcagua, 6,960 m high.

On this page we give you information on how to get there, when to visit it, what there is to see and do. This provincial park is located about 190 km from the capital of Mendoza, very close to the border with Chile.

It has an area of ​​71,000 ha. It was created in 1983 in order to protect the flora, fauna and archaeological material around the highest peak in America (and also in the western and southern hemispheres); in fact, it is the biggest peak in the world outside of Asia: Cerro Aconcagua, with 6,960 meters of height. Without a doubt, the Cordillera de los Andes is the main element of the park. The Cordillera is not a monolithic unit but is subdivided into three differentiated bands and the Andes between 28° and 34° S, are subdivided into two cords that run parallel:

The first, to the east, or Cordillera Frontal, closer to the city of Mendoza and the Uco Valley.

Climb Aconcagua

The second to the west, which is where the Park is located, called Cordillera Principal or Cordillera del Limite. Its width in this area is about 30 km.

Both cords are differentiated by the type of rocks that compose them: the “Main” is made up of marine sediments with Jurassic and Cretaceous fossils.

Aconcagua, unlike other peaks in the area, such as the nearby Cerro Tupungato, is not volcanic but has been raised by tectonic forces that raised the Cordillera.

It is surrounded by hills over 5,000 m high, such as the Cuerno, Catedral, Bonete and Mirador.

The high peaks are covered with glaciers. The melting winter snow forms Penitentes about 2 to 3 m high, in the form of sharp, aligned and erect mounds.

The Name: Aconcagua

The natives used a Quechua word to name this mass of almost 7 km in height: Aconcagua, which means “Stone Sentinel”

The rivers that irrigate the foothill oases of northern Mendoza (the Mendoza, Tunuyán, Diamante, and Atuel rivers) rise in the mountainous area and are fed by melting ice in spring.

The Mendoza River receives part of its waters from Aconcagua since its tributaries: the Horcones River (to the west and southwest of the Park) and the Las Vacas River (to the north and east) come down from the Aconcagua Expedition

Weather in Aconcagua hike

It is temperate semi-arid mountain. With summer rains and in winter, rainfall from the Pacific.

The Zonda wind is characteristic of the area, warm, dry and carrying a lot of dust in suspension.

The height makes the thermal amplitude great: in summer temperatures can drop below -20°C at heights above 5,000 m.

Even at lower altitudes, the daily thermal amplitude is considerable and even in summer it is cold. The wind can aggravate the low wind chill. Always wear warm clothes.

Aconcagua Climbing – What to take to Aconcagua

Whether you go on your own or decide to join an excursion to go to Aconcagua, you must bear in mind that it is a high mountain area and that you have to be prepared for everything. For example, the weather can be very changeable or you may notice a lack of oxygen if you are not used to the altitude.

To do the trails of both the Horcones Lagoon and the Confluencia base camp, I recommend you to bring a small backpack with everything you may need: a bottle of water, food to recharge your batteries, an external battery so you don’t run out of mobile, sunscreen. , a small medicine cabinet… If you are affected by soroche, they sell pills to mitigate it or you can buy coca leaves to chew or make an infusion.

As for clothing, try to dress with a windbreaker and in layers. Thus, if the day is sunny you can take off the warmer clothes, and if it changes to cold, put them on again to keep warm. Do not forget the hat and gloves if there is a forecast of cold, nor the cap and sunglasses if there is forecast of sun. For your feet, good socks and used hiking shoes that won’t hurt or chafe.

Aconcagua Mountain Guides

Also, and very important if you travel from abroad, remember to have good travel insurance. The mountain is beautiful, but it can be treacherous, and we never know when we might fall, twist an ankle, or even catch a cold. So, in order not to have to manage the paperwork of medical assistance or have to pay money for it, it is best to be covered by insurance. I recommend Mondo and with them you always have a 5% discount for reading my blog. Where to sleep on Aconcagua ascents

If you are going to visit Aconcagua for a day, it is normal to return to Mendoza. Most people reserve their accommodation in the capital and from there move to other places in the province that they wish to visit. Now, if you want to stay over there, you have some hotels in the surroundings of the Provincial Park along Route 7. You can consult them here.

If you are thinking of camping on Aconcagua, it is only possible if you are going to do a multi-day trek. The base camps are enabled for this, although you will have to take your tent, your sleeping bag and your food. If you are only going to trek to Confluencia, I am sorry to tell you that you cannot spend the night, since the entrance is only during the day.

I hope this post helps you plan your adventure and now you have a clearer idea of ​​how to get to Aconcagua treks. I did the trek to Confluencia on my own by bus from Mendoza and it was a very nice experience (although exhausting due to all the travel time and the high altitude walk). If you like the mountains, I highly recommend it, even if it’s just a day trip from the city. It is very worth it!