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).