Aconcagua Climbing – A hill of millions of years

For all these analyses, a photo interpretation was carried out, with frames at a scale of 1:50,000; Aster satellite images were also interpreted, from which digital topographic models were made and, finally, field tasks were carried out. During the latter, observations were made of the sedimentological characteristics of the deposits located along the aforementioned valleys, collecting samples to carry out Climb Aconcagua compositional (mineralogy) and textural (granulometry and roundness) analyzes in order to fully define the lithological characteristics of the same. Lastly, absolute dating was done using carbon 14C methods on fluvial and lacustrine deposits, and cosmogenic nuclides (NC) on surface blocks of the deposits under discussion. The analysis of all this information finally made it possible to interpret the genesis of the different deposits, the age of the processes that originated them and to evaluate what could have been the determining factors and triggers that produced them.

The work has been organized in such a way as to first present the field observations, the mineralogical and textural data and the absolute ages of the deposits, then the interpretations that arise from the analysis of all this information and, finally, the conclusions.

Geomorphological features

It stands out in the landscape due to its great elevation and is also notable for the presence of glaciers located on it at different heights (Upper Glacier, Middle Glacier and Lower Glacier) The Upper Glacier draws attention, because it communicates through a small step with the Ventisquero de Los Relinchos, a glacier that flows into the valley of the Las Vacas River. On the other hand, this last Aconcagua Expedition glacier also has very particular characteristics, since it ends on the southern wall of Cerro Aconcagua without a feeding basin or glacial cirque. Starting from the morphological observation, the Superior Glacier and the Los Relinchos Glacier can be united in a single glacial tongue, considering that they would have flowed, in the past, in a valley to the east as the East Glacier and the Ameghino Glacier do. These three glacial tongues coincide in height, Aconcagua Hike, unlike the Horcones Inferior glacier, much deeper in the landscape due to differential erosion, as a consequence of the asymmetry in the size of the glaciers, in relation to the orientation of the valleys with respect to of sunstroke. To complete this scheme, all that is needed is a watershed or interfluve that currently does not exist, between the valley of the Superior Glacier-Ventisquero de Los Relinchos and the valley of the Inferior Horcones. It is interpreted that said divide, absent today, would have existed in times of the Quaternary glaciation, as will be analyzed later.

The confluence area:

This area bears that name because the valleys of Horcones Inferior, Horcones Superior and the Tolosa ravine meet there. The sector is a little wider than each of the valleys individually.

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 – Always listen to the advice of the guide

Today there is a discussion about the dinner menu, half the group wants capletines and the other half polenta, tomorrow when I write the diary the mystery will have been revealed. It’s 5 pm and I’m going to read a little.

Tomorrow we are going to carry food to Nido de Cóndores (5500 meters), so we will go up with more weight than today, we will see how it goes. I hope the weather is with us.

Today I had a medical check-up, in the health tent in Plaza de Mulas, (in Mendoza I have 60) and an oxygen saturation of 80% (in Mendoza I have 94%) given the height all good.

Saturday 07 /02 /05

“No, to remain and pass, is not to endure, it is not to exist, nor to honor life. There are so many ways of not being, so much consciousness without knowing numb… because it is not the same as living… honoring life ”

We leave at 10 a.m. for Nido de Cóndores (5500mts), we pass through Plaza Canada at 1:30 p.m. and arrive at Nido de Cóndores at 3 p.m.

We made a good time but the effort was great, in the last 300 meters I understood what it means to climb with the head. There comes a time when the legs do not want more, in any other situation one stops, but here you have to continue, then you start thinking about your great and beautiful dream, about your loved ones, about all those who trust in you and in your commitment, it’s incredible but I imagined them all Aconcagua Hike encouraging me Cuca, Carlos, Guillermo, Liliana, Pablo, Gonzalo, Jimena, Carla and Paula I dedicated several minutes to each one and they all gave me energy. Also my dear friends from the mountain José Luis, Sergio and Hugo with whom I climbed Lanín. I am sure that they are not here physically for other reasons , but they are with me spiritually and they also gave me their energy . Everyone told me that I could and the energy came back!!! I arrived with tears in my eyes, like now when I write this remembering everything, what I am experiencing is very strong and I thank life for this opportunity. I wonder if this is how the 5500mts are like the 7000mts will be… I’ll solve it in due course. Aconcagua Expeditions

I brought hot tea of ​​different herbs, I drank it when I arrived and vomited immediately, tea was always poison for me, the question is why do I experiment at this point, is it the lack of oxygen? They took a picture of me throwing it away with a lot of anger. Aconcagua Climb

The descent cost me a lot, I felt my legs were weak.

Aconcagua Climbing – The mountain is a lifestyle

“As a park ranger or preservation agent, until the 2019-2020 season we worked in a normal or conventional scheme, we had foreign tourists, we worked like a normal year, with the pressure that exists when there is a volume of people and all the operations that a park of this magnitude entails”, explained Aros. 

Aconcagua Expedition

Within the scope of the Park, they hold police power and have the power to control income, apply sanctions and expel those who transgress the rules. They receive complaints, suggestions and contributions to improve the functioning and conservation of the Park. “Our role, before the pandemic and today, is to provide care and information to visitors. As park rangers, we are in charge of environmental control and the conservation of natural resources”, explained Lucas.

These preservation agents circulate throughout the season through the different camps: Confluencia, Plaza de Mulas, Casa de Piedra, Pampa de Leña, Plaza Argentina, Camp 1, Camp 2, Cólera, Independencia and Canada, these last three for those who try to summit. 

Climb Aconcagua

“With the pandemic we continue to work in our areas but without tourists, which was what was striking and different. Although we did not stop working, what changed was our routine. We started with the maintenance of the park, repair of signage and others, which may not have had enough time at other times due to the influx of tourists. Progress was made in somewhat relegated tasks”, Aros completed. I love mountain landscapes, so during my trip through Argentina I really enjoyed the Andes. As I passed through Mendoza, I couldn’t stop getting closer to contemplate the highest mountain in America and I was lucky enough to have a spectacular sunny day to be able to admire its summit at almost 7,000 meters of Aconcagua Hike altitude. Here I will tell you how to get to Aconcagua so that you can also marvel at this great snowy giant. If it is among your travel plans or dreams. Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the world outside of the Himalayas, which makes it the highest in the Americas and much of the rest of the planet. Its peak reaches 6,960 meters above sea level and it is not alone, but around it there are many more mountains, glaciers and valleys under the protection of the Aconcagua Provincial Park.

The mountain and the park are located in the section of the Cordillera de los Andes in the Argentine province of Mendoza, close to the border with Chile. In fact, it is more or less halfway between the cities of Mendoza (Argentina) and Santiago (Chile), about 3 hours by road from each of them. Therefore, it is relatively easy and comfortable to visit Aconcagua from any of them.

Aconcagua Argentina – Some considerations to come to Aconcagua

Just by reviewing the main data on Mount Aconcagua (6,962 m), the highest peak in the world except for the Asian ranges, one has a primary approximation to the dimension not only of the future planned expedition, but of the mountain itself.

First, the height. Its summit of almost 7,000 meters above sea level is located on the border of the “death zone”, a mountaineering denomination defined by the Swiss doctor Edouard Wyss-Dunant above 7,500 meters, where there is no It is not possible for the human organism to acclimatize to such altitudes, but only to adapt for a limited period of time.

Climb Aconcagua

There is no doubt that Aconcagua is a very large mountain, due to its height, its distance in the approach from different routes and the unevenness that it is necessary to overcome to climb to its top. Although the normal routes of ascent do not present major technical difficulties, the natural conditions represent their greatest demand and risk: the extremely dry air, rarefied by the height, is the enemy to defeat on the journey to the summit. The humidity of the air above 4,000 meters is barely 10% and the partial pressure of oxygen at the top is 37% of that present at sea level.

Aconcagua Expedition

The actual stay on the hill also represents an extreme difficulty to overcome in order to obtain results, both in the long approach stage and in acclimatization and the stay in the high-altitude camps, with the consequent discomfort implied by the transit and permanence in such wild environment.

A conventional expedition to Aconcagua takes between 12 and 16 days in the mountain under normal conditions. Meanwhile, in the high altitude camps, above 5,000 meters, between 4 and 6 nights will be necessary.

The total difference in altitude to overcome from Horcones along the normal route to the summit is 4,000 meters, while the difference in altitude on the day of the summit, starting from the Berlin camp, is 1,100 meters. Signed by the obligation to comply with the health protocols established as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Aconcagua (Mendoza, Argentina, 6960.8 m) 20221-2022 season officially begins next Monday, November 15, after yesterday’s publication of the decree that regulates it.

Aconcagua Hike

The legal instrument that governs the activity in the Provincial Park in the summer season, which runs until April 30, 2022, contains in its articles most of the presumptions that were unofficially handled until this Friday, three days before the start. In our opinion, the most important provision is the limited extension of the period of ascent to the highest peak in America itself, with entry to the Park for that purpose only from January 1 to 31 of next year. Therefore, between those dates and until February 15, summit attempts will be possible, considering that an expedition of these characteristics can take about 15 days.

Aconcagua Argentina – You should come climb this mountain

From the vicinity of «Casa de piedra», we leave the valley of the «de las Vacas» river to follow the «de los Relinchos» river westwards. Here the slope increases and several slopes of tiresome traffic follow one another. Finally you access a meadow at 3,800 m. But it is convenient to keep going up and cross the river with its steep banks and continue up to a large square rock about 20 meters high and very characteristic. Immediately you must go down a few tens of meters, to a large esplanade very exposed to the winds, but with water and favorable for camping, Plaza Argentina 4100. Climb Aconcagua

The approach from Punta de Vacas is about 60 km and a little over 2,000 m of elevation gain. It is convenient to do it in three days.

The Times (days)

Punta de Vacas – “Leñas” Refuge: 3 to 6 a.m. – Day 1

“Leñas” Refuge – Vacas River crossing – “Casa de Piedra” Refuge: 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. – Matchday 2

“Casa de piedra” shelter – Plaza Argentina: 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. – Day 3

Access routes from Argentina

Glacier of the Poles

East Glacier Aconcagua Expedition

The Aconcagua… The Stone Sentinel… In its buried slopes, where the ice and the wind are sovereign, extremes are often touched: the beginning and the end of a path; success and failure; life and death.

Mythical mass that raises its top towards the stars, while its shadow is projected from the desert to the ocean. Scene of unusual stories, of great gestures of courage and heroism. Also debunker of vanities and fears. In this demanding environment, man shows himself as he is, there is no room for lies.

How far is it valid to risk your life to reach the top of it?

The answer only fits up there. nobody, lounging in the lukewarmness of a timorous life, can judge the one who wastes his own vitality. High-altitude mountaineering involves serious risks and whoever decides to practice it must be absolutely and exclusively responsible for their actions. Aconcagua Hike

Today mountaineering is a game. A game of fantasy and power where technique, physical ability, experience, ethics and determination converge. Mountains as mountaineering goals only exist in the imagination of man, in his fantasy. Ascension is conceived as if it were a problem and a playful solution is sought for it. The game consists of cleanly overcoming the greatest difficulties with the help of the least possible technological means with the highest degree of skill, training and audacity. Mountaineering as a means for the human being to grow. You should not fight against nature, but adapt to it, understand it, respect its rhythm and try to assimilate the power it contains. Only in this way will beautiful solutions continue to be achieved for the “big problems” of mountaineering. And only through this vision of the game, whoever plays it cleanly, will have access to unsuspected dimensions of their own being and of the whole world.

Aconcagua Climbing – Climbing Aconcagua is Very Challenging

With the wind and the cold, “La Travesía” becomes endless, a long way along the north face, a large stone appears “El Gendarme” protects us a little, and I take the opportunity to drink some tea, but the thermos froze. Fortunately, Gabriel assists me. We advance to the beginning of the much commented and difficult “Canaleta” (6,700 mts.), The last 300 meters with a significant slope of loose rocks that making the ascent very difficult. We put on the crampons and … one, two, three steps up and one, two, three, or four back. Climb, slip and fall. What motivation does it take to endure exhaustion, lack of oxygen, and fear? It is here that history has left more than 100 people dead, attempting this boldness. Climb Aconcagua is very challenging.

We try to approach the Canaleta on its left side, climbing through small glaciers, two steps and rest, until the Cuesta del Guanaco, the edge that separates the two summits (the South 6,950 meters and the North 6,962 meters). Now everything at the top, great overexertion and a lot of courage, at this point it is pure feeling, it is very little rational in one, the rationing capacity with this lack of oxygen is estimated at 30/40% of normal.

How bad I feel, I try to draw strength from wherever there are few. I can’t give up now !!!, the Summit is there, just by stretching my hand … I can’t get there … I look back, many have been left on the road …

Another step and another and … Summit. How impressive, what a great cry, how many tears win me! I reached the roof of Los Andes !! The Aconcagua Expedition Provincial Park is located in the northwest of the province of Mendoza, department of Las Heras, approximately 190 kilometers from the provincial capital and the border with the Republic of Chile only 12 kilometers separate it.

Its coordinates, taking Mount Aconcagua as a reference, are 32º 39′ South Latitude and 70º 01′ West Longitude (some author differs slightly with this last data, recording it as 69º 59′ Long.O.). In April of April 1983, Decree-Law 4,807 of the province of Mendoza was promulgated, which gives rise to the Aconcagua Provincial Park, and in it, the physical limits that give it an area of ​​close to 71,000 hectares are determined. This decree declares it a “total reserve zone for preserving flora, fauna and archaeological material.” Subsequently, in 1989, Decree 1,034 established that the Park would be administered by the Directorate of Renewable Natural Resources, with the collaboration of a Permanent Advisory Commission, made up of representatives of different organizations. Aconcagua Hike demands the best of you always.

Aconcagua Climbing – Why is Aconcagua so Impressive?

Precipitation is always in the form of snow at high altitudes, and rain is almost unknown. On some days, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the air temperature near the ground rises sharply. Above a plain, vertical convection cells were produced. In the mountain range, the ascent of the air is made along the valleys and the slopes of the hills, which act as actual chimneys. The pressure on the summits drops considerably. This breeze (from the Valley) causes, in the afternoon, the formation of cumulus clouds. From January to April, the air is so dry in the Andes that the cumulus clouds are not produced despite the breeze from the Valley. At night the opposite occurs, and a cold breeze blows from the Cordillera over the Central Valley.Climb Aconcagua

Towards 35 ° south latitude, the high peaks and the area in which the summer is arid except for rare and brief storms is determined. Three phenomena characterize this part of the Andean Cordillera:

The omnipresence of fields of penitents above 4000 or 5000 meters, due to the prolonged dry season Aconcagua expedition

The little development of the snowfields. Glaciers are fed exclusively by refreezing and not by snow compression.

The abundance of underground glaciers is covered by carry-over material. The low humidity, the low percentages of oxygen, and the strong winds are just some of the most greatest characteristics of the climate of this hill. The leading causes of storms and those responsible for bad weather are fundamentally the humid winds expelled by the Anticyclone of the Pacific, which run towards the South and rise towards the West, colliding with the mountainous mass of the Cordillera, cooling and where its humidity becomes snow on the high peaks of the Andes. On Aconcagua, there are storms of snow and wind, and due to its geographical location, the most feared storms are electrical storms. The mountain ridges (the northwest sector and the top) are most visited by electrical sparks (lightning), making it challenging to stay and climb.

On the Aconcagua hike, strong winds blow from the West (at more than 5500 meters above sea level), which, added to the large size of the hill, form the giant and famous mushroom. This is located in the upper part of Aconcagua and can be seen from Plaza de Mulas, creating a beautiful landscape and a terrible negative forecast of strong winds and high rainfall. Approaching or entering at such times would be deadly. When coming it is advisable to leave the top of the mountain.

Aconcagua Climbing – Day by day on Aconcagua

Climb Aconcagua, the rooftop of the southern hemisphere.

Benefit from a fully qualified and experienced mountain guide.

The Normal Route is known as the easiest option to conquer the summit.


Conquer the roof of the southern hemisphere by climbing the incredible Andean mountain of Aconcagua, the second-highest peak in the world after Everest.

It measures 6,960 meters (22,837 feet) and earns a place among the Seven Summits.

Our 18-day Aconcagua Expedition takes us along the Plaza de Mulas route, the normal route, and considered the easiest, to the top. This also gives us appropriate time to acclimatize as we ascend.

We will pass through the long and dry valley of Horcones while constantly ascending through high mountain passes. We will know incredible views of the Andes mountain range from all angles.

Near the summit, we will climb the north ridge towards the Independencia Refuge. We will ascend Portezuelo del Viento, we will ascend La Canaleta and then Filo del Guanaco. This path takes us to the spectacular summit of Aconcagua.

When we reach the top of Argentina, South America, and the southern hemisphere, we are rewarded with incredible panoramic views and an overwhelming sense of success.

Even though this route is easier compared to others, in addition to being a non-technical approach, it still requires an excellent level of fitness and some mountaineering experience. In addition, the weight of our backpacks ranges from 40 to 60 pounds on some days to 15-20 pounds on the day of the summit. Therefore, experience in carrying these weight levels is recommended.

Get in touch now to get your spot on an incredible 18-day rooftop expedition in the southern hemisphere and delight in the impressive Andean landscape that accompanies us along the way.

Day 1: Mendoza

Our expedition begins in Mendoza, Argentina. We’ll meet at the airport and transfer to the hotel in the city. We will go over the itinerary one more time and get acquainted with the group and the area.

Day 2: Penitentes

We obtain individual entry and park permits. And travel to Penitentes, where we will stay in a hotel in the mountains. We prepare ourselves and our equipment for transport to base camp by mule.

Day 3: Confluencia Camp

Today we go to Horcones Park, where we can enjoy our first view of the Aconcagua hike. After checking our permits at the ranger station, we started walking towards Confluencia, a 4-5 hour hike.

Day 4: Plaza Francia

We use this day to do an acclimatization process and increase our chances of reaching the summit. We hike for 5 hours to Plaza Francia, the base camp of the imposing South Wall of Aconcagua. We return to the Confluencia camp.

Plaza de Mulas Base Camp

Today is a challenging 8 to 9-hour walk through “Playa Ancha.” We climbed a very steep path to reach Plaza de Mulas, the largest base camp in Aconcagua Park. Most of us will feel the altitude.

Your mind must also be trained for the mountain

Due to the distance and the road has many curves, it is vital to leave Mendoza first time in the morning. The trip, without stopping, is three hours. The treks usually include stops in restaurants that are also prominent such as Puente del Inca or the Potrerillos reservoir.

The trip runs entirely along National Route 7 and is not tiresome since the landscape is spectacular. The Puente del Inca is a protected area, very close to the entrance to the Park, where you will start your Aconcagua Expedition.

It is a rocky formation suspended over the Las Cuevas River at the height of 27 meters. It is made up of sediments and other types of materials. Under the shape, there are stalactites. Since 2006, the passage through the bridge has been prohibited due to landslides and cracks in the rock. For years the waters of the river were used as hot springs since it has healing properties. Experts believe that water produced water stress to the bridge, which together with the passage of goods caused the cracks that led to its closure.

Around the bridge, some shops sell local products, and many others serve food. Barely more than 100 people live in this town, many of them stationed in the barracks. Of all the wonders in Argentina, one of the most impressive is the Aconcagua peak, which earned the nickname “Sentinel of America” ​​for its 6,962 meters high, making it the highest mountain on the continent. The Aconcagua hike is located in Las Heras, where it can only be accessed by car through provincial route 7 (3 hours of travel) from the capital of Mendoza.

If you want to do an Aconcagua Guided Climb, You should know that the hill has different faces for its ascent, some relatively easy, others on the contrary, indeed for experienced climbers. Anyway, it is necessary to hire the guide’s services and carry out the ascents in a group, always following the rules of the mountain; many of them were devised and rethought based on the experience of its climbers. The so-called “normal route” is to ascend the north face of the hill; the adventure begins at the Puente del Inca (entrance to the Aconcagua National Park, 1,900 meters).

On this route, no climbing techniques are needed but somewhat stealthy and constant trekking that is animated with the use of poles and all the essential equipment to climb. Those who start the famous “normal route” pass through different mountain camps, where they rest until they are in adequate physical conditions to continue climbing. It must be borne in mind that as one ascends, oxygen decreases significantly, so it is necessary to go acclimatizing to these changes. What is recommended is to do it in the different camps that I detail below: Base Camp (also known as Plaza de Mulas) at 4,300 meters, El Semáforo, Piedras Conway, Plaza Canada, La Piedra at 5,000 meters, Change of Slope, Nido de Cóndores at 5,250 meters, is a vast sector where the rocks serve as protection against the wind, here you can also see small frozen lagoons.