Aconcagua Climbing – Some tips to set up the tent on windy days

We set up the tents, I walk around the place that is quite populated, in relation to when I came with my friend José Luis, last year. I take some photos and we have dinner in the dining tent of Confluencia: soup, lasagna and chocolate flan.

Wednesday 04/02/04 Aconcagua Guided Climb

Confluencia is a spectacular place, I take some photos, we have breakfast and we go to Plaza de Mulas, a place I don’t know.

At the exit you have to cross a rudimentary bridge, where Esteban’s solidarity and great physical condition are evident. I have already gone out with him other times and his great physical display is a constant, he knows that he is the strongest and he permanently shows it, but with good vibes.

We leave Plaza de Mulas at 10 am, after a slight climb we enter the valley of the Horcones river, surrounded by imposing hills, and then we enter Playa Ancha, a large plain 10 km long, with small, clear stones. and little slope. At 2:00 p.m. we arrive, eat and begin the ascent to Plaza de Mulas, around 4:00 p.m.

Photo of the whole group: back from left to right: Esteban Zalazar Eduardo Sibulosky, Mario Mónaco, Eric Cruzuar, Leandro Gitelman, Eduardo Morales, forward crouched: Constanza D´Angelo, Graciela Zakalik, Gladys Quiroga Jorge Arroyo and Belem Saua, missing Fernando Santa Maria. Aconcagua Mountain Guides

It is practically a very steep ascent of 1000 meters, which is why it is called the Cuesta Brava. There I realized how well trained I am, I remembered my 10 km jogs with Jack 3 times a week, my faithful and dear companion, the times I went out to train reluctantly and in bad weather, in short, everything What do you do when you want to make a big dream come true?

I arrived first at Plaza de Mulas, taking 5 minutes from the second, Eric, and 30 minutes from the rest of the group. I am happy with how good and strong I feel, considering that the rest of the group is between 15 and 20 years younger than me.

We had an early dinner of pea soup, 4-cheese noodles, me with half a liter of beer, one of the luxuries I give myself. At 10 pm we are sleeping in the dining tent that Tato lent us, a macanudo dentist, who from November to March leaves his office and dedicates himself to providing accommodation and food to groups of climbers for very reasonable prices. He punctured my mat and I couldn’t put the pillow together, so I didn’t get the best sleep. Outside 10 degrees below zero. I took some photos of the beautiful west wall of Aconcagua at sunset.

Thursday 05/02/04 Aconcagua Ascents

I am aware that I am already on Aconcagua at 4,200 meters, more than halfway to the summit. We had spring rice for lunch with a lot of cheese, before lunch I went to the Plaza de Mulas Hotel, it is 2 km from the camp, it is very nice, it costs 60 U$D per person with food per day, obviously built for foreigners. There is the booth, I contacted Lili, mom, Pablo and Debra, telling them how beautiful this is and how good I feel physically and mentally.

Aconcagua Argentina – An unforgettable adventure

The armies of the legendary Inca Empire from Cuzco invaded the Central Cordillera sector, leaving their mark in the Aconcagua area, with an extensive road network: the Inca road or Qhapac Ñán, which linked a great diversity of places and towns such as those of Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.

The importance of Aconcagua as a sacred hill for the Incas is evidenced by the discovery by Argentine climbers in 1985 of the “Niño del Aconcagua”. At just over 5,000 m.a.s.l. An Inca burial was found with an Inca child around 7 to 8 years old, in which a sacred ritual consisting of the sacrifice of the child had been practiced during the Inca Period (1400 to 1532 AD).

We make available for download the Aconcagua Mountain Guides digital elevation model (DEM) corresponding to the captured area, which allows a three-dimensional view of the place. Mount Aconcagua or Cerro Aconcagua, is a mountain located in the western province of Mendoza, in the center-west of Argentina, on the border with Chile. It is the highest point that can be found in the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered one of the mountains that are included in the group of the Seven Summits, a group that corresponds to the highest mountains that exist on the continents. In 1994, blind climbers managed to climb to the north summit. Aconcagua Ascents

In 1986, a climber of Chilean origin carried a table on his back. The objective was to reach the top, set the table to achieve a little more height and thus be the person who climbed the highest in the world.

In 1982, Norman Croucher Obe, of English origin, managed to reach 5,300 meters above sea level at the age of 40. with his prosthetic legs. Aconcagua Treks

In 1947 Cop and Herold, both of German origin, set out with the aim of reaching the summit of the mountain and halfway there they found a guanaco skeleton on the rocks. Since then, this edge has been known as the “Guanaco Edge” Today at the National University of Cuyo, the IGN released the result of the exhaustive investigation of the group of scientists gathered in the SIGMA Program, who worked for two years in a complex study that managed to elucidate the exact height of the Colossus of America. The current value is 6960.8 meters above mean sea level. It was determined based on geodetic GPS and gravimetry measurement campaigns carried out during the years 2011 and 2012.

The results of the measurements were presented at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the National University of Cuyo (Mendoza), with the presence of authorities from the IGN, the Rector’s Office of the University and the Provincial Government.

This new height value does not imply a relationship with the previous one, since the first one was determined in 1956 by the Institute of Geodesy of the University of Buenos Aires, with measurement techniques and instruments of that time. The current value was achieved with new measurement techniques and state-of-the-art instruments. Thanks to the installation of the permanent GPS stations, located in the NICO refuge and the summit, the Cerro will be able to be monitored annually and its future vertical movement will be determined.

The work was carried out jointly between the IGN, the SIGMA Program, the National University of Cuyo, the National University of Rosario and the National University of San Juan.

Aconcagua Climbing – A Dream Come True

The experience begins at Puente del Inca, entrance to the Aconcagua National Park (1,900 mts.). From there, trekking to Confluencia awaits us, an intermediate camp at 3,380 mts., A couple of excursions are made, one of them to Plaza Francia (4,400mts), the base camp of the much-feared South face of Aconcagua Ascents, a 3,000 m vertical wall. Of ice, glaciers, rocks, and many avalanches.


From Confluencia, through Playa Ancha, after many kilometers and the final Cuesta Brava, we arrive at Plaza de Mula (4,370 mts.), The first effects of the altitude begin to be felt: headache, nausea, fatigue, lack of appetite, insomnia, dyspnea. As I now understand the ironic response of a great English climber, who was asked what training he did for his ascents to the Himalayas: “When I’m at home I try to go to a bar every day, and I try to get drunk, because that’s the feeling. that I have every time I exceed 5,000 meters. “… and it’s true, even hangover when I wake up after a sleepless night.

Already in Plaza de Mulas, after a few days of rest and two excursions: Glaciar Horcones Superior and Cerro Bonete (5,100 mts.), We began to prepare “the attack to the summit.” In the usual route or North Face of the Aconcagua treks, there are several intermediate camps, areas with slight slopes where you can camp and make the different scales of the ascent: Plaza de Mula (4,370 mts.), Canada (5,000 mts.), Change of Slope. or Alaska (5,300 mts.), Nido de Cóndores (5,500 mts.) and Berlin (5,960 mts.).


The attack “begins with a portage to the first high camp (tents, food and something significant, the elements to make water, hydration is essential, you have to drink up to 7 liters of water per day and this melting ice from the small glaciers). Return to Plaza de Mulas, a rest, and the beginning of the final stage. Return to high camp No. 1, where you spend a day or two, depending on the weather situation, from there to high camp No. 2, Berlin, and everything. Under one, fantastic views begin to appear, an endless horizon and the sun in the Pacific. How great are these Aconcagua Mountain guides !!

We started in Berlin very early, around 2 in the morning, with the preparations, as it is difficult to dress, make water, try to eat something. It is 5 o’clock, and we start the march; we must try to reach the summit before 2 in the afternoon; then, the Pacific winds make the situation very unstable.

How brave it is to start, how cold I feel the -26 degrees that my watch marks, and how I feel the height. We make the ascent very slowly, a few steps, a few steps on the stones and rest … the first stop is in the old Refugio Independencia (6,300 mts.), From there with light, we enter “La Travesía,” passing through the ” Portezuelo del Viento “where the Pacific currents cross, which winds 60/80/100 or more km. Per hour, it isn’t easy to walk and stand upright.

Aconcagua Climbing – Training is vital for the mountain

Aconcagua hiking circuits are enabled through the Horcones lagoon, tracking to Confluencia camp, at 3,200 meters, where camping is only allowed for a maximum of two nights.

In addition, you can visit the Matienzo waterfall, an area of ​​particular beauty in the high mountains that is located at 2,900 meters above sea level.

They are accessible prices for national tourists since for foreigners it is much more extensive.

For its part, in the area, we can find Pumas (Puma), mountain mice, foxes, lizards, toads, guanacos (Lama guanicoe), and introduced hares can live or hibernate in their skirts, and several species of eagles and some hawks are seen flying overhead.

The condor of the Andes (Vultur gryphus) and the Andean or spiny toad (Rhinella spinulosa) are some of its most iconic inhabitants.

Since 1983 Aconcagua and its immediate surroundings make up the Aconcagua Provincial Park, protected by the Argentine government, which intends to preserve the natural and cultural values ​​of the site. Aconcagua is the highest peak in America. Its 6,962 meters high rise majestically between the Principal mountain range, which is part of the Andes and separates Argentina from Chile.

Although part of the mountain is on the Chilean side, it is on the Argentine side where the entrance to the Park is to do an Aconcagua Mountain guides and where the best views are obtained. The closest city to Aconcagua is Mendoza. The capital of beauty and Malbec wine, it lives far from the glamor of this mountain because it cannot be seen from the city. You have to travel part of National Route 7 to see the top for the first time, probably covered with snow.

During the first kilometers of the Aconcagua treks, it is possible not to see the mountain clearly, since sand storms are common and the air is not clean.

You have to bear in mind that the entire region that surrounds Mendoza is desert. If you get there by plane, you will see it right away. There is very little vegetation, so the water is well used.

The entrance to the Aconcagua Provincial Park is about 114 miles from Mendoza and has more than 65,000 hectares that protect and conserve by the Mendoza government.

From the beginning, you will see impressive images. Every hill is different from the next; they have hundreds of colors and other shapes. Plus, the river of meltwater has formed impressive vertical walls over the years.

It is demanding that you won’t feel like stopping at each curve to take photos or videos. Besides, you will quickly discover a train track, which is no longer used. This road accompanies the road all the way, sometimes very close and sometimes far away, but they never get separated.

You hope that a train will pass at some point, but you end up disappointed when you see the track invaded by stones or cut by some landslide. At El Puente del Inca, you will pass over the ways.

The Most Important Thing Will Always be Your Health

A subject that is always complicated is clothing and equipment, which I am not used to; much more when we sit down to do numbers and we realize that there is an increase in the budget of the expedition. The gear used to go to the mountain is not the same as that we employ in the city or our daily life, and this has to do mainly with the environment (environment-place) and the activity to be carried out.

To do any  Aconcagua Mountain guides , we must have all the equipment we can take to a mountain that can have all climates together. Usually, the expedition is divided into two parts: the first is the trekking to the Plaza de Mulas base camp and the days of stay and acclimatization in it, and the second is the attack to the summit and the passage through the different camps of height , no longer the comfort that we can have in base camp.

Whether we hire company guides or go without assistance, the general equipment can vary between adding to the team: high mountain tents, kitchen equipment with special heaters, pots, food, and the hiring of mules and porters for our  Aconcagua Ascents .

We will base ourselves in principle on three types of footwear: trekking, rest, and high mountain. The trekking is the one that we will use in almost all the walks in the first stage. That of rest is that when we are in the tents, in the base camps. The high mountain is used in almost all the marches over the base camp.

For clothing / apparel, we are going to use the onion system, the layer system.

The backpacks of our  Aconcagua Treks  must be no less than 60 liters for trekking or expedition trekking. Although there are porters with mules and porters (humans who transport equipment), each one must be as autonomous as possible and carry his equipment; It is also essential to have space to store clothes as we unwind.

High mountain sleeping bag, mat, headlamp, helmet, crampons, category four glasses, goggles, and poles are other essential elements when embarking on the expedition. It is known that if you do not drink a good amount of liquid at altitude, you are “baked.” But it must always be emphasized again. In the city or in our daily life outside of the mountain environment where we can carry out some sporting activity, we do not usually ingest a lot of fluids. However, it is recommended not less than 2 to 3 liters depending on the body mass index (the ratio of the height Weight). Above 3000 masl, the number increases, and dehydration becomes more noticeable because fluid is lost through respiration twice as fast as at sea level.

Aconcagua Climbing – Hydration is Essential

Humidity is relatively scarce, oxygen is low, and powerful winds are produced that are at the same time responsible for making essential storms in the place. The technical equipment necessary to perform the Aconcagua Ascents is one of the most critical points to face this challenge. In most cases, it avoids injuries and health problems that could prevent you from meeting your goal of reaching the summit.

That is why when choosing the clothing for the Aconcagua Treks, keep in mind to bring the following items:

– First skin: This clothing is in direct contact with the skin, and its function is to evacuate sweat, keeping the skin dry. Clothing of this type has two characteristics: it maintains body heat but is permeable to air, allowing for a feeling of freshness. Ideally, the material of this layer is polyester. The use of cotton garments is not recommended, as they maintain moisture and help lower body temperature. The first skin garments are pants, shirts, gloves, and socks.

Second-skin: This clothing is placed on the 1st skin. Its principal function is thermal insulation, maintaining the heat generated by the body and favoring the evacuation of moisture. This skin is made up of different types of tissues, the most common being polar. The garments of this layer are pants, jacket or pullover, vest, hat, gloves, and stockings. It is essential to carry out Aconcagua mountain guides

Third skin: This layer must be completely waterproof, breathable, and windproof. The combination of these qualities will ensure that, in a storm or river crossing, the water does not penetrate the garments but, at the same time, allows the sweat to escape. In mountain settings, staying dry and warm will be synonymous with comfort and health. The garments of this skin are pants, a jacket, a hat, and gloves.

Remember that 30% of body heat is lost through the head, so it is essential to have good warm hats, balaclavas (polypropylene or Capilene), and neckerchiefs.

Fourth skin: This last layer is, precisely, a thermal insulator. The clothing can be filled with feathers or fiber and is used in freezing temperatures (-10 ° C to -35 ° C). The garments of this skin can be a jacket, vest, or overalls.