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 – 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!

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 – Understanding the History a Bit

A distinction must be made between folds and uplifts of the Andes Mountains. All the Andean folding was done during the Middle Cretaceous. Still, only part of its uplift continued during the third with a peneplain, which was later raised 3,000 meters from the Central Andes Aconcagua mountain guides.

The collapse of the Central Valley occurred during the Upper Pliocene, before the great ice ages, and appears to be continuing. In reality, both the Andes’ rising and the Central Valley’s sinking have been done slowly (even on a geological scale) and possibly in numerous phases. Like most Central Andes, this knot comprises acid lavas: porphyrites with visible grains but without phenocrysts. They are attributed to the Cretaceous since further east (in Polleras and Alto Yeso), the limestone layers very rich in fossils of the Lower Cretaceous are intertwined.

The potency of these layers of porphyrite is more than 3000 meters. Their stratification is horizontal, except in the southeast part, where they fall towards the east to become vertical in Cerro Tronco. During the Jurassic, Aconcagua ascents layers of very thick volcanic lavas appeared: Porphyrites in the Central Andes, porphyries, quartziferous in Patagonia. From the Cretaceous, continental sediments (schists) are today in the Patagonian Pampas, alternating with marine ones (limestones and sandstones). In the Central Andes, porphyrite effusions continue during the lower Cretaceous with some deposits of fossiliferous limestone (sometimes later transformed into gypsum) and sandstones. During the Middle Cretaceous (Senonense), the marine conglomerates of Quiriquina were deposited at some coast points. The lower third (Eocene) is continental, but in the middle third (Oligocene), there was a massive marine invasion. During the end of the Miocene and the Lower Pliocene, the remarkable effusions of andesites, trachytes, and basalts occur, both in the central border range and in all the Patagonian plateaus to the east of the mountain range. The Aconcagua treks The knot of Nevado Juncal (Argentine-Chilean border) essentially corresponds to a high rectangular table measuring 21 x 8 kilometers, elongated in a northeast-southwest direction, with a height ranging between 3,600 and 4,600 meters, with two bastions at its extremities: the Nevado Juncal to the northwest and the Cerro de Plomo group to the southwest. Five large snowdrifts almost entirely cover this high plateau. The Escondido Glacier, the three Olivares Glaciers and the Juncal Sur Glacier. The first flows north and the other four south. The climate of the Andes, in general, is determined by several factors; the Humboldt and Patagonian marine currents, the winds, and orography. The Humboldt (cold) and Patagonian (temperate) currents bathe Chile’s north and south coasts, respectively. It turns out that the winds and their orography determine the climate of the Central Andes, and since the predominant wind is the dry southwest, during the summer, there is no precipitation and not even clouds.

Aconcagua Climbing – Adventures in the Cordillera

They did a 12-day Aconcagua mountain guides through the normal route, through the Horcones valley and Plaza de Mulas, and following the method of Gastón, who prefers to put the camps at a lower altitude, to sleep well and make longer ascents during the day. During the first days, they left calmly to get used to the mountain and its height. But there was also time to enjoy fantastic dinners, such as salmon and steaks, accompanied by a glass of excellent local wine.

As the days passed, the Aconcagua Ascents began to be more demanding. This is how, on the ninth day of the expedition, they started the push to the summit from Nido de Cóndores. Oleksii, well trained and well acclimatized, was doing well, until the ascent became complicated in the final part of the ascent, on a hill called ‘La Canaleta’:

“I was walking alone, staring at the ground, and I had to ignore the voices in my head telling me to stop, to turn around. So I kept going, taking it to step by step, not thinking of anything other than putting one foot in front of the order, and keep moving. And it was worth it: when I reached the top, I felt the most powerful emotion of my life”.

And the reward was priceless: a breathtaking 360 ° view of mountains, glaciers, and white fields, with the beautiful figures of peaks such as Cerro Mercedario and Cerro Tolosa. And a sense of satisfaction known only to those who once made an effort like that.

On the way down, there was time to relax. They enjoyed and were lucky enough to see condors and guanacos, and they had an excellent party with pizza and wine in the Plaza de Mulas. Oleksii even met other Ukrainians there! Here’s what he said: “In places like base camp, you meet a lot of interesting people who are usually all there for the same purpose, overcome a challenge and conquer.”

We are very happy that we were able to help Oleksii find the ideal mountain guide for him and reach the top of his Aconcagua treks. It is a great challenge and a life-changing experience, but as it is not a technical promotion, it is a dream that can come true if you take it seriously, with excellent preparation and the right advice and guidance.

Looking for more information on this epic climb in the Andes? Don’t miss this helpful blog post with everything you need to know to climb Aconcagua and learn about routes, weather, difficulty, equipment, preparation, and costs.

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.