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 – Do not forget to drink a lot of water to hydrate yourself

In Plaza de Mulas I took a Reliveran and hydrated with a lot of liquids, at night I was fine. We ate polenta, (last night capelets prevailed) and natural peaches. I went to bed early, I read a little and fell asleep, I forgot to mention that I dropped my reading glasses and they broke, luckily I was able to fix them, only those who know me and know what reading means in my life, can measure this fact. Mount Aconcagua

Sunday 08 / 02 / 04

“You are a creature of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here, and whether it is evident to you or not, the universe is certainly unfolding as it should. So be at peace with God, in any case.” However you conceive it. Whatever your job and aspirations, in the noisy confusion keep peace with your soul. With all its farces, jobs and broken dreams, this is still a beautiful world. Be careful and strive to be happy.”

I was able to take a bath!! I shaved, spectacular!! Here this that seems so simple is quite a procedure, the bathroom is a very elementary place made of wood, with a plastic bag of 15 liters of warm water, with a small adjustable flower, therefore one gets wet, then soaps up and finally it is rinsed, regulating the water so that it reaches, everything is very primitive, but it has the virtue that you learn to value the simple and important things of common life such as a good shower, a good bath, a comfortable chair, a soft bed, I don’t miss television, we never really got along very well.

I feel good physically and mentally. I went to the doctor, oxygen saturation is up to 85% and heart rate is 90 beats per minute. I am satisfied with myself, I am 54 years old, and 90% of the people my age do not go beyond Cerro de la Gloria, and I am a native of Buenos Aires, I am going to make the necessary effort to climb Aconcagua, why is it that I like them so much the challenges, trying to improve myself day by day, constantly competing with myself… Climbing Aconcagua

Plaza de Mulas is like a small town, everyone walks slowly and carries bottles of water in their hands to hydrate themselves, apparently good hydration prevents altitude symptoms, it looks like a slow motion movie. There are around 150 tents and several languages ​​are spoken.

I have decided to pay homage to Miguel de Cervantes, since next year will be the , Aconcagua Argentina

fundamental book of universal literature and very dear to me, a photo at the summit with him would be original. Also a photo with the flag of the SATI (Argentine Society of Intensive Therapy) and that of the Municipality of Capital and Cimesa that supported us financially, a special memory for my friend Lili Vietti.

Aconcagua Climbing – How to get to Aconcagua from Mendoza

Although it is halfway between the two cities, the easiest way to visit Aconcagua is to do it from Argentina, for the simple fact that from Chile you have to cross a border. You can go both on your own and with a tour. I visited it on my own by public transport from Mendoza.

Go to Aconcagua Expeditions on your own

To go on your own to Aconcagua you have two options. The first is to have your own vehicle (or rent a car in Mendoza to explore the area). As I was saying, it will take about 3 hours and there is no loss. You simply have to follow Route 7 along almost 200 kilometers of incredible landscapes. Now, when traveling alone, going by car can be expensive because there is no one to share expenses with, so you may be more interested in going by bus.

If you opt for public transport, every day a bus leaves from Mendoza capital in the direction of Aconcagua Provincial Park. The buses leave from the Mendoza terminal, which is located very close to the center, making it very convenient. When I went the route was made by the Buttini company, but according to the park’s official website now it seems that Andesmar does it.

Bus schedules to go to Aconcagua

That’s the only information I’ve found about it. In any case, it seems that the schedules and frequencies that existed previously are maintained:

Ida Mendoza – Aconcagua climb

Monday to Friday departures at 5:55 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. to Horcones and 3:30 p.m. to Puente del Inca.

Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 7:00 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. to Horcones and 3:30 p.m. to Puente del Inca.

Return Aconcagua – Mendoza:

Monday to Friday departures at 11:35 a.m. and 4:35 a.m. from Horcones and 8:00 p.m. from Puente del Inca.

Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 11:40 a.m. and 4:35 a.m. from Horcones and 8:00 p.m. from Puente del Inca.

Keep in mind that each journey takes about 4 hours. I recommend you take the first bus in the morning because that way you will arrive around 9-10 and you will be able to spend the whole day knowing that you have two buses back. Of course, do not stretch the day too much, lest you miss the last trip back.

Tours climbing Aconcagua from Mendoza

In case you do not dare to go on your own because you consider it complicated go alone to the mountain, you can also visit Aconcagua on an excursion. There are different tours that depart from the city of Mendoza to visit more or less places within the Provincial Park and its surroundings. These are some of them (click on the links to see more information and book):

Aconcagua Argentina – Impossible to forget this adventure

The values

Another singularity of this Aconcagua season will be that the tariffs for all activities will only be in force for foreigners, discriminated between Latin Americans and the rest of the world. Argentine climbers who want to do trekking or ascent will not have to pay anything this season.

However, except for trekking for a day without overnight, to enter the Park for any activity it should be done through one of the companies that provide services.

Aconcagua Expeditions

This determination will certainly not be without controversy. The explanation of the authorities for such a decision is that only through the companies can the sanitary protocols be enforced to the letter, essential for the success of the Aconcagua season.

Basically, the purchase of the entry permit (or just the registration if you are Argentine) must be done through the companies, in order to have a strict control of the people inside the Park. That, plus the restroom service and waste management, it is an obligation to hire private companies, with the same purpose: to limit the health risk to the minimum possible.

Aconcagua Climb

Some broken yes, others no

Unlike previous years, there will be no activity in the Vacas River Valley. Nobody will be able to enter through this circuit towards the Plaza Argentina camp and the 360º route and the Polacos glacier. These routes will be closed this summer 2021-2022.

On the other hand, trekking activities will be enabled in the Matienzo ravine, recently added to the Aconcagua Provincial Park area. In this case, the possible tours are the Potrero Escondido lagoon, the Pedro Zanni hills, Mirador del Tolosa or Peñas Coloradas, all considered as trekking, daily or short.

As for medical and helicopter services, these will remain active as usual. But only during the period of ascents to the summit, between January 1 and February 15.

Climbing Aconcagua

The porters will be able to carry out their work as every Aconcagua season. But always within the payroll of an expedition or registered in some association or cooperative that groups them, and that is registered. Therefore, the work of “free” porters will not be allowed.

Each mountaineer who intends to make a long trek or ascent must have and prove an insurance or evacuation or medical assistance service that covers him in the event of an eventuality. Mountaineers of Argentine nationality are exempt from this measure. The costs of entry permits for foreigners in the different modalities for this season are as follows:

recreational trekking

Horcones Ravine to Durazno Ravine

Foreigner: $820

Latin American: $550

Aconcagua Climbing – Structure and Age of Aconcagua

Law 5,463 approves the primary zoning proposed by the Advisory Commission referred to above and authorizes the Executive Branch to grant two hectares in Plaza de Mulas for 50 years to construct a hotel. Then, in 1990, another legal instrument – Decree 2,819 – established various regulations related to mountaineering, setting tariffs, the season for promotions, security systems, and other items related to these issues. The “framework law” that orders everything related to the protected areas of the province of Mendoza is the one that bears the number 5,630.

Relief, The geological-structural constitution of the mountain range, is complex, and for its analysis can be divided into three sufficiently differentiated parts. One of them is the one that extends approximately between parallels 28º and 34º, a portion that in turn can be subdivided into two parallel cords, an eastern one called Cordillera Frontal and the other western, where the Aconcagua climb Provincial Park is located, which leads by name Cordillera Principal or del Límite, which is about 70 kilometers wide south of the Diamante River and narrows towards the north, where it only reaches 30 kilometers in the region of the prospected Park. It is significant to clarify that these two chains do not have a well-defined division between them, except for a few small sections, and that both sections are ideally linked .The main difference between them is the type of rocks that compose it. The Main Cordillera is formed by layers of marine sediments with fossils from the Jurassic and Cretaceous ages and pyroclastic rocks on the western side (González Bonorino, 1958). At the same time, it is separated from the Precordillera – a different mountain formation – by several valleys that, at the height of the surveyed area, is Uspallata that fulfills this purpose. Aconcagua Expeditions is located at the southern end of the chain called Los Penitentes and with its 6,959 m.a.s.l. It carries the attribute of being the highest elevation in the American continent and its great height, like that of other nearby hills. It does not correspond to active volcanic structures such as Tupungato, but rather its current altitude results from the tectonic uplift of the mountain range. It is guarded by high-rise colossi such as Cerro Catedral to the northwest with 5,200 meters above sea level, El Cuerno (5,450), Bonete (5,100), and others located in the Valle de Los Horcones Superior. In the so-called Valle de los Horcones Inferior are the Ibáñez hills (5,200), the Mirador hill (5,800) among the highest. Between 27º and 33º 30 ‘, no quaternary volcanism is observed, and seismic activity is concentrated in a thin strip along the western edge, which coincides with the most active geotectonic zone where significant earthquakes occur. You have to achieve climbing Aconcagua

Aconcagua Climbing – What if I fail in my summit attempt?

By the route, you will arrive at the Berlin camp (a shelter with a capacity for six people), Piedras Blancas, Piedras Negras, Independencia, Portezuelo de Los Vientos. In the latter, the strong currents of the Pacific begin winds that go from 60 to 100 kilometers per hour, which makes it difficult to walk and be able to stay upright. Then it is followed by the Great Crossing and the last one before the summit: La Canaleta at 6700 meters. These previous 300 meters have a significant slope of loose rocks that make the Aconcagua Ascents very difficult.

This last section of the Aconcagua climb is necessary with crampons; it is the most demanding and extremely careful point. The Canaleta must be approached from its left side, climbing through small glaciers like this until the Cuesta del Guanaco, the ridge that separates the two summits (the South 6,950 meters and the North 6,962 meters). In this area, an estimated oxygen deficiency is 30% to 40% of normal. But all the effort will have its great reward when reaching “the roof of the Andes.”

Climbing Aconcagua through the “Normal Route” or North Face of Aconcagua, it must be taken into account that it is a 40-kilometer gravel path (from the Horcones lagoon) takes at least 15 days to climb to the top, including the acclimatization time to the altitude.

Experienced climbers only visit the other route of ascent called “Glaciar de Los Polacos.” The trek this is done is by taking the Valley of the Cows. It crosses to the base of the Polacos Glacier, and from there, it crosses the normal route, but a final climb begins to the summit. This highly technical trail is 76 kilometers long.

The “southern wall” is the most challenging access road to the summit on Aconcagua. They are 78 kilometers, and their maximum difficulty materializes when it ends in one of the most extensive walls in the world (3000 meters of a wall). Getting up this route is something for a select few; it is a very committed and technical climb through rocks, ice, and glaciers.

The first ascent of the South Wall was made on February 25, 1954, by the French Pierre Lesueur, Adrien Dagory, Edmond Denis, Robert Paragot, Lucien Berardini, and Guy Poulet. The head of the expedition was René Ferlet.

For the descent, half the time that has been used in the ascent is usually calculated. However, exhaustion often causes that time to lengthen, so you should anticipate the duration of this while ascending.

Aconcagua Climbing – Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Don’t

The summit of Aconcagua, covered with eternal snow, which in the Quechua language means “Watchtower or Stone Sentinel,” is surrounded by other peaks that exceed 5,000 meters above sea level; for this reason, this area is called “The Roof of America.”

Every year about 1,200,000 people visit Mendoza’s natural reserves, and Aconcagua Provincial Park is one of the most visited.

Among these thousands of tourists who visit this circuit each year, approximately 5,500 are wild sportsmen prepared to challenge the high mountains, who arrive motivated to do Aconcagua Expeditions, the second-highest relative height in the world, behind Everest.

It is one of the principal traveler’s destinations in Mendoza. It is frequently the scene of sports activities and cultural events such as the Wine Ritual, Americanto, or the High-altitude Film Festival.

In addition, if you are climbing Aconcagua, the Park is located in an environment where a vital task of awareness and revaluation is being carried out (Archeology in Las Cuevas, Planning of Puente del Inca. World Heritage Qapaq Ñan-Camino Real Inca), Sistema Tetra de Comunicación in Alta Montaña that further positions its tourist attraction. Nido is an actual viewpoint, to the east the central valleys Los Patos and Barreal; to the north, the impressive mounds of Cord de la Ramada, dominated by the Mercedario (6,770 m); Behind the hill, the Horn Valley Volcano, the desolate lands of Güssfeldt; To the west, the Cathedral, the cordon and the valley of Chile; and to the south the incredible spectacle of the immensity: the Great Highway and the north and south summits of Aconcagua. Arriving in Mendoza is always accompanied by a frenzy of final preparation for the expedition, and this time it was no different.

It was extraordinary meeting the team, or 2/3 of the group, anyway: Alex and Elise landed in Mendoza on Saturday; Andrea was unfortunately delayed due to flight cancellation, but she should be joining us in with her fingers crossed Mendoza in a matter of hours. Aconcagua is not cheap; the climbing permit only costs about $ 1000 (depending on the route and season you choose for your climb). Then there are the logistics costs on the mountain, equipment considerations, guides, porters, and a host of others considerations.

For full disclosure, guided tours are offered on both the Normal Route and Route 360, but that’s just one of many different ways and prices to climb the mountain.

Here’s an essential guide on how to budget for an Aconcagua climb and what levers you can use to reduce your cash investment, assuming you have time. But money constraints, or the amount of time you need to put in, prepare and execute your climb, assuming you have no worries about money but limited time.