Aconcagua Climbing – Never underestimate the “age” of Aconcagua

The cabinet tests carried out on the matrix of the deposits were carried out according to the operating conditions and are described below.

Mineralogical analysis: The mineralogical composition, except clays, has been analyzed from 2-3 grams of an 80-gram sample, ground to a size less than 35 μm, through X-ray diffraction, using a D5000 diffractometer ( Bruker AXS). The Aconcagua 360 Route used Cu radiation and an accessory graphite monochromator. Diffraction data were taken from 4° to 70° 2θ, with a scan width of 0.02° and a counter tube scan time of 2 seconds per step. We worked with 40 KV and 30 mA. The quantitative analysis of the phases was determined using the Rietveld technique contained in the BG MN/AUTOQUAN software (Bergmann et al. 1998).

Grain size analysis: For this type of analysis, 12-15 grams of sample were used. The organic components were dissolved through treatment with H2O2. The remaining material was sieved into two fractions: larger and smaller than 63 μm. The first was screened at all phi divisions (phi > -2). From the material smaller than 63 μm, the clay-sized fraction was separated using the Atterberg method, while that corresponding to silt was analyzed with a Micromeritics SediGraph 5100 in all phi divisions.

Grain roundness grading: Some of the remaining material was sieved at 250-500 μm and 100 grains from each sample were graded using Turner’s two-dimensional visual roundness tester. Bearing in mind that Confluencia is the site where both types of deposits are best exposed, we first How to Climb Aconcagua proceeded to define their lithological characteristics there, to compare later what was observed in the different valleys. With this information, the proper genetic interpretation was carried out. The Confluence above profile is exposed in the ravine located on the left bank of the Inferior Horcones River, just in front of its junction with the Superior Horcones River. This profile, of approximately 20 meters, presents two types of deposits recognizable by their different color and stratigraphic position: 1) reddish, the oldest, and 2) gray, the youngest (upper third of said profile).

The upper, grayish deposit comprises a breccia with blocks several meters in diameter (recognized up to 5 Aconcagua Guided Climb meters) scattered in a poorly selected, also breccia matrix (from gravels to clays), predominantly of the same composition as the blocks. The latter shows the typical lithologies of the volcanoes of the Aconcagua Volcanic Complex, made up of lavas, breccias, and tuffs, of andesitic and dacitic composition. It is important to note that this breccia level covers most of the Confluencia sector.

Brief tips for climbing the Colossus

In the event of the preparation of a susceptibility map to the mass removal processes that affect the town of Puente del Inca, the controversial genesis of the Horcones deposit was reviewed. The morphology of the deposit and the surrounding landscape, the mineralogy and texture of its materials were analyzed and finally radiometric dating was performed. Based on these studies, it is concluded that the Horcones deposit is the result of a saturated flow derived from a rock avalanche or mega-slide, caused by the collapse of a watershed on the southern wall of Mount Aconcagua, during times late glacial or postglacial Aconcagua 360 Route. Deposits similar to Horcones fill the Cuevas river valley to the east and are covered by others, which were also previously considered glacial (e.g. terminal moraine of the Penitentes Drift). The analysis of this material in the vicinity of the town of Penitentes, using a similar methodology, reveals that it corresponds to a large-scale flow coming from the Mario Ardito creek. According to these new interpretations, the need to carry out an exhaustive review of the glacial stratigraphy in the area is clear. New ideas also arise regarding the genesis of the Puente del Inca natural monument. Finally, understanding the geomorphological evolution of the southern wall of Mount Aconcagua sheds light on the Horcones glacier surges. The southern wall of the How to Climb Aconcagua hill (6,965 m a.s.l.) constitutes an unusual morphological feature; With a drop of around 2,700 m, it is one of the great walls of the Earth. In it, rocky outcrops alternate with hanging glaciers, from which ice avalanches break off, giving this slope a greater risk. We rarely stop to think how these walls originated or, if we do, we combine: tectonic ascent, erosion and thousands of years, to finally give rise to a free interpretation. In the case of the southern wall of Aconcagua, among the erosive processes that the Aconcagua Guided Climb modeled, there were no less than two rock avalanches, which we will also call mega-slides (because of their enormous volume), which originated flows whose deposits have been previously interpreted by other authors as glaciers. The discrepancies about deposits assigned indistinctly to the Pleistocene glaciations or to mass removal are long-standing in our geological literature. During the studies carried out in the foothills of Mendoza, Dessanti (1946) described the “Morena del Quemado”, reinterpreted by Polanski (1953) as Cenoglomerate del Quemado and assigned to flows associated with rising debris. In fact, based on the different interpretation criteria of the deposit, the existence of an extensive englazation of the piedmont was being discussed.

Aconcagua Climbing – Different types of training for Aconcagua

Without a doubt, the efforts and sacrifices are great, but the emotions and the incredible and moving landscapes that we observe make up for everything, anyway I think that this is not for everyone and with this I do not want to make a value judgment, one is not even better no worse, it’s different. The sensations that one experiences in these situations are not known in the traditional activities that 90% of people resort to for fun or recreation. Aconcagua 360 Route

We chatted until 10 pm about everything, a very good relationship with my tent mates Eduardo Morales and Mario Mónaco.

Thursday 12 /02 /04

“I am tremendously aware that, if nature deploys all its power, I have no chance. And in that case no plan will work, no matter how well laid out.”

The snowfall continues and last night was the coldest night, I calculate 20 degrees below zero outside and 5 below zero in the tent. Anyway with the sleeping bags we were not cold. Mario continues with a cough, but he slept, Eduardo and I are fine. The tent condensed on all its walls, it is as if it were snowing inside when one touches it.

It dawned very cold, but with sun, if the weather continues like this, we will arrive without problems in Berlin (6000m). We would already be only 1000m from the long-awaited summit. Gladys feels bad and goes downstairs. Her face is very swollen, without a doubt her height is affecting her a lot and she is careful not to take unnecessary risks.

We are waiting for the weather report, to decide the conduct, apparently it is very cold and windy higher up. Aconcagua

Finally, we break camp and leave for Berlin at 1:30 p.m. and arrive at 3:30 p.m. with a 500m drop. It was a very hard ascent because we carry 15 kg in our backpack and the height shows… Leandro turned around halfway through the journey, due to great fatigue and general malaise. We had to reorganize his backpack and the distribution of the tents, each carrying a  How to Climb Aconcagua little of the load that he brought and was essential to continue. What I am telling you in a few words was quite dramatic because it happened in the middle of the climb and with very little room for manoeuvre, the trail is very narrow and the precipices on the side are hundreds of meters long… in general one tries not to look down.

Aconcagua Climbing – Flora and fauna in Aconcagua

climbing the colossus

In 1833, the German Paul Gussfeldt managed to climb to a height of 6,560 m. But it was not until 1896 that serious attempts were made to climb it through the Valle de los Horcones (Edward Fitz Gerald’s expedition). the following year, in the second expedition of Fitz Gerald, the Swiss Mathías Zurbriggen reaches the summit on January 14.

On March 8, 1934, the first Argentine to do so reached the summit of Aconcagua: Lieutenant Nicolás Platamura.

nearby towns

In the vicinity of the Provincial Reserve of Aconcagua there are several towns that have services for tourists (accommodation, food and fuel). We mention the most important located on Route 40 or close to it:


Mendoza City

Lujan de Cuyo





Tips and advice to visit the area

Weather in Cuyo

Fall and Spring. Little rain. The harvest takes place at the end of summer and beginning of autumn.

Summer. It’s hot; daytime temperatures are very high. Low relative humidity. It is the rainiest season. It can rain torrentially and even hail Aconcagua 360 Route

Winter. It hardly rains. Diaphanous sky, frost in open areas. Except for the school vacation period there are no crowds of tourists.

Climate in the foothills: Uco Valley

It is a very arid zone with barely 230 mm of annual rainfall and an average relative humidity of 45%. The rains are summer, torrential with hail and electrical storms.

In the Pedemonte, there is a great thermal amplitude between day and night and between seasons. In winter there are strong frosts. The areas of lower altitude or close to the rivers have a mild climate.

The average in summer is about 25°C and in winter it is 8.5°C. There is seldom snow in the winter in the low-lying areas.

When to Visit the Cuyana Region

The Uco Valley and the province of Mendoza can be visited all year round. The weather varies but there are always activities to do.

Aconcagua and the park that protects it should be visited in late spring, summer and early fall. Snow prevents access during the period April – September.

Driving Precautions How to Climb Aconcagua

Route 40 in the Uco Valley presents no difficulties as it is fully paved and its northern section is a highway (beware of motorcycles, cyclists and pedestrians). It crosses regions with a relatively flat relief without sinuosities.

If you are going to visit the Andean areas with mountain roads, cornices with some gravel: drive carefully.

The routes that go up to the mountain range are winding, with two lanes (in some sections 3 lanes, which allows slow vehicles to safely overtake).

Aconcagua Guided Climb

National Route 7 has a high flow of trucks to and from Chile. They drive slowly on slopes and curves. Drive carefully.

Aconcagua Climbing – Great destination to end your vacation

Base Camp Confluence

If you want to go a little deeper into the Provincial Park, you can continue the trail to the first base camp of Aconcagua. It is called Confluence and it is the first of the stages on the way up to the top of this majestic mountain.

This camp is located at about 3,500 meters above sea level and it takes about 4 hours to complete the entire route if I remember correctly. The way out is uphill, so you may notice the altitude and Aconcagua 360 Route will cost you a bit. Of course, the good news is that the return is down. Along the entire path there are incredible views and you will not lose sight of the colossus, always vigilant from the bottom of the valley.

Aconcagua Summit

If you are in good physical shape and have mountaineering experience, you can join an expedition to climb to the top as well. In this case I don’t have much information, but I’m sure there are agencies that organize it from Mendoza. The ascent lasts several days (I think at least two weeks) and involves a high level of demand due to the extreme conditions of the high Andean mountains. Please note that this is NOT an activity suitable for everyone. How much does the entrance to the Aconcagua Guided Climb cost?

The Aconcagua Provincial Park is a protected space and to help in its conservation, visitors must pay an entrance fee. The price of this depends on the nationality and the activity to be carried out. Here I leave the amounts, but you can also check the park page for more details:

How to Climb Aconcagua

Entrance to the Laguna de Horcones (small path to the viewpoint):

Argentines: free entry

Latin Americans: 550 pesos

Rest of foreigners: 820 pesos

Day Trekking Ticket (walk to Confluencia):

Argentines: free entry

Latin Americans: 2720 pesos

Rest of foreigners: 3400 pesos

If you visit Aconcagua with a tour, it is possible that the entrance is included in the price and you will not have to register, but if you go on your own you must register online and buy your ticket beforehand. I explain how to do it:

You must go to the reservation website of the natural areas of Mendoza and select the Aconcagua Provincial Park.

Indicate the number of people and click on the activity you want to do. You will see the option to choose the dates of your visit and the number of seats available per hour.

Select the day and time and click the “Book Now” button below.

Indicate your personal data and proceed to pay the indicated amount.

Aconcagua Climbing – Aconcagua base camp is great

Freedom means learning to accept reality, with all its contradictions and paradoxes, both the terrible and discouraging aspects and the pure and inspiring ones. The freedom of our limits”

We met at the Directorate of Natural Resources, to get the permits to climb Aconcagua. There I met Eric, Eduardo and Leandro, from Buenos Aires and members of the expedition

I gave Constanza 15 kg of cargo for the mules, where she goes food and clothing. On January 26, she had given him a duffle bag with 30 kg of clothes.

I see the whole group very happy and confident in achieving the goal, we are all very excited. Some may wonder why try to climb Aconcagua? …. The answer is because it is there, because it is beautiful and impressive, a real challenge!!! Aconcagua 360 Route

Wherever you can do it or dream it starts…. in audacity there is genius, energy and magic. That’s what everyone feels in their own way, it’s like an inner tremor that transforms you, you want everything to start at once, in my case a year preparing for this moment. I don’t know how else to express what I feel, I can only assure you that I never felt something like this

Tuesday 03/02/05

“Growing up is learning that maturity consists of a sum of personal choices and decisions; carrying them out makes us free. Daring to take responsibility and the pain of this type of freedom entails, is what it means to be alive”

Liliana takes me to the bus station, with my backpack that weighs about 15 Kg. I think I have everything I need, even a small chair so I don’t always have to sit on the stones. a sad and worried face possibly originated in the farewell and in realizing what was to come.

I plan to read and look at stars as well as admiring the incredible landscapes that surround that great mountain, the highest in America.

How to Climb Aconcagua

I have two books: Don Quixote, which I have already read in extreme situations and I plan to reread, at least some chapters, and Captain of the Ship, a book by Patric O Brian about ships and seas in the 19th century, another of my passions. I travel by bus to Horcones together with Belén and Gladys. I say goodbye to Liliana thinking that the next time I see her, this project will be finished, I hope successfully. The bus leaves at 10:15 and arrives in Uspallata at 12:00. 100 years surrounded by a small wall. I had never seen it, it is diagonally from the Service Station, I take a picture of it. On the trip I read three chapters of Captain of the Ship, very good.

We arrived at Horcones at 2:00 p.m. We got off the bus and began to walk to the park ranger control. We took some photos along the way. We arrived at the park ranger where there are three helicopters standing and the rest of our group waiting for us. 7 a.m.

We do the corresponding paperwork, I greet Pablo Perelló, Chief Ranger and in-law on the part of Leticia, Liliana’s sister, I send greetings to the family through him and we begin, after eating two sandwiches, the walk to Confluencia (3300mts) where we arrived at 7:00 p.m.

Aconcagua Climbing – Protected areas near Aconcagua

The Puente del Inca is a protected area, very close to the entrance to Aconcagua Park. It is a rock formation suspended above the Las Cuevas River at a height of 27 meters.

It is made up of sediments and other types of materials. Under the formation there are stalactites.

Since 2006 it is forbidden to cross the bridge, due to landslides and cracks in the rock. For years the waters of the river were used as thermal springs, since it has healing properties. Experts believe that the use of water caused water stress to the bridge, which, together with the passage of goods, caused the cracks that led to its closure.

Aconcagua 360 Route

Around the bridge there are some shops that sell local products and many others serve food. Barely more than 100 people live in this town, many of them assigned to the barracks. The train track that you will see throughout the journey to the Aconcagua hill, corresponds to the old Trans-Andean Railway, which made the journey from Los Andes to Mendoza since 1910.

But as you will see along the way, the difficulties due to time, orography and landslides made the train stop working in 1984. 

How to Climb Aconcagua

At the time, the construction of the road was a challenge for engineering, since they had to use state-of-the-art technology. Currently there are several areas of the road where you can stop very close to the road and take some photos. The one that accompanies this text was made by returning to Mendoza, just after leaving El Puente del Inca, next to a small cemetery.

An Argentine company has proposed to resume the project and make the train work again, although it will spend a lot of money if it wants the track not to suffer the same fate as before. The reservoir is 30 kilometers from Mendoza. It was open in 2003 and has a height of 116 meters.

Because the water comes from melting ice, its color is less dark. The people of Mendoza usually go to the reservoir to enjoy the bath in the summer.

It is normal for them to even park their cars and vans very close to the water, although access is prohibited. There are also water activities such as rafting and sailing. 

Aconcagua Guided Climb

Activities in Aconcagua Park

If you only go up to admire the views and sightsee, you can buy the entrance to the Park right there. At the entrance there is a parking lot with a small building and some free toilets.

To the right of this building there is a dirt road marked with ropes that leads to the first viewpoint. It is usually empty and if the weather is good it makes for a spectacular photo.

After paying the entrance fee you can enter the park and start the tour.

Aconcagua Argentina – It is always good to return to Aconcagua

In the Cordillera de los Andes -in the province of Mendoza- is the Aconcagua hill, the highest elevation in America. Framed by a spectacular natural environment, it integrates one of the most beautiful landscapes in Argentina. In the geological constitution of this Andean sector, it is recognized: a pre-Jurassic basement, formed between 320 and 205 million years; Mesozoic sequences made up of marine and continental rocks, aged between 170 and 80 million years; Neogene sediments and volcanoes formed between 20 and 8 million years ago, and a cover of recent sediments. The geological evolution of the Aconcagüina region is a magnificent example of mountain-generating processes, which began in a marine basin in the Jurassic and reached the formation of a massif that reaches 7 kilometers in height today. South of Aconcagua, the Cuevas River valley has been a crossing point for the Andes since pre-Columbian times, and that is why there are historical remains from different eras scattered throughout the area. Currently, Aconcagua is a privileged tourist destination, especially for lovers of mountain sports.

Cerro Aconcagua is a mountain in the Cordillera de los Andes, located in the province of Mendoza, 185 km. from its capital and 15 kilometers from the border with Chile, in the Department of Las Heras. With an altitude of 6,962 meters above sea level, it is the highest peak in America.

On February 28, 2017, the MSI sensor on board the Sentinel-2A satellite obtained an image of Cerro Aconcagua with a spatial resolution of 10 meters. Aconcagua 360 Route

In the image in natural color combination, the surface covered by eternal snow and the numerous glaciers such as the Polacos on the northeastern slope can be identified in white, which contrasts with the brown of the bare soil and exposed rocks of the environment. In this high-altitude area, the climate is cold, dry and windy, so no development of vegetation is seen in the image.

This hill is located within the Aconcagua Provincial Park, declared a Provincial Park in 1983 with 71,000 hectares. This protected area has one of the most valuable natural resources on the planet, fresh water, which is contained mainly in glaciers. Likewise, it houses an important animal and plant diversity adapted to adverse environmental conditions (low temperatures and great aridity), characteristics of the high Andean phytogeographic region. How to Climb Aconcagua

Cerro Aconcagua, which gives its name to the reserve, is its main tourist attraction, capturing the attention of climbers and hikers from the most diverse places in the world. Aconcagua Guided Climb

The most recognized conception of the word “Aconcagua” comes from the Quechua language Akon – Kahuak which means “Stone Sentinel”. In the Aymara language, the words Kon – Kawa can be translated as “Monte Nevado”.

Aconcagua Argentina – Never Give Up Your Dreams

Starting from camp 2, climb obliquely to the left (direction East), until you reach the glacier. It is climbed directly to the right of it (orography left), slopes of 30 to 35 degrees. Then the glacier begins to gradually rise until it reaches a maximum inclination of 45 to 48 degrees, around 6,450 – 6,550 meters. Here you cross the “bottleneck” and continue straight up, while the Aconcagua 360 Route slope decreases slightly. Finally, the edge that limits the south wall is reached. Here the inclination decreases very noticeably and it is possible to walk in the snow. The descent can be done by the same route or by the normal route, the latter being the most advisable and fastest option.

The descent along the normal route is developed first by the “canaleta”, then to the north in a traverse crossing next to the “Peñon Martinez”, arriving at the “Portezuelo de los vientos” and, finally, the “Independencia” refuge at 6,250 meters . From this shelter directly down to the North-East. Camp 2 is perfectly located.

How to Climb Aconcagua

The “Stone Sentinel” rises to the sky, to the south, (an immense wall almost 3,000 meters high and 7 kilometers wide). The legendary French mountaineer Lionel Terray visited the great wall during the southern summer of 52/53, after climbing the once mythical Fitz Roy. He considered then that the impressive wall of ice and rock constituted a colossal alpinistic problem. And he was not wrong…

The aspect of the South wall as a whole is one of difficulty, danger and, at that moment, almost impregnable. But it is very clear that mountaineers of all times hate the word impossible. During the southern summer of 53/54, a strong French expedition led by Rene Ferlet reached the bottom of the “Horcones inferior” ravine, on the margin of the glacier of the same name. There they installed their comfortable base camp, in what is now known as “Plaza Francia” (4,100 m), ready to besiege the wall of the great mountain.

After acclimatizing and carefully studying the slope, they chose the large spur that limits the gigantic central avalanche channel of the wall to the right. This spur is relatively protected from any falling ice or rocks. Towards the end of the second third it is interrupted to give rise to a large balcony of ice called “Upper Glacier”. This is a hanging glacier that pours its ice cascades into a void of almost 2,000 meters and constitutes one of the main dangers of climbing on the south face.

Aconcagua Guided Climb

They used more than a month of acclimatization and preparations, during which they equipped the first difficult sections of the spur with fixed ropes. Towards the end of February, 6 climbers launched themselves to the top. The group was made up of G.Poulet, R. Paragot, P. Lesseur, L. Berardini, A. Dagory, E. Denis, at that time the best French mountaineers, which was equivalent to saying in the world.

For seven days they struggled between the unstable rocks and the ice, severely affected by the cold, they finally managed to reach the top. There was then talk of “heroic bravado.” Undoubtedly the French created one of the hardest routes in the world, being at the time, the most difficult wall, with the greatest slope and the highest above sea level, that avant-garde mountaineering managed to climb.

Aconcagua Climbing – Glaciers and Formations on Aconcagua

The glacial action was much more significant in the past, and the geomorphology that can be seen today is modified by the action of subsequent processes such as mass removal and fluvial action. The current glaciers of the mountain range in general, which therefore affect the Aconcagua Guided Climb, are classified as valley glaciers, mountain glaciers, and snow patches; These, in turn, can be presented as uncovered, covered by debris and rock glaciers. Almost the entire fluvial network of Mendoza corresponds to the Desaguadero basin formed by the Mendoza, Tunuyán, Diamante and Atuel rivers. The Barrancas and Grande rivers that form Colorado do not integrate the mentioned basin in the southern part.

All these watercourses are born in the mountainous area and descend to the plains, where they interrupt their basins due to their intense use for irrigation. They are antecedent rivers (which conserved their courses since before the orographic formations) that cross the mountains through enormous gorges eroded during the tertiary movements, and practice many of them lack water for much of the year and with the spring thaw their channels are They make it very torrential.

The Mendoza River is formed from the union of the Tupungato and Las Cuevas rivers. It receives the waters of the Horcones, Santa María, and Vaca’s rivers that descend from Aconcagua. Note the difference in the flow of a river that feeds on thaws such as the Mendoza, comparing its average flow, calculated at approximately 55 m3 / sec., With 750 m3 / sec. that reaches in the summer.

Aconcagua 360 Route is surrounded to the west and southwest by the Río de Los Horcones that runs through the valley of the same name and part of the northern and eastern sectors by the Río de las Vacas. The Los Relinchos stream is born on the eastern slopes, which feeds the Vacas river after a short journey.

There are no glacial lakes, and we only see some remains of them in the form of small buckets in the high mountains.

The Laguna de Los Horcones is the most critical water mirror in the preserved area. Glaciers, those enormous masses of ice that occupy the highest parts of the massifs, have their maximum expression in conservation unity.

Two are found on the southern slope (Horcones inferior and Horcones superior glaciers) and the resulting glaciers on the North and Northeast slopes, the main one being Las Vacas, located at the head of the homonymous river.

How to climb Aconcagua

On the south and east walls, the aforementioned Polish glacier stands out, with an area that reaches 700 hectares, and the Güssfeld glacier with a site that exceeds 1,000 hectares.