- Duration: 18 days
- Climbs and Mountains
- March - September
About this Adventure
Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the world outside the Himalayas. It stands at 6954m in Argentina just inside the border with Chile on approximately the same latitude as Santiago. The imposing and impressive South Face boasts some of the hardest 'big wall' routes in the world. Approaching it via the normal route the gradient is a little gentler. Having said this it is by no means an easy mountain. It is high. It is renowned for having extremely low temperatures and in poor weather the mountain can be beset by ferocious winds. Sounds like the thing for you?
- Guiding by qualified mountain leaders.
- 3 week round trip from the UK
- 'Big mountain' expedition
- Mule/porter assistance to base camp
- We run this trip between December and February.
- Set open dates or bespoke courses for individuals to larger groups - just ask if the date you want is not listed.
- Many years experience in providing mountaineering courses
- You need to have very good fitness/stamina and be prepared to sleep in a tent for 2 weeks
- A real must for any serious outdoor enthusiast!
This trek visits high altitudes! You will be spending nearly two weeks at or above 4000m which is serious altitude. It is imperative you are properly acclimatised not only to have a safe trip, but also an enjoyable one as altitude sickness has the capacity to make you feel very miserable, or even worse! If you show signs of altitude sickness, appropriate measures (i.e. descent) must be taken. Although we will pace the trip to ensure sufficient acclimatisation, it is strongly recommended you inform yourself as much as possible about this issue before starting this trip. The accommodation is in twin room accommodation in a comfortable hotel in Mendoza, a lodge at Puenta del Inca and tents during the time on the mountain.
The objective of this expedition is an ascent of Aconcagua via the 'normal' route. The best, and really only realistic, time of the year to attempt this mountain is during the southern hemisphere summer (December - February). This produces 'acceptable' temperatures at higher altitudes, and often longer periods of high pressure.
Flexibility will be possible and necessary depending upon individuals' ability, the weather and any other factors. There are several routes up this big mountain, ranging from the technically easy to the extreme. We take the so-called normal route from Puenta del Inca up the Horcones Valley to Plaza de Mulas. A round trip from London takes 20 days. This gives sufficient time to acclimatise properly, leaves 3 summit days to allow for poor weather and a few days to recuperate afterwards.
Day 1: Collection from the airport and transfers to your hotel. On this day your guide will check your mountain equipment and accompany you to hire the necessary things. A chance to experience the relaxed culture of Argentina.
Day 2: Before going to Puente del Inca (the final village before the trek to base camp). The whole group will apply for the climbing permit with the guides’ assistance. You will have lunch and spend the night in Puente del Inca hostel. The village is characterised by the natural arch spanning the river and also some fantastic hot underground springs. It’s a bit of a squash but four can fit in the pool at a time!
Day 3: You will be taken to the entrance of the Park in a private van. There permits will be presented and you will start with the trekking to Confluencia Camp. The equipment will be carried by mules. At arrival, you will set up your tent and will be able to rest.
Day 4: Trek to Plaza Francia, base of the south face of Mt. Aconcagua. Here you will enjoy a delicious lunch and a spectacular view. Then you will return to Confluencia. This trekking is considered part of the acclimatization process, fundamental in your expedition.
Day 5: A long day up the Horcones Valley taking you around the side of Aconcagua. An early start is recommended here to avoid the heat of the sun. As you gain height later in the day it will cool down. You pass the old base camp just before the final ascent to Plaza de Mulas (4230m) your base camp for the trip
Day 6: Acclimatisation/resting day. You will make a short trek in Plaza de Mulas area, where you can take in the beauty of the mountain and practice your ice climbing skills.
Day 7: Acclimatization trekking to Mt. Bonete summit and return to Plaza de Mulas. This trekking willn take about 6 hours and you will reach 5.100m of altitude. This activity will definitely turn on all the acclimatization mechanisms on your body
Day 8: Load carry to Camp Canada (4877m). Experience has shown that the old mountaineering adage of ‘climb high sleep low’ holds true, and hence we drop a load at Camp Canada and return to Base Camp. 6 hr round trip.
Day 9: Resting and acclimatization day. On this day you will make sure that your equipment is ready and you will rest to be strong for the next days that demand more effort. You will be glad of the chance to rest your legs, play cards and generally just relax.
Day 10: Today you move onto the mountain proper. After a 3-hour trek, you will reach Camp 1 “Canada”. The group will enjoy lunch and set up tents. On this day, you will only carry your personal equipment. Our porters will carry the sleeping tents and the rest of the ordinary equipment. Camp Canada is located about 500m off the main trail on a prominent outcrop enjoying splendid views over the valley.
Day 11: Climb to Camp 2 “Nido de Cóndores”. This trek lasts 4 hours and when you reach Nido de Cóndores you will set up the tents with the guides’ help. You will be able to rest after this. On this day, each member of the group will carry the personal equipment and will carry a food load and fuel for the expedition that will be 5 kg as the maximum. Our porters will carry the sleeping tents and the rest of the ordinary equipment.
Day 12: Climb to Camp 3 “Berlin” which will be the last altitude camp before de summit. This will be a short hike, around 3 hours, but all your strength is needed due to the characteristics of this part of the route. During this day, you will carry your personal equipment and will carry a food load and fuel for the expedition that will be 5 kg as the maximum. As in the previous days, our porters will carry the sleeping tents and the rest of the ordinary equipment.
Day 13: Climb from Camp 3 to the summit and return to Camp 3. A great day! You will get up very early in the morning, have breakfast and start climbing. You will get to the summit which is an unforgettable experience, and return to Berlin. You will sleep that night with the satisfaction of having reached your goal.
Day 14 You will descend to Plaza de Mulas Base Camp after a 3 hour trek. You will have the day free to share your experiences throughout the expedition. During this day you will only carry your personal equipment, because our porters will be in charge of carrying all the ordinary equipment including the garbage up to Plaza de Mulas.
Day 15: Descent to Puente del Inca and last trek in the expedition. Your belongings will be carried by mules so you will only take a light bag pack with a jacket and your packed lunch. Transfer to Mendoza city. Lodge in the hotel.
Day 16: Flexi Day -Extra day for contingencies that may prevent the normal development of the program. (or free day in Mendoza)
Day 17: Flexi Day -Extra day for contingencies that may prevent the normal development of the program. (or free day in Mendoza)
Day 18: Breakfast and transfers to Mendoza Airport for your return journey home.
Please note: This itinerary is a guide only. It can be subject to change dependent upon viability, course members' fitness, weather conditions or for any other reason the guide may deem necessary.