Mendoza (700m)– Penitentes (2700m)– Aconcagua Provincial Park - Confluencia(3300m) – Base Camp Plaza de Mulas (4250m)– Plaza Canada (4900m) – Nido de Condores (5500m) – Berlin (5900m) – Summit of Mt. Aconcagua (6961m)
Why go there?
Aconcagua (6961m) is the highest mountain in South America, one of the 7 Summits. It is located in Argentina in the Province of Mendoza. The name may have come from several possible origins: Kon-Kawa (“Snowy Peak”) - from the Argentine aboriginals, the Aymara; Aconca-Hue (“Coming from Other Side”) – from the Chilean Araucano; Akon-Kahuak (“Sentinel of Stone”) – from the Quechua. From the top of this mountain you can revel in the breath-taking views of the amazing white ranges of Cordillera de Los Andes. As a climbing objective Aconcagua offers a rich variety of interesting routes of all the technical levels. The Normal (or NW) Route is physically very demanding, but not really technical.
Our expedition starts in the town of Mendoza. On arrival we go right away to Penitentes (a small village next to Puente del Inca) and on the next day the climb starts (by NR). We stay two nights in Confluenca Base Camp (3300m) and, for better acclimatization, two nights in Plaza de Mulas Base Camp (4350m). After that with the help of experienced guides and porters we begin to establish high camps: Canada (4900m), Nido de Condores (5500m) and Berlin (5900m). On the 12th day we make a bid for the summit. And of course we have a reserve day to make up for bad weather. The expedition ends in Mendoza, where we stay for one night before saying a hearty thankful good-bye to these places.
Arrival in the town of Mendoza. Bus transfer to a hotel. Acquaintance walks in the city, arranging all the necessary permits, checking gear. Hotel.
Buying (and/or renting) necessary gear. A bus transfer to Penitentes (2700m). Sending the main bulk of the gear by mules to Base Camp. Hotel.
Transfer to the entrance of Aconcagua Provincial Park (Laguna Horcones) and a hike to Confluencia (3300m, 4-5 hours). Camp.
Acclimatization hike from Confluencia to Plaza de Francia (4200m) from which the fantastic views of the South Face (2700m high) open up. 4-5hr. Return to camp.
Long walk (8-9hr) to the main Base Camp at Plaza de Mulas (4350m). The way is along the wide valley of Playa Ancha. Camp.
Rest day in Plaza de Mulas (4350m). Sightseeing around the camp, easy ascent to the Orkones Glacier. Camp.
Walk from Plaza de Mulas to Camp 1 (Plaza Canada, 4850m). Pitching tents. Camp.
Walk from Plaza Canada to Camp 2 (Nido de Condores, 5500m), a night there. Camp.
Descent to Plaza de Mulas (4350m). Camp.
Rest day in Plaza de Mulas (4350m). Camp.
Climb from Plaza de Mulas (4350m) to Nido de Condores (5500m), night there. Camp.
Climb from Nido de Condores (5500m) to Camp 3 (Cholera, 6000m). Camp.
Ascent of Mt. Aconcagua (6961m), descent to Cholera (6000m). Camp.
Reserve day in case of bad weather. Camp.
Reserve day in case of bad weather. Camp.
Descent to Plaza de Mulas. Camp.
Hike back from Base Camp to Laguna de Horcones. Bus transfer to Penitentes. Night in Penitentes.
Bus transfer from Penitentes to Mendoza. Rest and farewell dinner. Visits to the local distilleries. Night in hotel.
Bus transfer to the airport. Flight from Mendoza.
• Transportation in a private bus/minivan from Mendoza to Penitentes and back. • Help in obtaining the necessary climbing permits • Night in a hotel in Penitentes (double rooms, breakfast&dinner) • Transportation from Penitentes to the Laguna de Horcones trail • Mules for food and equipment from Puente del Inca (Los Puquios) to Plaza de Mulas and back. Load limit - 30 Kg • Two nights in Confluencia: electricity, cook, meals&drinks, mess tent with tables, chairs and tableware, toilet tent • Service in Base Camp in Plaza de Mulas (number of nights limited to 5): electricity, cook, meals&drinks, mess tent with tables, chairs and tableware, toilet tent, storage of personal things, radio communication • Four-season tents, stoves, cookware and tableware • Food for high camps • Mountain guide from 7 Summits Club (Aconcagua summiter) • Radio communication between BC, Mendoza and Puente del Inca: for co-ordinating the expedition logistics • Hotel in Mendoza (2 night, bed&breakfast)
Price does not include
• Airfare and airport taxes to and from Mendoza Regular service bus tickets to and from Mendoza • Climbing permit • Personal porters • Individual gear • Extra costs entailed by leaving the expedition prematurely • Medical insurance covering climbing to 7000m and osts of eventual rescue operations • Personal expenses (drinks, laundry, mail, telephone calls etc)
Booking deposit, 50% of the price, is paid not later than 3 months prior to expedition. Balance payment is due not later than 45 days prior to expedition
Tips guidelines (important information!)
You entrust your life, health, your time and money to the guides. And the guides take this responsibility for you and for the success of the whole trip. They are doing this 24 hours.
10-20 USD per day is expected as the normal amount of tips for the Guides and the staff of the program. If you liked everything about the trip, please don't forget to thank them. You can give the tips directly to the Main Guide and he will distribute it among the staff.
Necessary travel papers (documents)
Passport to travel abroad
Argentine visa (if necessary, depends on your citizenship)
By air and by land
You can get to Mendoza by many international flights, by domestic flights from Buenos Aires and by bus from Buenos Aires or Santiago
3 nights in hotels (DBL, BB)
13 nights camping
One breakfasts and two dinners in the towns, full board
while in camps
Mountain guide from 7 Summits Club
Local mountain guides, porters helping to pitch high camps,
Health and medical insurance
Our guide will have a first aid kit and we strongly recommend to bring your own specific medicines you might need. Besides, we recommend to start taking polyvitamins 3 weeks before the expedition. Also would be very useful to try to acclimatize on some peak over 5000m and test your system before you come to Aconcagua.
The normal time for expeditions is from December to March. A colder month could be better in terms of weather, normally
more stable when cold.
Generally from December to March. Experience indicates that, if the "peak" months are the coldest, its climate is more stable. It would be good to calculate correctly the time you have available, including some days of "reserve" to wait for good weather in case of storms. A "bonnet of smoke", white wind over Aconcagua`s top, is a sign of tempest in the heights and you must not go further on.
Permit (330 USD in January, 220USD in February
Heavy-weight fleece / pile jacket
Light/medium-weight, long thermal underwear shirt (polypropylene/capilene)
Long underwear shirt, medium weight fleece shirt,
Water proof / breathable jacket with hood (Gore Tex is strongly recommended)
Long sleeve, light weight shirt
Down or hollow fiber filled jacket with a hood, large enough to put on over a fleece jacket
Fleece pants (with full side zips to allow ventilation)
Two pairs of long underwear pants (one light-weight and one medium-weight)
Waterproof / breathable pants (or bib pants) with full side zips for easy putting on and taking off
Light weight trekking boots
Climbing expedition boots
Crampons (well fitting, preferably “step-in”) with a maintenance&repairing kit
2-3 pairs of liner socks
3 pairs of wool or poly socks (medium-heavy thickness)
2 pairs of liner gloves
Medium weight fleece gloves
Nylon shell gloves
Wool or fleece mittens
Thick hat (wool or fleece)
Extra pair of your ordinary glasses (if you wear them)
Down or hollow fiber filled sleeping bag good for 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit
Sleeping pad, either a Therm-a-Rest, or a closed-cell foam pad
Two water bottles 1 liter each (with insulators)
One 70-80 liters rucksack
One day pack (should be big enough to hold two
liters’ thermos, a snack, extra clothing, and a camera for
the summit day)
Ice axe 60-70 cm
Telescopic ski poles
Glacier cream (spf 40)
Your specific first aid kit
Lip balm (spf 25+)
Favorite lightweight snacks
Camera and accessories
Book, playing cards, walkman, reading stuff etc.