Grade

Challenging

360° Route – Aconcagua Summit

Ascend Aconcagua; via the lesser-travelled Vacas Valley 360° route. Aconcagua Mountain is a part of the Andes mountain range; located in the province of Mendoza, Argentina. The summit is located just 15 kilometres away from the international border with Chile; it is one of the Seven Summits (the highest mountains in each of the seven continents).

However; with a good climate, you’ll be able to enjoy an incredible 360° view from the summit that you’ll never forget. After that; you’ll view infinite mountain ranges, white fields and glaciers, including the stunning peaks of Cerro Mercedario and Cerro Tolosa.

Therefore; mules will carry the expedition equipment & they are not loaded with more than 30-40kg. Following then; from Base Camp 1 to Base Camp 3 (Day 9 onwards); you will be required to carry your own equipment and around 7kg of group equipment also. In addition; for additional porters to carry your personal equipment; you will be able to hire these from us. A porter will carry a maximum 15kg limit of your gear.

Similarly; there is an option to extend the route for a couple of days to add more time for acclimatisation along the trail. Above all; a lot will depend on your own personal fitness; your ability at altitude and how much time you have for your expedition.

Mountain & Summit Stats

  • Altitude: 6,962m.
  • Duration: 13D/12N
  • Route: 360° Vacas Valley – North Face
  • Difficulty: Non-technical & No risk of Avalanche.
  • Equipment: Expedition (Please refer to the videos below for equipment).
  • Requirements: Good physical condition and recommended prior experience at altitude.
  • Summit success: About 50%
  • Threats: Biggest threat is the cold (-20 to -30c) and altitude.
  • Summit Season: 15/11/19 – 24/02/20

Safety & Security: Your safety and security is our main priority.

  • Radio Equipment: On the expedition we will have radios & access to a rescue helicopter if required.
  • Medical: We will have oxygen available on the expedition, oximetro (to read oxygen levels in your blood), diamox (to combat any bad effects of altitude sickness), along with a complete medical box set for the expedition.
  • Health: Your health will be checked at regular intervals along the route (e.g. at every camp). All of our guides are fully trained in first aid and mountain rescue.
  • Pacing: It is important to go at a pace you are comfortable with and our guides will help support you in this.
  • Insurance: It is vital that you have adventure insurance for this trip.

Equipment

These videos highlight the best personal equipment to bring for the expedition.

Park Entrance Fees

Entrance fees for Aconcagua National Park for summit expeditions in 2020 are $800 USD per person.
Day 1
Mendoza - Preparing for entry to Aconcagua.
Our expedition begins in Mendoza, Argentina. Here equipment preparation begins that will be transported by the muleteers to Plaza de Mulas Steps for the permission to enter into the Provincial Park of Aconcagua. You'll be given help with this administration. Stay in Mendoza.
  • Accommodation: Hotel
Day 2
Mendoza – Penitentes (2,750m)
Breakfast in accommodation. At 11:30 a.m. you'll leave in the direction of Penitentes. At around 1:00pm stopping to have lunch in Uspallacta. The equipment that will be transported by the muleteers is sent in advance to the Plaza of Mulas and the equipment that also will be transported by the muleteers to Confluencia.
  • Accommodation: Lodge
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 3
Penitentes - Pampa de Leñas – (2,950m)
Driving to the entrance of Punta de Vacas, where permits will be checked. Then; starting off towards Pampa de Leñas by walking 4 or 5 hrs. This is the beginning of the 3 day approach trek to base camp.
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 4
Pampa de Leñas - Casa de Piedra – (3,240m)
Today advancing towards an intermediate camp, passing through the Quebrada de Vacas; for around 6 to 7 hrs. From here you'll be able to see the first sight of the Western Face of Aconcagua.
  • Accommodation: Camp
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 5
Casa de Piedra - Plaza Argentina (4,200m)
Today you'll be trekking for around 5 to 6 hrs, ascending the Relicho steep slope, which takes us to Inferior Plaza Argentina. Here you'll be able to see the last native vegetation before climbing towards the glaciers, where Plaza Argentina is located for camp.
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 6
Plaza Argentina (Rest & Preparation)
Breakfast. Rest and preparation for the ascent.
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 7
Equipment & Food to Camp I “Canadá” (4,800m).
Today is spent transporting equipment to Camp 1, before returning to Plaza Argentina, with lighter packs. During the load transportation to Camp 1, reaching an altitude of 4,800m, provides a good opportunity for further acclimatisation.
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 8
Plaza Argentina - Camp I “Canadá” (4,800m).
Breakfast. Starting the ascent to Camp 1 taking the first part of the Polish Route. After a 5 to 6 hour walk on easy terrain you'll arrive at Camp 1 (4,800m). Installation of Camp.
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 9
Campo I “Canadá” – Campo II “Nido de Cóndores” (5,350m)
Breakfast. Continuing the ascent to the second camp, Nest of Condors. Impressive sight of the Mountain chain. You are high enough (over three miles above the Pacific) to grandstand above the smaller part of the Andes. Trek from 2 to 4 hours. Installation of camp.
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 10
Camp II “Nido de Cóndores” - Camp III “Cólera”
Breakfast. Ascent to the third high field "Rage" or "Berlin". Time estimated from 2 to 4 hours. Installation of the High Field camp. This is a very important day, to rest early in the evening and with light dinner.
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 11
Camp III “Cólera” – Summit (6,962m) - Camp III “Cólera”
This day begins at 4:00 am., with a breakfast. You'll climb the North Edge up to the refuge Independence, located at around 6,450 m. It is in this place where the sunbeams reach us for the first time during this day. You'll encounter the " Portezuelo of the Wind ", where you must face strong winds even in days of relative calmness. From there voyaging on the top part of the West face and climb " The Canaleta ", a channel of 300 mts. that leads us to the summit edge. After The Canaleta, the " Edge of the Gump " represents an easy voyage up to the summit. The latter part normally takes us an hour. From the edge of the Gump we can observe directly under our feet the 3,000 mts. of vertical ice and rock of the South Wall of Aconcagua, considered to be one of the biggest walls of the world. At the summit is the ultimate prize: a sight of 360 º and the experience of personal feelings and indescribable emotions, which only are understood by experiencing it for yourself. The satisfaction of reaching your aim, coupled with the termination of the expedition, mean it is time to begin the asecent and make your way back to Mendoza. It is necessary to save some of your energy for the descent to the field 3.
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 12
Camp III “Cólera” – Plaza de Mulas
Return from the Camp 3 up to the Camp Base, to enjoy dinner realized in the comfort of the Camp Base.
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 13
Plaza de Mulas – Penitentes – Mendoza
After taking down the camp and preparing the bundles that will be transported by the mules there is one final day of 7-8 hrs of trek that takes us via the Lagoon of Pitchforks and the meeting with the route, where our transport waits, that will lead us back to the city of Mendoza.
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Price Includes

  • Assistance for entrance permits to the national park.
  • Professional high-mountain guide.
  • All supplies during the trek & dining equipment.
  • Hotel in Mendoza (On agreement of plan).
  • Mules to carry equipment to all locations.
  • Camping Zones
  • Safety Equipment and medicines as per international standard, radios, telephone satelital, rope and oxímetro.
  • Evacuation in helicopter in case of emergency. Normally requested for by the guide and authorized by the doctor of shift.
  • Medical assessment at all camps
  • Support with the report of the climate for the day of summitting.
  • Expeditions porters : They will carry the group mountain equipment ( 20 kilos ) to high camps. Each participant will be with their own mountain equipment and 7 kilos of group equipment ( Food, fuel, utensils ) to high camps.

Price Excludes

  • Porterage of equipment at altitude for personal equipment, garbage and human waste. (additional porters can be arranged to carry personal equipment)
  • Personal expenses (gratuities, drinks, laundry, telephone and others not specified).
  • Accomodation and supply in Mendoza and out of the Provincial Park of the Aconcagua.
  • Food in Mendoza and departure of Aconcagua park
  • Transport of any type to Mendoza (Can be planned as part of trip itinerary).
  • Entry to the Park
  • Personal equipment:
  • Sleeping bag (-30°C), down jackets, vacuum flask, sandals, sunglasses, flasks, crampones, canes, etc.
  • Costs derived from Rescue or Abandon of Expedition.
  • Costs (accommodation, supply and transport) of descent anticipated by altitude sickness, climate, social disturbances, physical, mental and / or technical condition of mountaineering

Forecasts

Mountain Forecast for Aconcagua

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