Aconcagua 360

General Description

This program allows you to appreciate the magnitude of Aconcagua from all it sides.

This route enters the Aconcagua Provincial Park by the Valle de Vacas to reach Plaza Argentina Base Camp. Then, we ascend by the first part of the Polish Route. It combines a part of the Ameghino traverse to Camp 2 and touches a part of Upper Guanacos route to get to Camp 3. After reaching the summit, we descend by the Normal Route. We pass by Plaza de Mulas Base Camp on the way down and exit the park by Laguna de los Horcones.

Trip Info

  • Location: Mendoza, Argentina
  • Difficulty level: high
  • Duration: 19 Days
  • Guide to Client Ratio: 1:3
  • Prerequisites: Excellent Physical Condition
  • Season: from November to March

Starting Dates:

  • December 8th, 2016
  • December 20th, 2016
  • January 8th, 2017
  • January 17th, 2017
  • February 4th, 2017
  • For private groups Contact us

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Mendoza airport. Altitude: 760 mts

We greet you at the airport and take you, via private transport, to your hotel. There, we gather with the guides and the rest of the group to go over the expedition plan and check your gear. In the evening, at a restaurant that offers typical argentinean food, we enjoy a welcome dinner.

Day 2: Mendoza drive to Penitentes – Altitude: 2700 mts.

We go to get the ascent permit to enter Aconcagua Provincial Park. In the afternoon, the private transport takes us to Penitentes Mountain hotel. We will prepare the loads for the mules and the light backpacks for the next day hike.

Day 3: Hike to Pampa de Leñas – Altitude: 2950 mts.

We enter the Aconcagua Provincial Park through the valley of Punta de Vacas. The hike is 4 to 5 hours until the first camp Pampa de Leñas.

Day 4: Pampa de Leñas hike to Casa de Piedra – Altitude: 3240 mts.

We continue 6 or 7 hours in the Quebrada de Vacas to Casa de Piedra, a little shelter build with rocks. On the way, we can see this east face of Aconcagua and the Polish Glacier. Here we spend our last night approach to Base Camp Plaza Argentina.

Day 5: Hike from Casa de Piedra to Plaza Argentina – Altitude: 4.200 mts.

We ascend between 5 and 6 hours by the Cuesta del Relicho to Plaza Argentina. By the way, we will see the last examples of the high Andean flora.

Day 6: Rest day at Plaza Argentina – Altitude: 4.200 mts.

At Plaza Argentina we rest and take advantage of the day to acclimatize to the high altitude. There will be time to explore the Base Camp, meet other expeditions, take a shower and explore the area. We will prepare the load to carry the following day.

Day 7: Carry equipment and food to Camp 1 – Altitude: 5000 mts.

We carry equipment and food, primarily to gradually adapt to the altitude and also so that our backpacks are lighter the next day. During the carry to Camp 1, we reach the altitude of 5000 m. Then we return to Plaza Argentina to spend the night there.

Day 8: Rest at Base Camp – Altitude: 4200 mts.

Before continuing the ascent, it is gainful to take a day second rest day at the base camp for acclimatization progress.

Day 9: Ascent from Base Camp to Camp 1 – Altitude: 5000 mts.

We get to where we left our carry the previous day and we set our new camp. We  separate the gear for the next day carry.

Day 10: Carry equipment to Camp 2 – Altitude: 5.500 mts.

Again, we make a portage to the next camp and returned to camp 1 for overnight. This is helpful for acclimatization.

Day 11: Rest day at Camp 1 – Altitude: 5.000 mts.

This day is to recover energy, drink a lot and enjoy the surroundings. Strategically, it is very important for the process of acclimatization to the altitude.

Day 12: Ascent to Camp 2 – Altitude: 5500 mts.

In the morning, we take down the camp and move to the second high camp. The views across the valley of Guanacos, Cerro Ameghino, and Cerro Mano are very nice.

Day 13: Ascent to Camp 3 Colera – Altitude: 6000 mts.

Once again, we take down the tents this time climb to the third and final camp in high altitude. This is where this route Aconcagua 360, meets with the normal route of ascent to Aconcagua. There may encounter strong winds and will find the light-colored rock formations around the camp are very characteristic. The sunsets are stunning from here.

Day 14: Summit day – Altitude: 6.962 mts.

The big day begins early, at about 4 am. We take a light breakfast and we leave for the summit with our headlamps on. As we ascend, the clarity allows us to appreciate the immensity of the shadow of Aconcagua on the western mountains . Generally, arriving at Independencia (6300m) we take a break. We follow the traverse to reach the cave. From there, it only remains the gutter and the summit ridge to reach the summit of America. The excitement of being at the top is hard to describe. We descent carefully by the same path. We returned to spend the night at Camp 3 “Colera” (5900m).

Days 15 and 16: Extra days

Extra days in case of bad weather or any other circumstances that alter the program.

Day 17: Descend to Plaza de Mulas Base Camp

We go down to a different base camp Plaza de Mulas in the normal route to celebrate the expedition. On the way down we will see the camps Nido de Condores (condors nest), Cambio de Pendiente (change in slope) and Plaza Canada.

Day 18: Exit Park Aconcagua through Horcones valley

We will hike down from Plaza de Mulas exiting Park Aconcagua through Horcones valley. You will start finding flour plants adapted to high altitude inside beautiful valleys, cross over creeks and probably cross more than one expediton going up this way. At the park entrance, our private transport will be waiting for us to drive us back to the hotel in Mendoza.

Day 19: Flight back home

Flight back home. End of our services

Services

Mountain guides

Certified High Mountain Guides (IFMGA – UIAGM, AAGM) International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations – Unión Internacional de Guías de Montaña, Asociación Argentina de Guías de Montaña.

An experienced and responsible guide is crucial for the success your Aconcagua 360 expedition.

Accommodation

  • Two (2) nights accommodation in a four-star hotel in Mendoza (breakfast included)
  • One (1) night accommodation in mountain hotel in Penitentes (breakfast and dinner included)
    The rest of the nights are spent in mountain tents.

Meals

All meals and beverages on the mountain are included. At base camps (Plaza Argentina and Plaza de Mulas) the meals are served in dining domes with tables and chairs.

We pay special attention to giving good quality food during the trips. Fresh and dehydrated fruit and vegetables, meet, cereals, whole grains, rice, pasta, etc. If you have special diets we can adapt the menu to your restrictions. Please let us know in advance.

Transportation

  • Mendoza airport to hotel
  • Mendoza to Penitentes
  • Penitentes to Aconcagua Park entrance “Punta de Vacas”
  • Park entrance to Mendoza.

Porters

Porters have a very important role in the success of an Aconcagua expedition. The help carry the loads: tents, food, stoves, fuel, cooking sets, etc. They know the mountain well and they can help, putting up the tents in a windy moment and they can really cheer you up if you cross them on the track. In Aconcagua, one load is 20 kilograms. We provide porters for group gear. If you would like to have the service of a porter for your personal equipment, please let us know and we will be glad to help you hire one.

Mules for gear transport

Mules to transport personal equipment: maximum 66lbs/30kg is included, which is more than enough. If you think you need more kilograms, you are probably bringing too much stuff. The mule service in Aconcagua is well established. A mule carries up to 60 kilograms. The muleteers “arrieros” know how to tie it safely. We use mules to carry everything from Penitentes to Pampa de Lenas, then to Casa de Piedra and finally to Plaza Argentina base camp. We hike with a light day backpack up to base camp.

Tents and camping equipment

  • Tents (The North Face). We have tested different types and brands of tents and we have chosen the ones we think are the most efficient for Aconcagua, due to the strong winds and the weight we can carry.
  • All cooking equipment. We have all the necessary cooking sets and stoves to provide you excellent meals in high camps.

Communication

Communication equipment: VHF portable radios that allow communication between guides, camps, and camps with Mendoza, park rangers and rescue squad. There is internet connection in Plaza de Mulas at reasonable cost.

Medical equipment

Daily, we monitor your acclimatizing progress. Our client’s health and safety is our number one concern, so we update ourselves the latest knowledge about mountain medicine and high altitude mountain sickness. We expect you to take resposibility as well, taking care of yourself and drinking lots of water, and telling the guide how you feel.  We use pulse oximeters to check on your oxygen saturation daily. We carry an oxygen tube, in case of emergency, and a full aid kit.  We have permanent radio contact with the doctors based in Plaza Argentina and Plaza de Mulas who have vast experience in high altitude mountain sickness symptoms. We have access to hyperbaric chamber if necessary and to Aconcagua park’s helicopter in case of emergency situations.

Other services

  • Assistance to obtain Aconcagua Park Permit: it is a procedure that requires your physical presence and passport, done in Mendoza office.
  • Welcome dinner on first night (does not include drinks).

Services not included

  • Aconcagua Provincial Park permit
  • Costs associated with leaving the expedition early or in case of emergency rescue
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal porters
  • Other costs not specified in the list of included services