Argentina – Aconcagua
Aconcagua (6962m) is the highest mountain outside of Asia. It is part of the fame 7 Summits and the highest peak of the American Continent. By extension, it is also the highest point in both the Western Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere. The mountain and its surroundings, known as the Aconcagua Provincial Park, are part of the Andes Mountain Range and located in western Argentina, near the Chile border. The mountain has a number of glaciers. The most well-known is the north-eastern or Polish Glacier, which is the technical route of ascent. Except for the Polish Glacier route, Aconcagua is arguably the highest non-technical mountain in the world. The other two routes - the normal route and False Polish Glacier Traverse route (aka Falso de los Polacos) do not require ropes. While the climb on the non technical routes do not require rope or technical skills, climbing Aconcagua is not to be underestimated. The success rate each season is around 30% with many climbers underestimating the challenges, especially the physical demand and the harsh weather conditions. Multiple casualties occur every year on this mountain, as with many other high mountains in the world. The altitude and extreme weather pattern are two main challenges.
About The Climb
There are 3 popular routes : Normal Route, False Polish Glacier Traverse and Polish Glacier (technical route).
The normal route is the standard and most popular route. It is a fairly straight forward route from the start to summit , ascending to the higher camps and summit from Plaza de Mulas Base Camp (4350m)and descending via the same way. Our Normal Route itinerary starts with an approaching trek to Plaza Francia before arriving at Plaza de Mula on the 3rd day. Taking 3 days to trek to Plaza de Mulas will allow for good acclimatization before starting the trek to the higher camps and summit.
False Polish Glacier Traverse
The False Polish Glacier Traverse is a combo of the non technical part of the Polish Traverse Route and the Normal Route. It crosses through the beautiful Vacas Valley. The ascend approach is to Plaza Argentina (4190m), the base camp of the Polish Glacier Route. From Plaza Argentina, the ascend to the higher camps will eventually meet those ascending from Plaza de Mulas at Camp 3, traversing across to the normal route for the final ascend to the summit. The descend, after the summit, is through Plaza de Mulas Base Camp (4350m). This route is more scenic and less crowded than the Normal Route. It also allow a better acclimatization since it is a longer route.
Our scheduled Aconcagua climb is on the False Polish Glacier Traverse route. You may form your own private group or join an international open group on the Normal Route.
Aconcagua climbing season is relatively short - from December to March each year. Most of the climb from the base camp onwards to the higher camps and summit is in extreme cold weather of -10 to -35 °C. Aconcagua is known for its extreme and harsh weather conditions making the climb a tough challenge.
Past climbing experience to above 6000m is good to have. You should have experience in climbs that require the use of crampons. Most of the climb from the base camp onwards to the higher camps and summit is on scree, snow and ice terrain in extreme cold weather of -10 to -35 °C. You are also expected to do load ferry of your personal gear, team equipment and food for the higher camps with a backpack load of above 10kg.
Equipment and Gear
Alpine climbing clothing (thermal base layer, down mittens, down jacket, insulated outer shell pants and outer shall jacket etc) is required.
You will also need the following climbing equipment (can be rented):
- Crampon compatible high altitude boots / double layer boots (or plastic boots)
- Walking ice axe
- Snow gloogles
A packing list will be provided for all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page to read about the layering system to be better prepared and choose the right gear/equipment for your climb.
- The above dates are for False Polish Glacier Traverse and are for open international group
- You can also form a private or join an open international group for the Normal Route or False Polish Glacier Traverse. For enquiry, send an email to us at email@example.com
False Polish Glacier Traverse
|Day||Description||Meals||Altitude at Rest Point|
|Day||2||Transfer to Penitentes.||B/-/D||2580m|
|Day||3||Drive to Vacas Valley. Start the approach trek. Trek to Pampa de Lenas||B/L/D||2950m|
|Day||4||Trek to Casa de Piedra||B/L/D||3240m|
|Day||5||Trek to Plaza Argentina - Base Camp||B/L/D||4190m|
|Day||6||Plaza Argentina - Rest day at base camp||B/L/D||4190m|
|Day||7||Acclimatization day. Load ferry to camp 1 and return to base camp||B/L/D||4190m|
|Day||8||Rest day at base camp||B/L/D||4190m|
|Day||9||Trek to Camp 1||B/L/D||4800m|
|Day||10||Acclimatization day. Load ferry to Camp 2. Descend to Camp 1||B/L/D||4800m|
|Day||11||Rest day at Camp 1||B/L/D||4800m|
|Day||12||Trek to Camp 2||B/L/D||5350m|
|Day||13||Trek to Colera (High Camp)||B/L/D||5839m|
|Day||14||Summit Day (Aconcagua, 6962m)||B/L/D||5839m|
|Day||15-16||Spare days for summit attempt||B/L/D||5839m|
|Day||17||Trek to Plaza de Mules. We complete the Aconcagua traverse by descending the Northwestern face of Aconcagua (Normal Route), towards the lively Base Camp of the Normal Route.||B/L/D||4350m|
|Day||18||Trek to Horcones Valley. Drive to Mendoza.||B/L/-||760m|
- Climbers descending early will incur extra hotel fees; e.g spare days not used on the mountain or aborting the climb earlier
- Return airport transfer in Mendoza
- All land transfer as indicated in itinerary
- Meals as indicated in itinerary
- Twin/Trip sharing accommodation in Mendoza and Penitentes
- Base camp facilities: sleeping tents (twin/triple sharing), mass dinning tents, toilets, medical check-up, hot shower (chargeable) and international phone calls (chargeable)
- High camps equipment:, sleeping tents (twin/triple sharing),
- Climb support: climbing guide(s) (1:3 climbers / 2:7 climbers / 3:11 climbers. Guide(s) carry professional first aids kits, pulse oximeter and walkie talkies
- Porterage service: Mule transportation of personal and group equipment for BC to BC trek. High altitude porters for group equipment for high camps (1: 4 climbers)
- Assistance with climbing permit procedure.
- International air tickets, airline taxes and fuel surcharge
- Visa Fee (if required)
- Aconcagua climbing permit
- Single Supplement
- Meals not indicated in itinerary
- Chargeable services at base camps
- All tipping
- Personal porters
- Personal travel insurance (mandatory to cover trekking up to 7000m)
- Personal expenses like shopping, laundry etc
- Personal travel & climbing gear – warm clothing, trekking & double boots,crampons, sleeping bag and sleeping mat, crampons, ice axe, backpacks etc
- Emergency evacuation and medical expenses
- Compensation for damaged or lost of personal items (eg: climbing/trekking gear and equipment, cameras and any valuable items etc)
- Any expenses including accommodation, meals & transfer outside the stipulated trek/climb itinerary – i.e. any person leaving the group for personal travel, illness/injury or any form of extension of stay
Support from Ace Adventure Expeditions
We provide pre-trip support to prepare you for the climb:
1. Trip briefing and information kit
2. Gear list and gear discount from selected Singapore outdoor outfitters
3. Training guideline kit
4. Rope skill workshop (For climbs that require rope up and/or fixed rope skill)
We carefully select and establish strong working relationship with our local operator to ensure safe participation by everyone. Our local operator is one of the leading Aconcagua expeditions operators in Argentina. They have one of the best logistics infrastructure and the highest success rates.
Training: Regardless of your level of fitness and physical conditions, it is advisable to train prior to embarking on a trekking or mountain climbing trip.
Pure cardiovascular fitness is NOT enough.
Focus your training effort in the following areas, assuming that you are in good health and injury-free:
- Climbing conditioning – stairs and load training.
- Cardio training - Jogging/running and interval training like CrossFit or HIIT.
- Strength training for the lower body, shoulder, back and core .
- Flexibility training - eg: Yoga and stretching exercises
A good five to six months of training would be a good preparation for this trek.
A recommended training guide specific to the trek or climb will be given to you upon signing up.
Refer to our Grading chart for an overview on the technical difficulty and fitness required for this trek.
Refer to our Training Guide for tips on trekking and mountain climbing training.