Road trip to Aconcagua

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When most people are already in full holiday, others have just returned from travel and a few more are about to start, there are a limited number that privileged them, you can take the time to break away from the summer months. These lucky, a small group is now training hard for estarse in the best shape, and is that your goal is called Aconcagua.


Photography by desbiens_jean


Aconcagua, with 6,959 feet (6,962 m according to the latest satellite data) is the highest peak in the Americas. Located in the mountains of the Andes, in the territory of Argentina in the province of Mendoza and almost bordering Chile. The first ascent of this place was made by Mathias Zurbriggen (Switzerland), 1897.

Since it is located in the southern hemisphere, the best time to access the colossus is during our winter, preferably between December and the first half of February. Inclement weather (high winds, fog … etc) and especially the high altitude are the two issues submitted to the climbers.

Routes to the summit:

Access to the base camp of the route is performed first by car from Mendoza to the entrance of Aconcagua National Park, located very near Puente del Inca, before, but they usually stay overnight in the ski resort of Penitentes. Des point where the «rangers» or «guards» (2,950 m) starts the walk along the river valley until l Horcones Confluence camp (3990 m). Here it is advisable to spend a couple of nights stay and take advantage of approaching to Plaza de France (4,000 m) where you have the best view of the south wall of the Aconcagua. The next stage is the one about to base camp known as Plaza de Mulas (4230 m), passing through spectacular scenery and across the indescribable Playa Ancha, a broad valley that dates back between 3,600 and 3,800 m.

Aconcagua of the various routes

Photography by

Of the various routes to reach the summit, the most popular is the name that is often «normal» or the North Ridge route, which rises from the base camp Plaza de Mulas to Plaza Canada (5,050 m), follows Condors Nest (5,500) where it is customary to place the second camp. In the tiny and often very dirty Berlin refuge (5930 m) (it is better to sleep with the tent) is also used by those who make up a third field. After you pass the new emergency shelter Elena Senin (6,000 m) installed since January 2011 in the confluence area called Wrath normal route and the Polish Glacier, where they produced most of the victims to be a point loser in fog or bad weather. The route continues through the barracks destroyed Independence refuge (6380 m). The climb continues along the journey of the Great Carry, but to access this long east-west diagonal, it must go through some big rocks, is the door flagship of the Winds. When it’s over the Great Carry is the Cave (6650 m) suitable place for a short rest and recuperate before facing the famous and feared Canaleta. The chute is a narrow channel of very steep loose stones, if you are covered by snow is fortunate, for then it is easy to upload with crampons. At the end of the chute and find the crest, or rather the Filo del Guanaco ridge crest the summit linking north and south summit, the two peaks are separated by nearly a mile. And finally we reach the broad summit, chaired by a little cross, well filled with flags and offerings of all kinds. The normal route is under siege every year for more than three thousand people and despite not present technical difficulties can be very complicated, the fog suddenly with the consequent loss of trade, a decline in temperatures and the dreaded «altitude sickness» or altitude sickness are the factors that determine most of the dropout. From Muztag recommend a good acclimatization, a relaxed first going from Confluence to Plaza Francia and then up to some of the peaks are surroundings of Plaza de Mulas. Hydration should be constant and for this also facilitates acclimatization. Furthermore, if physicians understand that Plaza de Mulas is a climber conditions may force it to descend, and the visit to base camp doctor is required before leaving for the summit.

Road trip to Aconcagua

Photography by 8pZGwG6tS6

For those who are more fit and wish to opt for routes with difficulty, sure to find the proper ground, from the aforementioned path of the Polish Glacier and the dreaded extreme south wall, with routes as extreme as the so-called Russian Roulette.

We can only say, enjoy your trip!

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