Climbing Aconcuagua

Mike1

Active Member
#1
Just wondering if anyone plans on setting up or joining an expedition to the summit using the normal route? Climbing season is starting in a few months and I'm planning on doing it (either leading or following and guides will be optional) sometimes this year or the next, depending on the size of the team, how well equipped, how prepared we are, and how fast we'll be moving depends on how fast team members can acclimatize, so get checked by a doctor if you haven't been for AMS or any medical conditions you may have before you decide to do it.
 

Mike1

Active Member
#4
I meant if you have experienced AMS before, usually the make it or break it point is around 8000 feet above sea level, and yes I have climbed big peaks before. I'm just looking for anyone else that has plans to do that as well but they should be able to move at a pretty good pace with 30-50 pounds on their back.
 

RichardP

Active Member
#5
Most people take from 8-14 days to climb the Aconcagua. I went last year via Plaza Argentina. It's really just a hike, but the weather and altitude can make things complicated. There was a doctor at Plaza Argentina who all climbers had to see prior to going any higher. My blood pressure was high, so I was told to stay an extra day at base camp for observation. Unless you are determined to carry all your gear and food, you will need to hire a mule. A guide is really not necessary if you have some experience in the mountains already.
It's basically a circus going up the normal route and you can easily find a partner or tag along with others.
 

Mike1

Active Member
#6
Update: Upgraded my gear & going up between June & October

Date is flexible since it is the low season. This will be an unassisted minimalist alpine ascent using only map, compass, & GPS. Ultimately I would like to complete the Polish trail within a week or less, bearing the weather conditions. If not, I will be doing the normal route solo. ETA after checking the trail map, bearing good weather conditions on the normal route from Puente de Inca would be 3-4 days maybe slightly slower, depending on acclimatization & weather conditions.

Here is my itinerary for the normal route:

Day 1
From Destacamento de Guardaparque Horcones (park entrance) 2980m to Confluencia 3350m = 4 hours
From Confluencia 3350m to Piedra Grande o Colorada 3560m =2 hours
From Piedra Grande o Colorada 3560m to Piedra Ibanez 3780m = 6-9 hours

Day 2
From Piedra Ibanez 3780m to Plaza de Mulas 4400m 5-6 hours
From Plaza de Mulas 4400m to Campamento Plaza Canada 5080m = 4 hours up 2 hours down
From Campamento Plaza Canada 5080m to Nino de Condores 5590m = 5 hours up 2 hours down

Day 3
From Nino de Condores 5590m to Camp Berlin 5930m 4 hours up 2 hours down
From Camp Berlin 5930m to the northern summit 6959m 8-11 hours up 5 hours down.
Reverse everything on the way back and will be faster.

My itinerary for the Polish Trail From Punta de Vacas to the northern summit & back by Puente de Inca by normal route

Day 1
From Punta de Vacas 2406m to Refugio Pampa de Leñas 2960m = 6 hours up, 5 down
From Refugio Pampa de Leñas 2960m to Casa de Piedra 3245m = 7 hours

Day 2
From Casa de Piedra to Plaza Argentina Base Camp 4180m = 6 hours
From Plaza Argentina Base Camp 4180m to Portezuelo Aconcagua Ameghino (passing the 1st Polish camp) 5100m = 6 hours

Day 3
From Portezuelo Aconcagua Ameghino 5100m to Polish Camp 2 5830m 6-7 hours

Day 4
From Polish Camp 2 5830m there are 2 Polish routes to the northern summit 6959m One is 10-14 hours the other is 2 days (be ready to bivy up on this one)
If the team members are REALLY skilled, we can also attempt to create our own route. :eek:
On the return trip, just reverse the normal route itinerary and it will be faster.

These numbers are just a modest estimate given by the map. You won't be needing much, just 1 1/2-2 week's worth of food (in case of delays by bad weather), light climbing gear, ice screws, snow pickets (optional preferably deadmans) etc., water filter, a burner to melt snow, be an early riser (3-4 am) and be prepared for -45F/-42C at the summit. :)
 

jez

Registered
#7
I think I must be reading this wrong, you think you can climb Aconcagua via the normal route out of season in 3 days??? YOU ARE GOING TO DIE !!!! please let me know if I am reading it wrong, but I would appear you have no idea about the effects of altitude and the need to acclimatise....

I've summited solo via the normal route in 10 days with the use of mules to get equipment to Plaza de mulas. And there was good conditions and no fresh snow.
 
#8
jez said:
I think I must be reading this wrong, you think you can climb Aconcagua via the normal route out of season in 3 days??? YOU ARE GOING TO DIE !!!! please let me know if I am reading it wrong, but I would appear you have no idea about the effects of altitude and the need to acclimatise....

I've summited solo via the normal route in 10 days with the use of mules to get equipment to Plaza de mulas. And there was good conditions and no fresh snow.
I shouldn't worry, Jez. I'm sure Mike is just having a laugh. If he were posting on a climbing forum everybody would know that he's just taking the piss.

However, since this forum attracts a wide range of people and since there might be gap-year travellers and trustafarians looking in and thinking k3wl! I can learn tango and climb Aconcagua and do both in just two weeks may I just add to what Jez just said and repeat - don't do it!

Check out Jim Ryan's excellent book (hasn't this been mentioned before?). P21 will give you average timings in high season when the weather stands some chance of being moderate for a few days: P43 will tell you all about the rescue, support and other services available out of season - i.e. nothing, nix nada.

And for some light relief you must read 'Last Breath' by Peter Stark which is an entertaining romp through the miriad ways of killing yourself through making bad judgements in extreme sports.
 

Fettucini

Active Member
#9
We climbed up Aconcagua back in March with some sandwiches and beer, got to around 4,500 meters and had a picknick. It's a nice walk, but i imagine now it would be freezing so would need more gear.
 
#10
Fettucini said:
We climbed up Aconcagua back in March with some sandwiches and beer, got to around 4,500 meters and had a picknick. It's a nice walk, but i imagine now it would be freezing so would need more gear.
More gear? Oh. Sorry: I was just getting interested because I thought you said more beer.