Aconcagua (Horcones Route)

Aconcagua (Horcones Route)


From £4,500
Altitude 6,962m Grade: 1C

The Horcones Route on Aconcagua is regarded as the easiest and most straight forward route to the summit. Aconcagua is the highest peak in the Southern and Western hemispheres, the second highest of the Seven Summits and the world’s highest summit outside of the Himalaya.

Aconcagua's Horcones Valley Route, often referred to as the Normal Route, is one of three Aconcagua Expeditions Adventure Peaks offer:
The Horcones Route is the most direct and cost effective route to the summit, where the distance and times between camps are shorter and steeper, averaging 3-4 hrs.

The most scenic route on Aconcagua is via the Vacas Valley and forms our Aconcagua 360° Expedition. This route circumnavigates Aconcagua, a much less frequented and beautiful route. You will approach via the Vacas Valley and the Polish Route from the east and descend via the Normal Horcones Route to the west, with constantly changing views and more gradual but longer ascents between camps (5-6 hrs), making it a little more challenging. Both the Horcones and 360 routes are non-technical, share Camp III at Cólera and the summit days are the same.

Our final Expedition is a 'Fast Track Aconcagua' where you arrive in Argentina pre-acclimatised at home using an 'altitude tent' to complete the ascent in a matter of days. Perfect if you are short on travel time but still able to commit to training at home.

If you have chosen the Horcones Route, read on - We quickly leave Mendoza to maximise time on the mountain: acclimatising at Confluencia enroute into Plaza de Mulas Base Camp 4367m, ascending Bonete Peak 5050m and then making the ascent via 3 camps (Canada Place c5100m, Nido de Condores 5400m and Colera Camp 5960m). Summit day then typically takes 10 to 14 hours for the round trip. The views from the summit are spectacular, please see the Itinerary tab to read the full details.

Why climb Aconcagua with Adventure Peaks

  • ATOL Bonded with a permanent UK based office for your financial security
  • Adventure Peaks has been operating successfully on Aconcagua for over twenty years and we have developed what we see as the best overall approach on the mountain, giving you the best chance to acclimatise and retain strength for your summit bid
  • The very best combination of Expedition leadership; A UK Expedition Leader and a regular team of local Argentinian mountain guides to give a 1:3(4) ratio for your climb. Maximum 9 or 10 clients
  • More days than most including up to 4 days for a summit attempt
  • High-altitude porters to carry group equipment to the high camps (tents, stoves, shovels and fuel) and to remove rubbish and human waste
  • High quality food in BC and the High Camps - our guides prepare all meals at Camps using a variety of ingredients, to avoid the use of freeze dried food
  • 100% trip success in the 2019/20 season (prior to Covid) and we were one of the first teams back on the mountain after Covid in 2022 gaining further success
  • You can choose to have your own personal guide on summit day or split it with a friend/partner (standard ratio 1:3), allowing you to move at your own speed, and giving you an even better chance of summiting.

Previous experience/fitness

The climb up Aconcagua is non-technical. It is suitable for mountain walkers with previous winter walking experience. The route may be dry or may have a solid covering of snow and ice. Clients should have prior experience climbing to around 5500m before attempting Aconcagua. Previous experience of camping, as well as carrying loads of 14kg (or pay additional porterage), would be advantageous even though porters carry all group equipment. Summit day is long and tiring, ascending from 5950m at high camp to the 6962m summit. This could take 8-10 hours to ascend and 2-3 hours to descend. You should make sure you are fit and used to long mountain days. We offer optional pre-expedition training weekends and have a permanent UK office with staff who have climbed Aconcagua many times before and can offer on-going training advice.

Weather conditions

It can be very hot in Mendoza and on the walk in to basecamp. Wearing shorts and t-shirts with sun hats and plenty of suncream is the norm, however there can also be torrential rain on the walk in so full waterproofs are also essential. From basecamp upwards there can be heavy snowfall, and from Camp 1 up the wind can cause severe wind chill. At high camp and on summit day the temperature can drop to -20 Celsius, so down jackets, good mitts and double boots are essential.

Dates & Prices

Show prices in
All prices in Euros are guide rates, not live rates
All prices in US Dollars are guide rates, not live rates

Availability

Dates
Flight Inclusive
AvailabilityDays
With Flight
Price
Land Only
Price
With Flight
Select
4th Feb 2023 - 26th Feb 2023 Closed23 £4,500£6,000
18th Nov 2023 - 10th Dec 2023 Spaces23 £4,625£6,125 Book Now
1st Dec 2023 - 23rd Dec 2023 Guaranteed23 £4,625£6,125 Book Now
16th Dec 2023 - 7th Jan 2024 Guaranteed with Next Booking23 £4,625£6,125 Book Now
6th Jan 2024 - 28th Jan 2024 Guaranteed23 £4,625£5,725 Book Now
3rd Feb 2024 - 25th Feb 2024 Guaranteed23 £4,625£6,125 Book Now

* A deposit of £400 will be required at checkout.

Extras

Extras can be added per-person when you book onto a date

ItemPriceDays
Aconcagua Private Guide Summit Night £1,125
Ojos Del Salado Pre-Extension £2,255+8 days

* A deposit of £200 (or the full extra price, whichever is lower) will be required at checkout for each extra added per-person on this trip

What's Included

  • ATOL Bonded with a permanent UK based office for your financial security
  • Estimated International flights from London (Flight inclusive package)
  • The very best combination of Expedition leadership; A UK Expedition Leader and a regular team of local Argentinian mountain guides to give a 1:3(4) ratio for your climb. Maximum 9 or 10 clients
  • 2 nights hotel acommodation in Mendoza and 1 night in Penitentes or Uspallata on a B&B basis
  • Communication equipment - Satellite telephone to maintain links with our UK office and to receive vital weather forecasts. VHF Radios to allow communication between our groups on the mountain and BC
  • Free internet at basecamp (limitations apply).
  • High quality food, our guides prepare meals above BC using a variety of ingredients, to avoid the use of freeze dried food
  • Group Dome Tent at Camp 1 and 2, cook tent at 3
  • All tents and other communal equipment necessary for the climb.
  • Medical First Aid supplies.
  • High-altitude porters carry group equipment (tents, stoves, shovels and fuel)
  • Rubbish and Human Waste taken down by Porters
  • Group Leaders and Porters position tents.
  • 3-4 days set aside for a summit attempt
  • Private road transfer Mendoza to the mountain and back
  • 2 Group Airport Transfer between Mendoza Airport and hotel (excluding if joining land only)
  • 110 litre kit bag for expedition members for UK based clients. A logoed top will be substituted for all clients residing outside of the UK
  • 15% discount off the RRP for equipment and clothing purchased at our Adventure Peaks shops and online

What's Excluded

  • Travel to and from UK airport (unless otherwise specified).
  • Permits, paid on arrival to the National Park approx £500-£600 Variable according to season and exchange rate.
  • Personal climbing clothes and equipment.
  • Drinks and hotel or guest house meals, unless specified.
  • Personal medical supplies and personal use of communication equipment.
  • Excess baggage.
  • Tips for porters and local guides.
  • Costs associated with an expedition finishing early.
  • Costs associated with you leaving an expedition early.
  • Costs associated with extending a trip due to bad weather or other circumstances.
  • Transfers to and from Mendoza airport if flights NOT booked with Adventure Peaks

Itinerary

Days 1-2

International flight arriving day 2. Hotel in Mendoza (H,B on day 2)

Day 3

Wasting no time in Mendoza we complete the permit formalities before travelling overland into the mountains and to Penitentes or Uspallata, a drive of about four hours. Here you organise your gear in readiness for the mules and our walk into base camp. Hotel, (H,B)

Day 4

From Los Penitentes, we make our way to the Horcones Valley (2950m) for the start of the trek to Confluencia (3395m) where we spend the night. A walk of about 4hrs. (C,B,L,D)

Day 5

Today is an acclimatisation day where we trek to Plaza de Francia (c4000m), before returning to Confluencia for the night. You will get your first clear view of the imposing south face of Aconcagua. Climbing high sleeping low is important (C,B,L,D)

Day 6

Today we trek to our base camp at Plaza de Mulas (4360m). This is a tough 8-hour day with 1000m of ascent. We will now fully appreciate our previous rest and acclimatisation. Base Camp is well set up with excellent food awaiting (C,B,L,D)

Day 7

Rest Day, acclimatisation and preparations for the climb. Showers available! Base Camp 4360m, (C,B,L,D)

Day 8

A second acclimatisation day where we trek up with a day sac to Bonete Peak (5004m). Great views of our route up Aconcagua. 5-6 hrs walking 550m ascent (C,B,L,D)

Day 9

Rest and acclimitisation day in base camp. (C,B,L,D)

Day 10

Today our real work starts as we climb up to camp 1 at Plaza Canada (c5000m), taking most of our food (about 8kg) as an acclimatisation walk. We rest for a while and then take a further walk without a load up towards camp 2 (Nido de Condores) at 5400m. Depending on conditions you could be walking on good neve or scree; the altitude will make both feel much steeper. You will return to base camp to aid rest. Climbing high and sleeping low is essential for acclimatisation in these early stages; you will feel much stronger in the longer term. Overnight Plaza de Mulas 5-6 hrs walking 650-1100m ascent (C,B,L,D)

Day 11

Acclimatisation day and final preparation in base camp. (C,B,L,D)

Day 12

Today we move up with personal gear to Camp 1. Camp 4900m. (C,B,L,D)

Day 13

Climb to camp 2 (Nido de Condores) with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Overnight Nido de Condores 5400m (C,B,L,D)

Day 14

Rest Day and preparation to go up to Camp Camp Colera. Overnight Camp 2. (C,B,L,D)

Day 15

Move Nido de Condores to Camp Colera 5970m, our launching platform for the summit bid. When the team and weather is ready to make a summit bid we will move up to Colera ready to make the attempt the following day. Porters move group equipment. Camp, Colera. (C,B,L,D)

Summit Days 16-19

The team has 3 or 4 days in which to reach the summit leaving spare time in case of bad weather, however the summit will be attempted on the first day of good weather. Camp Colera or BC. (C,B,L,D)

Day 20

Today we descend from Camp Colera all the way back down to Plaza de Mulas or a fourth summit day. Camp, Plaza De Mulas. (C,B,L,D)

Day 21

Descend to Road Head. Drive to Mendoza Hotel, Celebration meal. (H,B,L)

Days 22-23

Return international flight. (B)

Kit

You will receive an Adventure Peaks 120 litre kitbag to use on your expedition and to keep afterwards. (Please buy a small padlock to lock the zips at all times). (If you are a non-UK client or have been on a trip with us before, you will receive a logoed top in lieu of a kitbag. Please let us know your top size.

Please ensure your 65-70 litre rucksack is such that equipment such as sleeping bags and mats can be placed inside, rather than hanging from the outside.

Aconcagua can be a very cold mountain therefore quality clothing, gloves and boots are essential for your own comfort and safety.

Boots – You will need double boots the best boots are the Boreal G1 Lite’s or La Sportiva G2.

Gloves – Down over-gloves/mitts with a normal glove as an inner are recommended.

Clothing – on summit day good quality insulated trousers and a down jacket are adequate. A down suit will be too warm.

All of the above items can be bought or hired from Adventure Peaks.  Clients receive a 15% discount when purchasing equipment and clothing from the shop.

Insurance

It is essential for a trip of this type that you are adequately insured. When researching insurance options, please ensure the policy covers you for the following:

  • Cancellation or curtailment
  • Helicopter rescue (most insurance companies will no longer cover for ‘search and rescue’ but providing you stay with the group, they will assist with ‘rescue’)
  • Repatriation
  • The altitude that you are expected to attain
  • The location especially when travelling to Antarctica
  • Grade of trek/climb/expedition
  • Medical cover

Adventure Peaks partners with Global Rescue to offer the world’s leading travel protection services.  Medical and security emergencies happen. When they do, we rely on Global Rescue to provide our clients with medical, security, travel risk and crisis response services. Without a membership, an emergency evacuation could cost over $100,000. More than one million members trust Global Rescue to get them home safely when the unexpected happens. We highly recommend our clients enroll with Global Rescue:
https://partner.globalrescue.com/adventurepeaks/



We are aware the following provide insurance:

For UK based clients:

HCC Medical Insurance Services: LLC sales@hccmis.com  Tel: 1-800-605-2282
Travelex Ins. Services: www.travelexinsurance.com  Tel: 1-800 228 9792
True Traveller Ins: www.truetraveller.com  Tel: 0333 999 3140 for treks including over 4500m
Austrian Alpine Club (UK) www.aacuk.org.uk  Tel: +44 (0)1929 556870
Rothwell & Towler: www.world-first.co.uk  Tel: 0345 908 0161 (under 6400m)
Campbell Irvine: www.campbellirvine.com  Tel: 0207 938 1737 (Not for treks/climbs with ropes – OK for Aconcagua)
J S Insurance: www.jsinsurance.co.uk  Tel: 0844 848 1500
Snowcard: www.snowcard.co.uk  Tel: 01295 660836
The B.M.C.: www.thebmc.co.uk  Tel: 0161 445 6111 (call and speak to Jim. Please note the BMC cannot cover Mt Damavand)
Dogtag: www.dogtag.co.uk  Tel: 0800 036 4824 (Check excess etc)

For non-UK based clients:

HCC Medical Insurance Services: LLC sales@hccmis.com  Tel: 1-800-605-2282
Travelex Ins. Services: www.travelexinsurance.com  Tel: 1-800 228 9792
True Traveller Ins: www.truetraveller.com  Tel: 0333 999 3140 for treks including over 4500m
Austrian Alpine Club (UK): www.aacuk.org.uk  Tel: +44 (0)1929 556870
AXA Worldwide Travel Ins: www.axainsurance.com  Tel: +44 (0)844 874 0360
Ingle International: www.ingleinternational.com  Tel: (USA) 1.800.360.3234
Insure for Less: www.insure4less.com.au (Australian clients)

You do not have to use any of the above, but if you make your own insurance arrangements documentary evidence of your own policy is required.

Please forward the details of your Insurance as soon as you have it: we need the insurance company’s name, their 24 hour emergency telephone number and your insurance policy number – admin@adventurepeaks.com

 

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