Our route of ascent for Jan & Feb 2022 will be via the normal Horcones valley (The Vacas valley routes remain closed for this season). We have included an ascent of Bonete Peak (5,004m) to help you acclimatise and there are four possible summits days providing you with the best possible chance of summit success.
The Horcones valley route on Aconcagua offers the strong mountain walker, with prior winter walking experience the opportunity to ascend one of the world’s highest trekking summits. Although you will not require any previous climbing experience, the ascent is at very high altitude and therefore requires a high level of fitness, commitment and determination.
The climb is very weather dependent but our high guiding ratios, small group size and levels of support generally gives us a big advantage and improves our summit success. We provide leaders/guides on a maximum ratio 1:3 above Base camp allowing time for you and your guide to get to know each other and the team is limited 9 climbers. Our aim is to reduce the physical hardship and create maximum flexibility to give you the best chance of summit success as we can more easily deal with clients varying walking speeds/fitness and weather. Porters carry any group gear (tents, stoves, shovels, fuel) and we will work with you in the months preceding your expedition to help you identify the very lightest kit possible to further reduce your load to around 14kg plus water. Your guide will assist you with tent placement, cooking and water preparation. The expedition will still be physically challenging (all 7000m peaks are!) and you will still have to work hard to reach the summit but you will probably have the best guiding ratio on the mountain throughout the expedition.
Why climb Aconcagua with Adventure Peaks
- £700 of permit fees included in the price (often exluded by many operators)
- Up to 4 days set aside for a summit attempt
- High-altitude porters to carry group equipment (tents, stoves, shovels and fuel)
- Expedition leaders from the UK who are supported by our regular team of local Argentinian mountain guides to give a 1:3 ratio throughout your climb above base camp. Many operators only increase their ratio to this level on summit day allowing little or no time to bond or get to know you! Maximum 9 clients
- Quality food – our guides prepare or assist with all meals at Camp 1 using a variety of ingredients, to avoid the use of freeze dried food until higher up the mountain
- Adventure Peaks has been operating successfully on Aconcagua for over twenty years and we have gradually developed what we see as the best overall approach the mountain, giving you the best chance to acclimatise and retain strength for your summit bid
- 100% trip success in the 2019/20 season (prior to Covid)
Or choose the Highly Guided upgrade
You can choose to upgrade to your own personal local guide on summit day (standard ratio 1:3), allowing you to move at your own speed, and giving you the very best chance of summiting.
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 6000m before attempting Aconcagua. Previous experience of camping, as well as carrying loads of 14kg, 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.
On our approach in Jan-Feb 2022 will be via the normal Horcones route as the Vacas Valley remains closed. Mules are used to support the trek into base camp. Our itinerary provides upto 4 summit day giving you the best chance of success. One of the ‘Seven Summits’.
It can be very hot in Mendoza and on the walk in to basecamp. Wearing shorts and t-shirts with sunhats 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.
VISAS AND PERMITS
No visa is required for UK and US Citizens and many other countries. For non-UK citizens, you may need to pay a Reciprocity fee before you enter Argentina.
Aconcagua climbing permits are included in our expedition price but we must all go to the park office in Mendoza to register and pick them up.
You can read more information about Aconcagua with the following links:
Day 1-2 International flight arriving day 2. (H,B on day 2)
Day 3 Wasting no time in Mendoza we complete the permit formalities before traveling overland into the mountains and to Penitentes, a drive of about four hours. Here you organise your gear in readiness for the mules and our walk into base camp. Hostel, Penitentes (H,B)
Day 4 The trek into Base Camp at Plaza Argentinas starts today with a short drive to Punta de Vacas. Mules will carry all of your gear so you can enjoy the walk without heavy loads. The walk on the first day is reasonably easy although very hot and dusty and takes you through green desert valley scenery enclosed between the steep mountains of the Andes. Trekking up the west side of the Rio de las Vacas to your camp at Pampa de Lenas (2800m) is approximately 5 to 6 hours. The Park Ranger will examine the permits and issue rubbish bags, which will be checked again at the end of the expedition to ensure all garbage is removed from the mountain. Camp, Pampa de Lenas. (C,B,L,D)
Day 5 Leaving camp we cross the bridge over the Rio de las Vacas to then follow it up the beautiful valley to reach our overnight camp at Casa de Piedra (3250m), a journey of about 6 hours. From here you will get superb evening views of Aconcagua. Camp, Casa de Piedra. (C,B,L,D)
Day 6 We start the day with a river crossing to enter the Relinchos valley, initially a steep narrow canyon that eventually leads to a broader hanging valley and our Base Camp at Plaza Argentinas (4200m). The campsite will be in the moraine that provides a convenient windbreak and good views of the route ahead. Base Camp, Plaza Argentinas. (C,B,L,D)
Day 7 Rest day, acclimatisation and preparations for the climb. Base Camp, Plaza Argentinas. (C,B,L,D)
Day 8 Today as our porters take any group gear required for the climb to Camp 1(4850m), we follow taking a small amount of food (about 5kg) as an acclimatisation walk. Although the route to Camp 1 is easy; the altitude will make it 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. Base Camp, Plaza Argentinas. (C,B,L,D)
Day 9 Acclimatisation day and final preparation in base camp. Camp 1. (C,B,L,D)
Day 10 Today we move up with personal gear to Camp 1. Camp 1. (C,B,L,D)
Day 11 Acclimatisation walk to Camp 2 at Guanacos (5400m) to drop off a few kg of food, porters will have moved group gear. The route to Camp 2 is a little steeper up to the col and generally takes around 3 to 4 hours. Return to Camp 1 for overnight. Camp 1. (C,B,L,D)
Day 12 Rest day and acclimatisation that can also be used for crampon and ice axe training depending on snow conditions. Camp 1. (C,B,L,D)
Day 13 Climb to Camp 2 at Guanacos, situated on a platform at 5400m with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. (C,B,L,D)
Day 14 Rest day at Camp 2 Guanacos to acclimatise and prepare for our summit bid. Camp23. (C,B,L,D)
Day 15 Move to Camp Colera, our launching platform for the summit bid. When the team are ready to make their summit attempt we will move up to Camp Colera ready to make the summit attempt the following day (5970m). Porters move group equipment.
Summit Days 16-18 The team has three 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. (C,B,L,D)
Our Expedition leaders are from the UK and are supported by a regular team of local Argentinian mountain guides to give a 1:3 ratio throughout your climb above Base Camp. Many operators only increase their ratio to this level on summit day allowing little or no time to bond or get to know you! Maximum 9 clients.
Our UK leaders for the coming season are all past veterans of Aconcagua expeditions and include Stuart Peacock – 3 times Everest summiteer, Martin Doyle – UIAGM Guide, Everest Summiteer and past Director of Plas Y Brenin, Carrie Gibson – Everest summiteer and Dave Pritt – Adventure Peaks Director, Everest Summiteer and five times Aconcagua. Probably the strongest line up on the mountains, Adventure Peaks are High Altitude experts!
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 60-70 litre rucksack is such that equipment such as tent poles and sleeping 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 – the best boots are Boreal G1 Lite’s, La Sportiva Spantik or another double lined boot.
Gloves – Down over-gloves/mitts with a normal glove as an inner are recommended.
Clothing – on summit day good quality fleece trousers and a down jacket are adequate. A warmer alternative would be a down suit or salopettes and jacket.
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.
Here is a great video from our Roy, a client in 2013 with Martin Barnett as our leader and Max the local guide.
The video shows the Aconcagua Vacas Valley route and Plaza Argentina Base camp and out via Plaza De Mulas and Horcones Valley.
Aconcagua 2013 – 2014 from Roy Partington on Vimeo.
It is vitally important that you have adequate travel insurance for your trip with Adventure Peaks. We recognise the complexity and variety of choice in the insurance market and know that many of you either have your own preferred insurer or have annual multi trip cover in place already. If this is the case, please ensure that your insurer is aware of your Adventure Peaks itinerary and can agree to cover the activities being undertaken.
Adventure Peaks do not provide any advice on travel insurance, although it is a requirement of our booking conditions that you have travel insurance which covers the activities which you are likely to be undertaking on your holiday. Cover must include emergency medical, helicopter evacuation, repatriation and rescue expenses.
It is strongly recommended that suitable cancellation insurance is purchased at the time of booking as all deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable.
Suggested insurance companies include:
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