Aconcagua –6959m, a mountain situated in the Argentinian Andes is the highest peak of both Americas and the highest peak outside Asia. It was reached by M. Zurbriggen in 1897. In 1934 a Polish expedition (Ostrowski, Osiecki, Narkiewicz) was the eighth that reached the summit. They did it on the eastern side of the mountain, paving a new ambitious route through glacier which is called today the Polish Glacier.
The Argentinian Andes are at the southern Pacific Ocean which exposes them on strong winds. They blow from the west or southern west and are very strong which makes them the biggest obstacle on the way to the top. We’ll be able to see the bones of the mules killed by the stones blown by the winds. Any falls are rare here. We’ll reach the summit in February, when the weather is more stable than in the Summer. The temperature shouldn’t fall below -25 C, however the strong wind may intensify the feeling of cold. E.g. the feeling of cold when there aren’t any winds and the temperature is -15 C is the same as when the wind blows at 40 kmph and the temperature is 0 C.
We’ll reach the summit along the classic trail. First a two days ascent through the Horcones valley and next through a large slope we’ll get to Nido de Condores pass. At the end, through the bottom of a big gully Calanetta (sometimes using crampons) we’ll get to the peak crest. In its most difficult place it can be compared to the northern side of Zawrat. Technically the ascent is easy, a bit more difficult than ascending Kilimanjaro.
Although the technical difficulties aren’t big, ascending the summit is not very easy, it demands a very good condition and experience in climbing in high mountains, minimum the Alps. If you are going to ascend Aconguaga, test yourself first at the height of 4000m, or even higher. Rarefied air is the main obstacle on the way to the summit. Above 5000m almost everybody suffers general weakness, headaches and other ailments. We try to provide good acclimatisation so that the difficulties would appear at the least significant level and weren’t the obstacle for us. We pay attention also to the preparation of your condition before setting out. We suggest that you go marching, running and walking in the mountains. We encourage you to stay at big heights as often as possible. The climbing equipment that will be needed includes sticks, the best telescopic and crampons which will be useful if the ground is icy. Due to the fact that we’ll stay at great heights in the strong wind, our fingers and toes will be at risk of frostbites. That’s why mountaineering boots, and two or three pairs of gloves (too loose) are indispensable.
Caution! It’s impossible to participate in the expedition if you suffer from any illness that could be harmful to your health at great heights. Before setting out you should get vaccinated against tetanus. This vaccination can be done at any sanitary station.
The trail we’ll follow has been checked, covered by the organiser.
12 300 pln + 630 usd increase of the permit cost
price without flight: 10 500 pln
The price includes: the organisation of the expedition, flight, coach transport at the place of our destination, all the other necessary transport, hiring mules, a permission to climb the summit (twice more expensive than it used to be), tourist class accommodation (youth hostels, cheap hotels), accommodation in tents (provided by us) in the mountains, food – 2 meals down the mountains, in the mountains full board including special lyophilised food, insurance that includes the costs of treatment and mountain rescue action.
The price doesn’t include; excess luggage (we usually don’t pay it), transport in case of possible trip to the Moon Valley or at Iguazu Waterfalls (300-500 $), flight tax.
1.If you are willing to take part in the expedition please, contact us as soon as possible.
2.To confirm the reservation pay 4500pln for the ticket to the bank account: Stowarzyszenie” Annapurna Klub „ Santander Bank 34 1090 1652 0000 0000 6404 1166 with annotation: Aconcagua- flight and insurance. Please, inform us about the payment via e-mail or post.
3.Please, send us your name, surname, date and place of birth, address.
We fly to Buenos Aires, from where we take a coach to an Argentinian city, Mendoza. The city park there is one of the most beautiful in the world. When we get all the necessary permissions we can go to Puente del Inca, which is a place where all expeditions start their ascents. We hire the mules and we can set off. By a hired car we get to the national park. After three hours ascent through a green valley with a view on the southern wall of Aconcagua we get to the camp Confluencia (3500m), where we spend a night. Next day is a nine hours ascent through the dry valley, Horcones. We have to cross the river a few times. After this never ending ascent we get to the base camp. The next day we get rest so that we could get acclimatised. Next day we climb Nido del Condores (8-9 h, 5340m) where we stay for a night. Next day we ascend Berlin (5780 m.). After a night in Berlin we get back to the base camp and have whole day for resting. After that we ascend Nido del Condores again, which should be easier this time. After a night we go to Berlin again from where, if the conditions are good we set off towards the peak and through an easy, rocky crest we get to the shelter Indepencia.
We pass the shelter, above it, we can have a view on the whole way to the top. We go through a hidden „winds channel” where the wind very often tries to blow climbers away. We traverse an upper part of Gran Acarrero slope (6700). From here along the channel called Canaletta sloping at 40 degrees, where sometimes crampons have to be used, breathing with difficulties; step – breath in, step – breath out, we get to the pass between two peaks. Calanetta is a gully full of stones and rocks which tend to slide with our each move, so sometimes we make no progress. From the pass after a short ascent we step on the highest peak outside Asia. Climbing here from Berlin takes usually 9 hours. From the peak we get back to our tents, which shouldn’t last longer than 3 hours. To descend we need 2-3 days.
The possible free time we can spend on resting at the Pacific Ocean or flying to Iguazu or Patagonia. We return to Poland after about 22 days.
Day by day itinerary:
(due to different reasons it can change but the plan of the expedition should be as follows):
– flight from Warsaw or Berlin (in case of a big difference of prices)
– by a comfortable coach to Mendoza
– the organisation of permissions, mules, gas and food supplies. Visiting one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Night in Mendoza.
– travel to Puenta del Inca (2900m). Hot springs. Packing things on the mules, acc83 h). The same day we plan to ascend Plaza Francia (4200m), under the famous southern face of Aconcuaga, in order to get acclimatised. Descent to Confluencia for a night.
– getting to the base camp – Plaza de Mulas 4300m (about 9 hours). in case of any problems with acclimatisation we’ll spend a night somewhere on our way.
– 15 days climbing. Usually together with a thorough acclimatisation it takes 10-15 days.
Counting together with ascending the base camp we have 16-17 days intended for climbing which was enough during our previous expeditions. If not, we can skip the waterfalls and have 3 days more.
– descending from the base camp to Puenta del Inca which takes about 10 h. We can get to Mendoza the same day.
– coach or flight to Puerto de Iguazu (depending on time, at your own expense)
– waterfalls or resting
– ride or flight to Buenos Aires
– flight to Poland.
If we menage to descend earlier we can choose some of the following attractions.
– the Moon Valley – similar to rocky parks in the USA, around Mendoza.
– Chile or Argentina coast.
– rock climbing around Mendoza or Santiago.
– rafting around Mendoza.
– tango classes in Buenos
– sometimes we can see a carnival
– Thermal shoes or mountaineering boots, 1,5 size too big (loose enough not to pinch the toes in thick sock and tight enough to make the heel stable while walking. The best are Millet Everest, one model lower Millet Expert, La Sportiva Olympus Mons 8000, Scarpa Phantom- all the thermal boots with many linings that are combined with the protector) similar leather shoes North Face Baltoro are also very good (and others, up to -40 degrees), or, possibly less warm, universal mountaineering boots – Scarpa, Koflach, Asolo.
– 2 pairs of thick woolen socks
– other thick thermal socks – 2 pairs
– thinner socks – 4 pairs
– polar fleece trousers – polar 100 (2 pairs)
– polar fleece trousers – polar 300
– gore-tex or similar trousers
– trekking gaiters
– 2-3 breathable t-shirts
– underwear – polar 100,
– blouse – polar 300,
– down-filled sweater
– gore- tex jacket
– gore- tex over-mitts
– 2 pairs of polar gloves ( together they must be loose enough not to block the blood circulation in the fingers, they must be loose enough not to pinch the fingers, usually they are used interchangeably, either polar 200 or 300)
– down-filled gloves
– down-filled boots for sleeping.
– possibly, instead of goretex over-mitts you can take very warm gloves with 5 fingers.
– thinner gloves for operating the equipment
– something to protect your head from the sun.
– sleeping bag – min 0,9 kg (down-filled) 2kg (synthetic)
– rucksack – min 70l,
– rucksack 40l,
– a bag to transport the luggage on mules (not necessarily)
– glacier glasses (and goggles or other spare glasses)
– sun protection cream min. factor 40- the best Vichy,
– windproof mask
– chemical warming agents e.g.Grabber,
– bivouac bag
– thick foam pad or self blowing mattress
– NRC foil,
– mess tin, cutlery,
– 2 rolls of toilet paper,
– headlamp and spare batteries
– vacuum flask 0,7l – 1l
– articles of toilet
– trekking shoes,
– summer clothes (e.g. safari trousers with detachable trouser legs)
– Crampons adjusted to the shoes
– rope 3-4mm in diameter, 15 m long
– telescopic sticks
– burner stove Camping Gas type, pierceable cylinders (190g) – don’t take the cylinders.