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The Polish Glacier Traverse Route
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The Polish Glacier Traverse Route

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 20 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 20 people
Destination(s): Argentina  
Specialty Categories: Mountain/Rock Climbing  
Season: November - April
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 1930 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2000 US Dollar (USD)

This route, also known as the False Polish Glacier, is an excellent path up Aconcagua. This beautiful, non-technical route is “the road less traveled”, with much fewer visitors than the Normal Route. Over the years, it has become our preferred trail. As on the Normal Route, we face the extreme altitudes, freezing temperatures, and hard winds. Our itinerary follows the principles of correct acclimatization before starting the climb. It has also been designed as an expedition-style climb, climbing high and then returning to a lower base camp to sleep.

Your Itinerary

Day 1: Mendoza. An Aconcagua Adventures representative will greet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel in Mendoza. At the hotel, we will check your equipment. Arriving in the morning will give you some time to tour the city. Mendoza is a wonderful and safe city, with friendly people, sidewalks cafes, shopping malls and thousands of trees.

Day 2: Hosteria Puenta del Inca. 182 km / 113 miles separates Mendoza from Puente del Inca. Early in the morning our mountain guides will pick you up at the hotel and drive to the Park Permit Office and then to Puente del Inca (2,275m / 8,890ft). After we cross the Andes, it is about a two-and-a-half hour drive to Puente del Inca. Mountain guides will organize mule loads in the evening. Hosteria Puente del Inca offers private rooms with hot shower and good food. There we will spend our first night on the mountain.

Day 3: Pampa de Lenas. The group will be driven to the trailhead (Punta de Vacas). After this we will hike up (3-4 hours) to the first intermediate camp, Pampa de Lenas (9,100ft / 2,800m). A day pack is all that you will carry on the approach hike. Mules will meet us here, as well as at the other base camps to leave the equipment and food we need.

Day 4: Casa de Piedra. A 5-6 hours trek will take us to our next camp, Casa de Piedra (10,500ft / 3,200m). From here, you have a great view of Aconcagua. You will also be able to see guanacos, a big mammal similar to llamas, and the king of the Andes, the condor.

Days 5-8: Plaza Argentina Base Camp. We will begin the hardest day of the approach by crossing River Vacas. We will arrive at Plaza Argentina (13,700 ft / 4,200 m) after 6-7 hours. After some rest, mountain guides will organize the campsite and the equipment left by the mules. The group will spend a total of 4 days at the Base Camp for proper acclimatization and rest. (6 days for Extended Expedition members). Our permanent Plaza Argentina Base Camp is led by its own manager and has both a dining tent and a toilette tent.

During your stay, mountain guides will give you instructions about crampons use. An exploratory trek in the surroundings of P. Argentina is scheduled for acclimatization, as well as a carry of equipment to Camp 1 (returning to Base Camp the same day).

The last day at Base Camp prior to the climb, mountain guides will take a look at your personal equipment (about 10-12 KG / 22–26 lbs) and suggest what you can leave behind to lighten your load. Climbers will carry personal equipment plus the sleepen tent.

Day 9: Camp 1. Move to Camp 1 (16,240ft / 4,950m). Some 4 hours. Since the group equipment has been taken up there two days earlier, we’ll move with personal packs. Set up camp and rest. The altitude, as well as the climate, can cause dehydration. On the mountain, therefore, it is necessary to drink large quantities of water daily. From this campsite on, our mountain guides will melt ice to provide the group with a constant supply of hot water.

Day 10: Carry to Camp 2. We will carry loads to Camp 2. After Camp 1, the route becomes steeper. After dropping off the equipment, we will return to Camp 1 (some 7 hours round trip) to rest.

Day 11: Camp 1. Rest and acclimatization day at Camp 1. From this camp there are splendid views of the upper mountain, and the popular and nearby Polish Glacier.

Day 12: Camp 2. Move to Camp 2 (19,000ft / 5,800m), a five-hour climb. From this point on, we will begin to see a lot more snow. Set up camp and rest.

Days 13-14: Extra days in case of bad weather. These days can be taken at any of the altitude camps, or even at Base Camp.

Day 15: Summit / Camp 2. This is our summit day. It will take 12 hours or more to reach the summit and return to Camp 2. We will begin at 4.00AM. At this altitudes temperatures are below freezing. Mountain guides will check each climber’s personal equipment before leaving Camp 2.

We will traverse the mountain to the Normal Route to reach it just below Camp Independencia, and then go over the Travesia, the Canaleta (moderately steep terrain with loose scree), to finally get to the Summit.

From the roof of the Americas you will be able to take a look down on the expansive plains to one side, and the Pacific Ocean to the other. Spare time for some pictures and phone calls to those who supported you! Return to Camp 2 to spend the last night at these altitudes.

Day 16: Plaza Argentina Base Camp. Descend to Plaza Argentina (6 hours). We’ll enjoy a good dinner at our base camp to celebrate the experience of being at one of the highest peaks of the world.

Day 17: Pampa de Lenas. Mountain guides will pack the loads that will be sent to Puente del Inca by mules. Hike down to Pampa de Lenas (6 hours). Stay overnight.

Day 18: Hosteria Puenta del Inca. We will begin our last hike into Park Aconcagua. After the four-hour hike, we will reach a trailhead, where we will be driven to Puente del Inca. This is a good opportunity to enjoy a well-deserved hot shower before enjoying the last dinner on the mountain.

Day 19: Mendoza. After breakfast a mini van will be waiting for the group to take us back to the hotel in Mendoza City. Farewell dinner at a restaurant in downtown Mendoza to celebrate the climb.

Day 20: Departure. Transfer from the hotel to the airport.

End of the adventure of a lifetime.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Services included:
- Transportation to and from the Mendoza airport.
- One night of lodging at 4* hotel in Mendoza before after the climb (two nights).
- Hotel includes breakfast.
- Welcome lunch.
- Farewell dinner at a restaurant in Mendoza.
- Assistance in obtaining the Aconcagua Climbing Permit.

Not included:
- Air tickets to and from Mendoza.
- Aconcagua Climbing Permit.
- Extras, food and beverages out of regular supply in Mendoza, Puente del Inca, Confluencia and Plaza de Mulas.
- Abandon of itinerary expenses.
- Sleeping bag and personal gear.
- Trip cancellation and/or travel insurance.
- Porters to carry climber’s personal equipment.
- Additional hotel nights if for reasons beyond our control (e.g. weather) the group returns early.

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