Day 1: Mendoza
Our expedition begins in Mendoza, Argentina. At your arrival to the international airport or bus station in the City of Mendoza, our representative will be waiting for you. After receiving you, we drive you to your Hotel in a private vehicle and after you rest, you meet the Guide that will check your equipment. This is a very important step. Mendoza is the last place available, where you can buy or rent equipment, it is not always easy to find the things you need at the last minute. After this, there is a group meeting.
Day 2: Penitentes
From the city Hotel a van drives the group to the Government Offices to obtain individual entrance and ascent permits. You will be personally assisted in this procedure. After this, you are taken through a picturesque road to the mountain. After another hour of walking through high mountain roads, we arrive to Villa de Penitentes, where we stay at a Hotel in the mountain. In the afternoon, we get the equipment ready for transportation to the base camp, by mule. Dinner and rest.
Day 3: Pampa de Lenas
During this day we start the approaching from Penitentes to Pampa de Leñas. After a night in Penitentes, we are transported to the entrance of Aconcagua Park. We arrive to Punta de Vacas, where the mule carriers load the equipment on the mules and we walk to the Base Camp, this takes three days. On this day, we trek from 4 to 5 hours up to the camp Pampa de Leñas (2950 m). This is where we present our permits to the park rangers, we meet up with our equipment and we assemble the dormitory tents. After refreshment, we enjoy dinner.
Day 4: Casa de Piedras
In the early morning we prepare our equipment again to be transported by the mules and we have a large breakfast. On this day, we advance towards an intermediate camp, passing through the Quebrada de Vacas, for 6 to 7 hours where you see the Quebrada de Relinchos Stream. This is where we will be able to see the first sight of the Western Face of the Aconcagua. This place is named Casa de Piedras (3240 m) and is where we spend our last approaching night, from Base Camp. Again we assemble the dormitory tents and then we have dinner.
Day 5: Plaza Argentina
This is the last day of approaching to Plaza Argentina (4200 m). We start trekking for 5 to 6 hours, going through the margins of the Relincho Stream and ascending the steep slope of the same name, which takes us to Inferior Plaza Argentina. This is where we will be able to see the last native vegetation before climbing towards the glaciers, where Plaza Argentina is placed. At this camp, we meet up with our personal equipment, our staff and the modern infrastructure domes that will assure us a comfortable stay; we also start preparing for the ascension.
Day 6: Acclimatization
At Plaza de Argentina we rest and use the day for acclimatization. This is a good opportunity to get to know the Camp, take a shower and explore the area. We get together with the guide, do a medical check up, reorganize and review the equipment, prepare the loads, the fuel and food for transportation for the next day. This is the moment to get to know the climbers from other parts of the world and to meet the people that work at the camps.
Day 7: Equipment carrying
We transport in a way to keep our backpacks as light as possible and fundamentally to be able to gradually adapt to the height. During the load transportation to the altitude 1 camps, we reach a level of 5000 m. This is a hard day, where we will be walking for 6 hours, ascending on easy terrain. This is when we start enjoying the real beauty of high altitude, ascending more and more, obtaining a spectacular view of the Quebrada de Relinchos and the Horcones Valley. It is very important to control the adaptation of our body to height, and stimulate the evolution of our acclimatization.
Day 8: Ascent
We have breakfast and start the ascent from Camp 1. After a 5 to 6 hour walk on easy terrain we arrive to Camp 1 (5000 mt). We meet with the load that we brought the day before. We assemble the camp and then we load division for carrying the following day. We rest and have dinner.
Day 9: Equipment carrying
We carry food and fuel to camp 2 (5500 mt). This exercise helps us keep our backpacks as light as possible and fundamentally to continue with our gradual acclimatization to height. During the load transportation to high camp 2, we reach a level of 5500 mt. This is a hard day, of about 6 hours of walking, where we ascend on easy terrain. Besides this effort, it is very important to control our body adaptation to height and the evolution of our acclimatization. We return to Camp 1. Have dinner and rest.
Day 10: Rest
This is a day we mainly use to recover energy, to rest, to hydrate ourselves and for abundant meals. We must prepare ourselves mentally, for the final stage. We talk with our expedition mates and agree on final plans and strategies with our guides.
Day 11: Ascent
We have breakfast and start the ascent from Camp 1 to Camp 2 (5500 mt). We meet with the load that we brought two days before. We assemble the camp and then we load division for carrying the following day. We rest and have dinner.
Day 12: Equipment carrying
We carry food and fuel to camp 3 (5900 mt). This exercise helps us keep our backpacks as light as possible and fundamentally to continue with our gradual acclimatization to height. During the load transportation to high camp 3, we reach a level of 5900 mt. This is a hard day, of about 4 hours of walking, where we ascend on easy terrain. Besides this effort, it is very important to control our body adaptation to height and the evolution of our acclimatization. We return to Camp 2 and rest. We have dinner.
Day 13: Camp 3
Early morning, after breakfast and after disassembling our tents, we start ascending for around 4 hs. The climb is diagonal and towards the right. We must cross the inferior, flat part of the glacier, to be able to arrive to the northern edge of the Aconcagua. Our camp 3 is placed at the same height as the Berlin refuge (from the Normal Route), strategically situated because it is so close to the Normal Route, for its altitude and cover from winds. From there, you can see unforgettable sights of the highest peaks of the Central Andes. We place our last high altitude camp here. The Guide individually reviews each member of the group and gives his final recommendations. We also plan the final strategies for the last day of ascension to assure success in reaching the summit. We have dinner and rest.
Day 14: Summit
The day begins at 5:00 am. This is the most demanding day of our expedition. We continue north and join the Normal Route at 6200 m, a point found between the Independence refuge and camp Piedras Blancas. We continue on the Normal Route up to the Independence Refuge (6500 m). This is normally where we see the first sun rays of the day. We ascend the "Portezuelo del Viento" where we can find strong winds, even on calm days. From here on we pass by the superior part of the Western face and climb "La Canaleta", a 300 m channel that takes us to edge of the summit. During an hour, we go through the Filo del Guanaco, that leads us to the summit.
From the "Filo del Guanaco" we can directly observe under our feet, the Southern Wall of the Aconcagua, considered one of the largest walls of the world. An indescribable sensation takes of total satisfaction takes over as we reach the summit at 6962 m, where the prize is waiting for us, a 360° view and the experience of overcoming, that you only finally understand once you reach it. After sharing these moments of accomplishment and emotion with our expedition mates, we descend to camp 3.
Day 15: Reserve day. We consider these day as spare day in case of bad weather. If we do not use them either we can return earlier to Mendoza City or stay at Plaza Argentina Camp.
Day 16: Plaza de Argentina. Return to Base Camp. Special reception and have a dinner for celebration.
Day 17: Pampa de Lenas. We have breakfast and start the descent from Plaza Argentina to Pampa de Leñas. After a 7 hs walk we meet with our equipment transport by Inka. We assemble the tents and enjoy our last night at the mountain.
Day 18: Mendoza. We have breakfast and then start the descent from Pampa de Leñas to Punta de Vacas, approximately for 3 hours. Encounter with our equipment, transported by our mules. Transport to the hotel in Mendoza in private vehicles. Certificate hand outs.
Day 19: Mendoza - Airport.
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