Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Andes, and is in the running for the most crowded mountain on the planet. The elevation is 6969 meter or 22,851 feet, which also makes it the highest peak in the western hemisphere.
Permits and regulations on Aconcagua have to be obtained in Mendoza at the park office in the Parque San Martin. The cost varies depending on which month you visit. High season, which has by far and away the best weather as well as the most people, is the middle of November until the end of January and permits are $200 per person during this time. The rates are lower during other seasons, and Argentina residents get a 50% discount. You do not need to arrange for the permits in advance - you just show up at the office and fork over the cash.
Routes on Aconcagua range from walkups like the Normal Route or False Polish Glacier to extremely difficult and serious climbs on the South Face. The Polish Glacier is more interesting than the normal route, but has been getting icier and harder in recent years and has a very low success rate now.
|Nearest town or city:||Puente del Inca|
|Directions:||There are three main approaches which will be described as different sections. The normal route and west face routes are approached via the Horcones Valley from Puente del Inca. The Polish Glacier and East Glacier are approached from the Vacas and Relinchos Valleys from Punta de Vacas. The South Face routes are approached via the Lower Horcones Valley, which shares a start with the normal route approach.
In any event, fly to Mendoza Argentina. From here, you can arrange private transportation. Cheaper and nearly as easily, catch a bus from the public terminal - ask around for a route going to Puente del Inca. For the Horcones approaches, go to Puente del Inca and arrange for mules there. For the Vacas Valley approach, go to either Puente del Inca or Los Penitentes, a ski area halfway in between Punta de Vaca and Puente del Inca. You can arrange for mules at either place, and be sure to barter to get the best rate. A group of 2 will typically require 1 mule if carrying moderately heavy packs, and the rate is cheaper if you can find others to arrange a group of mules with. Mules are expensive, but worth the cost to take the teeth out of the long approaches.
|When to Climb:||Update|
|Quantity of Climbs:||Lifetime|