Aconcagua (6,962m) in the heart of South America is the highest mountain outside the Himalayas, and the second highest of the 7 summits. Its enormous size, extremes of weather and altitude make for a trekking challenge which is a great step up from Kilimanjaro.
Aconcagua is an alien planet. Wildly contorted and coloured rocks stretch out into vast glacial valleys. Towering above the bustling base camp the enormous red coloured west face twists clouds into bizarre shapes as it gets pummelled by passing storms. To acclimatise and to get a condor’s eye view of the route we climb the nearby Bonette Peak then load our rucksacks and begin the challenging work of climbing ‘The Stone Sentinel’. Getting to the summit is never easy but prepare to be overwhelmed when you realise this outstanding achievement. Aconcagua is a great teacher and toughens you up for your next challenge: 8,000 metres.
Stormy and sometimes snow-covered Aconcagua is known for being temperamental but we have overhauled the traditional itinerary and created a programme which gives you the best chance to summit. We alternate rest days between strenuous days of load carrying and have designed a flexible summit time-frame where at least 3 nights can be spent at high camp to wait for good climbing conditions.
Day 1 - Depart UK
Day 2 - Arrive Mendoza
Day 3 - Mendoza
Day 4 - Mendoza - Penitentes - Confluencia (3,400m)
Day 5 - Trek to Plaza Francia (4,100m)
Day 6 - Rest Day at Confluencia
Day 7 - Confluencia – Plaza de Mulas (4,300m)
Day 8 - Rest & acclimatisation at Plaza de Mulas
Day 9 - Pico Bonette (5,000m)
Day 10 - Rest & acclimatisation at Plaza de Mulas
Day 11 - Plaza de Mulas - Camp Canada (C1)
Day 12 - Camp Canada - Camp 2 (Nido de Condoros 5,500m) - Plaza de Mulas
Day 13 - Rest day
Day 14 - Ascend to Camp 1 (5,000m)
Day 15 - Camp Canada - Camp 2 (5,500m)
Day 16 - Rest day
Day 17 - C2 to C3 - this will either be Camp Berlin (5,950m) or Camp Colera (6,000m).
Day 18 - Summit day
Days 19-20 - Contingency days
Day 21 - Descend to Base Camp
Day 22 - Base Camp – Penitentes then transfer back to Mendoza
Day 23 - Rest day in Mendoza
Day 24 - Depart Mendoza for our home country
- This is a 25-day itinerary, to give you the very best chance of acclimatisation and success
- International and domestic airfares
- 360 Head Aconcagua guide Gianni and local guides
- All road transfers
- All hotel accommodation as mentioned in itinerary (4 nights)*
- Mules for luggage to Base Camp
- 5 days full Base Camp services (tents and meals etc.)
- 3 nights full camp services at Confluencia
- 8 days are included in the high camps giving you lots of flexibility with weather and acclimatisation
- Emergency and team mountaineering equipment
- Climbing permits and park entrance fees
- All accommodation (based on two people sharing) – if not sharing for any reason there will be a price increase*
- All food whilst on trek and meals when city based as described in the itinerary, including a celebration meal in Mendoza
- 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor
- Monthly payment plan, on request
- Hotel/tent costs when single occupancy
- Drinks in restaurants
- Personal gear for trekking and climbing
- Tips for local guides
- Visas where applicable
- Porters (these can be hired for individual day stages at a cost of approx. between $120 to $180 for 18kg load)
- Trip insurance
- Items of a personal nature: phone calls, laundry, room service, etc.
- Unscheduled hotel nights – for example, if returning from the mountain early
- Lunch and dinner as indicated in the itinerary
- Airport transfers when not booking on with flights
- Any additional costs associated with leaving the expedition early including any airline surcharges as a result of changing return airline tickets
Please note that if international flights are booked, a supplement may be payable if costs increase due to the current situation with Covid-19.
My second expedition with 360, and the one that sealed the deal that I'll never climb with anyone else. Some of the photos displayed here I took, and I can assure you it was as ace as it looks! After chatting with Rolfe on Kili, his knowledge assured me this was the right next move. A true salesman of the mountains, I went from having never heard of Aconcagua to being 110% all in within 5 minutes... As per Kili, the groundcrew were epic - Gianni, Quique, Gordo - we had some awesome bouldering sessions on the downtime, when you might think they want a break from the clients, the welcomed me in with my shoddy skills to pull some funky shapes and share some local tea! We had a pretty tough summit day with no visibility but the motivation from the crew kept us going to success. Plentiful downtime at base camp and back in Mendoza, 100% all round good times! Stop messing around and get it booked!
I was sat in the bar in Moshi after an awesome Kilimanjaro expedition with Rolfe and the 360 crew and had seriously caught the exped bug! I was already considering what might be next, and Rolfe told me about his Aconcagua trip and suggested that I should go for it. The more I read about the expedition the more I wanted in on it! Marni and Helen in the office are always available to answer question and offer advice and moral support through moments of personal doubt! Fast forward 18 months and I was on my way to Argentina... From the minute we landed in Mendoza and met Gianni and his team I knew we were in safe hands. They were excellent, as was the food and the facilities at base camp. The whole thing was a fabulous experience. Other teams on the mountain were very interested in Gianni's plans for ours regarding acclimatisation and weather windows etc. It was obvious we were with the best, with a guide well known and well respected on the mountain. On this occasion I had to turn around before reaching the summit, this was largely down to my own fitness and does not detract from how awesome the expedition was. I felt supported and safe on the way up and when I had to decide to turn around. No summit is ever guaranteed but I do think that the quality of the 360 guides and the thought that has gone into planning the itinerary give you the best possible chance of success. In addition to the awesome surroundings and the personal challenge, the Andean Condor that landed in Camp 2 was a particular highlight, as was the odd glass of local Malbec that I enjoyed in Mendoza! This was a huge trip for me, a big step out of my comfort zone, but Rolfe, Marni and Helen really encouraged me to dream big and go for it! The mountain is not hugely technical but it is high (!) and it's a long expedition. With the 360 team I have achieved things I never thought possible.
This was my second trip with 360, but my first big expedition. And what a trip it was! 6 years on and it's still probably my favourite expedition, and my proudest physical accomplishment. Right from the very beginning, there was support. Not just training plans and packing advice - reassuring emails from Marni whenever I got in a panic that maybe I'd bitten off more than I could chew. A full day in Mendoza before heading to the mountain not only gave us a day to appreciate the sun (coming from the UK in January!) it gave us an opportunity to get over our jet lag, but more importantly we had a full kit inspection. Reassuring to know that you kit is up to scratch BEFORE you get on the mountain! On the mountain, things ran brilliantly. And I say that despite suffering from the worst altitude headache I've ever had, at 3400m! We were encouraged to go at our own pace, and there were plenty of rest days built in to the itinerary. You don't realise just how important it is to sit and do nothing on rest days until you have days where you push your body wayyyy outside its comfort zones. Regular checkups with the doctor at base camp reassured everyone that we were all coping well with the altitude. Acclimatisation rotations and more rest days were to follow, and through out it all the food just kept on getting better! Despite being in Argentina, I never expected to get steak whilst on the mountain, but we did and it was delicious! The best meal of the trip was cheeseburgers, cooked by our guides on the primus at camp 1 - such a brilliant meal, accompanied by the most spectacular sunset. Our team bonded right from the beginning, and after 3 weeks together there hadn't been a single disagreement or falling out. Just support, laughter and care. I doubted that I'd make it to the top, and could easily have talked myself out of summiting. But I trusted the guides, and they believed in me. Their belief in me made me believe in me - I made the summit, and 8 didn't even have a headache!
Really Great trip. If you are looking to push to new heights, this is a great mountain. I was worried about pushing 7000m but with health checks up the mountain, the 360 team and professional local guides I was more than happy. It is an amazing part of the world and the party in Mendoza after was something to remember !
What an epic trip. This is a wonderful experience in a remarkable part of the world. 360 always do a good job so all you have to worry about is putting one foot in front of the other. This is a big one but very achievable and not particularly technical. You arent quite as spoilt as in the Himalayas but there are lots of other advantages to this one. Would thoroughly recommend this trip with 360.