Aconcagua is truly one of the great mountains of the world. At 22,841 feet tall it is the highest mountain in the western hemisphere, and the tallest peak in the world outside of the Himalayas. It is an an amazing mountain, and one that is easily underestimated. Despite not requiring glacier travel or roped climbing techniques to reach it’s summit, Aconcagua is a serious mountaineering adventure. Start to finish the climb starts in beautiful Mendoza, then works its way up to the highest point on earth outside the Himalayas, then winds down dramatic high altitude valleys back to civilization. Even in summer Aconcagua’s cold temps, weather, and altitude can provide seasoned mountaineers with a true challenge. As you prepare for your expedition please take your training and preparation seriously, don’t skimp on the pre-trip work and you’ll thank yourself time and time again by being able to enjoy the climb rather than simply getting through it. Our signature CTSS expeditions ascend the mountain via a variation on the “False Polish” that CTSS owner Mike Hamill helped develop over a decade ago. This route approaches the mountain through the Vacas and Relinchos Valleys and uses the first camp on the “False Polish”. From here it traverses over to the higher camps on the old “Guanacos” route, and uses one more camp than the typical “False Polish” climb. This route is less crowded and cleaner than the normal route or “False Polish” routes. It incorporates shorter days and better climbing terrain than the “False Polish”. The final camp is higher than the “False Polish” High Camp which makes for a more “do-able” summit day.By traversing the mountain and descending the normal route to Plaza de Mulas, we see a different side of the mountain, have an easier descent, and enjoy a shorter hike back out to the road, thus taking a day off the descent. This new variation offers you the best of climbing on Aconcagua; less people, less repetition in your climbing, a cleaner route, shorter days, better terrain, more variation of scenery, and a shorter/easier descent. Overall, it’s a huge advantage and our valley approach has much earlier light and is a bit warmer than the other valley. CTSS owner Mike Hamill is a veteran of 30 personal Aconcagua expeditions and some of our guides have well over 50 summits! We love the time spent on Aconcagua and it keeps drawing us back. It is our goal at CTSS to use our cumulative, 20+ years of experience leading Aconcagua expeditions to create a smooth and successful climb for you.
day 1: Day 4
Mule assisted day hike to first trekking camp, Pampa de Lenas (9,490ft | 2,893m)
day 2: Day 5
Mule assisted day hike to second trekking camp, Casa de Piedre (10,640ft | 3,243m)
day 3: Day 6
Mule assisted day hike to Base Camp at Plaza Argentina (13,840ft | 4,218m)
day 4: Day 7
Rest and acclimatization Day at Base Camp (13,840ft | 4,218m)
day 5: Day 8
Load carry to Camp 1 (16,400ft | 5000m) and return to Base Camp. About 2.5miles each way
day 6: Day 9
Move to Camp 1 with gear. Overnight at Camp 1
day 7: Day 10
Load carry to Camp 2 (18,000 ft | 5,486m) and return to Camp 1 to sleep. About 2 miles each way.
day 8: Day 11
Move to Camp 2 with gear. Overnight at Camp 2
day 9: Day 12
Load carry to Camp 3 (19,740ft | 6,016m) and return to Camp 2. About 1.4 miles each way.
day 10: Day 13
Optional rest and acclimatization day
day 11: Day 14
Move to Camp 3 with gear. Overnight at Camp 3
day 12: Day 15
1st potential summit day. Summit Elevation: 22,841 ft, 6,962m Elevation Gain: 3,100 ft, 945m Distance Traveled one way: 1.9 miles
day 13: Day 16
Descend to Base Camp at Plaza de Mulas (14,400 ft, 4,389m), finishing the traverse of Aconcagua.
day 14: Day 17
Trek out from base camp to Penitentes and drive to Mendoza, arrive late. 18 miles, 30 km
day 15: Day 18
day 16: Day 19
day 17: Day 20
day 18: Day 1
Meet in Mendoza. You can arrive at any time, check in, rest and shake off the jetlag
day 19: Day 2
Meet for breakfast. Guide Briefing and Gear Checks. Free time to explore Mendoza. Team Dinner
day 20: Day 3
Finalize permits and group transport to Penitentes (8,500ft | 2,591m)
- Guides: Professional Mountain Guides
- Mule Service: Reliable, professional, ethical mule support from the best local outfitters.
- Hotels: One or Two (depending on your program) nights lodging in Mendoza on arrival, one night lodging at Penitentes and one night lodging in Mendoza upon our return. (Accommodation on unused contingency days are your responsibility)
- Transportation: All group transportation while on the expedition. If you depart early then the added expenses for transport, lodging, rescue, and evacuation is your own responsibility.
- Food: All expedition (on Mountain) food is covered including breakfast, dinner, snacks and hot drinks, and breakfast at the Penitentes Hotel. Lunch and in town/Penitentes restaurant meals are your own expense.
- All Group Gear: Four season tents, cooking gear, group duffels, stoves, etc
- Aconcagua Provincial Park Climbing Permit Fee
- All in town meals in Mendoza and Penitentes (breakfast is provided)
- International Flights to and from Mendoza, Argentina and airport transfers to and from the hotel we meet at in Mendoza
- Excess baggage fees
- On Mountain Porters (these can be requested as an Add On)
- Personal climbing clothing and equipment
- Unused contingency days (CTSS will cover 1x night only in Mendoza after your climb)
- Guide and porter tips (Customary)
- Costs incurred as a result of events beyond the control of CTSS above and beyond the normal expedition costs
- Required trip insurance policy (for trip cancellation, interruption, rescue & evacuation,medical treatment, repatriation, etc.)