How can I improve my chances of summiting Aconcagua?
Two key factors will influence whether you reach the summit of Argentina’s “Stone Sentinel”. The first is physical preparation and the second is your choice of Mount Aconcagua guide companies. Mountain Gurus offers a trips via the Normal Route, which has basecamp and porter support. This route is non-technical, allowing climbers to focus on movement and climbing at altitude without the need of ropes or technical experience. The route is physically demanding, but the Normal Route offers a higher chance of summiting for those who are not expert or advanced climbers.
The climb will provide a spectacular trekking experience as we approach following the Horcones Valley, with stunning views of the mountain. This requires excellent physical conditioning, strong backpacking skills, ability to negotiate steep ground, and experience navigating icy terrain. Our 20-day expedition is designed to acclimate you gradually to the high altitude conditions. Altitude sickness is one of the primary obstacles to summiting, but Mountain Gurus recommends a more gradual ascent that minimizes the risk of altitude sickness and increases your chances of success.
What does an Aconcagua expedition offer?
Aconcagua was formed by the confluence of tectonic plates and then carved into a stunning profile by glaciers. The view from the highest point in the Andes – and all South America – is majestic. On your way to the summit, we will experience a glimpse into the rich culture of Argentina as you explore the longest mountain range in the world (over 4,300 miles from tip to tip).
We begin our journey in Mendoza – the heart of the Argentine wine industry – known for its open air cafes, asados, and Malbec. From there, we reach the trailhead at Puente del Inca, one of the few mountain passes that the ancient Incan Empire used to access this region. Our 30-mile approach up the Horcones Valley will allow us to stretch the legs and acclimatize before arriving at Plaza de Mulas Basecamp. From here we utilize three high camps as we slowly make our way to the summit.
You will be able to test your strength and endurance at high altitudes without dealing with the technical aspects of glacier travel or fixed lines. If you are working your way through the Seven Summits, climbing Aconcagua is an excellent training stage before Everest.
What are the costs of climbing Aconcagua?
Aconcagua is a relatively low cost expedition for a 20-day climbing trip, this is affordable, particularly for the cultural and high altitude expedition experience. Mountain Gurus will cover most land transportation in Argentina, hotel stays, tented accommodations on the mountain, meals, guides, and mule transport of equipment to and from basecamp.
Group gear such as tents, stoves, and climbing equipment are also included. You will need to arrange your air fare, Aconcagua Climbing Permit (varies by departure date), porter service (if desired), medical services (if required), and gratuities to service personnel.
What are the risks of an Aconcagua expedition?
As with any high altitude adventure, there are risks involved. Some can be mitigated by proper preparation and many will be mitigated by our professional guide staff.
Any issues, physical or altitude related, are best dealt with early to ensure a safe and successful trip. All of Mountain Gurus staff are well versed in wilderness first aid and have extensive experience working at altitude. Our staff is trained to keep you safe and enjoy your experience.
Why Mountain Gurus is the best choice for climbing Aconcagua?
Mountain Gurus strives for a challenging, enjoyable, and safe climbing adventure. We pride ourselves not only on our high summit success rate, but more importantly to our safety record. Our in depth knowledge of the mountain and culture bring our climbers a rich and rewarding experience.
Mountain Gurus plans our expeditions to optimize your climbing experience while respecting the culture and people of our host country. We adhere to Leave No Trace Principles to minimize the environmental impact of our adventure and ensure it will be pristine for future generations.
What is the Aconcagua climbing permit cost?
The cost for the climbing permit varies depending on the time of year your climb takes place. Early and late season climbs are less expensive, with the December to January time-frame being slightly more expensive. As the price fluctuates year to year, our guide team will reach out closer to your trip start date to confirm. Please note, it is recommended to bring the permit fee amount in United States dollars.
What if I need to hire a porter?
Porter services are available at basecamp and can be used for select days or the entire trip. Cost is based on load weight and distance carried. Full load 20kg, Half load 10kg. Though prices will change each season, normally prices range from $180 – $360 for a full load. We recommend budgeting between $1000 – $1200 if you plan on utilizing porter service throughout the climb.
Will I be able to contact friends and family while on the mountain?
Most cell phone providers will work in Argentina, check your provider for overseas rates before you leave. Beyond this there is wifi service at basecamp for a nominal fee. Cell phone and wifi service is not available above basecamp.