Aconcagua Expeditions – INFORMATION

  • WHEN TO GO?
  • WHICH ROUTE?
  • PRIVATE OR SCHEDULED DEPARTURE?
  • PERMITS

You can visit the Aconcagua Provincial Park all year long. However, the government of Mendoza establishes that climbers can only attempt to summit from mid-November until the last days of February, due to the extremely harsh weather conditions such as low temperature and intense snowfalls starting in autumn until early spring. The trekking permits to enter the park –to the base camps only– are given until the end of March.

 

The High Season in the Park starts in mid-December and lasts until the end of January. During this period of time, the affluence of mountaineers increases as a result of more stable weather conditions, increasing the possibilities of success on reaching the summit. On the other hand, the weather is less steady from the first part of November until the last one of February.

 

To make any type of activity inside the Aconcagua Provincial Park, it is essential to obtain an entry permit. The procedure to get it is personal and must be done in Mendoza City. The price for this permit is established by Government of Mendoza and ranges according to different factors such as the season in which the climber enters to the Park –high season, mid season or low season–, the type of activity he is going to make –short trekking, long trekking or climbing attempt– and his nationality –Argentinian, Latin-American or foreigner–.

 

To read more about the permits, visit our web site and click on the link Permits to enter Aconcagua Provincial Park.

In order to make the decision about what route to choose to ascend a mountain, you can take into account different characteristics such as difficulty, landscape, quantity of people in the route and other personal factors like your age, training level, medical conditions, experience in mountains of high altitude, timing, motivation or any other special reason that you consider worthy.

 

Mount Aconcagua has more than 20 ascending routes that have been opened throughout the years by different climbers. We will focus in the two routes considered as the main ones according to their technical complexity, which are also the most offered routes by the companies to summit.

 

Our company runs expeditions by three different routes, but we only offer scheduled expeditions in two of them, with open groups with a maximum of 12 passengers. The routes are the Normal Route, entering by Horcones Valley, and the Polish Traverse Route, which enters by VacasValley and exits by Horcones Valley (Normal Route).

The following are some points to take into account when making the decision:

 

 

Normal Route

aconcagua

 

Pros:

 

It has a medical service in Confluencia and Plaza de Mulas base camp, which provides a wider medical support in the approaching trek.

It offers full services in Confluencia, making the approaching trek less complicated and more accessible.

Because it is the most frequented route, the Rescue Patrol has its operation center in the Plaza de Mulas base camp. So, it is the most monitored route by the Rescue Patrol and it takes less time for them to arrive in case of an accident.

The distance between high camps is very regular and short in comparison with other routes.

The descent is the fastest and most direct, since it takes only two days from summit day to the Park’s exit.

If you want to hire private porters, they are cheaper on this route.

During the approaching trek you have the possibility of visiting the mythical Aconcagua South Face with its 3,000 m of glaciers.

 

Cons:

 

The approaching trek from Confluencia to Plaza de Mulas is very long and has a remarkable slope.

High camps are very exposed to wind storms that come from the Pacific Ocean.

During the high season, it is the most congested route. Hence, the high camps can be overcrowded.

 

 

Polish Traverse Route

expediton aconcagua

 

Pros:

 

The approaching starts at less altitude, and the ascending to the base camp is more gradual than in the Normal Route.

There is usually more availability of water with no need of melting snow.

The descent is usually made by the Normal Route, which allows climbers to complete a full traverse of the mountain and to know its two faces.

This route has the best landscapes.  

 

Cons:

 

The approaching trek doesn’t count with medical or base camp services.

The base camp doesn’t have a permanent Rescue Patrol post.

The distance between the high camps is longer and with more slope than in the Normal Route.

Private porter service is more expensive on this route.

 

Similarities:

 

Both routes have the same price.

Both routes have a climbing program of 19 days. 

 

Please, do not hesitate on contacting our staff to clear up any doubt so that we can help you to choose the best option for you.

SHOULD I HIRE A PRIVATE OR A SCHEDULED EXPEDITION?

We face this question when we have already decided to hire an expedition, and not to organize it by ourselves. People, who choose an expedition, probably have taken into account factors such as:

What are the difficulties of the Mountain to climb?
What is my climbing experience level?
Have I participated in other expeditions to high mountains?
Do I go alone or accompanied? And if I go with somebody else, what is my partners’ level of experience?
Do I have the knowledge in high altitude medicine to recognize the Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) symptoms and its treatment?
Am I capable to move over the 5,000m with 25kg in my backpack?
Do I have experience in setting up tents in high altitude with strong winds, cold and also feeling tired?
Am I capable to plan the high altitude meals and to cook them in mountain stoves?
Do I have enough time to organize all the details?

If you made the decision of letting professionals organize your dream to Summit Mount Aconcagua, now comes the second most important question:

Should I join a Private or a Scheduled Expedition (regular start date)?

To answer this question, the first thing to find is a good consultant. Someone who can provide you with good advice, and also accurate and truthful information in the right moment.

An expedition is a great enterprise in which you will surely invest money, time, and leave aside many things in order to accomplish your goal.

Like in any endeavor, at the end of the way you can either win or lose. Take care of your investment. Let us help you with your doubts, so that you can make the best decision to reach your goal. ACONCAGUA MOUNTAIN GUIDES specializes in organizing expeditions to Mount Aconcagua.

There are usually two ways to do it:

PRIVATE EXPEDITION

You can select the starting date of your preference.
We will organize the expedition program with you, so that you can fulfil all your expectations.
The group can be made of one person only to the number of people you need.
Once in the mountain, it is very easy to modify the program, since you don’t have to reconcile your needs with the group’s one.
Private Expeditions for one or two passengers have a higher cost per person.

SCHEDULED EXPEDITION

It has a scheduled start date.
The start dates are 100% Guaranteed!
The program is standard with 19 days.
The maximum number of people in a group is 12.
You must be open to share with people from all around the world.
Scheduled Expeditions give you the opportunity to have more services at a lower price.

Let’s analyze some keep points before deciding:

Do I have enough free days to participate in a Scheduled Expedition? Take into account that besides the 19 days of the program, you must also consider at least 3 more days for coming and returning to your home.
Are the company’s available dates compatible with my time?
Do I want to invest less money than necessary for a private expedition?
How many climbing partners are interested in coming with me? If they are more than three, do not hesitate to consult us. We have important discounts for your private expedition.
Do I have anything that can prevent me from keeping up with the scheduled ascent, such as age, health condition, previous acclimatization problems, etc.? Is there any chance that I delay the group or myself during the ascent?
Am I traveling alone but want to climb with more people?

Please, do not hesitate to consult us to help you make the best decision!

PERMITS TO ENTER ACONCAGUA PARK

 

To enter the Aconcagua Provincial Park, it is obligatory to get a permit. The system of permits is regulated by the Direction of Renewable Natural Resources, which belongs to the Government of the Province of Mendoza.

 

The Province’s State is who sets each year, the value of the fee depending on the different activities. Usually, as a consequence of the local inflation, these fees suffer an increase every year that is announced the first days of November. This means that the final amount to pay for the activity to develop in the Park is not available until such date.

PERMIT FEE

The cost of the permit fee to enter Aconcagua Provincial Park varies according to:

 

Nationality: Argentinian, Latin-American or any other Nationality.
Route to enter the Park: Quebrada de Horcones (Normal Route, which is the most economic) or Quebrada de Vacas (Polish Traverse).
Activity to develop in the Park: Day trekking, short trekking (3 days), long trekking (7 days) or ascent (20 days).
Part of the climbing season in which you will enter the Park: Low season (from November 15th to Nov 30th and from Feb 21st to March 15th), Medium season (from Dec 1st to Dec 14th and from Feb 1st to Feb 20th) or High season (from Dec 15th to Jan 31st).

 

Very Important
In addition to the above explained, there is another categorization that affects the value of the permit:

 

If you hire authorized companies registered in the Aconcagua Provincial Park, the permit is cheaper.
If you DO NOT hire authorized companies, the value of the permit is more expensive.

 

Another aspect to take into account is that cost of the permit fee that you will pay to the Direction of Renewable Natural Resourcesis not reimbursable, and it may also suffer increases without prior notification from the authorities of the Aconcagua Park.

 

To know the permit’s price from the past season, please click on the button FEE in the Aconcagua Provincial Park website:www.aconcagua.mendoza.gov.ar

PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING THE PERMIT

The acquisition of the permit to enter Aconcagua Park has several steps:

 

The passenger must fill in an internet form on the website of the Aconcagua Provincial Park: www.aconcagua.mendoza.gov.ar, where information regarding the climbing route, medical record or personal information will be requested. Please remember that you will not be able to access the website until the Government of Mendoza has established the cost of the permit.
When all the information is completed, you must print the form and the payment voucher.
When you arrive to Mendoza, you should contact the local Aconcagua operator that you hired for services, so that he can put the seal and signature on your form, allowing you to get a more economic rate on the permit.
After the previous procedure is made, you can pay the fee in the authorized places. The payment is made in Argentinean Pesos only.
Once you have the payment voucher you should go to the Visitors Centre in the Secretary of Tourism (Subsecretaria de Turismo), to show that you have paid and get the final permit to enter the Park.

 

At first, this procedure may seem simple, but it presents a series of complications for those who don’t speak Spanish. For example, the web site of the Aconcagua Provincial Park uses the translator from Google, making the filling in complicated due to the poor translation made by the browser. It is also very common for foreign people to be exposed to uncomfortable or risky situations when exchanging money on the black market –which is illegal in Argentina– or when withdrawing money from the ATM machines, because there is a maximum allowed for withdrawing according to the local Bank System, resulting on difficulties if the passengers can’t get all the money they need or require.

ASSISTANCE SERVICE FOR OUR CLIENTS

Because we want to ease the permit process for our customers, ACONCAGUA MOUNTAIN GUIDES has established a service of assistance in the acquiring of permits, helping them avoid all the above mentioned about the procedure.

 

If you wish, our Customer Service staff will fill the online form with the information from your booking form. Besides, to ease the payment part of the procedure, you can deposit the fee -with enough anticipation- in our bank account, so that we can make the payment for you.

 

The only thing left for you to do if you decide to use this service, will be to come to our offices and take the form with our Company’s seal and signature alongside the payment voucher, and then go to the Visitors Centre to receive the final permit.

 

If you choose to make the permit procedure on your own, we will not be able to help you if you suffer any inconvenience.

 

If you have any doubt about the permits assistance service provided by our Company or how to access it, please don’t hesitate to contact us on this email: info@aconcaguamg.com