- THE PARK
- WHEN TO GO?
- WHICH ROUTE?
ACONCAGUA PARK – CLIMBING ACONCAGUA
The Aconcagua Provincial Park is located at 190 kilometers from Mendoza City, surrounded by the incredible landscape of the Central Andes. It was created in 1,983 to protect the flora, fauna and archeological material in the surroundings of the highest peak of America. With its 6,960m, it is the tallest mountain of the world outside the Asian Continent. Its name comes from que Quechua words “Akon-Kahuak”, that mean “Stone Centinel”.
Aconcagua is not -unlike other peaks in the area like Tupungato- of volcanic origin. Its raising is the consequence of the tectonic forces that shaped the Andes Mountain Range. Due to the dryness in the zone, only the high altitudes are covered with glaciers.
Because of its environmental characteristics, the Park is a cold and dry place all year round, with temperatures that shift from -5ºC at night to 20ºC at 3,000m during the day in summertime. As you gain height, temperature decreases and strong winds with gusts over 140 km/h are part of the conditions in the zone.
All of these things make the Aconcagua a great challenge for climbers from all over the world, and one of the top destinations for adventure lovers.
ACONCAGUA MOUNTAIN GUIDES offers you the chance to live and experience Aconcagua from the inside, from a trekking to an expedition to reach the summit. We are expecting you!
WHEN TO GO? – CLIMBING ACONCAGUA
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.
WHICH ROUTE? – CLIMBING ACONCAGUA
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 Glacier Traverse Route, which enters by Vacas Valley and exits by Horcones Valley (Normal Route).
The following are some points to take into account when making the decision:
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.
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 Glacier Traverse Route
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.
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.
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.
PERMITS – CLIMBING ACONCAGUA
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.
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).
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 on the way to get the permits.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Choosing the right one can be a hard task. ACONCAGUA MOUNTAIN GUIDES has been operating for more than 35 years, with more than 1,200 passengers per season and over 50 expeditions every year.
For further information, visit our web site: Why Aconcagua Mountain Guides
The price has to be just one more component in the selection. Prices shift significantly among the companies. However, low prices must be taken with precaution.
ACONCAGUA MOUNTAIN GUIDES offers the greatest value for your money. Our expeditions vary in a range from U$D 3,000 to U$D 4,000 per person. With this level of prices, we can guarantee a good salary to our guides and porters, great food and excellent mountain equipment, in order to provide our clients with a quality service.
The private expeditions have the benefit of ensuring a superior personal attention. They increase the program’s flexibility to make it suitable to any type of situation during the ascent or give the possibility to make changes in the plan before the flight. Besides, with these type of expeditions, the clients have the possibility to select the starting date during the summer season.
Our expeditions are organized to last 19 days. Experience has taught us the perfect balance to spend the right amount of time in the mountain.
We recommend you not climbing Mount Aconcagua with a program of less than 17 days. That is not impossible, in fact runners have reached the summit in the day, but if you are a regular person who wants to enjoy the expedition and have better opportunities to summit, the more days better.
We have programs with treks from two to three days over the 4.000m. Within this time, you will have exposed your body to altitude and will have started the acclimatization period. Do not hesitate on consulting us about these extensions.
Passion, experience and commitment are the main characteristics of our team. Requirements, needs and even whims are a challenge for us to give our best.
Phone Number: ++54 9 261 3 022 436
An all-inclusive program gives you the possibility to access more and better services for a lower price. This is possible because our scheduled programs have fixed start dates and a maximum of 12 climbers, who equally share most of the main costs. In this manner, you can reach the dream of ascending the highest mountain in the Americas at a lower price with further excellent services.
Normally, the age in our groups ranges from 20 to 70 years. The groups are formed by people from all around the world, mainly North America, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand among others.
Other than the aforementioned, there are no age limitations to participate in our expeditions. In case you are 65 years or older,we will only request from you a medical certificate endorsing your good physical and psychological health to do this activity.
People who are alone will share a double room with a partner. We will try to accommodate people of the same gender, but if not possible, you will have to share the room with someone of the opposite gender.
Hotels in Mendoza have double rooms. Penitentes has rooms to be shared by 4 to 6 passengers. In the mountain, expedition tents accommodate two people each. Only in the high camps, and if the guide considers it is convenient, three passengers may sleep together.
If at any moment of the trip you want to sleep alone, you can request it to our Customer Service before the expedition starts. This service has an extra cost.
If you suffer any medical condition that makes you feel uncertain about your physical performance, please do not hesitate to ask us about it. We can send your question to the Medical Staff of Aconcagua Provincial Park to give you information regarding your concern.
If you are 65 or older, you will be required a medical certification that proves your physical and psychological health for the expedition.
Physical Difficulty: In order to avoid any kind of acclimatization inconvenient and to increase the possibilities of success, we suggest you to follow a training program accordingly to the activity to develop (specifically to get a good acclimatization, carrying a load in your backpack). Besides the training, it is advisable to have a good diet during the previous months. This last thing is ideal to have greater opportunities to reach the summit.
Other Difficulties: The biggest problem that you can face on your expedition is the altitude effect in your body, whose overcoming is directly related with a previous and correct acclimatization (aspect widely covered in any of our programs). Another difficulty is the low temperature in the mountain; such effects are reduced with a high-quality clothing and equipment.
For further information about these difficulties, please contact us.
Normally, we recommend consulting a sports medicine specialist for some advice and for a training program according to your own needs. Most of the passengers can reach a good physical shape for this adventure if they start a serious training program at least six months before their expedition.
We can suggest some guidelines, which can be adapted according to your preferences. Remember that before starting, you must consult a physician to check your general health status.
Web site: http://www.aconcaguatrek.com
Tel: ++54 9 261 3 022 436
Your return ticket must be issued for the last day of your expedition, bearing in mind that the extra days for bad weather could be necessary. In case your expedition doesn’t need those days, you have the possibility of either changing your departure date or enjoying Mendoza and its famous Malbec wines.
The first one will be in Mendoza City that is extremely hot in summer, so light clothes will be fine. Do not forget your swimsuit to enjoy the hotel swimming pool!
The second period will be in the mountain, where the weather changes and becomes extremely cold.
We will send you a document with the expedition description, which has a detailed list of the minimum required clothes and mountain equipment, according to the program selected. The list has been made based in the experience acquired during all these years.
Please, in case you have any doubt, do not hesitate to consult us.
The Direct Polish Glacier Route is a technical route which requires experience in rock and ice climbing, along with appropriate technical equipment.
In any case, consult the program for further details.
Anyway, there are excellent alternatives which have synthetic materials in their exterior. Do not hesitate to consult us about the new models like La Sportiva Nuptse, Vasque Ice 9000 or Salomon Pro Thermic. We need to be sure that your boots are adequate for low temperatures.
Before the Departure
You are responsible of reading, understanding and accepting our GENERAL OPERATION CONDITIONS. Before accepting these conditions and booking, each passenger must be sure that the hired expedition suits his interests and abilities.
In addition, you will have to be physically prepared to face the Aconcagua’s demands, to know the included and not included services and, once in the mountain, to follow the directions of the main guide under every circumstance, since the group’s safety and your own depend on it.
Our policy is to do our best to avoid increasing the prices. Throughout our history, we have never modified the final price to someone who has made a reservation, even when our prices have increased. We will keep on doing our best to continue with this policy. It is a promise we will fight hard to keep.
If you want extra nights before starting the expedition, do not hesitate to consult our Custom Service Staff, who will offer you special prices in the hotels included in our programs.
When the expedition finishes, you can come to our offices and book more nights if you need them.
Take into account that for you to make use of this credit, the cancellation* of the reservation must be made by written notice without exception (via email) until 26 days before the start of the expedition you hired. If you inform the cancellation within the previous 25 days to the start date, the validity of the credit will expire.
Besides, your reservation deposit can be transferred to whoever you decide to give it to, in case you cannot take the services.
*Cancellation: When the passenger doesn’t make use of the service in the current season, but in the next.
When you buy your Permit to enter to Aconcagua Park, the fee paid guarantees your evacuation by helicopter if the Medical Authorities of the Park consider it necessary. Moreover, the use of medical attention inside the Park and the service of the Rescue Patrol in case of emergency are included as well.
However, once in Mendoza, you may have to face medical expenses. This is why it would be useful to have an insurance that later refunds to you all the money spent. For this matter, don’t forget to ask for an invoice every time you make a payment.
If you require it, ACONCAGUA MOUNTAIN GUIDES can write a report endorsing the medical condition by which you were attended.
In Mount Aconcagua there are no percentages and stipulated amounts. The normal procedure for tipping is that all the members of the group collect some money –what they consider convenient and fair for the people who guided them in this adventure– and give it to the main guide. Later, he will divide it with his partners. If you also want to tip the camp staff or the porters you can do it separately.
During the Expedition
All our guides carry a VHF radio and they are in permanent communication with our base camps, the Rescue Patrol and the Park Rangers, from every place in the Park. So, in case of contingency, we can respond almost instantaneously.
We also have a satellite phone in each base camp.
Having a flexible schedule is not a problem to us. It is just another solution that we offer to make your dream come true.
Such services have an extra cost which must be paid by the passenger, since they are not included in the price. However, you can spend your hotel nights in Mendoza on different dates from the ones in the original program for the group. In case you need extra nights, we recommend you to pay them in our offices to get a special rate.
Generally, you will take to the first height camp part of the food and equipment that you will need in the height camps. Each member of the group will carry -without exception- food and equipment load for the expedition that will be 10 kg tops. That day is very important to start analyzing how you respond physiologically to the altitude, and it is also a key step to start thinking on the summit.
Likewise, during the days the group moves towards the high camps, you have to take your personal equipment and -without exception- food and equipment load for the expedition that will be 5 kg tops. The porters will carry the tents and the rest of mountain equipment to ease the burden.
When descending to base camp, the porters will move all the previously mentioned equipment, including the garbage produced during the days in the altitude.
Each member of the expedition must carry his personal gear in every section of the route, and also the altitude food and the expedition equipment specified he is selected to carry, depending on the type of expedition hired. However, if you want help from a porter for this task, do not hesitate to consult us. This service has an extra cost.
If you choose the Normal Route, we have generators in Confluencia and Plaza de Mulas base camp. The equipment has sockets to supply 220V and 12V. In Confluencia, the generator is used only one hour per day -either in the morning or in the afternoon- to charge the batteries that illuminate the camp at night. In Plaza de Mulas, it is on from 7.00pm to 11.00pm for the same purpose.
If you take the Vacas Valley Route towards Plaza Argentina, the generator works like in Confluencia, one hour only.
Once you move to the high camps, there is not electrical supply, so we recommend you to bring batteries or portable solar panels to change your devices.
After finishing the expedition
Do not hesitate to consult us.
We’ll be extremely grateful.