Aconcagua Expeditions – INFORMATION

  • THE PARK
  • WHEN TO GO?
  • WHICH ROUTE?
  • PERMITS
  • FAQ

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:

 

 

Normal Route

ruta-normal-inglPros:

 

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 Glacier Traverse Route

travesia-inglPros:

 

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.

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.

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 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: info@aconcaguamg.com

   
1. HOW DO I CHOOSE AN EXPEDITION COMPANY?
   
2. HOW MUCH DOES AN EXPEDITION TO MOUNT ACONCAGUA COST?
   
3. SHOULD I JOIN A "SCHEDULED EXPEDITION” GROUP?
   
4. HOW MANY DAYS DO I NEED?
   
5. CAN I PRE-ACCLIMATIZE TO PERFORM BETTER AT ALTITUDE?
   
6. WHO WILL ANSWER MY QUESTIONS BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER MY BOOKING?
   
7. WHICH ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO MAKE A RESERVATION? WHAT IS THE AMOUNT TO PAY FOR IT?
   
8. DOES ACONCAGUA MOUNTAIN GUIDES OFFER ANY DISCOUNT FOR GROUPS?
   
9. WILL I SAVE MONEY IF I ORGANIZE MY OWN EXPEDITION?
   
10. WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN A GROUP?
   
11. WHAT IS THE CLIMBER-TO-GUIDE RATIO?
   
12. WHO PARTICIPATES IN THE EXPEDITION?
   
13. IS THERE ANY AGE LIMIT TO JOIN THE EXPEDITION?
   
14. HOW IS THE DISTRIBUTION OF PEOPLE IN HOTELS AND TENTS IN THE MOUNTAIN?
   
15. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I NEED A SPECIAL DIET?IN THE MOUNTAIN?
   
16. WHAT DOES ACONCAGUA MOUNTAIN GUIDES NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MY HEALTH STATUS?
   
17. CAN I JOIN AN EXPEDITION AFTER IT HAS STARTED?
   
18. HOW IS THE EXPEDITION IN TERMS OF DIFFICULTY?
   
19. HOW CAN I KNOW IF I AM TRAINED ENOUGH?
   
20. WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO IF I AM INTERESTED IN A TRIP?

Flights

   
21. HOW MUST THE DATES BE WHEN BOOKING MY FLIGHTS?
   
22. WHAT CLOTHES MUST I BRING FOR THE EXPEDITION?
   
23. DO I NEED TECHNICAL CLIMBING EQUIPMENT?
   
24. WHAT IS THE MOST SUITABLE TYPE OF BAG FOR THE EXPEDITION?
   
25. WHAT TYPE OF BOOTS DO I NEED FOR THIS ACTIVITY?

Before the Departure

   
26. WHAT ARE MY RESPONSIBILITIES AS A MEMBER OF THE EXPEDITION?
   
27. ONCE THE RESERVATION IS PAID, CAN THE COST OF THE TRIP INCREASE?
   
28. CAN I RESERVE EXTRA NIGHTS BEFORE AND AFTER THE EXPEDITION?
   
29. CAN I CHANGE THE DATE OF THE EXPEDITION IF I HAVE AN UNEXPECTED INCONVENIENT?
   
30. WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES IF I HAVE TO CANCEL MY EXPEDITION?
   
31. WHAT HAPPENS IF ACONCAGUA MOUNTAIN GUIDES CANCELS MY TRIP?
   
32. SHOULD I BUY ANY TRAVEL INSURANCE?
   
33. ARE TIPS INCLUDED? IF NOT, HOW MUCH IS CUSTOMARY TO TIP?

During the Expedition

   
34. WHAT ARE THE MEANS OF COMMUNICATION IN THE MOUNTAIN?
   
35. WHAT HAPPENS WITH THE WASTE MADE BY THE GROUP DURING THE EXPEDITION?
   
36. WHAT HAPPENS IF WE HAVE BAD WEATHER?
   
37. WHAT HAPPENS IF I HAVE TO ABANDON THE EXPEDITION BEFORE ITS ENDING?
   
38. WHO CARRIES THE EXPEDITION EQUIPMENT TO THE HIGH CAMPS?
   
39. WHO PREPARES THE FOOD AND PROVIDES WATER DURING THE EXPEDITION?
   
40. HOW CAN I CHARGE MY CAMERA’S BATTERIES DURING THE EXPEDITION?
   
41. CAN ACONCAGUA MOUNTAIN GUIDES TAKE PHOTOS OF ME AND USE THEM?

After finishing the expedition

   
42. DOES ACONCAGUA MOUNTAIN GUIDES OFFER EXTENSIONS BEFORE AND AFTER THE EXPEDITION?
   
44. WHY IS MY FEEDBACK SO IMPORTANT TO ACONCAGUA MOUNTAIN GUIDES?