NORMAL ROUTE

  • OVERVIEW
  • ITINERARY
  • SCHEDULE & PRICES
  • SERVICES
  • GEAR LIST
  • TECHNICAL SKILLS
  • ACOTRACKER
  • WHY CLIMB WITH US?
  • PRIVATE CLIMBS

Overview – Normal Route – Aconcagua Expedition

 

INTRODUCTION

At 6,960 meters, Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Americas and the highest peak outside of Asia. Its name translates from the Quechua word ‘Akon-Kahuak” which means Stone Sentential. The mountain lives up to this reputation as it towers over the heart of the Andes lying on the border between Chile and Argentina. The surrounding lowlands rise up to 4,000 meters and provide beautiful desert landscapes with a diversity of flora and fauna.

 

The ‘Normal Route’ is the most commonly climbed route on Aconcagua. It is a more direct ascent with shorter distances and times between camps, 3-4 hours as compared to 5-7 hours on the Polish Traverse Route. During the climb we spend 8 of 16 nights on the mountain in the comfort of our well-equipped base camps at Confluencia and Plaza de Mulas.

 

Porters are included to assist climbers in moving gear up the mountain and our acclimatization process includes a summit attempt of Mt. Bonete (launched from Plaza de Mulas Base Camp) taking climbers above 5,000 meters. The combination of high quality base camps, porter support, more time to acclimatize, and pre-trip climb of Mt. Bonete gives climbers an excellent chance of reaching the summit.

Traversing across the NW face of Aconcagua to reach the Canaleta trail

Traversing across the NW face of Aconcagua to reach the Canaleta trail

THE AMG ADVANTAGE – Setting us apart from other guide services

AMG’s staff and guides have a 36-year history of organizing and leading successful climbing expeditions to the summit of Aconcagua. AMG employs outstanding guides, provides excellent base camp services, well-appointed gear and itineraries with proper acclimatization schedules that allow each climber an excellent opportunity to reach the summit. Our level of care, commitment to quality and decision making that is focused on the climber, has been the trademark of our operation.

 

GUIDES

Known as the finest guides on the mountain, they lead not only AMG climbs but also trips for some of the most renowned guide services in the industry. Several of our Lead Guides have over 30 ascents of Aconcagua and all are certified by AAGM (Argentinean Association of Mountain Guides) and the EPGAMT (School of High Mountain and Trekking Guides), the two highest certifications in Argentina.

 

SMALL TEAMS AND GUIDE RATIO

On both the Normal and Polish Glacier Traverse routes our expeditions are limited to 12 climbers. Our guide ratio is 1 guide for every 3-4 team members on the mountain. Small teams with low guide ratio more readily translate to success, giving us the ability to assist climbers to the summit.

 

ITINERARIES WITH ADEQUATE ACCLIMATIZATION DAYS

On the Normal Route we offer a 20 day program roundtrip from Mendoza. This is longer than any other company and is very important to increase your chance of summit success and a prime example of where we put quality first. These extra days allow us to wait out bad weather or have extra rest days if needed. Many other teams retreat early as they have run out of time or moved too quickly up the mountain often causing climbers to become ill. If we finish on time you can enjoy the beautiful city of Mendoza and the surrounding wine county or fly home early. See, Itinerary Normal Route.

 

PORTER ASSISTANCE

At no additional cost porters are employed to strategically assist climbers in load carrying. Porters will move tents between all camps and carry all group gear between Camp Canada and Nido de Cóndores. Members can also hire additional porters to carry their personal gear if they choose.

 

BASE CAMP SERVICES

Our base camps come fully equipped with large dining tents, table and chairs, professional kitchens with chefs to serve you and Wi-Fi throughout the Camp. Hot Showers are available upon request. See more at Why Climb with AMG.

OWNING OUR OWN RESOURCES

AMG owns all its logistical services, including base camps, climbing gear and mules which is imperative in operating quality trips at a competitive price.

  • AMG owns offices and depots in both Mendoza and at the entrance of the Park. Climbers and teams can utilize our services at each of these depots. Our full time, well-trained staff are ready to address your needs whether in Mendoza or on the mountain.
  • We own over 140 mules which allow us to easily transport all your equipment and supplies without delay to our base camps.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP AND ETHICS

AMG holds itself to the highest standards of environmental practices. We support the Provincial Park’s mission to preserve the natural resource. Below are some of our commitments to this endeavor.

  • All human waste is removed from the mountain by porters.
  • All trash is brought down from the mountain and AMG mules carry it out of the Park for disposal.
  • We use LNT (Leave No Trace) principals throughout the climb.
  • Our mules are well cared for with annual medical checkups and sufficient rest days between trips up the mountain.

 

AMG COMMITMENT

Climbing Aconcagua is a large undertaking which requires your commitment to training, time away from work and financial expense. We understand your commitment and are dedicated to providing you the best opportunity to reach the summit. There may be many personal reasons to choose a particular guide service, but there are four main areas of concern that you should consider: Safety Record, Guides, Logistics In-Country, and Pre-Trip Planning with the climber. AMG is a leader in all these areas.

 

Please feel free to contact us at Info@aconcaguamg.com

Download a PDF FILE with all the information about the NORMAL ROUTE EXPEDITION.

Itinerary – Normal Route – Aconcagua Expedition

Heights in meters

The bar graph above gives the high point we reach each day during our climb.
The bar graph above gives the high point we reach each day during our climb.

DAY 1 – MENDOZA (760m)
Upon arrival in Mendoza, you will enjoy the comforts of one of the best hotels in Mendoza which will be our meeting place. Your confirmation letter will confirm our meeting time where we will provide a complete orientation to include: a comprehensive gear check, an overview of the entire climb and a question and answer period. Guides will assist you with any gear rentals or purchases if required. For the evening you are free to walk the streets of Mendoza and enjoy the many great restaurants in the area. (Meals not included)

 

DAY 2 – MENDOZA / PENITENTES (2,725m)
After registration with Aconcagua Provincial Park we drive to Penitentes to start our acclimatization. Upon reaching Penitentes we will check in to our quaint hotel at the base of the mountain and have lunch. In the afternoon, the mule’s loads are prepared at our Depot at Los Puquios for the following day. (B, L, D)

 

DAY 3 – PENITENTES / CONFLUENCIA (3,300m)
After breakfast we take a short drive to the entrance of the Park in a private van. Permits will be presented as we start our 3.5 hour trek to Confluencia Camp (3,300m). We have light backpacks and the walking is on a well-worn, picturesque trail. Upon arrival to Confluencia you will be greeted by AMG staff with some refreshments and a tour of camp. After a good rest we set up our tents and take some time to explore the surrounding area and view the beautiful rock formations. You will spend two nights in Confluencia with full board and hot drinks provided throughout the day. It is a lovely camp and our staff is there to assist you. (B, PL, D)

 

DAY 4 – CONFLUENCIA / PLAZA FRANCIA (4,000m) / CONFLUENCIA
Today we trek to Plaza Francia and back to Confluencia. At Plaza Francia we view the spectacular South Face of Aconcagua while gaining further acclimatization. Here you will enjoy a delicious lunch and a spectacular view. The South Face of Aconcagua is famous for its difficult ascents where many of the best climbers in the world have come to test their skills. After exploring the area we descend back to Confluencia Camp for the night. 6-7 hrs (B, PL, D)

 

DAY 5 – CONFLUENCIA / PLAZA DE MULAS (4,260m)
We make our way to Plaza de Mulas Base Camp (7-9 hours trek). Guides ensure we walk at a moderate pace so everyone arrives feeling well. The trek follows the Horcones Superior River and then rises up onto a lateral moraine next to the Horcones Glacier. Upon arrival you can relax in your dining tent with hot drinks and snacks. Our base camp is a full-service camp with full board and Wi-Fi, hot showers are available upon request. 7-9 hrs (B, PL, D)

 

DAY 6 – PLAZA DE MULAS
Rest day. This will be a leisure day starting with a good breakfast and then a nice walk in the surrounding area which has many stunning vistas. In the afternoon we will have an orientation and then prepare our gear for the next day’s climb of Mt. Bonete at 5,100 meters. (B, L, D)

 

DAY 7 – PLAZA DE MULAS / MT. BONETE (5,100m) / PLAZA DE MULAS
This is an exciting day as we climb Mt Bonete, 5,100m. For many climbers this will be their first summit over 5,000m and from the top we have great vistas of Aconcagua and the surrounding mountains. The climb of Mt. Bonete also gives us essential acclimatization necessary to climb Aconcagua. Following our climb we return to Plaza de Mulas and enjoy a nice evening in base camp. 6-7 hrs (B, PL, D)

 

DAY 8 – PLAZA DE MULAS / CAMP 1 “CANADÁ” (4,910m) / PLAZA DE MULAS
Acclimatization trek to Camp 1 known as ‘Camp Canadá’. We will be carrying food, fuel and other supplies to be used in our camps higher on the mountain. We begin by walking through a field of Penitentes, two to five foot tall pinnacles of ice, and then follow switchbacks that lead us steadily up to Camp Canadá. Once we reach camp we cache our gear, have a packed lunch and then return to base camp. 3-4 hrs (B, PL, D)

 

DAY 9 – PLAZA DE MULAS
Rest and acclimatization day. On this day you will make sure that your equipment is ready and you are well rested to make the move to a camp higher up the mountain. (B, L, D)

 

DAY 10 – PLAZA DE MULAS / CAMP 1 “CANADÁ”
This morning we move to Camp Canadá. We will be carrying our personal gear and additional supplies. Sleeping tents will be carried by our porter staff. Once at Canadá, the group will enjoy lunch and set up tents. 3-4 hrs (B, PL, D)

 

DAY 11 – CAMP 1 “CANADÁ” / CAMP 2 “NIDO DE CÓNDORES” (5,250m)
Today we move from Camp Canada to our Camp 2 “Nido de Cóndores” where we spend the next three nights for rest and acclimatization. On this day, each climber will be responsible for carrying personal equipment only. Expedition equipment, food and sleeping tents are carried by our porter staff. After reaching Nido de Cóndores we set up tents with the guides and move our sleeping gear inside and settle down for the night taking a well-deserved rest. Guides will serve you dinner in your tents. 3-4 hrs (B, PL, D)

 

DAY 12 – CAMP 2 “NIDO DE CÓNDORES”
Today is a rest day. It is a chance to gain more acclimatization and enjoy the comfort of our camp. We believe this rest day improves your performance on summit day and greatly increasing your chances of successfully reaching the summit. AMG is the only company that offers this rest day instead of moving higher up the mountain. (B, L, D)

 

DAY 13 – CAMP 2 “NIDO DE CÓNDORES” / CAMP 3 “CÓLERA” (6,000m) / CAMP 2 “NIDO DE CÓNDORES”
Carry to High Camp, ‘Camp Cólera’. All climbers will carry expedition food, fuel and some camp equipment that we will need in Cólera and for our summit attempt. This will be a short hike, but we will move slowly to acclimatize and prepare for summit day. Once at Cólera, you will have lunch and then return to Nido de Cóndores. 4 hrs (B, PL, D)

 

DAY 14 – CAMP 2 “NIDO DE CÓNDORES” / CAMP 3 “CÓLERA”
Climb to Camp 3, “Cólera”. We will be carrying our personal equipment and any extra gear needed for the summit attempt. (Sleeping tents will be carried by our porter staff). At Cólera Camp the campsite will be strategically located in case of high winds. While you are resting in your tent, guides will check your summit gear for the next day and give an orientation on the summit climb. We will have an early dinner and go to bed to get a good night’s rest for the early morning start the next day. 3 hrs (B, PL, D)

 

DAY 15 – CAMP 3 “CÓLERA” / SUMMIT (6,962m) / CAMP 3 “CÓLERA”
Climb from Cólera to the summit and return to Camp 3. The Great Day!
We wake up early in the morning and dress for our summit attempt. The guides will serve hot drinks and a quick breakfast. They let us know what time to leave our tents so we all rise together and start moving toward the summit. This keeps us warm and moving together as a team. The climb is gradual as we follow switchbacks for the next two hours to reach a small A-frame hut called “Independencia”. From here we traverse across the North Face of Aconcagua until we reach the Canaleta, a low angle gully that leads us up towards the summit ridge. As we ascend the Canaleta we look down on all the surrounding mountains which start to drop away from us as we go higher. A few hundred meters below the summit the route traverses east and leads us directly the summit! On top of the summit a cross proudly stands to show the summit with plenty of room for everybody to take personal and group photos. It is a time for celebration! Time of day and the weather often determine the amount of time we spend on the summit. After all photos are taken and the views absorbed, we begin our descent back to Cólera Camp. 8-12 hrs (B, PL, D)

 

DAY 16 – CAMP 3 “CÓLERA”/ PLAZA DE MULAS
We head down to Plaza de Mulas Base Camp. We take our time moving downhill with our climbing equipment and personal gear. Sleeping tents and human waste will be carried by our porter staff. Once in Plaza de Mulas, the group will have the rest of the day free to celebrate your climbing experience and enjoy a great meal. 4 hrs (B, PL, D)

 

DAY 17 – PLAZA DE MULAS / HORCONES / MENDOZA
We descend to Horcones, the entrance to the Park, on the last trekking day of the expedition. Your belongings will be carried by mules so you will only take a light backpack with a jacket and your packed lunch. Transfer to Mendoza City. Lodge in the hotel. That evening guide and climbers often get together for dinner to celebrate their climb. 6 -7 hrs. (B, PL) (Mendoza dinner not included)

 

DAY 18 – MENDOZA
Breakfast. End of services. (B)

 

DAY 19 – EXTRA DAY
Extra day for weather.

 

DAY 20 – EXTRA DAY
Extra day for weather.

 

NOTE: THE ABOVE ITINERARY IS INTENDED AS A GUIDELINE ONLY. ALTHOUGH EVERY EFFORT WILL BE MADE TO ADHERE TO IT, CHANGES MAY BE CAUSED DUE TO WEATHER CONDITIONS, TRANSPORT FAILURE OR OTHER UNFORESEEN EVENTS. PLEASE BE FLEXIBLE IF NECESSARY.

Our Depot, Los Puquios at the entrance Aconcagua Provincial Park

Our Depot, Los Puquios at the entrance Aconcagua Provincial Park


Mules leaving the entrance of the Park on the Normal Route. Aconcagua is in the distance

Mules leaving the entrance of the Park on the Normal Route. Aconcagua is in the distance


Confluencia Base Camp

Confluencia Base Camp


Breakfast at Base Camp

Breakfast at Base Camp

A view of Confluencia while returning from Plaza Francia

A view of Confluencia while returning from Plaza Francia


Plaza de Mulas at night

Plaza de Mulas at night


Climbers on their way to Camp Canadá

Climbers on their way to Camp Canadá

High Camp

High Camp


Happy climbers after a good meal

Happy climbers after a good meal

Climber close to the summit of Aconcagua

Climber close to the summit of Aconcagua


Beautiful day on the Summit of Aconcagua!

Beautiful day on the Summit of Aconcagua!

2017-2018 Schedule & Prices – Normal Route – Aconcagua Expedition

For costs inclusions see our Services tab here

Prices are per person, given in US Dollars

 

Start End Price
18 – Nov – 2017 07 – Dec – 2017 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – November – 2017)
25 – Nov – 2017 14 – Dec – 2017 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – November – 2017)
27 – Nov – 2017 16 – Dec – 2017 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – November – 2017)
05 – Dec – 2017 24 – Dec – 2017 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – November – 2017)
12 – Dec – 2017 31 – Dec – 2017 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – November – 2017)
18 – Dec – 2017 06 – Jan – 2018 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – November – 2017)
22 – Dec – 2017 10 – Jan – 2018 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – November – 2017)
28 – Dec – 2017 16 – Jan – 2018 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – November – 2017)
04 – Jan – 2018 23 – Jan – 2018 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – November – 2017)
06 – Jan – 2018 25 – Jan – 2018 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – November – 2017)
12 – Jan – 2018 31 – Jan – 2018 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – November – 2017)
18 – Jan – 2018 06 – Feb – 2018 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – November – 2017)
26 – Jan – 2018 14 – Feb – 2018 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – November – 2017)
02 – Feb – 2018 21 – Feb – 2018 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – November – 2017)
12 – Feb – 2018 03 – Mar – 2018 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – November – 2017)

 

2018 – 2019 Schedule & Prices – Normal Route – Aconcagua Expedition

For costs inclusions see our Services tab here

Prices are per person, given in US Dollars

 

Start End Price
20 – Nov – 2018 09 – Dec – 2018 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – June – 2018)
25 – Nov – 2018 14 – Dec – 2018 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – June – 2018)
1 – Dec- 2018 20 – Dec – 2018 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – June – 2018)
09 – Dec – 2018 28 – Dec – 2018 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – June – 2018)
16 – Dec – 2018 04 – Jan – 2019 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – June – 2018)
23 – Dec – 2018 11 – Jan – 2019 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – June – 2018)
28 – Dec – 2018 16 – Jan – 2019 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – June – 2018)
04 – Jan – 2019 23 – Jan – 2019 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – June – 2018)
06 – Jan – 2019 25 – Jan – 2019 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – June – 2018)
09 – Jan – 2019 28 – Jan – 2019 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – June – 2018)
14 – Jan – 2019 02 – Feb – 2019 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – June – 2018)
25 – Jan – 2019 13 – Feb – 2019 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – June – 2018)
06 – Feb – 2019 25 – Feb – 2019 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – June – 2018)
14 – Feb – 2019 05 – Mar – 2019 USD 4,190 – (USD 200 OFF BOOKED BY 30 – June – 2018)

 

Services – Normal Route – Aconcagua Expedition

INCLUDED SERVICES  

   
  HOTEL IN MENDOZA
   
  GEAR CHECK AND ORIENTATION
   
  ASSISTANCE WITH CLIMBING PERMIT
   
  TRANSFER MENDOZA / PENITENTES / MENDOZA
   
  MEALS
   
  LODGING IN PENITENTES
   
  TRANSFER TO THE ACONCAGUA TRAILHEAD
   
   MULES
   
   CONFLUENCIA BASE CAMP
   
   TREKKING TO PLAZA FRANCIA
   
   PLAZA DE MULAS BASE CAMP
   
   TREKKING IN PLAZA DE MULAS AREA AND MT. BONETE CLIMBING
   
   PORTERS FOR THE HIGH CAMPS
   
   OUR GUIDES
   
   EXTRA DAYS
   
   COMMUNICATIONS
   
  EQUIPMENT AND TENTS
   
   GIFTS

NOT INCLUDED SERVICES  

Detailed confirmation package will be sent upon booking.

  • Wire Transfer Fees for deposit or balance (If Applicable)
  • International round-trip airfare home country – Mendoza
  • Excess baggage charges, lost luggage and airport taxes
  • Climbing Permit Fee ($850 – $1100, depending on season)
  • Single Room Supplement (Hotels Only)
  • Guide Tips
  • Private porters hired to carry your personal gear if you choose. They can be confirmed in advance.
  • Some supplemental snacks such as candy bars and drinks which are not mentioned in provided services – see confirmation materials
  • Additional hotels and meals if the expedition finishes early and returns to Mendoza.
  • Airport transfers. (Due to multiple arrival schedules). Taxis are an easy way to get back and forth from the Airport to your hotel. You can also request personal pickups at the airport for an additional cost.
  • All fees incurred for early departure from the scheduled itinerary (whether personal or medical), including additional hotels, meals & transportation (mules, auto or helicopter) a full schedule of departure evacuation fees will be sent in confirmation materials for early departures.
  • Personal gear (personal clothing), see gear list.
  • Charges incurred as a result of delays beyond the control of Aconcagua Mountain Guides LLC
  • Trip cancellation insurance

Gear List – Normal Route – Aconcagua Expedition

 

OVERVIEW

  • Each item on the list below is required unless specified to be optional.
  • Item images represent one product suggestion for that item.
  • Our experienced staff is happy to speak with you via phone or email:  info@aconcaguamg.com

 

FOOTWEAR

LIGHT HIKING BOOTS OR TREKKING SHOES

For any approaches across dry trail. Light weight, high comfort, plenty of room in the toe box, and good support should be stressed here.

image001

WOOL OR SYNTHETIC SOCKS

4 pairs of medium to heavy hiking socks. These must fit over your liner socks if you plan to wear liner socks.

image003

WOOL OR SYNTHETIC SOCKS

3 pairs of lightweight liner socks. These must fit snugly and beneath your wool socks.

image005

HIGH-ALTITUDE DOUBLE BOOT

Aconcagua is a cold, high-altitude peak that requires extremely warm footwear. Three types of boot can work well: 8,000-meter all-in-one boots (La Sportiva Olympus Mons, Scarpa Phantom 8,000, Millet Everest), 6-7,000-meter double boots (La Sportiva Spantik, La Sportiva G2 SM, Scarpa Phantom 6000), or plastic double boots with high-altitude liners (Koflach Arctis Expe, Asolo AFS 8000, Scarpa Inverno). For those who own plastic boots equipped with low-altitude liners (Koflach Degre, Lowa Civetta), you must purchase new high-altitude liners (Intuition Denali Liner) as your low-altitude liners will not provide sufficient insulation. Having proper footwear is absolutely critical for climbing Aconcagua- please inquire with any questions.

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GAITERS

Full-sized waterproof gaiters that must fit snugly over your mountaineering boots. Short trekking gaiters do not offer sufficient protection. Note that these are not needed if your boots have integrated gaiters.

SPORT SANDALS / WATER SHOES

For river crossings. Crocs, Teva-style sandals, or similar footwear will work well.

BOOTIES (OPTIONAL)

Synthetic or down camp booties for comfortable wear around camp.

 

TECHNICAL CLOTHING (Lower body)

SHORT UNDERWEAR

Two to three pairs based on personal preference. Synthetic or wool fabrics only; bring a comfortable athletic style for any top and bottom underwear.

BASELAYER BOTTOM

1 to 2 non-cotton baselayer bottoms that should fit snugly without constriction.

INSULATED SYNTHETIC PANTS

A synthetic insulated pant with full-length separating side zips. Ski pants are typically not appropriate for this layer.

SOFTSHELL PANTS

Stretchy, comfortable, non-insulated softshell pants which should fit comfortably with or without your baselayer bottoms. Please note that “zip-off”-style trekking pants are too light to be considered softshell pants.

HARDSHELL PANTS

Non-insulated, fully waterproof shell pants that must fit comfortably over your baselayer bottoms and softshell pants. Full-length separating size zippers are preferred; shorter side zippers are allowed if you can put on and take off your pants without removing your boots.

TREKKING PANTS

Lightweight, breathable trekking pants are recommended for the approach to base camp. Many choose to use zip-off versions for versatility.

SHORTS (OPTIONAL)

Comfortable, non-cotton athletic shorts can be nice during the trek, at base camp, or during river crossings.

 

TECHNICAL CLOTHING (upper body)

BASELAYER TOP

2 or 3 long-sleeved baselayer tops. Baselayers must be constructed of a non-cotton material such as merino wool or polyester. Note that many guides prefer light-colored, hooded baselayers for sun protection.

MIDLAYER TOP

A mid-weight, form-fitting, lightweight fleece layer for use over baselayers or as a baselayer in cold conditions. Hoods are optional but recommended.


LIGHTWEIGHT INSULATED JACKET

We recommend a lightweight insulated jacket to serve either as a layering piece or as stand-alone insulation when appropriate. This may be filled with down or synthetic insulation.


EXPEDITION DOWN PARKA

An 8000-meter rated, expedition ready parka. This parka must be in excellent condition, fully baffled, and should be brought recently cleaned with Nikwax Down Wash to ensure maximum loft.

SOFTSHELL JACKET

This breathable but wind-and-weather resistant jacket is a key part of a mountaineering layering system. We recommend a hooded model. This layer must fit well over your midlayer top and baselayer top.

HARDSHELL JACKET

A non-insulated, fully waterproof shell jacket with a hood. We recommend durable 3-layer fabric. Gore-Tex Pro Shell or a similar eVent fabric will offer the most durability and long-term weather protection. This layer must fit comfortably over your baselayer, midlayer, softshell, and potentially a lightweight insulated layer. Helmet-compatible hoods are required.

WIND SHELL (OPTIONAL)

Used to block wind without adding insulation, many turn to a wind shell or wind shirt for protection. Wind shells typically weigh less than 8 ounces and are incredibly packable, which makes them an excellent addition to your layering system.

T-SHIRTS

Bring a small selection of t-shirts as well, for use around town and for the trek into basecamp.

 

HANDWEAR

LIGHTWEIGHT LINER GLOVES

2 pairs of very lightweight wool or synthetic liner gloves that offer a snug, comfortable fit. Lighter colors absorb less sunlight while still offering UV protection. Black or dark-color gloves are also acceptable.

SOFTSHELL GLOVES

Midweight, lightly insulated gloves for use when mittens are too warm and liner gloves are not warm enough. Leather-palm construction is always ideal for the sake of durability.

INSULATED SHELL GLOVES

One pair of warm shell gloves with insulated removable liners. Excellent for use when conditions are too cold for softshell gloves, but too warm for expedition mittens.

EXPEDITION MITTENS

Expedition-rated mittens with an insulated removable liner. Please be sure this mitten is the warmest model available by any manufacturer.

LEATHER GLOVES (OPTIONAL)

One pair of light leather gloves is strongly recommended for this trip. Tents are setup using large rocks to anchor guylines, and moving rocks can destroy your climbing gloves. Cheap or non-technical leather gloves are sufficient for this item.

 

HEADWEAR

BUFF

2 buffs are must-have for Aconcagua. The UV Buff is a versatile replacement for the bandana and serves a multitude of purposes.

SUN HAT

Any style of lightweight hat for shading the head will work well. Baseball caps and sombrero-style sun hats are the most common.

WOOL / SYNTHETIC SKI HAT

A non-cotton wool or synthetic hat that covers the head and ears comfortably.

BALACLAVA SYSTEM

Two full balaclavas, one heavyweight and one lightweight, that will comfortably layer together. These items are not replaced by a Buff.

GLACIER GLASSES

High-quality glacier glasses offering full coverage around both eyes and across the nose. Removable side-shields are not required provided eye coverage is sufficient.

SKI GOGGLES

High-quality goggles for sun and wind protection at altitude. The lens should offer visible light transmission (VLT) of no more than 30%. Those with light-sensitive eyes may wish to use a darker lens. Photochromatic models are ideal for use in changing conditions.

DUST MASK (OPTIONAL)

For those that are sensitive to dust. Can be left at Base Camp.

 

CLIMBING EQUIPMENT

CRAMPONS

General mountaineering crampons. We recommend modern steel 12-point crampons with anti-balling plates. 10-point, aluminum, or single-piece rigid crampons are not recommended.

TREKKING POLES

Collapsible trekking poles. A large variety of poles can work well. 3-section models are preferred, however, as they are collapsible for easy carrying in steeper terrain. Trekking baskets are OK. The Black Diamond Trail Poles are sufficient, but more expensive, lighter-weight models such as the Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Poles offer greater weight advantage.

CLIMBING HELMET

A lightweight climbing-specific helmet. This must fit comfortably over your bare head, hat, and/or balaclava, and your headlamp must be able to strap securely to the outside of the helmet.

 

PACKS

EXPEDITION CLIMBING PACK

A 75-105 liter climbing pack designed with climber-specific features and an internal frame. The volume you choose depends on experience level packing and gear quality. If opting for a pack smaller than 100 liters, practice packing to be sure you can efficiently use a smaller sized pack.

EXPEDITION DUFFEL BAG

An approximately 150-liter expedition-ready duffel bag used to transport all gear.

SMALL DUFFEL

This item can double as carry-on luggage for your flight, and is used to store any items you do not plan to take into the mountains. Think light and simple, with 40-50 liters of total capacity. Bring a travel lock for peace of mind.

TREKKING PACK (OPTIONAL)

A small, simple pack of approximately 35-40 liters. Useful for the trek into basecamp.

 

SLEEPING GEAR

-20F DOWN SLEEPING BAG

This sleeping bag should be rated to -20 degrees Fahrenheit and must be down-filled rather than synthetic filled for the sake of weight and bulk. Be sure to include a correctly sized compression stuff sack.

INFLATABLE SLEEPING PAD

A full-length, modern inflatable sleeping pad is recommended. Older-style three-quarter length pads have been superseded by ultralight full-length pads. We recommend bringing a valve repair/body patch kit.

FOAM PAD

This pad should be either 3/4 or body length. Cut pieces of closed cell foam or industrially-crafted pads are both acceptable.

 

PERSONAL EQUIPMENT

HEADLAMP

A modern outdoor LED headlamp offering 90-200 lumens of output. Fresh, installed batteries plus spare batteries. Weather-resistant models are strongly preferred.

WATER BOTTLES

(Two to three 1-litre capacity bottles) Bottles should be wide mouth made of copolyester (BPA free plastic). No water bag or bladder systems, they freeze or are hard to fill and no metal bottles as lips have a tendency to stick.

WATER BOTTLE PARKAS

Two total. Fully insulated with zip opening. Neoprene ‘cozy’ style does not provided enough insulation and is not recommended.

MUG

One insulated outdoor-style mug with a removable lid. Your mug should retain heat well and be spill resistant. 12-20 ounce models are acceptable.

BOWL

One two-cup capacity packable bowl. Models with a lid (like a Tupperware) work well, as do lidless bowls and flatter “deep plate” models. Collapsible models can suffice, but must be handled very carefully to avoid unintended collapsing.

KNIFE

Medium size. Keep it simple and light.

SPOON & FORK

One fork and one spoon, designed for backcountry pursuits.

THERMOS

A fully vacuum-insulated thermos is recommended for hydration, comfort, and safety on cold days on the mountain. 1-liter sizes are strongly preferred.

TOILETRY BAG

Include toilet paper (one roll stored in a plastic bag), hand sanitizer, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and some wet wipes if desired.

SUNSCREEN

Several 1-2 ounce tubes of SPF 30+ sunscreen. Zinc-oxide added versions are preferred. One ounce is typically sufficient per week, but several tubes. Sunscreen loses SPF rating over time; we strongly recommend brand-new sunscreen.

LIPSCREEN

Several tubes of SPF 30+ lipscreen. As with sunscreen, be sure your lipscreen is new. Recommended: Aloe Gator Medicated 30 SPF Lip Balm.

WATER PURIFICATION TABLETS

One set of chemical water treatment drops or tablets. We recommend AquaMira. Lightweight Steri-Pens with extra batteries can suffice, but do not work well in the event of very cold conditions. Be sure your system will be sufficient for the entire duration of your trip- some packages of tablets treat only a very small amount of water! As a general guideline, allow for 4-6 liters of water per day when treating water is necessary.

SMALL PERSONAL FIRST-AID KIT

Basic medical supplies in a compact package- we recommend basic painkillers, Moleskin, first-aid tape, Band-Aids, and anti-septic wipes or gel.

MEDICATIONS & PRESCRIPTIONS

Bring any personal prescriptions, plus Pepto Bismol, Cipro (500mg tablets), Metronidazole, Z-Paks (250mg tablets), Diamox (125mg tablets, approx. 2 per day at altitude), and a variety of standard painkillers like Excedrin Extra Strength, Ibuprofen, etc.

HAND SANITIZER

Many alcohol-based hand cleaners will work well. Bring a small amount appropriate to the trip duration.

HAND AND TOE WARMERS

Bring 3 sets of each. Please note that toe warmers are different than hand warmers. They are formulated to work in a lower oxygen environment, like the inside of a boot, they also burn out more quickly.

 

OPTIONAL ITEMS

CAMERA

Optional. Small point-and-shoot cameras (including compact SLR’s) are ideal & work well at altitude. Alternatively, many opt to use a smartphone camera. Due to weight & care in the mountain environment, large dSLR cameras are discouraged.

PEE BOTTLE (1-1.5 LITER)

One wide-mouth, clearly marked collapsible container or wide-mouthed bottle for use overnight.

PEE FUNNEL (FOR WOMEN)

Practice is critical for the use of this item.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

HYDRATION RESERVOIR

For lower altitude/warmer climate use. Does not serve as a sufficient substitute for water bottles.

FOOD

We recommend that you bring approximately 12 energy food items, like bars, Gu packets, etc.

 

TRASH COMPACTOR BAGS

Three bags for use as waterproof pack/stuff sack liners. Compactor bags are made from a heavy plastic and stand up well to prolonged mountain use.

EARPLUGS

Several pairs of disposable foam earplugs are highly recommended to aid sleep- this is especially important on windy nights when a flapping tent can easily keep you awake.

TRAVEL CLOTHES

Clean ‘town’ clothing is recommend for use traveling as well as pre-and-post trip. We recommend bringing a comfortable variety of clothing for peace of mind, including some t-shirts, and swimsuit.

TRAVEL POWER ADAPTER

Type C (two round prongs) and Type I (three flat prongs, two of which are angled) are most common. Please research what adapters are necessary to plug in your devices.

Technical Skills – Normal Route – Aconcagua Expedition

TECHNICAL SKILLS

The Northeast or Normal Route on Aconcagua does not require previous training in technical climbing skills to participate in a summit climb. We are primarily climbing on trails but on occasion use crampons and a fixed line to add safety it the route requires. Instruction in the use of crampons will be taught by your guides to prepare you in case it is required.

 

PHYSICAL DIFFICULTY

Climbing Aconcagua is a physically challenging undertaking. You will have multiple days carrying loads between 25lbs (11kg) and 40lbs (18kg) and ascending as much as 3,000ft (950m) in a particular day. After reaching a camp we set up and sleep in tents with outside temperatures that could reach -20 C. Altitude plays an important role in the physical challenge with less than half the amount of oxygen in the air as at sea level.

PHYSICAL FITNESS

All these challenges can be overcome through good training and previous experience camping in cold conditions. You should begin your physical training several months prior to your climb by carrying a backpack and slowly increasing the weight and altitude gain on each hike. If you can reach a point where you are comfortable carrying the pack weights mentioned above and ascending 1000 meters (3,000 feet) in a 4-6 hour period you will be on your way to having the strength and endurance to climb Aconcagua.

 

SELF-MANAGEMENT

You should also be prepared to take care of yourself in a cold environment. This means knowing how to control your body temperature by hydrating well, putting on different layers of clothing to maintain body heat and eating sufficiently (regularly throughout the day) to maintain your strength. It is important to learn how to monitor your health and know how you are feeling. We will help you to fine tune many of these skills as we trek to base camp and begin to ascend the mountain.

 

ALTITUDE CHALLENGE

Last, but not least is the altitude challenge. It helps to have climbed high before, (over 4,000-5,000m (12,000 to 16,000 feet) but if you will walk slowly, stay hydrated and monitor your health, the guides will be able to assist you in the acclimatization process with a very high likelihood of success. Remember training for your climb is essential to reaching the summit and having the experience of a lifetime.

Private Climbs

 

There are many reasons to choose a Private Climb. Often groups of people prefer to climb with just their friends and family, others can’t make one of our departure dates or are looking for a specific itinerary. Aconcagua Mountain Guides are always willing to accommodate your desires. Our guides enjoy working with families and groups of friends. We will work with you to design the program that best suits your needs. Contact us at info@aconcaguamg.com to get started.