OVERVIEW – NORMAL ROUTE – ACONCAGUA EXPEDITION
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
ITINERARY – NORMAL ROUTE – ACONCAGUA EXPEDITION
Heights in meters
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.
SCHEDULE & PRICES – NORMAL ROUTE – ACONCAGUA EXPEDITION
Prices are per person, given in US Dollars