In 7 Summits,Mountains

A Few Facts About Mt Aconcagua

What’s in a name

I’ve had to repeat this name more times than I care to remember over the last few months. Nobody knows what the hell is going on.. From on, there are no excuses.

In English it’s pronounced A:con:ca:gwa

 

It’s Pretty High

Not only is it the highest point in South America (hence it’s inclusion in the 7 Summits), it’s the highest mountain in the Southern and Western hemispheres. It’s also the highest point outside of Asia.

 

Who was the first to summit?

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There has been a few interesting discoveries high on Aconcagua and surrounding peaks that suggest the Inca people were inclined to climb very high on these mountains. Whether they reached the top is unknown but the below passage demonstrates that they did indeed enjoy time at high altitude.

“There is no definitive proof that the ancient Incas actually climbed to the summit of the White Sentinel [Aconcagua], but there is considerable evidence that they did climb very high on the mountain. Signs of Inca ascents have been found on summits throughout the Andes, thus far the highest atop Llullaillaco, a 6,721-metre (22,051 ft) mountain astride the Chilean-Argentine border in the Atacamaregion. On Aconcagua, the skeleton of a guanaco was found in 1947 along the ridge connecting the North Summit with the South Summit. It seems doubtful that a guanaco would climb that high on the mountain on his own. Furthermore, an Inca mummy has been found at 5400 m on the south west ridge of Aconcagua, near Cerro Piramidal” R. J. Secor, Aconcagua: A Climbing Guide, The Mountaineers, 1994

 

Also the Longest..

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Aconcagua lies in the hear of the Andes, the worlds longest mountain range. the world’s longest mountain range. The Andes, beginning in northern South America and ending at the continent’s tip, stretch over  7,000 kilometers (4,300 miles) in a narrow band along the west edge of South America. The Andes pass through seven countries–Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile.

 

An Incredible Feat..

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In the 1985/86 season, Fernando Garrido arrived from Spain in order to break the record of altitude stay. Facing problems due to the lack of oxygen, strong winds of up to 200 km/h, and temperatures of up to 60 degrees below zero, the Spanish climber managed to stay 66 days in the summit, thus breaking a world survival record.

 

All About the Vino

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Mendoza, at the base of Aconcagua, is South Americas largest wine producing region. It produces a range of world-famous Malbec, Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon. Probably not conductive to a good climbing environment.. I dare say a fair few to those who fail to make the summit of Aconcagua can blame the local vino for their shortcoming. The growing areas of Mendoza receive less than 10 inches of rain per year, but irrigation water is plentiful from year-round snow melt in the Andes so that water yields are in complete control of the viticulturist.

 

 

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