*Sourced from Inka Expeditions
Day 01 · MENDOZA – Altitude: 760m
Our expedition starts in Mendoza, Argentina. A representative of INKA Expediciones will be waiting for you at the airport. We will stay at the hotel in the city. A group meeting will follow and you will be introduced to your guides and team members.
Day 02 · Mendoza / Penitentes – Altitude: 2700m
We will obtain individual entrance and ascent permits. You will be personally assisted in this procedure. After this we travel to Villa de Penitentes, where we stay at a Hotel in the mountain. There we get the equipment ready for transportation to the base camp, by mule.
Day 03 · Penitentes / Confluencia – Altitude: 3.368m
We drive you to Horcones Park, where we get our first view of the mountain. We will get our permits checked at the Ranger station. Then, we head off to Confluencia by walking 4 or 5 hours.
Day 04 · Acclimatization trekking to Plaza Francia – Altitude: 4.200m
We’ve included this day in order to acclimatize better, and give you more chances to summit. We’ll trek for about 5 hours until we arrive to Plaza Francia, base camp of the impressive Aconcagua South Wall. This is one of the nicest points of the expedition.
Day 05 · Approach from Confluencia to Plaza de Mulas – Altitude: 4.250m
After 8-9 hours hiking across “Playa Ancha” and climbing up through a very steep path, we reach Plaza de Mulas, the biggest base camp in Aconcagua Park. By the end of the day, most of us will feel the altitude.
Plaza de Mulas- Basecamp for Aconcagua Expeditions (Image: Travelblog.org)
Day 06 · Rest day at Plaza de Mulas – Altitude: 4.250m
The first day in Base Camp is always a rest day and a good occasion to take a bath and explore the local terrain.
Day 07 · Carry equipment and food to Camp 1 – Altitude: 4.900m
This is a challenging day where we gain 1.000 m. with a heavy load on easy terrain. Then we’ll return to Base Camp. It’s important to take advantage of the comfort and lower altitude at Base Camp.
Day 08 · Rest day at Plaza de Mulas – Altitude: 4.250m
This is a day we mainly use to recover energy, to rest, to hydrate ourselves and for abundant meals.
Day 09 · Ascent from base camp to Camp 1 – Altitude: 4.900m
The following morning we definite start the ascent to Aconcagua. We move to Camp 1, called “Plaza Canada”. Until now, we were working on get an optimal acclimatization. We want everyone to have the best possible chance to do summit.
Day 10 · Move to Camp 2 – Altitude: 5.400m
Camp 2, called “Nido de Condores” (meaning Condor Nest), is located in a high pass at 5.400 m. and provides a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains.
Day 11 · Carry equipment from Camp 2 to Camp 3 – Altitude: 6.000m
This day, we carry equipment to Camp 3 called “Camp Colera”. After carrying the equipment up, we return to Camp 2 to sleep, to give our bodies more chances to acclimatize.
Day 12 · Ascent from Camp 2 to Camp 3 – Altitude: 6.000m
We start a 4 hours walk to Camp 3, located on the North Ridge. We will prepare our tents and eat and rest, to be ready to get the summit.
Day 13 · Summit day – Altitude: 6.962m
It is the most demanding day of the expedition. We climb the North Ridge to Independencia Refuge at approximately 6.500 m. We ascend through the “Portezuelo del Viento” , climb “La Canaleta”, and the “Filo del Guanaco”, that leads us to the summit. The prize is waiting for us, a 360° view and the experience of overcoming, that you only finally understand once you reach it. At the end of this experience, we descend to Camp 3.
Days 14 and 15 · Spare days in case of bad weather conditions.
We have three extra days set aside on our itinerary to attempt summit. These extra days are built in to provide the best possible conditions for each participant to summit.
Day 16 · Return to Base Camp.
Return from Camp 3 to Base Camp. We’ll enjoy a great dinner to celebrate the experience.
Day 17 · Return from base camp to Penitentes and back to Mendoza.
We have breakfast and then start the descent from Plaza de Mulas to Penitentes. There is a private transport waiting for us to take us to the hotel in Mendoza City.
Day 18 · Mendoza
We have breakfast at the hotel. Check Out and end of services.
REQUIRED GEAR LIST
– 1 Pair of comfortable hiking boots
– 4 Pairs of outer socks (thick wool or polypropylene)
– 3 Pairs of inner socks (thin silk or polypropylene)
– 2 Pairs of cotton socks (for approach to base camp)
– Neoprene booties with sole (for river crossings. Sandals as Tevas are also ok)
– 2 Thin synthetic pants (polypropylene or nylon)
– 1 Fleece pants (full length side zippers recommended)
– 1 Waterproof and breathable over-pants (such as Gore-Tex, full length side zippers recommended)
– Comfortable trekking pants – Shorts (optional)
– 2 Thermal baselayer shirts (polypropylene or capilene)
– 1 Fleece pullover (like soft polartec 100 or 200, or similar)
– 1 Fleece jacket or alike
– 1 Warm jacket for -30°C / -22°F (down recommended)
– 1 Rainproof or windproof jacket with hood (such as Gore-Tex)
– Cotton T-shirts or shirts
– 1 Turtleneck or multifunctional headwear of synthetic material (Buff or similar)
– Sun cap or hat
– Ski hat (wool or fleece)
– Light balaclava
– Ski goggles
– A good pair of sunglasses (with UV filter and side protection)
– 2 Pairs of inner thermal gloves (polypropylene or capilene)
– 1 Pair of insulated finger gloves
– 1 Pair of insulated mittens (fleece, down or polar guard)
– 1 Pair of over mittens (such as Gore-Tex, only if your mittens are not made of waterproof material)
– Comfortable expedition backpack (70 liters / 4.250 cubic inches as minimum)
– Day pack (for approach to base camp)
– One extra large strong duffel bag (to be carried by mules and stored in base camp, 6.000 cubic inches as minimum. Large enough to fit in all your equipment)
– Sleeping bag for -30°C / -22°F (down or polar guard)
– Sleeping mat (Thermarest or similar, full length recommended)
– Foam pad (only if you bring a Thermarest, to avoid a burst)
– 1 Pair of plastic boots Note: Climbing plastic boots or double boots are the best option for high altitude. In Aconcagua you will find temperatures very cold (-30°C / -22°F). Koflach Artic Expedition, Scarpa Vega or Asolo AFS 8000 are good examples of plastic boot. There are excellent alternatives to a plastic boot, in which the outer boot is made of modern synthetic materials. Ask us about these new models as La Sportiva Nuptse, the Vasque Ice 9000 or the Salomon Pro Thermic. We must be sure that your boots are equipped for very low temperatures
– Crampons with ‘step-in’ bindings (12 points, non-rigid recommended)
– 1 Pair of trekking poles (adjustable preferred)
– Climbing helmet
– Head lamp with extra batteries and bulb
– Block for lips and sun screen (not less than 35 solar protection factor)
– Personal crockery (bowl, cup, fork and spoon)
– Two water bottles (32 fl.oz /1 liter Nalgene recommended. Water bottle insulator needed)
– 1 Stainless steel thermos of one liter or half liter (useful for high camps)
– 6 Hand warmers (for summit day)
– Hydrating system (like CamelBak, for approach trek to base camp only, because in the altitude it get frozen)
– Personal care elements (small towel and soap, baby wipes recommended)
– Book, IPod, games or anything that helps to distract you
– Camera, memory cards and extra batteries
– Earplugs (for windy nights)
– Pee bottle with wide mouth (32 fl.oz / 1 liter Nalgene recommended Useful at higher camps) – Swimsuit (for the hotel pool)
– Pocket-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
– Your favorite energy bars