The Details

Aconcagua Expedition Further Information

Aconcagua is one of the highest peaks in the world and the highest outside of Asia. Over the years, the number of climbers joining us, eager to challenge the altitude, strong winds and extreme temperatures have increased steadily. Climbers attempting to climb Aconcagua must be equipped properly and in excellent physical condition.

Climate

With every large mountain, Aconcagua creates its own weather. Our climbers will face it all, from warm days, to freezing nights, snow, very strong winds. We do our expedition during December and January. This is due to the weather. It is in this period when the weather is warmer and most stable.

Equipment

A variety of clothing will be necessary for your trip. You will need clothing for dining in Mendoza and all your mountain gear. The equipment list is designed to help you choose the right gear for the demands of this climb and is the minimum required for this trip. Your personal items are mandatory for survival in the mountains, so make sure you have everything on the equipment list. The emphasis on equipment necessary for mountain travel follows two simple tenets: lightweight and functional. Since you will be carrying all your gear, and a portion of the group gear, the items you choose to take should be lightweight, dependable, and adaptable to a variety of extreme conditions. The quality of the equipment you choose has a lot to do with how warm, dry, and safe you will remain — so be critical of the quality and the proper fit of clothing. The layering system is usually sufficient for most people.

Aconcagua Expedition Training Program

Climbing Aconcagua is a very difficult endeavor. It could possibly be the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your life. With that said, and with proper training, it will be more enjoyable. We rate this trip as strenuous and we cannot over emphasize the importance of conditioning. Because everyone is required to carry a share of the group’s equipment be prepared to carry as much as 40-60lbs while stocking camps on the mountain. The best training for mountaineering is to carry a weighted pack (40-60lbs) up and down hills, stairs or small mountains. To avoid the knee stress while training use water, so on the decent you can empty the water. While strength is important, endurance training should be your primary focus, your summit day will be at least as long as 12 hours at high altitude.As for any activity, to make it easier and more fun, it is necessary to practice and train. With any training schedule we’ll try to simulate the activity as much as possible. The fitter and healthier you are at the beginning of the expedition will make acclimatization much easier.

Be sure to stay hydrated while training. Hydration is one of the biggest factors to successful acclimation. Your guide will be carefully gauging your water intake throughout the trip. During the expedition you will be drinking 4-6 liters per day. People usually have many questions about altitude drugs. There are lots of theories and opinions about their use. We will address this, but for now let’s just say that drugs cannot replace proper training and a proper acclimatization schedule.

We recommend

  • Try to maintain a pulse rate of 80% for 1/2 an hour during the workout.
  • Start training at least six months before your desired activity.
  • Train at least four-five days per week.
  • Try to make it fun.
  • Mix it up (for example, running five miles a day five days a week for six months isn’t necessarily the answer).
  • Maybe run five miles one day and the next day put on a 60 lb. pack and do a hike with a lot of ups and downs.
  • It helps to do activities in which you are on your feet for 12 + hours a day, work up to it.
  • It is very realistic that on some days it could take you 12 hours to go only a few linear miles (particularly summit day).
  • Make sure those legs are in good shape. These types of activities don’t require a lot of upper body strength. It is mostly cardiovascular and lower body intensive.
  • It is very important to be in good cardiovascular shape. Your lungs play a very important role in the acclimatization process.
  • Walk up and down hills, the steeper the better.
  • Run up and down hills, the steeper the better.
  • Walk or run up and down hills with a pack on of different weights, depending on how far along you are in the training.
  • Again, try to put in some 12 + hour days everyone in a while, especially with a heavier pack on.
  • Road or mountain biking, but try to include plenty of hill climbing, anything to get the respiration up.
  • The stair master is good, but I know that 1 1/2 hours on the stair master doesn’t come close to a day in the mountains with a heavy pack. Try to mimic reality.
  • If you have access to higher altitudes take advantage of it.
  • Playing sports is a great way to stay in shape, but again be sure to mix it up and put in some long days.
  • The more you do the easier the expedition will be for you, and the more enjoyable.
  • While the summit isn’t the only goal during an expedition, it is a big goal.
  • Everybody joining our expeditions will be starting their training program from a different point. If you have any questions about training or the expedition requirements contact any of our Guide staff.

The Polish Glacier Traverse Route

Starts 9 kilometers east of Penitentes with a four-day trek through the Vacas and Relinchos valley, where we can see flora and fauna including Andean flowers and condors, until reaching the Plaza Argentina base camp at 4,140m. After climbing up to the high camps 1 and 2, the latter situated at the foot of the glacier, the traverse crossing is made towards the west to Piedras Blancas at 6,000m. This is a very protected, clean, and peaceful high camp. Its access is also possible from Nido de Cóndores just before reaching the Berlin camp. From this camp, Piedras Blancas the final stretch is made to the summit at 6,959m. The descent is on the normal route to the Plaza de Mulas base camp and we go out through the Horcones valley, making this expedition a way to see more of the Aconcagua mountain. Regardless of the route, this is a high altitude and potentially extreme weather that challenge the climber ascending Aconcagua’s slopes. The reward for your dedication and hard work is standing on the summit of the highest point in the Western Hemisphere.

Food Service

MCA provides the highest standard of meals in the base camps and high altitude camps, far superior to the competition!

MCA provides food service with a Trained Chef at Plaza Argentina base camp. Our Chef-Manager at Plaza Argentina delights the clients with a balanced menu, one of the key points for the success on each expedition.

Our high altitude meals are delicious and energetic portions that allow easy and clean cooking at high camps. These portions take into consideration the specific high altitude activity and the weather and climate conditions that produce changes in one’s organism, aiding optimal nutrition and digestion.

MCA Camp Tents

MCA has double North Face VE-25 and VE-24 tents.

Gear Storage

MCA has a storage tent for storing expedition gear in Puerta del Inca and Plaza Argentina base camp for when expeditions are climbing on to higher camps.

Climb Requirements

For those interested in this route to reach the summit of the second “7 summits circuit peak”, our requirements are the same as for the Normal Route: excellent physical preparation, proper equipment, basic mountaineering skills, knowledge of winter camping, as well being prepared for a climb that will require perseverance, physical endurance, and patience.

We recommend that those considering this climb already have experience climbing up to at least 5,500 meters (18,100 ft).