ACONCAGUA CME 2023
This accredited curriculum’s highlights include pathophysiology, treatment, and prioritization of care for a variety of medical problems commonly encountered in wilderness environments and settings remote from hospital/ definitive care. Physicians and allied health care providers who counsel patients traveling to remote areas will be interested in the topics covered during this unique CME event
An offering of Wilderness Medical Society. Logistics and guiding by Andes Mountain Guides
We start our trip at Mendoza, famous for its wines and culture before getting up to the mountains. Later we get to the winding path of the Ruta 7, which connects Argentina with Chile, making our first stop at Penitentes, an old ski village where we prepare the loads for the mules and start our acclimatization process.
From here we begin our trek that will take us to witness the impressive South Face and later to Plaza de Mulas, our base camp. After summiting Cerro Bonete at 5000 meters we start moving up slowly though several camps on the northeast flank of the mountain until attempting Aconcagua’s top.
While not a technically demanding climb, Aconcagua’s Normal route is a true mountaineering classic offering a great challenge to climbers getting into high altitude.
From the fist day until we depart to the highest camps, we have daily CME lectures, adapted to the convenience of the logistics and the flow of the expedition.
- LOCATION: Aconcagua Park, Mendoza, Argentina
- 2022 DATES: January 4th to Jan 21st
- $6,500 Including (16 hours AMA/PRA Category 1 CME credits)
- Additional Non-Physician Wilderness Medical Education: $500.00 (Wilderness Education Diploma from AMG)
- DIFFICULTY: Non-technical ascent. 4 to 12 hours hikes
- DURATION: 18 days
CLIENT/GUIDE RATIO: 3:1
Physicians and allied health care providers who counsel patients traveling to remote areas will be interested in the topics covered during this unique CME event. Curriculum includes altitude safety, altitude risk reduction, recent recommendations on altitude-related illnesses prophylaxis, rescue strategies and ethics, as well as real Everest war stories- uncovering what it really takes to deliver health care in the high mountain environment. This will be achieved through didactic lectures, small-group discussions and hands-on training.
Aconcagua is the highest point on the American continent and the tallest peak in the world outside of Asia. Rising approximately 4,000 ft above its surrounding peaks, Aconcagua, “The Stone Sentinel”, dominates the rugged Andean landscape. The ascent to its summit offers spectacular views of the Andes mountain range.
Following the Horcones Glacier, we’ll attempt the summit on the northeast aspect of the mountain, on the classic original route, first getting to the top of Cerro Bonete (5100 mts).
Climbing one of the 7 summits while attending this CME conference makes Aconcagua an unforgettable experience.
FLIGHT TO MENDOZA. You should arrange your flight in order to arrive in Santiago (Chile) or Buenos Aires in the morning and connect to Mendoza the same day.
MENDOZA (2,428 ft). We’ll be waiting for you at the airport and then we’ll drive to the Hotel. After an introductory meeting the guides will check all of your gear and we’ll be ready for a welcome dinner in one of the best restaurants in town. D.
CME, 2 hours
Planning for expedition medics: common expedition problems, treatment and evacuation strategies.
BACKCOUNTRY MEDICAL KITS
Detailed discussion of medical supplies needed in remote environments.
Penitentes. At Ayelen Hotel, we start our acclimatization and arrange the loads for the mules. B, RL, D
CME, 2 hours
ADVANCES IN PREVENTION AND TREATMENT OF ACUTE MOUNTAIN SICKNESS (4 Hours)
Pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of altitude illness
ASSESSING THE UNWELL AND RETURNED TRAVELER
Assessing the unwell traveler, Diagnosis of febrile traveler and returned traveler, Laboratory testing and patient history
CONFLUENCIA. We’ll drive to the entrance of the Park and after check-in and a meeting with the park ranger we’ll hike about 3 hours to Confluencia Camp (11,010 ft). B, LB, D.
CME, 2 hours
Treatment and avoidance of avalanches
BACKCOUNTRY PODIATRY AND GENERAL FOOT CARE DURING AN EXPEDITION
Treatment and avoidance of trench foot and other common foot problems during and expedition
SOUTH FACE LOOKOUT. After a 3-4 hour hike, we’ll reach the lookout of the impressive South Face of Aconcagua (13,400 ft). Return to Confluencia Camp. B, LB, D.
CME, 1 hours
FROSTBITE AND OTHER COLD INJURIES
Pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of cold injury
PLAZA DE MULAS. We’ll hike for about 6-8 hours to Plaza de Mulas base camp
(14,300 ft) crossing “Playa Ancha” and then climbing “Cuesta Brava”. After avviving to base camp, we’ll just get confortable and relax after a long hike. B, LB, D.
REST DAY. We’ll just relax and enjoy the surrounds. Plaza de Mulas is a quite interesting place to hang out, with its international atmosphere and little town feeling. B, L, D.
CME, 3 hours
MANAGEMENT OF FRACTURES & DISLOCATIONS
Diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic injuries in the backcountry
LIGHTNING: PREVENTION AND INJURIES
Prevention/avoidance. Epidemiology, pathophysiology, evaluation, treatment
ACONCAGUA REAL CASES: The local basecamp ER Doctor will present relevant expedition emergancy cases.
CERRO BONETE. We’ll attempt our first summit Cerro Bonete (16,500 feet). This will be a great chance to test our overall fitness, refine our hiking skills and check out our gear. From the its summit we’ll have a superb view of the entire Aconcagua normal route. 5/6 hours roundtrip. We’ll return to Plaza de Mulas. B, LB, D.
CME, 3 hours
SIMULATED MOUNTAIN RESCUE
Andes Mountain Guides will demonstrate “packaging” a patient on the mountain, transportation techniques, and rigging for raising and lowering
BACKCOUNTRY WATERBORNE ILLNESSES and WATER DISINFECTION
How to disinfect surface water effectively. Participants may have the opportunity to test different water treatment devices and learn about chemical and natural water disinfection techniques. Discussion of giardiasis and other diseases contracted by ingestion of microorganisms commonly found in wilderness water sources
REST DAY. We rest and do the last gear check before moving up to the high camps. B, LB, D.
CME, 3 hours
PAIN MANAGEMENT IN REMOTE AREAS
How to manage pain in wilderness austere, and operational environments without many resources. What medications should be carried by expedition and operational medics
HYPOTHERMIA: CLOTHING SELECTION FOR WILDERNESS SURVIVAL
Pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of hypothermia emergencies that may occur in an urban or wilderness environment. Clothing selection and use to prevent a hypothermia emergency
SOLAR INJURIES. Diagnosis, treatment and prevention of solar injuries, specifically those related with skin and eyes.
CANADA CAMP. We’ll climb back to Canada Camp where we’ll set up our camp with the help of our porters. B, LB, D
NIDO DE CONDORES. We’ll climb for 5-6 hours to reach camp, which is at 17,500 ft. From here we’ll be able to see one of the best sunsets ever! B, LB, D.
NIDO REST DAY. We’ll have a full rest day and get ready for the next push. B, LB, D
COLERA CAMP. We’ll climb for 3-5 hours to reach our high camp at 19,600 ft and get prepared for summit day. B, LB, D.
ACONCAGUA SUMMIT (22,841 ft). We’ll begin climbing early in the morning and make our summit push. After reaching Independencia shelter at 21,476 ft and crossing the “big traverse” we’ll start climbing the groove “Canaleta”. After this strenuous section we’ll traverse the Guanaco’s ridge, which will take us straight to the highest point in the Western Hemisphere. After some time on the summit for pictures and celebration we will begin our decent back to camp. 10-13 hours roundtrip. B, LB, D.
EXTRA DAY. We have include an extra day in case of inclement weather or for further acclimatization if needed. B, LB, D.
PLAZA DE MULAS. We’ll wake up late and hike down to base camp, where we’ll arrive for lunch. In the evening we’ll prepare the mule’s to go down. B, LB, D.
PARK ENTRANCE/PENITENTES. We’ll put on our hiking shoes again and go all the way down to the Park entrance and then to our hotel in Penitentes where we’ll spend the night. Coditions permitting, we’ll have the option of taking a 20 minutes helicopter ride all the way down (optional). B, LB, D.
MENDOZA. After breakfast we’ll drive to Mendoza and check-in to our hotel, then have a free afternoon to do some shopping and walk Mendoza’s streets. In the evening we have our last dinner together and celebrate our climb. B, D.
FLIGHT BACK HOME. Transfer to the airport. End of the program. B.
FULL DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of The Wilderness Medical Society and Andes Mountain Guides. The Wilderness Medical Society is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
The Wilderness Medical Society designates this educational activity for a maximum of 16 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits TM. Each physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.