ACONCAGUA NORMAL ROUTE
Aconcagua was first climbed in 1897, up the Northwest side of the mountain by Swiss Mountain Guide Matthias Zurbriggen. This route has become the most popular way to climb the mountain, and is known as the Ruta Normal or Normal Route
Climbing one of the 7 summits while living a true expedition experience makes Aconcagua an unforgettable mountain.
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.
- LOCATION: Aconcagua Park, Mendoza, Argentina
DEPARTURE DATES: January 5th- 24th 2020
PRICE: $ 4500
DIFICULTY: Non-technical ascent. 4 to 12 hours hikes
DURATION: 20 days
CLIENT/GUIDE RATIO: 3:1
“All the guides did a splendid job in organizing and adapting to every twist from lost baggage to frozen bathroom water. The technical teaching was exceptional and all the guides were helpful, kind, funny and responsive to each concerned voiced by the group.The bottom line is you guy are great and it was a pleasure to be part of the expedition…”
Dr. Scott Unice, Idaho, USA
“I may not have summited but I had an amazing adventure lead by some lovely people. Thanks!”
Dr. Lynne Tracey, London, UK.
FLIGHT TO MENDOZA. You should arrange your flight in order to arrive in Santiago (Chile) in the morning and connect to Mendoza the same day. It is much easier to fly through Santiago then Buenos Aires, but BA is still a viable option.
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.
USPALLATA. We’ll get up early and obtain the mandatory permits and then drive to Uspallata(8,860 ft) where we’ll arrange the loads for the mules. Night at the Hotel.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
ACTIVE REST DAY. This day we move to the closest glacier to practice crampon techniques, self arresting and pacing. We also do the last gear check before moving up to the high camps.
CANADA CAMP CARRY. We’ll climb for 3-4 hours from Base Camp to Canada Camp where we’ll stash some food, gear, and other supplies. If weather permits we will climb above higher towards Nido de Condores to help with our acclimatization process before we return to Base Camp. 4-6 hours roundtrip
REST DAY. We just relax at base camp and get packs ready before moving to high camps.
CANADA CAMP. We’ll climb back to Canada Camp where we’ll set up our camp with the help of our porters.
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!
NIDO REST DAY. We’ll have a full rest day and get ready for the next push.
COLERA CAMP. We’ll climb for 3-5 hours to reach our high camp at 19,600 ft and get prepared for summit day.
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.
EXTRA DAY. We have include an extra day in case of inclement weather or for further acclimatization if needed.
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.
PARK ENTRANCE/USPALLATA. We’ll put on our hiking shoes again and go all the way down to the Park entrance and then to our hotel in Upallata 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).
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.
FLIGHT BACK HOME. Transfer to the airport. End of the program.