Aconcagua - The Sentinel of Stone

Aconcagua

Aconcagua, “The Sentinel of Stone” is the highest peak outside of the Himalaya. Located in Western Argentina - the heart of the Central Andes, it is South America’s highest peak and one of the much sought after "Seven Summits".

While it is a very physical climb, it is one of the more achievable Seven Summits. An ascent of this eminent Andean Peak is a perfect choice for those wishing to experience high-altitude expedition mountaineering and is often undertaken as a preparation climb for the big mountains in the Himalaya.

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Difficulty Level Medium ?
Fitness Level High ?
Duration 20 days
Elevation 6,962M / 22,841FT
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Accilmatisation hike at Penitentes - Pablo Kuntz

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Aconcagua sunset from Plaza de Mulas

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A superb day to summit - Roy Wells

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Gauchos transport equipment and supplies to Base Camp - Suze Kelly

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Celebrations on the summit of Aconcagua

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All smiles high on Aconcagua

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Camp Three on Aconcagua

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Successful summitteers on descent

From Nov 29 to Dec 18, 2018
Departs from Mendoza, Argentina
$5,600 USD $
From Jan 03 to Jan 22, 2019
Departs from Mendoza, Argentina
$5,600 USD $
  • Overview

    • The scenic '360' route traverses the mountain
    • Ideal preparation for Himalayan high-altitude climbing
    • Porter support included
    • Realistic proven timeframe for the ascent and acclimatisation through better leadership and logistics


    Aconcagua is the highest peak outside of the Himalaya and highest in South America. It is located in Western Argentina in the heart of the Central Andes. While it is a very physical climb, it is one of the more achievable Seven Summits. The lessons gained about how you perform and the skills taught by the guides will establish robust guidelines for any future aspirations you have at high altitude.

    Adventure Consultants offers high-quality expeditions to Aconcagua and we achieve a superior success rate due to our logistical approach and our understanding of acclimatisation techniques for climbing at high altitude. We have factored in the ideal number of days for the trip to encourage adequate acclimatisation and a realistic timeframe to achieve summit success. Our guides are seasoned veterans who are focused on encouraging you to achieve the maximum satisfaction and learning from this ascent.

    We climb Aconcagua via the 360 traverse route as it is less visited and features the best camp sites. By traversing Aconcagua you will also get to see both sides of the mountain and complete a circular journey.

    Check out our 26 day Aconcagua Course and Ascent programme which allows more time to learn high altitude climbing skills and for acclimatisation before the summit attempt.

  • Why AC?

    The Adventure Consultants Aconcagua expedition provides the very best opportunity for you to climb this lofty mountain in an environment that is properly managed to give you the best chance to succeed in safety and relative comfort.

    You will benefit from our many years of experience on this and other high mountains across the globe and our very qualified guides will offer you an experience that is not being offered by any other expedition provider on Aconcagua.

    We have refined our program over the years developing what we believe is the best acclimatisation strategy and the most appropriate climbing route with the least people on it. We have more days available than most programs that often fail due to bad weather on the only available summit day. Our climbing route traverses over the mountain making best use of the time available and allowing for a faster exit via the shorter Horcones valley whilst giving us the opportunity to appreciate the relative remoteness of the Vacas valley on the approach.

    Unlike the majority of the operators on Aconcagua, we provide a client-focused expedition that is geared towards giving you the maximum opportunity at succeeding on this peak. Our success rate is an indication of the emphasis we place on your wellbeing and a successful outcome for you.

    We believe the ascent should be made in the best style possible, a philosophy that has seen us help our expedition members achieve many successful ascents and promoted our reputation in the arena of high altitude expedition guiding.

  • Payment Conditions

    Inclusions

    The price of your trip includes the following:

    • Adventure Consultants mountain guides
    • All expedition organisational requirements
    • Airport transfers if arriving on scheduled arrival date
    • All land transport within Argentina ex Mendoza
    • 2 nights accommodation in Mendoza (twin-share) on days 1, 19
    • Hotel and meals at Penitentes (shared occupancy) on days 3,4
    • All trek and expedition food ex Penitentes
    • Group Equipment: ropes, tents, stoves, cookware etc. and all supplies necessary to make a safe and strong bid for the summit
    • Mule supported trek to Base Camp (maximum 25kg per person)
    • Porter support for all group equipment and waste
    • Regular written and photo internet dispatches for families and friends to follow your progress


    Exclusions

    The price of your trip does not include:

    • Personal clothing and equipment
    • Additional nights accommodation in Mendoza at the start and end of the expedition (arrive earlier than day 1 if you need more time to purchase/rent equipment)
    • Hotel and meals at Penitentes at end of trip if the team elect to stay here rather than return to Mendoza
    • Climbing permit fees. Permit fees are subject to change and the peso equivalent varies depending on the official exchange rate on the day.
    • Personal travel insurance / trip cancellation insurance / medical evacuation insurance
    • Meals and personal expenses in Mendoza
    • Return flights to Mendoza
    • Excess equipment over the 25kg per person
    • Any costs associated with an early departure from the expedition
    • Accommodation in Mendoza should the expedition return prior to the scheduled date
    • Gratuities to guides and local staff

    Account Information

    All payments should be made by bank transfer to the following bank and account:

    Bank of New Zealand
    Offshore Branch
    1 Willis Street
    Wellington
    New Zealand

    for the account of Adventure Consultants Limited

    Account # 1000-594771-0000
    Account Type: US Dollars
    Swift Address: BKNZNZ22

    Note: All bank transfer charges are for the remitters account.

    We can also accept your deposit and balance payment by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex), plus a 3% credit card payment fee.

    Deposit

    A non-refundable deposit of US$500 is payable to secure a place on the expedition.

    Balance

    The balance is payable 90 days prior to the expedition start date.

    Cancellation & Refund Policy

    • Cancellations outside of 90 days will result in the loss of trip deposit.
    • For cancellations made within 89-60 days of the trip commencement date we reserve the right to retain 50% of the balance payment fee.
    • For cancellations within 59 days of the departure date a cancellation fee of 100% of the full fee applies.


    Trip Cancellation Insurance

    Team members should take out private insurance if they wish to be covered against cancellation due to medical or personal reasons. This is called Trip Cancellation Insurance and can be obtained from your normal travel agent.

     

    Climbing permit fees - US$730 for Trip #1 and the Course and Ascent. Trip #2 which falls in the high season is US$950. Permit fees are payable in Argentine Pesos at the National Park Service office in Mendoza prior to departing for Penitentes. Permit fees are subject to change and the peso equivalent varies depending on the official exchange rate on the day.

  • Trip Notes

    AconcaguaThe Expedition Trip Notes provide detailed information and background for Adventure Consultants' Aconcagua Expeditions. You can view the trip notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the following link:

    Aconcagua Expedition Trip Notes

    The Membership

    The team will have a maximum size of 12 members and 3 guides.

    You will find the Adventure Consultants’ mountain guides companionable and strong expedition leaders with considerable power and willingness to see you achieve your goals. The number of guides is determined by the team size but the normal ratio of guides to members is 1:4 for the Vacas Valley route.

    Our Guides

    Your expedition leader is scheduled approximately six months out from the trip start. All of our Seven Summits trip leaders have extensive experience at high altitude and a proven record of safety, success and compatibility. Many of our Aconcagua expeditions are led by Luciano Badino.

    Pablo KuntzPablo Kuntz
    Expedition Leader Trip #1 and Vinson Add On, 2018

    Pablo has been working as a mountain guide for over ten years, specialising in high-altitude expeditions in South America. He speaks several languages and has guided on over 30 Aconcagua ascents!

    Ang Dorjee Ev09 webAng Dorjee Sherpa
    Expedition Leader Trip #2, 2018

    Summiting Everest initially with Adventure Consultants in 1992, Ang Dorjee has moved on to achieve 19 summits of Everest and 28 ascents of 8000m peaks! His skills as a climber are legendary. This year Ang Dorjee is leading our Aconcagua #2 Expedition, on what will be his fourth expedition to the mountain.​

    Pablo GurrieriPablo Gurrieri
    Expedition Guide Trip #2 and Leader Course & Ascent, 2018

    Pablo is both a mountain guide and an Argentinean Sport climbing champion. He has a vast amount of experience having guided in the Andes for over seven years and is renowned for his sense of humour, ensuring your expedition is both safe and enjoyable.

    Head Office Support Team

    Running successful journeys and expeditions is more about experience, knowledge and strategic management than any other factors. As an organisation, we place a substantial amount of time and resources into ensuring our trips are well planned and supported. You can be assured that the AC staff will provide you with friendly advice and knowledgeable support throughout the planning stages of your trip and we will be there to provide backup while the trip is running.

    Hayley Furze Profile April 17Hayley Furze, Client Liaison

    Hayley joins the AC team with a wealth of experience working in the tourism and hospitality industry along with a love of travel. She works as Client Liaison on a number of our South American expeditions and Himalayan treks.


     

    AC Team 2016 Landscape

    Your Health

    Expedition members will be provided with pre-trip medical advice and a medical questionnaire and asked to visit their family physician and receive a full medical examination. This information will be sighted only by the expedition leader and our medical adviser and treated with full confidentiality.

    Level of Experience Required

    Climbing to a summit that is almost 7,000 metres in elevation is an extreme undertaking. The ascent of Aconcagua is a very physically demanding objective that is frequently underestimated due to the incorrect assumption that because the climb is not technically difficult it is not extremely physically challenging. Climbers on Aconcagua must be prepared to endure an environment that can be potentially life-threatening; you may encounter extreme weather conditions including cold temperatures and very high winds, as well as the effects of extreme altitude. We suggest you prepare yourself physically and mentally for the Aconcagua expedition through a physical training program and mountain skills training.

    To climb Aconcagua you need to be physically fit, have strong mental stamina and be capable of strenuous exercise for several days duration. Expedition members can expect to be exerting themselves for about six hours per day and be capable of carrying a 15-20 kg pack. (although porter support is available – see Add Ons). To be successful you must train by carrying a heavy pack in mountainous terrain.

    Climbing at altitude affects people differently, most climbers notice a lower performance rate than normal. Our climbing days are mostly short to accommodate this and vital rest days are usually welcomed! Our graduated acclimatisation program allows you to progressively consolidate your fitness but you must arrive on the expedition in good health and with a good level of fitness. Summit day is the most physically demanding of the days and entails an 1100m or 3,500 ft ascent at altitude. This rewarding and photogenic day typically takes between twelve and fourteen hours.

    This expedition is suitable for people with general mountaineering skills. Comprehensive instruction in high altitude camping and climbing techniques will be passed on to you by your guides during the expedition.

    For those wishing to attempt the Polish Glacier a higher base skill is required. Please contact us to see if you have the appropriate experience. The route requires technical snow/ice climbing above 6000m.

    Importantly, participants should be in a positive frame of mind and be willing to operate as part of a team.

    Pre-Acclimatisation

    For those with extra time and/or the requirement to acclimatise prior to the Aconcagua climb we offer a pre-acclimatisation climb on Cerro el Plomo. This is an achievable 10 day trip, ex Santiago, which is led by one of our South American guides. A great way to acclimatise and enjoy the South American culture all in one go.

    Specific Training for Aconcagua

    In order for your Aconcagua expedition to be both more enjoyable and to increase your chance of summit success you should train for at least 3-4 months prior to your climb. Focus on pack carrying on steep and varied terrain, aiming to carry 5-10% more than the required pack weight of 25kg; so up to 28kg. If you do not live close to any significant elevation gain, train on a Stairmaster or treadmill, while wearing a pack, but also on varied terrain such as grass, gravel or hilly sand dunes for a more complete training outcome. You should also incorporate downhill training to increase your quad strength for the descent.

    Endurance training is also important as you will have to be able to climb, carrying a heavy pack for up to 6 hours on most days, and 10-14 hours on summit day.

    Add back-to-back pack carrying days in the 4-6 weeks prior to departure; either in the form of overnight backpacking or with the first day on stairs or in the gym, building up to the 1000m ascent required on summit day, and a second day of flatter, outdoor walking with a lighter pack.

    Interval training can help prepare your body for exertion at altitude –  please also see Fitness Training Programs.

    History

    The earliest historical link to Aconcagua comes from the discovery of fifteenth century Inca remains found at the altitude of 5300m. It is believed that the Incas climbed significantly higher than this on Aconcagua. In 1887 the lone Swiss guide Matthias Zurbriggen climbed the long scree slopes on the northwestern side of Aconcagua and was credited as the first person to summit. His companions had turned back because of high altitude sickness.

    Zurbriggen was already famous in Switzerland and New Zealand, where he had made numerous first ascents as well as the second ascent of Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain. The Polish Glacier was the second route to be pioneered on Aconcagua. The 1934 Polish Andes Expedition accomplished this first ascent in alpine style, a climb far ahead of its time.

    Food

    Our food on the expedition when trekking in and on the mountain is prepared by the guides and when in Base Camp is provided by the well trained Argentine cooks at Plaza Argentina and Plaza du Mulas. Please indicate any specific dietary requirements you may have on your application form. For special diets such as vegan and gluten/dairy free we will call you to discuss your needs and how this will work in the group cooking situation. If your dietary requirements are especially strict you are advised to bring a sufficient supply of your required food types with you to ensure you are provided for.

    Clothing & Equipment

    Expedition members will be sent a list detailing all necessary individual clothing and equipment to be provided. We will correspond with you prior to the trip to answer your queries and ensure you have met all the equipment requirements. Having the correct equipment is key to your performance on summit day and achieving success.

  • Itinerary

    Day   
    1 Arrive into Mendoza this morning, or the day prior
    2 Complete permitting process and drive to Penitentes
    3 Acclimatisation hike
    4 Trek to Pampa de Lenas
    5 Trek to Casa de Piedra
    6 Trek to Plaza Argentina (Base Camp)
    7 Rest day / Trek to Camp Colorado
    8 Carry to Camp 1
    9 Rest day
    10 Climb to Camp 1
    11 Carry to Camp 2
    12 Climb to Camp 2
    13 Carry to Camp 3 'Colera Camp'
    14 Climb to Camp 3 'Colera Camp'
    15 Summit day
    16 Contingency day
    17 Contingency day
    18 Descend to Plaza de Mulas (Base Camp)
    19 Trek to Puenta del Inca and drive to Mendoza
    20 Depart for home

    Around Mendoza

    We encourage you to arrive a day or two early if you need time to purchase or rent equipment, as well as to take the time to explore the charming city of Mendoza. Pavement cafes on the tree-lined streets create a pleasing environment to sample the region’s fine wines and experience the vibrant city atmosphere. Most people eat late and restaurants are full around midnight. Consider bringing some ‘smart casual’ clothes for dining out.

    If you find yourself lucky enough to have a few spare days in Mendoza, this vibrant city offers many activities allowing you to explore and enjoy the area. We suggest:

    • Travel around the surrounding wine growing area by bike or a classic Citroen 3CV.
    • Visit the infamous ‘Hill Of Glory’, the national monument found at the entry to the San Martin Park.
    • Raft the Mendoza River
    • Visit the town of Villavicencio and luxuriate in the natural hot springs.


    Trekking to Aconcagua Base Camp

    On day two of the trip after we have completed the permitting process, you will depart Mendoza and drive to Penitentes which takes about 4 hours. In Penitentes, we stay at a lodge in quad or triple-share rooms. Private rooms are available at an additional cost.

    We will spend two nights in Penitentes and we use the time here to go on an acclimatisation hike above the town.

    The following day, you will drive a short distance to Punta de Vacas, where the trek begins. We plan to arrive at Aconcagua Base Camp known as Plaza Argentina, 3 days later. Each day you will walk 4 - 7 hours at a casual pace. From this point, you will be staying in tents and eating meals mostly prepared by your guides.

    This is when expedition life starts to take shape. Camp needs to be set up; loads moved around and water collected, while friendships and personal characters start to emerge. The hustle and bustle of normal life are replaced by simple living and exciting new adventures each day.

    Once Base Camp (4,200m) is reached, there will be time set aside to organise the camp, get settled in and relax as well as acclimatising.

    After a day at Base Camp, it is time to embark on our acclimatisation plan on the mountain. The exact plan for making the ascent will vary depending on factors such as conditions and weather, member’s health, acclimatisation and general logistics on the mountain.

    • Carry to Camp 1, 4,900m. Return to Base Camp.
    • Rest day
    • Climb and stay night at Camp 1
    • Carry to Camp 2, Guanacos Camp, 5,500m. Return to Camp One.
    • Climb and stay the night at Camp 2, Guanacos Camp.
    • Carry to Camp 3, Camp Colera.
    • Climb and stay the night at Camp 3, Camp Colera.
    • Summit attempt. Descend to Camp Colera.
    • Descend to Plaza de Mulas Base Camp.
    • Trek to Puente del Inca and drive to Mendoza


    PLEASE NOTE: There is room for contingency days not shown above.

  • Add Ons

    Mendoza has a wealth of accommodation options and on our standard Aconcagua departure, we stay a mid-range hotel but if you feel you would like to upgrade, we can assist with booking alternative hotels.

    Although Porter support for group equipment is included in the expedition fee, many of our climbers elect to use porter support to assist in the carrying of their personal gear. There is the option to use porter support for only certain phases of the expedition, or just rid yourself of a few kilos to make your own pack weight more reasonable throughout

    Porters can usually be organised from Base Camp but if you would like to organise this service in advance please contact us.

    The Polish Glacier climb is a long and committing ascent at high altitude which is much coveted but rarely climbed! Adventure Consultants have established a strategy for focused and qualified climbers who are serious about the ascent allowing for the best possible opportunity to climb the route. If this sounds like you, please enquire with our office.

    Cerro El PlomoFor those with extra time and/or the requirement to acclimatise prior to the Aconcagua climb, this is an achievable 10 day trip, ex Santiago, which is led by one of our South American guides. A great way to acclimatise and enjoy the South American culture all in one go.

    Duration: 10 days
    Departure: ex Santiago, Chile
    Price(s): 1 person US$3800, 2+ US$2900 each

    Trip 1: Nov 20 - 29, 2017
    Trip 2: Dec 21 - 30, 2017
    Trip 3: Jan 20 - 29, 2018

    Click the image to view the trip notes online or the link to download a pdf:

    Cerro el Plomo Trip Notes

    Aconcagua Add On to VinsonCombine ascents of two Seven Summit peaks, Vinson Massif and Aconcagua in one trip.

    Dates: Jan 23 - Feb 10, 2018
    Duration: 19 days
    Departure: ex Mendoza, Argentina

    Price:US$9900 plus Vinson Massif fee, includes helicopter access and egress

    Click the image to view the trip notes online or the link to download a pdf:

    Aconcagua Add On Trip Notes

    Mendoza is renowned for its fantastic wine and is one of the leading wine areas of South America. Let us arrange a full day wine tour for you after your expedition. It is a fantastic way to celebrate a successful trip and an excellent opportunity to buy some great gifts for your friends back home.

  • Travel & Rescue Insurance

    Adventure Consultants recommends the following travel insurance and rescue insurance options, although this is only just a start! Once you book on a trip with AC, your Client Liaison will help you by sending through advice on your options;

    • Travel insurance
    • Trip interruption
    • Trip cancellation
    • Rescue / Evacuation / Medical insurance

    COVERMORE INSURANCE

    CoverMore LogoIndulge your spirit of adventure, but protect yourself against all of those unforeseen events that can occur prior to or whilst on your trip with Adventure Consultants. Together with CoverMore Insurance, Adventure Consultants are now offering advice and assistance in purchasing CoverMore policies. With quality travel insurance cover, comes peace of mind and the freedom to venture around the world with confidence, in the knowledge that you will have the support and assistance of CoverMore, if you need it.

    Adventure Consultants highly recommends the Options Plan as this gives you the highest level of cover and benefits available. This includes cover for trip cancellation and amendment which protects your travel investment, medical and dental emergencies, lost luggage/personal belongings and travel delay, amongst other things.

    You can tailor your cover further by adding on winter sports, annual multi-trip cover, scooter riding and working holidays to name a few.

    Why CoverMore?

    • They provide cover where others won’t. e.g. terrorism scares, natural disasters, civil unrest and redundancy.
    • Protect your travel investment by choosing cancellation/interruption cover that meets your needs.
    • The option to increase your cover on valuable luggage items such as cameras and laptops.
    • Adventure Sports Cover for a variety of activities. Trekking is automatically covered, provided that reasonable care is taken, and you are not using ropes or other mountaineering equipment.
    • Free Global SIM card.
    • 24 hour emergency medical and travel assistance centre that is staffed by specialist doctors, nurses and case managers. This now includes the new Travel GP service, allowing you to talk in person to an Australia-based GP.


    Who and what trips is the policy suitable for?

    • Non-New Zealand residents travelling inbound to New Zealand – suitable for cover when travelling around New Zealand, but mountaineering or climbing is excluded.
    • New Zealander's travelling outbound on a trekking adventure e.g. Everest Base Camp Trek, Khumbu Trek, Kilimanjaro, Tour du Mont Blanc Trek and Mustang Horse Trek.


    For more information or assistance, please contact your Client Liaison at Adventure Consultants. Policies can also be purchased directly at CoverMore.

    RIPCORD RESCUE TRAVEL INSURANCE

    Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance Logo webRipCord is the leading medical evacuation program offering elite evacuation and rescue services. With their new partnership with TravelEx, they can also now provide the benefits of a traditional travel insurance product with their just released, RipCord Rescue Travel Insurance™. This is specifically designed for the adventure enthusiast with unique trip cancellation/interruption, medical expense, sporting equipment and other coverage benefits to protect your financial investment.

    RipCord is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, an elite team of special operations veterans, Stanford Medicine affiliate physicians, paramedics, nurses, former intelligence officers and other medical/security experts comprising the most experienced team in the industry. They will rescue you from the field wherever your emergency occurs and evacuate you to your home country hospital of choice.

    RipCord rescues you from the field if you have an emergent medical condition that will result in significant permanent injury and/or death, but does not require hospitalisation.

    Tusker Trail founder, Eddie Frank, describes his experience with Redpoint Resolutions’ RipCord Travel Protection:

    “We [Tusker Trail] only have one or two evacuations a year and they occur because of life-threatening emergencies. Emergencies that are immediate and now. There is zero room for hesitation or error. Redpoint Resolutions founders Ted Muhlner and Tom Bochnowski are two guys who understand commitment. When they say they’re going to do something, they do it. I chose their Ripcord Travel Protection program for my climbers and trekkers because Tom and Ted come from the military, where your word and your handshake mean everything. Tom Bochnowski joined me on our recent Kilimanjaro Climb for Valor. During this climb two of our climbers suffered high altitude emergencies. Tom worked hand in hand with me to ensure the successful helicopter evacuation of the two climbers. Redpoint’s Stanford Medicine-affiliated physician Avi Patil, who was also climbing with us, assisted me with critical medical decisions that helped prevent a bad outcome. The teamwork and the level of care and commitment provided to my climbers and me during these recent evacuations has only further cemented my team’s partnership with Redpoint and their RipCord Travel Protection program. After more than 39 years and 51 successful climbs, recommending RipCord for my climbers is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.” - Eddie Frank, Tusker Trail

    RipCord are proud to partner with Adventure Consultants to provide RipCord’s industry leading rescue, evacuation and travel insurance coverages to its clients.

    Check out their latest promotional video or click here to learn more.

    GLOBAL RESCUE MEMBERSHIP SERVICES

    Global Rescue SnipAdventure Consultants also recommends the rescue evacuation and security membership/services provided by Global Rescue, which provides transport from the point of illness/injury back to your home countries hospital of your choice. TotalCare provides real-time access to medical information and coming soon, this includes urgent card and speciality consultations from some of the world’s health physicians at the Elite Medical Group and John Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore.

    Recently Global Rescue has released a new travel insurance product, the Signature Travel Insurance option. This has no height limitation and gives comprehensive cover for trip cancellation/interruption, medical and dental expenses, delays, lost luggage as well as optional add-ons to ‘cancel or interrupt for any reason. This is currently only available to US Residents.

    Click here to find out more about this insurance cover which covers climbing and is thus suitable for many of our expeditions.

  • FAQ

    • Expedition Documentation

      Please note you will be emailed out a set of Team Reference Notes upon registration. This extensive booklet includes detailed information to assist in the planning of your trip; from travel and medical advice to equipment lists and photography tips. The following is to serve as a helpful guideline but please feel free to call or e-mail, if you have any further questions as our team are here to help!

    • The Climb

      What are the skills/prior experience required for this climb?
      We usually ask that members have had prior exposure to altitude and expedition life, i.e. trekking, camping and carrying a pack. Aconcagua is a challenging mountain and even more so if it is your first mountain experience. Check in with us regarding your previous experience and we can advise from there.

      Which program is best for me; the standard climb, or the Course & Ascent?
      If you have good general mountaineering skills, have spent nights camping above the snowline and have not had problems acclimatising to high altitude then you are well suited to the standard expedition program.

      If your expedition experience extends to only Kilimanjaro or Elbrus, your experience of ice axe and crampon use is limited, or you find that you take longer than others to acclimatise, then we highly recommend the Course & Ascent program.

      How difficult is the climb?
      Climbing to a summit that is almost 7,000 metres in elevation is an extreme undertaking. The ascent of Aconcagua is a very physically demanding objective that is frequently underestimated due to the incorrect assumption that because the climb is not technically difficult, it is not extremely physically challenging. Climbers on Aconcagua must be prepared to endure an environment that can be potentially life-threatening; you may encounter extreme weather conditions including cold temperatures and very high winds, as well as the effects of extreme altitude. We suggest you prepare yourself physically and mentally for the Aconcagua expedition through a physical training program and mountain skills training. Please contact us for advice on how to arrive prepared for an enjoyable experience throughout this rewarding ascent.

      How long is a typical day on the mountain?
      The days can vary from a few hours on the “acclimatisation” days, to 7-9 hours to move to camps and 10-14 hours on summit day.

      What is summit day like?
      Typically summit day is 10-14 hours long, covering a lot of non-technical ground. Unless it has recently stormed, the terrain will be rocky and mostly snow free, which is quite amazing given the altitude! Weather conditions can be surprisingly windy and cold as well, which is why Aconcagua is such a demanding peak to summit.

    • Food, Accommodation & Facilities

      What sort of hotels do we stay at in the city?
      We use as our base a great hotel near the heart of Mendoza called the NH Mendoza Cordillera Hotel. Room facilities include free Wi-Fi, safety deposit boxes, air-conditioning, ensuite bathrooms and the hotel even has an outdoor pool.

      Will I be sharing a tent or room with other climbers?
      Typically, we reserve you a single hotel room in Mendoza and then in twin-share rooms, once you leave Mendoza and start the expedition. We have a policy to book separate rooms for males and females, where twin-share hotel accommodation is included in your trip. On the mountain, you share a tent with another member or two. A single supplement is available.

      What kind of food do you have on the mountain?
      We work hard to make sure that our meal selections are tasty and varied. In addition to the good food that we supply and when at Base Camp, you can actually buy a hamburger and fries and a coke at some of the dining halls which are set up for the season. Once on the mountain, we typically focus on MRE’s (meals ready to eat) which is real food vacuum sealed and ready to eat and freeze-dried.

    • Travel

      What time should I arrive and where do I meet my guides?
      Before your expedition, you will receive a final details letter from us here in the office outlining where and when you will be meeting your guides. We encourage you to arrive a day or two earlier if you need time to purchase or rent equipment, as well as to take the time to explore the charming city of Mendoza. We endeavour to meet every climber off their flight, by either our guides or our local agency staff.

      Can I ride a mule out after the expedition? Can I ride one into Base Camp?
      We do not recommend riding a mule into Base Camp at the beginning of the expedition. The body needs to acclimatise and walking into Base Camp with a light daypack is the best way to achieve this. At the end of the expedition, there is an option to ride out. As fun as riding a mule may sound, it can be a somewhat uncomfortable experience with upwards of 5-7 hours in the saddle.

      Is it possible to tour the vineyards around Mendoza?
      Not only is it possible, it is recommended to make time to enjoy this Argentinean city! We suggest either arriving early or staying after your trip for this, don’t plan on doing a visit within the trip dates as you will be busy!

      What if I arrive early or depart late?
      We will be happy to assist you with additional hotel reservations if you arrive early or leave late.

      Are there any entry or visa requirements?
      It all depends on where you are from and we recommend that you check this with your travel agent, prior to departure.

    • Clothing & Equipment

      How heavy will my pack be?
      As porter support for group equipment is included in the expedition fee, you only need to carry your personal clothing and equipment. Depending on how efficient you are when selecting your gear, this will equate to a maximum of 15-20kg. On summit day, your pack weight will be significantly lighter at around 8kg.

    • Guides, Porters & Team Members

      I hear that you can hire porters at Base Camp to help with your pack, is this true and if so how does it work?
      Yes, you can, however, if you anticipate needing a porter we suggest that you contact our office for the current prices. We can then inform your guide who will assist with making the necessary arrangements. Rates vary from year to year and porters are strictly regulated by the park service. Please be beware that it gets more expensive the higher that they go and there is no guarantee that there will be one available for you, the day that you discover you want them.

      How many climbers will be on this expedition?
      Usually 6-8 members per expedition and occasionally, we have full expeditions with 12 people and 3 guides.

      Can I contact other climbers or guides for this expedition?
      Of course! Before the trip, please contact our office and we would be happy to pass on your contact details to the other team members.

      How much should I tip my guide staff?
      Tipping is a very personal thing so there is no right or wrong way to do it. It all depends on how much personal interaction and help you have received from your guide. If you feel that they have done a good job, give accordingly.

    • Health & Fitness

      This will be my first big altitude climb, how can I best prepare?
      Excellent question! Arriving fit and prepared for your climb is an essential key to a successful expedition. Here at Adventure Consultants, we have partnered with the experts at Uphill Athlete to create scientifically sound training plans designed by two professional coaches and leading mountaineers. Together we provide a range of training programs designed specifically for mountaineering at altitude, as well as one on one online coaching options. Check out our programs at Training Peaks or see our Fitness Training Programs page for more information.

      What is the conditioning level needed for this climb?
      You will enjoy your expedition more if you arrive in the best shape possible. Being able to go at a slow steady pace all day is important. How do you prepare for that? Please again refer above. Be sure to focus on cardio work and strength training for carrying a pack!

    • Communication & Electronic Devices

      What type of communication is available on the climb?
      Your guides will have satellite phones with them on the trip that you are welcome to use for a nominal fee. At Base Camp, there is also an email/internet service available so please contact the AC office for details.

    • Fees & Payments

      How much should I budget for this expedition? How much cash should I plan to bring?
      This can vary depending on how many gifts you plan on buying and wine tours that you plan to go on! Credit cards are widely accepted throughout Mendoza; however, once we leave the city cash only is usually the way it goes. So it depends on how many cheeseburgers you want at Base Camp! Typically you can get by with US$200-500. However, if you plan to use porters you will require significantly more than this, please contact our office for further details. The permit fee is also extra at US$582 for Trip #1 and #3 (the Course and Ascent) and US$800 for Trip #2 which is in high season and is payable at the National Park Service office in Mendoza prior to departing for Penitentes.

    • Photography

      I love the photographs in your brochure and on your website, are they for sale?
      Yes, our images are available for licensing or purchase.

      What is the best equipment for photography in Alpine environments?
      There is an extensive section in our reference notes, which are sent out on receipt of your trip registration form and deposit, explaining about photography in the mountains.

      Remember photos are wonderful records of your expedition but keep camera gear simple and light to best enjoy the trip you are on. Disposable and digital cameras are the lightest weight, but all cameras have maintenance issues that need to be carefully considered before bringing them to high elevations.

    • Employment

      I want to become a mountain guide, where do I start?
      Those with limited experience generally start by taking an alpine climbing course and then go out and climb for a few years. You generally should have at least 5 years of climbing and/or teaching/guiding experience. You need avalanche and medical training and then you can apply to do a NZ Mountain Guides Course or the equivalent in your country, aligned with the IFMGA. Check the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association web pages for a complete description.

  • Dispatches

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Acon cloudy

“Except for getting us to the summit in a splendid way, the most important thing for me was the way I learned to live in the moment. I will carry that with me for a long time. I learned so much about life and about myself, it went far beyond just reaching the summit. I am very grateful to our guides for that!”
Aconcagua Expedition

Mattias Larsson
Sweden
C1 hotel view

The guides were a lot of fun but totally dedicated, professional, passionate about the mountains and highly skilled. When things got difficult and hard they provided all the help needed and were totally devoted to our welfare and safety. I cannot speak highly enough of them.
Aconcagua Expedition.

Greg Glossop
New Zealand