Aconcagua Normal Route (6,962m)

Argentina

Summit the tallest mountain in South America - one of the seven summits.

Itinerary

Day 1: Meet the team

You'll check-in to your hotel in Mendoza, and have some time to relax. In the afternoon you'll meet the team and go through all the equipment for your expedition.

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After a relaxed start to the day, you'll head over to Penitentes-Puente del Inca where you'll obtain your mountain permits.

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After a hearty breakfast, you'll drive over to the entrance of the national park. From here, you'll make your way on foot to the Cofluencia Camp.

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Today you'll go on an acclimatization trek to the south side of Aconcagua. In the afternoon you'll return back to Confluencia at 3,300m.

Follow the Horcones Superior River today as you head towards your base camp at Plaza De Mulas. You'll pass Horcones Glacier along the way.

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It's time to give your body some time to acclimatize before moving higher. You'll spend the day learning axe and crampon skills.

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You'll get to your first summit today, as you head for Mt Bonete. This will give your body an opportunity to experience higher altitudes, before heading back down to base camp at 4,260m.

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You'll spend the morning hiking to Camp 1 - you'll carry food, fuel, and other supplies, which will be left there in preparation for your hike to higher altitudes over the following days. In the afternoon, you'll head back down to base camp at 4,260m.

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You'll make your way to higher altitudes today, as you prepare the camp for your summit ascent over the coming days. The porters will carry all the tents, first aid kits and garbage disposals. You'll be required to carry your personal equipment and any additional supplies you may need.

Today you'll have an opportunity to check your equipment and rest before heading up to higher altitudes.

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By now your body should be well acclimatised to the higher altitudes, and ready to edge closer to the summit of Aconcagua. You'll set up camp at Nido de Condores, where you'll stay for the next 3 nights.

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An important rest and acclimatisation day today, as doing so will greatly improve your chances of successfully reaching the summit. Read a book, play some cards or just soak in the views.

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Today is a great opportunity to move your cooking equipment up to camp 3, whilst allowing your body the opportunity to acclimatise to the higher altitudes. In the afternoon, you'll head back to camp 2 at 5,250m.

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You'll take all the camping equipment you need for your summit attempt and leave it there, before heading back down to camp 2 at 5,250m.

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It's the big day today. All your preparation has been leading to this. You'll start early in the morning with hot drinks and a good breakfast, before starting your hike along the weaving route. Traversing across the north face of Aconcagua, you'll reach a gully that leads up to the summit ridgeline. From here the route leads across the ridge for a few hundred meters before reaching the summit. In the afternoon, you'll make your way back down to camp 3 for dinner and a well-deserved rest.

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Carry the equipment from camp, you'll slowly make your way back down to base camp at Plaza de Mulas.

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Carrying just your daypack, you'll head back to the park gate before driving back to your hotel in Mendoza.

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After breakfast, you'll check out of your hotel. Airport transfer available for those heading home.

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Because of the nature of such an expedition, it is important to include a contingency day. The above itinerary is a guideline only. Although the guides will make every effort to adhere to this, it is likely that changes will need to be made, due to weather conditions or other unforeseen events. Please ensure you allow for this extra day when booking travel arrangements.

Because of the nature of such an expedition, it is important to include a contingency day. The above itinerary is a guideline only. Although the guides will make every effort to adhere to this, it is likely that changes will need to be made, due to weather conditions or other unforeseen events. Please ensure you allow for this extra day when booking travel arrangements.

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January 2022
Sun
9 Jan
12:00PM
Fri
28 Jan
12:00PM
$3,899

($519 deposit)

Based on$3,899 USD

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8 spaces

Sun
16 Jan
12:00PM
Fri
4 Feb
12:00PM
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8 spaces

Sun
23 Jan
12:00PM
Fri
11 Feb
12:00PM
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8 spaces

Sun
30 Jan
12:00PM
Fri
18 Feb
12:00PM
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Based on$3,899 USD

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8 spaces

Sun
6 Feb
12:00PM
Fri
25 Feb
12:00PM
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($519 deposit)

Based on$3,899 USD

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8 spaces

Sun
13 Feb
12:00PM
Fri
4 Mar
12:00PM
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($519 deposit)

Based on$3,899 USD

Book

8 spaces

FAQs

Included 

  • Guides
  • High altitude porters
  • Accommodation in Mendoza (4-star hotel)
  • Accommodation on the mountains (camping)
  • Accommodation in Penitentes (Mountain hut)
  • All acclimatisation treks
  • Transport during the trip
  • Assistance with obtaining a mountain permit
  • All food on the mountain
  • Tents and cooking equipment
  • Radio communication
  • Emergency equipment (including oxygen tube)
  • Certificate of achievement

Excluded 

  • International flights
  • Food in Mendoza
  • Mountain permit
  • Global Rescue and travel insurance
  • Visa (if applicable)  

Start: Your guide will meet you at the specified hotel in Mendoza, on day 1 of the itinerary. The team in Argentina will provide details of the hotel address around 5 to 10-days before your trip. 

End: Your trip will end on either day 18, 19 or day 20 at your hotel in Mendoza. This depends on whether the bad weather days are used. It is important that any international flights are booked from day 20 onwards. 

The amount you spend will very much depend on your spending habits and how many souvenirs and refreshments you may purchase. You'll also be required to purchase a climbing permit which differs in price from month to month. In 2020, the prices for the permits where as follows:

15th Dec - 31st Jan: $800

Any other time: $590

(PLEASE NOTE: 2021 and 2022 prices may differ and prices are confirmed by the national park around 2 days before). 

If you arrive back in Mendoza on the 18th day (and do not use the extra days), then you will be required to purchase the 2 extra nights in your accommodation in Mendoza. Hotel accommodation is $100 per person, per night for a 4-star hotel.  

Horcones / Confluencia

Estimated max altitude: 10890ft - 3300m

Estimated distance: 8 Km

Estimated time: 4 hours

Confluencia / Plaza Francia / Confluencia

Estimated altitude: 13200ft - 4000m

Estimated distance: 22 Km

Estimated time: 6 - 7 hours

Confluencia / Plaza de Mulas

Estimated max altitude: 14058ft - 4260m

Estimated distance Confuencia / Playa Ancha: 10 Km

Estimated distance Paya Ancha / Plaza de Mulas: 9 km

Estimated time: 7 - 10 hours

Plaza de Mulas

Short trekk to Horcones Glacier

Plaza de Mulas / Mt. Bonete Summit / Plaza de Mulas

Estimated max altitude: 16732ft - 5091m

Estimated distance: 16 Km

Estimated time: 7 - 8 hours

Start high altitude trek:

Plaza de Mulas / Camp 1 Plaza Canada / Plaza de Mulas

Acclimatization day1 on high altitude

Estimated max altitude: 16203ft - 4910m

Estimated distance: 7 Km

Estimated time: 5 - 6 hours

Plaza de Mulas

Resting Day

Plaza de Mulas / Camp 1 Plaza Canada

Moving day

Estimated max altitude: 16203ft - 4910m

Estimated distance Plaza de Mulas / Piedras Conway: 1 Km

Estimated distance Piedras Conway / Plaza Canada: 2 Km

Estimated time: 3 - 4 hours

Camp 1 Plaza Canada / Camp 2 Nido de Condores

Moving day

Estimated max altitude: 17325ft – 5250m

Estimated distance Plaza Canada / Cambio de pendiente: 2 Km

Estimated distance Cambio de pendiente / Nido de Condores: 1 Km

Estimated time: 4 - 5 hours

Camp 2 Nido de Condores / Camp 3 Colera / Camp 2

Acclimatization day2 on high altitude

Estimated max altitude: 20000ft - 6000m

Estimated distance: 4 Km

Estimated time: 5 - 6 hours

Camp 2 Nido de Condores / Camp 3 Colera

Moving day

Estimated max altitude: 20000ft - 6000m

Estimated distance: 2 Km

Estimated time: 3 - 4 hours

Camp 3 Colera / SUMMIT / Camp 3 Colera

Summit day

Estimated max altitude: 22834ft – 6962m

Estimated distance Colera / Independencia: 2 Km

Estimated distance Independencia / Summit: 2 Km

Estimated total distance on summit day: 7 Km

Estimated time: 7 - 11 hours

Camp 3 Colera / Plaza de Mulas

Estimated distance: 7 Km

Estimated time: 6 hours

Plaza de Mulas / Penitentes / Mendoza

Estimated distance: 26 Km (not physically demanding)

Estimated time: 7 - 8 hours 

Tipping in Argentina is not mandatory, but often expected. A good rule of thumb is anywhere from $150 - $300 which the guide will distribute to all involved. Of course, you can tip more or less if you prefer. 

The porters will carry tents, any rubbish, cooking equipment, fuel, first aid kit, oxygen tubes, toilet paper, and other equipment for the team.

You will carry some food during the acclimatisation treks, and your personal equipment when moving from one camp to another. The porters will not carry any personal belongings. 

If you would like to hire a porter for your personal belongings, then please speak directly to your guide or email Skyhook directly. 

Base Camp

All meals are served in dining tents and prepared for by specialised chefs. This is the regular menu:

Breakfast: coffee, tea, milk, chocolate, cereals, bread, ham, cheese, crackers, cookies, pudding.

Lunch & Dinner: different types of cream soup, meat in different preparations, chicken in different preparations, different types of dried pasta with sauce, rice with sauce, pizza, tuna, different types of salads, etc..

Dessert: Fresh fruit, mousse, pudding, sweet potato.

Altitude Camps

The guides prepare all the meals. Additionally, they are in charge of water production. The regular menu consists of:

Breakfast: coffee, tea, milk, chocolate, cereals, bread, ham, cheese, crackers, cookies, pudding.

Lunch & Dinner: different types of cream soup, different types of dried pasta with sauce, rice with sauce, tuna and different types of pre-cooked meals.

Dessert: chocolate, canned fruit, sweet potato.

The guides also include candy, different types of cookies, cereal bar, power gel, snacks, dried fruit, olives, etc.

City

Lunch and dinner is not included during your stay in the city. Breakfast is included at the hotel. 

Yes, just let the guides know when completing your participation form. Depending on the requirement, there may be an additional charge. 

The guides’ first aid kits include:

  • Oxygen
  • Oximeter
  • Basic medicines for altitude sickness (for legal reasons, they can be used under doctor's approval only)
  • Band-aids and gauze, and disinfectant for wounds. 

Aconcagua has a rescue patrol with doctors that take control if any medical situation occurs. The guides have never had any major medical problem in their 20 years of experience on Aconcagua. 

The guides can never guarantee the summit. There are a number of factors that could see you summit attempt cut short. This includes weather, medical issues, fitness, ability, or other eventualities. The guides will always put your safety first when on the mountain. 

If a person cannot continue ascending, one of the guides of the group climbs down with that person, and the rest of the group will continue ascending with the remaining guides. This is the process until there is only one guide left. 

If there is only one guide left, with two or more climbers and someone has to descend, then the group has to go down. For safety reasons, no one can be alone on the mountain without guiding assistance.

From base camp to the summit, the expeditions have an average of 7 climbers with 3 highly professional and experienced guides. The group size is a maximum of 12, with 4 guides.

All of the guides are highly skilled English speakers with AAGM or EPGAMT licensing and are legally authorised by the Park authorities. 

Mendoza city has one airport [MDZ]. 

There is also only one bus station (Terminal del Sol).

You'll head up the Normal route which does not present any technical difficulty; this means that you don´t require any previous climbing experience on rocks or ice. This route may be hiked, just by walking. You may have to use crampons and fixed ropes for your security, depending on the conditions of the route. The guides are going to be the ones that will make the decision about this on the day. The route may be dry or may have a solid covering of snow and ice. Hikers should have prior experience climbing to around 6000m before attempting Aconcagua. Previous experience of camping, as well as carrying loads of 10-12kg, would be an advantage. 

The summit day is long, ascending (from 5,950m at high camp to the 6,962m summit). This could take 7-10 hours to ascend and 2-4 hours to descend. You should make sure you are fit and used to long mountain days. 

While the itineraries are designed to allow for adequate acclimatisation you are likely to feel the effects of altitude sickness and oxygen deprivation whilst on this trek. Please be aware that your guide may deem it unsafe for you to continue trekking at any time, and arrange for you to descend to a lower altitude. 

When you go above altitudes of 2,500m, you need to allow your body time to acclimatise properly. When you are at altitude, you enter a lower oxygen environment. All relevant itineraries are designed to ensure that this process is met.  

So, what does this mean? This may mean that you may need to follow a longer route during the ascent phase to achieve the end goal. In this case, reaching Everest Base Camp. It may also mean that you must rest for a day or so at certain altitudes to ensure that our bodies
acclimatise properly to the change in environment. This will allow you to ascend safely and have a much more enjoyable experience. 

High altitude sickness can happen to anybody – old or young, in a good shape or not. Being in hurry in the mountains can be deadly. Your body can adjust to this altitude, but only if given enough time. If you find symptoms of altitude sickness, then you must descend at any cost. The symptoms are totally different from one person to other. Sometimes you might feel a headache, you may feel you need to throw up, your fingers may go slightly numb or you may start breathing heavy. If you have these kinds of symptoms you should stop at this height. Drinking lots of water can help you out.  

You are advised to move slowly, don’t rush and ensure you protect yourself from the weather.   

The team in Argentina will email you after booking, to say hello and welcome you. 

Around 1 week to 10 days before your trip, you'll also receive communication from the team, to advise on meeting places and useful information.

You are welcome to email the team with any specific queries you may have. This could include; kit recommendations, what to expect with the food etc. 

Feet

– 2 pairs of synthetic inner socks

– 4 pairs of thick socks for cold (ski type)

– 1 pair of comfortable trekking boots

– 1 pair of gaiters

Legs

– 1 pair of fine synthetic pants

– 1 pair of thick shelter pants

– 1 pair of rainproof pants

– 1 pair of comfortable long pants (trekking type)

Body

– 2 synthetic underwear shirts

– 1 turtleneck of synthetic material

– 1 fleece jacket of alike

– 1 shelter jacket (down or synthetical)

– 1 rainproof jacket

Head

– Sun cap or hat

– Shelter hat (wool or fleece)

– Light ski mask

– A good pair of sunglasses with UV filter and nose and side protection

– A pair of ski goggles

– A handkerchief for the neck

Hands

– 2 pairs of light inner gloves

– 2 pairs of rainproof gloves for shelter (mitten type)

– Wet towels

Expedition material

– Book or anything that helps to be entertained in the tent

– 1 Sunscreen

– Water bottles for three litres in total

– 6 pairs of hand warmers

– Sleeping mattress for high mountain

– Personal care elements

– Front lamp with extra batteries

– An stainless steel thermo of one litter or half a litter

– Personal crockery (Bowl, cup, fork and spoon)

– A synthetic or down sleeping bag for – 35 º C

Technical equipment:

– 1 comfortable backpack of 80 litres

– 1 Pair of double or triple boots for high mountain (suitable for 7,000m and – 40ºC temperature)

– Crampons

– Poles (optional)

– 1 helmet

Provided by Acomara Aconcagua Expeditions

Skyhook Adventure is an Authorised Agent of Acomara Aconcagua Expeditions. Please familiarise yourself with the Acomara Aconcagua Expeditions Terms & Conditions and Skyhook Adventure's Terms & Conditions.