• Acclimating at Camp 2, Aconcagua, Argentina Acclimating at Camp 2, Aconcagua, Argentina
  • Camp One to Camp Two, Cerro Aconcagua, Argentina Camp One to Camp Two, Cerro Aconcagua, Argentina
  • Polish Traverse Route, Base Camp, Aconcagua, Argentina Polish Traverse Route, Base Camp, Aconcagua, Argentina
  • The South Face, Aconcagua, Argentina The South Face, Aconcagua, Argentina

Climb the Sentinel of Stone: Cerro Aconcagua

Mt Aconcagua (or Cerro Aconcagua) is one of the Seven Summits, being the tallest mountain in South America (6,962m). It holds other records too: it's the tallest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere, the Western Hemisphere, and outside Asia. On paper, this is a mountain that demands respect.

The Routes

Like most mountains, the route to the summit is only limited by your imagination and ability. For Aconcagua, the constraints of your ability are pronounced by the altitude. While many refer to Aconcagua as an easy climb, they're typically referring to only two routes. There are many others that are far more difficult.

Aconcagua Routes

The two trekking routes are the Normal Route and the Polish Traverse. The latter shouldn't be confused with the Polish Glacier route, which involves difficult ice and rock climbing. The Polish Traverse is thought to be the more adventurous and less crowded of the two easier routes.

The Climb

Aconcagua is a relatively easy climb up the easier routes. In fact, it's more of a trek and is largely considered one of the world's tallest trekking peaks. However, the ease of the route belies the dangers of Aconcagua. At almost 7,000m, the altitude affects everyone, and leads to deaths every year.

Aconcagua Sunset

With sufficient preparation, Aconcagua gives fit trekkers a chance to experience high-altitude mountaineering. Depending on the weather during the winter season, the upper 1,000m can be covered with snow and demand the use of crampons. This provides experience for subsequent forays into the Himalaya.

Detail | Routes

These are the two most travelled routes to climb Aconcagua.

Normal Route

This is the easiest and most travelled route up the mountain. A two day walk (spending the night at Confluencia) will get you to the base camp of Plaza de Mules. From there, climbers climb to Camp 2, or Camp Canada, for acclimatisation. Space can be limited, so climbers often continue to Nido des Condores (much further and more exposed).

Camp 3, or Camp Berlin, is the next stop. This is the launch pad for the summit. It's technically easy, but the terrain is loose scree, which is very awkward and tiring. Many climbers have turned back at this stage. If you're lucky, there'll be a snow and ice cover allowing for crampons. As difficult as crampons may seem otherwise, they're a godsend when faced with scree.

Polish Traverse

This is the more adventurous of the easy routes up the mountain. The three-day trek to base camp crosses five rivers and a lot of loose rock. After base camp (Plaza Argentina), there's a glacier traverse to a scree slope leading to Camp 1.

The climb to Camp 2 involves a series of switchbacks that introduce climbers to the effects of high-altitude. Consistent steps are key to tackling the hard slog to Camp 2. Climbers head straight to the summit from here, meeting up with the Normal Route just below Independencia.

 

This is just an idea for a Trip that you can either Create with your own specific dates and requirements, or you can Find a Trip created by another traveller and join them on an adventure.

Vital Stats

Duration 10-20 days (avg)
When to go Nov - Feb
Alternative Period Jan - Jan
Highest Altitude 6,962 m
Cerro Aconcagua 22,841 ft
Required Training 3 months

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Travel Trivia

Which country has the most tourist arrivals?

Trivia: Which country has the most tourist arrivals?

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Countries

Latin America

Activities

  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking & Hiking
  • Altitude 4000m+