Want to Come And Climb Mount Aconcagua in December 2018 With Me? It’s South America’s Highest Mountain!
Since finishing my journey to every country in the world, I had heard that around 100 (and perhaps as many as 200) people have completed the same fête. Admittedly, many counted stepping over borders for an hour, or airport layovers etc, but still 200 is not an insignificant number.
So then I thought I need a new goal. A life of mediocrity is a life wasted. We need to challenge ourselves, right? So, along with planning to do the Marathon Des Sable in April 2019, I plan try summit Everest in April 2022, I’m not a climber so that’s going to be tough, I’m in no doubt about that. But I heard about 2,500 in total have summited Everest. How about the 7 summits though? The highest mountain on every continent, including Antarctica? Around 500 people or so. Add on the South Pole, and North Pole (where I had run a marathon earlier in the year) – around 50 people apparently. But….
How about all 7 Summits, North Pole, South Pole AND every country? None. Bingo.
So that was that. I’m going to try to be the first. Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa’s highest mountain), I had done already back in 2008 when I backpacked from Cape Town to Cairo overland. Mount Elbrus, I managed to summit earlier on in 2018 soon after somehow finishing 8th North Pole Marathon, so I am 2/7 down, and 1/2 pole complete. Long way to go, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. The mountains are only climbable in certain seasons, so although time, money and business don’t suit at all, the next window for Aconcagua was Winter 2018. So I’ve signed up, now anyone crazy enough to join me?
THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN IN THE WORLD, OUTSIDE THE HIMALAYAS! ANYONE WANT TO JOIN ME IN ARGENTINA THIS DECEMBER?
So that’s it, I’ve signed up. I’m doing it with one of my best friends, Anthony from ManVsClock.com, who climbed Elbrus with me back in April. We had such a great experience on Elbrus with our climbing company, ElbrusTours.ru, we were DELIGHTED to find out they also send teams to climb Aconcagua. Not only did we find them super safe, and trustworthy, they were also fun and a fair chunk cheaper than the American and Argentinian operators. So we immediately signed back up. So here are the details of our climb for anyone who wants to join the team!
DATES: Arrive in Mendoza Airport, Argentina on 29th November (or last minute, before midday on the 30th November)
COST: $3300 total for the 16 day climb (plus the $580 permit fee to climb the mountain. Ouch, I know. I have to pay it to!)
- If you just want to trek with us for 8/9 days to Aconcagua Base Camp, that’s possible too, let me know and I’ll ask them the price for that 🙂
HOW HARD IS IT TO CLIMB? The normal success rate for summiting Aconcagua is around 30% but with ElbrusTours.Ru, they have a 50+% success rate, and they’d go as far as to say if you’re stubborn, in decentish shape, respect the guides and humble, then 75%+ is conceivable. I’m planning to be all those things 2 months from now.
DO I NEED TO KNOW HOW TO CLIMB? No, it’s not a techincal climb. It’s a long, tough, hike. There’s very little snow/ice either, just the last day or 2. So it’s about being mentally strong enough, with just enough fitness to keep going despite the altitude. Not easy by any stretch, but not technical in terms of needing to know any climbing skills.
Slipping a disc in my back 7 weeks before the climb
A small side-note, I was due to start training this week but I had a minor disc slip in my lower spine which has delayed my training. Not good. I should be ok in another 10 days/2 weeks, which will give me 6 weeks of solid training. I plan to run 10km every morning and do HIIT classes each evening, so twice a day training is the plan. Give up alcohol for six weeks too and stock up on carbs, and protein. We can do it, we can do anything we put our minds too, so let’s get to it guys and girls. 3 months from now, I hope to write another post saying “I climbed the highest mountain in the world outside the Himalayas, and at that point in time, I was the highest person in the world at 6,962m!” That’s something worth striving for. See you in Argentina?
FULL ITINERARY AS FOLLOWS:
Day 1 (Nov 30): Mendoza (760 m) – Penitentes (2.725 m)
Arriving at the airport of Mendoza to 11.00 hours. transfer from the airport to the city. On this day, you will receive permits to climb the Mt. Aconcagua. In addition, our representative will inspect your mountain gear and, if necessary, will help you to rent the missing things. Evening transfer to Penitentes. The goods will be distributed and the mules prepared for the next transition that evening. Overnight at hotel or apartments in Penitentes (dinner).
Day 2: Penitentes – Confluencia (3.300 m)
The group will be driven by car to the entrance to the national Park. The transition to Confluencia camp (Confluencia) will begin after verification of your permits. The gear will be carried by mules. Part of the equipment will be delivered to camp Confluencia, and other – directly to the camp Plaza de Mulas, where you will find it in our camp after 2 days. Upon arrival we camp and can relax (Breakfast, lunchbox, dinner).
Day 3: Confluencia – Plaza Francia (4.000 m) – Confluencia
Ascent to the Plaza Francia (Plaza Francia), the foot of the southern wall of the Aconcagua mountain. Here we will have lunch with scenic mountain views. Then return to the camp Confluencia. This hike is an important part of the acclimatization process. If all group members have acclimatization at altitudes up to 5000 meters (for example, after Mt. Elbrus or Kilimanjaro) – you can reduce the day and at once leave for the camp Plaza de Mulas (Plaza de Mulas) and spend the night there.
Day 4: Confluencia – Plaza de Mulas (4.400 m)
The hike to the base camp Plaza de Mulas (Plaza de Mulas) takes about 8 hours. Overnight at the camp equipped with all necessary amenities.
Day 5: Acclimatization hike in the surrounding area.
Preparation of loads for the carrying on the next day. Overnight at the base camp.
Day 6: Plaza de Mulas – Camp 1 “Canadá” (4.950 m).
After 3 hours we reach the 1-st camp. Lunch, installation of tents. Here already can appear some symptoms of altitude sickness.
Day 7: Camp 1 “Canadá” – Camp 2 “Nido de Cóndores” (5.590 m).
The move to Camp 2, which will take 4 hours. Installation of tents, rest.
Day 8: Camp 2 “Nido de Condores” – Plaza de Mulas.
Descent down to rest. Leave the tent at Camp 2.
Day 9: Camp Plaza de Mulas. A day of rest.
Day 10: Ascent to the camp 2 “Nido de Cóndores” (5.590 m).
Day 11: Ascent to the camp 3 “Colera” (6.000 m).
Ascent to the Camp 3. Early retire before climbing.
Day 12: Camp 3 – summit of Aconcagua (6.962 m) – Camp 3 (or Camp 2 or Camp 1).
The ascent to the summit and return to Camp 3. Beautiful day! Up early, Breakfast and start climbing. You will climb the top, where you will experience unforgettable emotions, and come back down. This evening you’ll sleep with the feeling of satisfaction from achieving the goal.
Day 13: Reserve day in case of bad weather the previous day.
Day 14: Reserve day. Descent to base camp Plaza de Mulas. Free day to exchange impressions of the expedition.
Day 15: Plaza de Mulas – Penitentes – Mendoza.
Descent to Puente del Inca – the last hike in this expedition. Your belongings will be carried by mules. You bring only a light backpack with a jacket and a snack. Transfer from Penitentes to Mendoza. Accommodation in hotel or apartment.
Day 16 (Dec15): Mendoza. Breakfast. Transfer to airport.
- Airport transfers to/ from Mendoza
- Hotel accommodations BB in Mendoza for one night after climbing according itinerary (twin or triple room)
- Private transfer to and from Pentitentes and Park Gate
- Hotel accommodations BB in Penitentes in tourist class hotel or in apartments
- Hot delicious meals and tents at BC and at Confluencia
- All meals on the mountain
- Group climbing equipment
- Camping equipment, such as tents, stoves etc.
- Mules for group and personal gear (25 kg/45 pounds, personal) to and from BC
- English speaking guide (1 guide for 5 clients, in summit day – for 2-3 clients)
Price does not include
- Wire transfer fee (if applicable)
- Argentina visa fee (if applicable)
- International round-trip airfare to/from Mendoza
- Climbing permit fee (from $580)
- Single room supplement (Hotels only)
- Some supplemental snacks such as candy bars
- Hot bath and internet in BC
- Additional hotels, meals & transportation should the climb end early
- All fees for early departure from team
- Personal gear