A 360° scenic traverse

Aconcagua Course & Ascent

During the Aconcagua Course and Ascent programme, members will develop their high altitude mountaineering skills and put them to use; with the course culminating in climbing to the summit of Aconcagua, the highest peak outside of the Himalaya.

Located in Western Argentina in the heart of the Central Andes, it is South America’s highest peak (6,962m or 22,840ft), and one of the much sought after "Seven Summits".

We also have a shorter 20 day Aconcagua Expedition programme.

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Difficulty Level Medium ?
Fitness Level High ?
Duration 26 days
Elevation 6,962M / 22,841FT
Large view

Dawn over the Andes - Luciano Badino

Large view

Relax space at Aconcagua Base Camp - Pablo Kuntz

Large view

Views towards Aconcagua - Pablo Kuntz

Large view

Camp Cholera - Mark Austin

Large view

Climbing at dawn - Mark Austin

Large view

Gauchos transport equipment and supplies to Base Camp - Suze Kelly

From Jan 29 to Feb 23, 2019
Departs from Mendoza, Argentina
$6,990 USD $
  • Overview

    • Additional acclimatisation and instruction days
    • Enhanced summit success
    • Porter support included
    • Excellent preparation for Himalayan high-altitude climbing


    An ascent of this eminent Andean Peak is ideal for those wishing to experience high altitude expedition mountaineering and is often undertaken as a preparation climb for the big mountains in the Himalaya.

    Our 26 day Course and Ascent programme on Aconcagua allows a gradual and thorough introduction to high altitude climbing techniques from your guides. This begins with an acclimatisation climb on nearby Cerro Vallecitos, where your guides will deliver the appropriate instruction in mountaineering techniques, camp craft and managing yourself at high altitude, resulting in an enhanced summit success rate on Aconcagua.

    We also have a shorter 20 day Aconcagua Expedition programme.

  • Why AC?

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

    We have developed the Aconcagua Course & Ascent program to incorporate a more comprehensive acclimatisation strategy and additional instruction, so as to improve your chance of a successful summit on Aconcagua. In addition to our pre-acclimatisation and instructional period on Vallecitos, we have more days available on Aconcagua to allow extra contingency for weather and therefore higher chance for summit success. 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.

    Our point of difference among the majority of the operators on Aconcagua is that 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.

    Adventure Consultants is renowned for the quality of its service and strategy applied to high altitude expedition climbing. Our reputation is attributed to meticulous planning and experienced logistics coordination. We have a philosophy of investing in every expedition to offer our climbers the best possible chance of success.

    We employ strong and specialised Expedition leaders and staff, who are some of the most pre-eminent in the industry. We pride ourselves on operating with small teams, the best back-up and support available. This includes nutritious and ample quantities of food, comfortable Base Camp facilities, reliable communications systems and the necessary medical back up.

    Many of our expedition members come to us because they have seen us in action on a previous trip and decide to opt for our level of service and proven experience. Others return because they know we do our very best to make expeditions safe and successful.

  • Dates & Prices

    Aconcagua Course & Ascent Program

    Dates 2018/2019

    Trip 3: January 29 - February 23, 2019

    Pricing Schedule 2018/2019

    The cost of the Course & Ascent ex Mendoza, Argentina is US$6,990 per person

    Aconcagua Ascent Only

    Dates 2018/2019

    Trip 1: November 29 - December 18, 2018
    Trip 2: January 3 - 22, 2019

    Pricing Schedule 2018/2019

    The cost of the expedition ex Mendoza, Argentina is US$6,100 per person

    See Aconcagua Expedition for more information on the ascent only option.

  • Payment Conditions

    Inclusions

    The price of your trip includes the following:

    • Adventure Consultants mountain guides
    • All expedition organisational requirements
    • All land transport within Argentina ex Mendoza
    • 2 nights accommodation in Mendoza (twin-share) on days 1,25
    • Accommodation (shared occupancy) and meals in San Bernardo Hut on days 2, 3 and at Penitentes on days 8, 9
    • All trek and expedition food ex Mendoza
    • Group Equipment: ropes, tents, stoves, cookware etc. and all supplies necessary to make a safe and strong bid for the summit(s)
    • Mule supported trek to Base Camps (maximum 23kg 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 night's accommodation in Mendoza at the start and end of the expedition (arrive earlier than Day 1 if you need more time to purchase or rent equipment)
    • Hotel and meals at Penitentes at end of trip if the team elect to stay here rather than return to Mendoza
    • Aconcagua climbing permit fee, payable in Mendoza
    • Personal travel insurance / trip cancellation insurance / medical evacuation insurance
    • Meals and personal expenses in Mendoza
    • Return flights to Mendoza
    • Airport transfers
    • Excess equipment over the 23kg 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


    PLEASE NOTE: The operation of the expedition is subject to minimum team number requirements being met.

    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 remitter's account.

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

  • Course Notes

    Aconcagua Course and AscentThe Course Notes provide detailed information and background for Adventure Consultants' Aconcagua Course and Ascent.

    You can view the course notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the following link:

    Aconcagua Course and Ascent Course Notes

    Team Membership

    The team will be led by an Adventure Consultants Mountain Guide and have a maximum size of 12 members, three guides. The expedition will operate with a minimum of 6 members.

    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.

    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 to 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 25 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 and pre-climb on Vallecitos 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 1,100m or 3,500ft ascent at altitude. This rewarding and photogenic day typically takes between twelve and fourteen hours.

    The Aconcagua expedition is suitable for people with general mountaineering skills. If your prior mountain experience is limited or you find you need more time than others to acclimatise to high altitude, then the Course & Ascent provides additional acclimatisation and instruction during our pre-climb on Mt Vallecitos.

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

    Difficulty Rating

    Each of our trips is individually rated according to its physical and technical difficulty, displayed in the icons towards the top of each trip page. You can click on the accompanying question mark for additional descriptions and the full run-down of our grading system is available on our Difficulty Ratings page.

    Specific Training 

    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.

    See our Fitness Training Programs for information on how we can help you prepare for the expedition.

    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 de 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, sort equipment and ensure personal clothing/equipment is suitable

    2

    Complete permitting process and drive to Vallecitos, accommodation in San Bernardo Hut (2,800m)  

    3  

    Acclimatisation hike, accommodation in San Bernardo Hut

    4  

    Move to Piedra Grande Camp (3,580m)

    5  

    Move to El Salto Camp (4,200m)

    6  

    Rest day/acclimatisation hike

    7  

    Summit day for Mt. Vallecitos (5,440m), return to El Salto

    8  

    Trek out to San Bernardo Hut, drive to Pentientes

    9  

    Rest day in Penitentes, sort loads and prepare for trek to Base Camp

    10

    Trek to Pampa de Lenas

    11  

    Trek to Casa de Piedra

    12  

    Trek to Plaza Argentina (Base Camp) 

    13-15 

    Rest, gear preparation and camp carry

    16-22

    7 days for the climb to Aconcagua’s summit

    23

    Contingency day

    24

    Descend to Plaza de Mulas (Base Camp) 

    25

    Trek to Penitentes and drive to Mendoza

    26

    Depart for home

    To develop sufficient skills to ascend Aconcagua, South America’s highest peak:

    • Development of footwork, cramponing and snow climbing skills
    • Expedition camping skills
    • A training climb on Mt Vallecitos
    • An ascent of Aconcagua

    You will be taught basic snow climbing techniques that will prepare you for the ascent of Aconcagua. The training will focus on teaching good footwork by spending as much time as possible on similar slopes to what you would find on the climbing route up and down the mountain.

    • Footwork and mountain travel techniques
    • Basic snow climbing using crampons and ice axe
    • Pacing and acclimatisation practices
    • Expedition camping skills

    Training on Vallecitos

    The expedition begins and culminates in the charming Argentine city of Mendoza. Tree lined avenues, beautiful tiled plazas, lively markets and outdoor cafes with vibrant latin rhythms, offer a unique setting to sample the region’s fine cuisine and wine.

    We have time in Mendoza to finalise our equipment, though please arrive the day before day one if you have equipment to rent or purchase. We then travel by coach 95 kilometres to the Vallecitos ski field at 2,800m / 9,186ft where we stay two nights in the San Bernardo Hut enjoying day hikes around the area to aid our acclimatisation.

    We continue the ascent by trekking 4-5 hours through picturesque green meadows and up steep grass and scree slopes to an interim camp Piedra Grande Camp (3,580m). The following day we continue trekking for 3 hours through to our Base Camp known as El Salto. El Salto is situated at the base of the glacier (4,200m). We spend a further day here, acclimatising and reviewing skills for the next day’s summit attempt.

    The climb begins by following an easy path through open basins to a saddle from where we follow the ridge to the summit of Vallecitos. A short but exposed scramble leads to the summit itself. After celebrations and a photographic session which includes views to Aconcagua, we descend to El Salto for a well-earned meal and rest, before our trek out to Vallecitos.

    Trekking to Base Camp

    From here we drive to the town of Penitentes where we enjoy a shower and a rest day and prepare for the next phase of the expedition. Mule loads will be organised for the trek to Aconcagua Base Camp, while final gear preparations are completed.

    Approaching the Vacas Valley route involves a three day trek along the desert-like Vacas and Relinchos Valleys, which are distinguished by striking colourful rock formations and spectacular glaciers contrasting with the interspersed greenery. ‘Gauchos’, the ‘cowboys’ of the Argentine Pampa will lead mules carrying our equipment to the Base Camp at Plaza Argentina (4,200m / 13,800ft). During the trek we will be accompanied by the muleteers, enabling us to hike with lightweight daypacks and to be ferried across the Rio de las Vacas, if the waters are high.

    Climbing Plan

    Upon arriving at Plaza Argentina Base Camp, our sleeping tents will be established in rock windbreaks on the moraine of the Relinchos Glacier. We utilise a large heated and insulated dining tent, complete with sturdy flooring, and have excellent catered meals whilst at Base Camp. After dinner, we can relax in the comfortable lounge area to read or socialise with other members. There is power for charging devices, wi-fi and hot showers available free of charge. A valuable acclimatisation and organisation day will occur before we begin carrying and caching equipment to Camp 1 (4,700m/ 15,400ft) the following morning. We continue to ascend in a lightweight expedition style progressively establishing three camps over a seven to ten day period. Camps on the mountain are as comfortable as the conditions allow; we have a dining tent in Camp 1 and Camp 2 where meals of ‘real’ (not dried) food are prepared by your guides and at Camp 3 there is a large cook tent staffed by a dedicated guide who assists in preparing food and drinks and provides additional support to the group.

    The exact climbing itinerary is not fixed to allow for the optimal acclimatisation program and any inclement weather. The Aconcagua massif is often subject to very cold temperatures and storms that sweep in from the Pacific Ocean; 160km to the west. Hence your guide will be working around any forecasted weather systems to plan for the best summit program.

    Climbing at altitude is more arduous than at lower elevations due to the thinner atmosphere. Our experience at high altitude has enabled us to develop a successful strategy for climbing high peaks with sensible acclimatisation. Rest days will be interspersed between camp move days and load shuttling. The terrain during the majority of the ascent entails unroped travel over moraine, scree and permanent snow fields where the unique neve penitentes or ‘ice towers’ will be encountered.

    Summit day begins from Camp 3 and it is here we join the normal route from the Horcones Valley, which meanders up the ‘Canaleta’ and through to the summit. The ascent is never technical and conditions are varied; some seasons the route is completely free of snow, whereas other years see deep snow on this section so we must be prepared for all eventualities. Aconcagua is known for very cold weather high on the mountain. About 6-10 hours after leaving top camp we reach the summit and its splendid panoramas. It’s only a few hours back to the camp and a well-earned brew!

    Having completed the climb, we now descend in one day to Plaza de Mulas in the Horcones Valley for a good meal and rest at the comfortable Base Camp. The following morning we embark on the trek out down the valley and pass through Penitentes, to then return to Mendoza on the same day.

    To maximise safety and summit opportunities our schedule allows several contingency days. We operate with small groups to ensure individualised attention and further enhance our efficiency and safety. We place special emphasis on ensuring the highest standards in accommodation, transport, food, equipment and guiding expertise.

  • 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. Please contact us for further information.

    PorterMany of our climbers elect to use porter support for all or part of their Aconcagua expedition. There is the option to use porter support for only certain phases of the expedition, for example many of our climbers elect to have porter support on the move day to Camp 1 as this is one of the heaviest load carrying days, or just rid yourself of a few kilos to make your own pack weight more reasonable throughout

    We include some porter support already for carries of the expedition group gear, but the pack weights of up to 25kg are still realistic for the remainder of the loads to be carried by members.

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

    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, Cerro el Plomo 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$5200, 2+ US$3200 each

    Trip 1: Nov 20 - 29, 2018
    Trip 2: Dec 21 - 30, 2018
    Trip 3: Jan 20 - 29, 2019

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

    Cerro el Plomo Trip Notes

    Mendoza Wine Tour SKMendoza is renowned for its fantastic wine and is one of the leading wine areas of South America. Let us arrange a half or full day wine tour with a local company 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
    • Medical Evacuation and Rescue Insurance

    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.

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

    Adventure Consultants can also assist with purchasing polar cover for Antarctic expeditions and if interested in this, please contact RipCord directly for a specialised quote.

    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 contact us if you have any further questions as our team are here to help!

      info@adventure.co.nz
      US: +1 866 757 8722 (Freephone from North America)
      NZ: +64 3 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm PST + 19 hours)

    • 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 and please contact our office for details.

      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 MREs (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.

      How do I know this is the right trip for me?
      We offer trips to suit all levels of ability and ambition, from your first mountain experience to extreme ascents and everything in between. To help you navigate the choices available, our trips are graded by both the level of physical exertion and the level of skill required, allowing you to find your perfect expedition match. These ratings are displayed in the icons at the top of each expedition page, with a further explanation available by clicking on the accompanying question mark. A full run-down of the categories can be found on our Difficulty Ratings page and our team is more than happy to discuss your experience to find the right trip for you.

    • 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 around US$700 - US$1,000 depending on the timing of your trip and is payable at the National Park Service office in Mendoza prior to departing for Penitentes. The exact permit fees are set in the late September/early October ahead of your expedition and we will confirm the price with you prior to your departure.

    • 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. Please contact our office for more information.

      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
Trent Thorne

Very good and very experienced guides – made the trip an absolute pleasure to be on!
Aconcagua, 2018

Trent Thorne
Australia
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
13 12

Our guides were absolutely amazing. Not only did they have great experience. They also had great understanding of group dynamics and how to take care and form a team. Our guides worked very well together making this trip a fantastic adventure.
Aconcagua, 2017

Emma Svensson
Sweden