You fly into Mendoza. This is a lovely city to have a look around in and we always advise you arrive several days early to help acclimatize your body. Generally, people who stay in Mendoza for several days prior to their trek have a much higher summit success rate.
Today you leave Mendoza with your operator. You take a 4 hour bus drive to Puente del Inca where you stay in dormitories for the night. Enjoy a nice barbecue dinner! (2590 m)
You take a short drive to Puenta de Vacas where your hike begins proper. You begin by hiking 5 miles along the west side of Rio de las Vacas to the Las Lenas shelter. You make camp here. (2816 m)
You continue to hike up the Rio de las Vacas for 11 miles before making camp at Casa de Piedra shelter. (3219 m)
Today is Base Camp day! You trek over the Rio de las Vacas and then head up the steep and narrow valley of Relinchos Valley for 9 miles before reaching Plaza Argentina – Base Camp. (4206 m)
Today is a day of rest and acclimatization. You’re free to explore the surrounding area or just get some much needed rest in your tent.
Today is a short climb to Camp 1 and back again. To reach the summit of Aconcagua you’ll need to acclimatize properly. You begin by trekking northwest over the moraine of the Relinchos Glacier. You then negotiate a small field of penitentes before crossing a stream and arriving at Camp 1. You then cache your gear and food and head back down to Base Camp. (4998 m)
Another rest day in Base Camp.
Today you will trek back up to Camp 1.
Today you rest and acclimatize in Camp 1.
Another up and back again day. You trek past the Ameghino Col to Camp II which is located at the base of the Polish Glacier. The climb takes approximately 6 hours from Camp 1. You then cache your gear and return to Camp 1. (5898 m)
You climb back up to Camp 2.
Today you rest and acclimatize in Camp 2.
Today you climb to Camp 3 where you join the Normal route for the summit attempt. You will need crampons today as you climb snow slopes up to 35 degrees before arriving at Camp Independecia. (5913 m)
Your operator will usually build in 2 or 3 extra days at this point to account for bad weather. Summit day usually takes between 9 and 12 hours! From the high camp you join the Northwest ridge and continue climbing up to the Cresta del Viento (Windy Crest). After reaching the crest you join the upper part of the Gran Acarreo and traverse around to the Canaleta. The Canalata is a 30 degree scree gully slope that rises 1,300 feet and you’ll need a lot of patience and stamina. When you eventually reach the top of the Canaleta, you will be atop the Cresta del Guanaco. This is the ridge that joins the lower South Summit to the higher North Summit of Aconcagua. You follow the ridge crest until you reach the true north summit where an aluminum cross marks the highest point in the Western Hemisphere! Be sure to take in the breathtaking views around you. You then return back down to high camp. (6096 m)
You then descend back down to another Base Camp known as Plaza de Mulas. The descent is far quicker than the ascent! (4200 m)
You trek down the Horcones valley to Puente del Inca where you stay overnight in a hotel.
You arrive back in Mendoza where you take your departing flight.