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Climb Aconcagua (Updated!), Member Organized

  • to
  • Permit office

    1143 San Martin Ave, Mendoza (map)

    -32.890106 -68.839104

  • This is a member-organized event for which the club is providing no oversight, monitoring or support of any kind. There is no screening of participants or leaders and no assurance of safety, risk management, appropriate skill level, adequate preparation or proficient experience like there would be on an official club event. On this understanding, SMC allows this opportunity so that people to make their own private arrangements to get out and climb with others. We think this valuable. Just know that YOU are responsible and liable for this private arrangement, not SMC. Climb safe, climb smart, have fun!  


    (See bottom of post please!)

    Location: Border of Argentina and Chile

    Elevation: 22,841ft (6962m)

    Length of time: aprox 20-25 days incl travel

    What we will need to figure out for an unguided expedition: permits, travel, hotels, food, gear, routes, communications, emergency contentions - everything. Qualifications:
    In the best interest of personal safety, success and team compatibility, adequate training and excellent physical condition are required. You must be physically and mentally prepared to deal with strenuous situations at high altitudes. Climbers need to be in excellent physical condition, this climb is far more demanding than Kilimanjaro. In addition to the physical demands, interested people should have spent multiple nights outdoors, winter camping, completed multi-day trips with a 40+ pound pack and be able to set up camp and tents.

    “Many tend to underestimate the physical fitness needs of a high altitude expedition such as this. Yes, Aconcagua has the reputation of being an “easy” and “non-technical” mountain by normal routes. This does not mean “non-physical” by any stretch of the imagination. Regarding the "non-technical" nature of Aconcagua: This is only true sometimes. There is much misinformation about this mountain both in guidebooks and on the internet. Like any big mountain, things can change frequently and rapidly. Often a climb of Aconcagua, even by one of its normal routes, can involve lots of trail-breaking in deep snow, and/or long traversing sections of hard ice where the knowledge and proper use of crampons and ice axes are critical to safety. Have you put a 50 or 60-pound pack on and climbed extensive mountain terrain? Are you comfortable with the use of crampons and ice axe when tired and looking down a long way? If the answer is no, then you need to get that experience before joining an expedition. ” –Alpine Ascents guide

    Be realistic about personal limitations, the expedition will include steep climbing with a heavy load, strenuous physical activity for multiple hours a day for multiple consecutive days, A 12-14+ hour summit day, and mountaineering techniques which require core strength and flexibility. Experience at 14,000ft+ is a must!

    Training (pulled from another source):
    Pure cardiovascular fitness is simply not enough. Focus on building the physical conditioning necessary to ascend 3,500 feet of vertical elevation gain on successive days carrying 45-50+ pounds.
    Prioritize your training efforts in the following way, assuming that you are in good health and injury-free:
    1. Climbing conditioning - pack-loaded uphill hiking, walking, and stair climbing
    2. Strength training for the lower body and core
    3. Cardiovascular training, including both aerobic and anaerobic workouts without pack weight
    4. Flexibility training

    Most people will need to train specifically for their climb of Aconcagua for at least four to six months, building up from a solid baseline of fitness. During your training, you will need to progressively ramp up your hike time, distance and elevation gain (at roughly 10% per week) to safely and effectively build your climbing- specific conditioning. Trying to rush this will increase the risk of experiencing some sort of training injury and not being ready for your trip.

    Here is a link to a guiding company’s fitness/training page if you’ll find it helpful: https://www.rmiguides.com/resources/fitness-and-training

    Other links to info about climbing Aconcagua:

    https://www.alpineascents.com/aconcagua-main.asp

    https://www.rmiguides.com/aconcagua/itinerary

    http://www.alanarnette.com/7summits/aconcagua.php

    http://www.summitpost.org/aconcagua/150197

    http://www.climbaconcaguasolo.com/

    ANYONE WHO FEELS CONFIDENT AND IS SERIOUSLY INTERESTED:
    Are you available January 2017? Will you be wanting/willing to do a 14er practice trip with everyone? Shasta or Rainier ideally for the snow

    Where do you live? (to see if an in-person meetup to talk about everything would be possible)

    How big of a group size do you think would be best?

Join or login to comment.

  • Ingrid S.

    I have a plane ticket but I am taking a new project and other gig on the side which includes moving. I'm now cancelling my trip to Mendoza. Bummer, I've been training really hard for this trip. Have fun y'all.

    November 16

  • Joe G.

    Been awhile since the last update. Are people still going? I'm interested if you can wait until Jan. 3-5 ish. Reason being is I will be in Chile for a wedding New Year's and then I have to get to Mendoza.

    November 7

  • rini s.

    Any update on this plan? :)

    July 21

    • Raymond L.

      I'm still all-in for climbing Aconcagua. However, I'm a bit confused as to who is leading this expedition. I think Arielle was our unofficial leader earlier, but it seems that she has dropped out. Does anyone have experience leading an expedition of this magnitude? Who has climbed to this elevation and has experience with the conditions we are likely to face? I have never done an expedition 3 weeks long or anything over a 14er. I think it's important we have someone with that experience, or perhaps discussing guide options.

      What do you all think?

      July 21

  • arielle

    Hey everyone!
    Just checking in, who was interested in doing Shasta in May?
    Hope training is going well! For those still planning on doing the climb, does after Christmas through Mid January sound like it would work for the climb? That seems to be the best weather window consistently

    February 25

    • Raymond L.

      Hi Everyone, I've got a nagging stress injury that hasn't cleared up, so I'm pulling out of this one. It seems a lot of people can't make this date either, so to those who aren't going, would you want to try in June?

      May 19

    • rini s.

      I would love to go in june . i have couple weekend planed already but hopefully can make it!

      May 19

  • Darren

    This sounds like an awesome trip. I'm free from 21st Dec till Jan 18, so I might not be able to swing it, depending on the dates selected. I would also probably need some more experience first- I've done Kili, Mt. Kenya, Whitney, and Shasta (as far as overnight treks go) but I'm still probably not technically skilled enough. I'm going to sign up as a "yes", pending being able to do some more training treks (hopefully with you all!) and depending on the precise dates.

    March 6

  • Yi F.

    continued budget

    ***

    # $400: Equipment rental (Packs, parka, shell, gloves, plastic boots, poles, crampons, gaiters, sleeping bag, tent, fleece, 2 sets upper and lower body poly underwear, buffs, etc.)
    # $700 Park Permit (high season)
    # $100: Other equipment (mtn boots, mtn pants, mittons)
    # $295 (porter service Camp 1 to Camp 3 (note: same as if from Mulas to Camp 3)
    # $205 (Tip/porter service by Ivan from Camp 3 to Mulas)
    Total: $6100

    February 26

    • arielle

      Our budget will be more like what I had posted before. Simply because we aren't using a guiding service or porters other than mules to camp 1/basecamp. So our total costs should be $3-4k depending on where you are flying from and how much gear you need to aquire

      February 26

    • arielle

      Lodging: $200-$800 - Food: $300 - Transportation (excluding flight): $100-$200 - Mule service: $400 Combined with the permit, that should range from $2000-$2900, excluding flights and gear costs.

      February 26

  • Yi F.

    This is the Budget shared from my friend. I have to post in segment because of the limit on 1,000 carácter per post

    Yi

    # $4200: Guide and INKA infrastructure support ( included hotel and first dinner in Mendoza upon arrival, two days equipment gathering, money changing, and Park permitting process, all transport between Mendoza and Horcones trailhead, one night private room lodging at Penitencia, gear transport via mules to/from Horcones and Plaza de Mulas, all meals, camp lodging in huts when possible - otherwise in separate tent except for 3 three nights in shared tent when in mountain camps, hotel last night in Mendoza, personal support for two days upon returning to Mwndoza)

    February 26

  • Yi F.

    Shasta in May will be great. I'll be free after May 13. Except a maratón weekend on May 29th, I will be free to go to Shasta. December 2016to Mid-January 2017, I will be free to climb Aconcuaga. Recently, someone I know climbed Aconcuaga and I inquired about the budget. Here is the report. Please note that the permit was $700 for the high season.

    Yi

    **********

    February 26

  • rini s.

    1 · February 6

  • Yi F.

    Thanks a lot for the information. Good to know. What would be the next step?

    1 · February 1

    • arielle

      From what I've found so far (I'm still looking into it) the Polish traverse is also non technical, just more difficult, longer, and less crowded. The polish glacier is the technical route (Yi). So we could keep reading up on it for the next few days (weather, camps, logistics, etc) then post again with what we find? Anyone else have experience/opinion about route choice?

      February 4

    • Pathik

      Please do the Polish Traverse. Non technical and you get to see both side of the mountain. Both are significantly different. Climb up from Vacas valley and go down normal route.

      1 · February 4

  • Yi F.

    Ray, This kindle book written by Mark Horrell described his ascent using this false Polish route. The Polish Traverse is a technical route and the normal route is non-technical. The false route, named by Horrell in this book as the true Peruvian Route is somewhere in the middle. One can go up by the Peruvian Route and return by the normal route. That is what they did as described in the book. http://www.markhorrell.com/books/diaries/the-true-peruvian-route/

    February 3

  • arielle

    Looks like permit is actually around $1000- 1200, so the cost will be that, plus mules to transport gear to/from basecamp, accommodation before and after, food while on the trip, any gear you may need to buy, and airfare. Am I missing anything?
    (This is in answer to the question of aproximate cost of the trip)

    February 1

    • Raymond L.

      Actually a neat thing about Aconcagua is that the helicopter fee is included in the park permit! No need for insurance.

      1 · February 1

    • arielle

      Thanks Raymond, that helps a lot!

      February 1

  • rini s.

    1 · January 29

  • Yi F.

    I will be available December 2016 through the first half of January 2017. I would like to do the practice trip on Shasta or Rainier this year. I live in Southern California.

    January 28

  • Andrew

    Hi folks. Im in the Sacramento area. Ill be climbing Shasta via the Casaval this spring and possibly another route as well. For what its worth I have no interest in using a guide service on Aconcagua, but will happily go with a group. I think we can set a moderate group size and expect it to shrink to an ideal six or so as people bail due to life, injury, etc.

    January 28

    • arielle

      I agree that the group will likely shrink as time goes on and any/all training/meet people climbs would be beneficial. When were you thinking?

      January 28

    • Andrew

      Im trying to climb most Sundays, so I can probably arrange something for us all to meet and go on a little climb to get to know each other in the next month or so. Something like Shasta should wait for spring. Maybe mid april.

      January 28

  • Connor Van O.

    Does anyone know appox. cost of the expedition?

    January 27

    • arielle

      I'm looking into it to try and get an estimate, i'll get back to you/post it to this page when i find out more. It'll depend on how much airfare is from where you live as well, so i'm going to leave that out of the equation

      January 28

  • Raymond L.

    Will definitely be free January 2017, and very interested in doing this expedition. Would love to do a 14er practice trip, and go on other training hikes with others located in the SoCal area.

    January 28

    • arielle

      I'm near Yosemite, but hopefully you can join for a practice trip or two :) we'll keep discussion open on here and try to nail down some possible dates for those interested in Shasta and/or Rainier

      January 28

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm just gonna put it out there. For a warmup/get to know you trip, what do you say we do Casaval Ridge on Mt. Shasta, first weekend of March?
    I think that route should give a good idea for the fitness level required to do Aconcagua.
    Thoughts?

    January 27

    • arielle

      I'd like to do a Shasta route, but am not free that weekend, hopefully we can schedule a time to do it that works for the most people

      January 28

  • rini s.

    i am in for rainier. I might not be able to go end of july since i think i might be trying to climb matterhorn in july. Just for consideration,normal route in aconcagua, climber usually don't need to rope up since there isn't glacier. Rainier will need glacier travel skill. Just throwing it out there.

    1 · January 27

    • arielle

      I could likely do end of July/August if that is the best time to do Rainier, we'll see if that works for everyone who would want to join. And Rini yes, Rainier is more snow/glacier than we may see on Aconcagua but it's more about getting up in elevation than anything else as far as being practice. That and more opportunity to get familiar with each other :)

      January 28

  • Spencer A.

    For anyone going, read Steve House's 'Training for New Alpinism' - you'll boss the climb.

    2 · January 27

    • Joanne

      That's a great book.

      January 27

    • Raymond L.

      Currently using that book as my training guide, is working great so far.

      January 28

  • arielle

    Permit fee: $800 (as of 15-16 for high season Dec 15-Jan 31)

    January 27

    • Pathik

      and I think if you go unguided the permit cost is LOT higher. 945 was for guided.

      January 27

    • Javier

      If I recall the permit can be paid in pesos. Last year when I went I used one of the many unofficial exchange places that offer more favorable rates. That reduced the price quite a bit.

      January 27

  • rini s.

    oh i put a yes.. but i can't go january 1st.. :( if it's closer to mid jan I can! Either way.. def interested and i'm okay with shasta and rainer

    January 27

  • Saurabh

    Commenting here to express interest! Thanks.

    January 27

  • Damian

    I climbed this a few years back. It was a very fun peak. Let me know if I can be of help to you guys as you continue with your preparations.

    1 · January 27

  • Javier

    Looking forward to the meetings and training. Most likely I won't go on this trip.

    1 · January 27

Want to go?

Join and RSVP

5 going

  • Darren
    SMC MEMBER
  • Andrew
    SMC MEMBER

    Moved to the Folsom area to gain experience in snow travel and cold weather hiking.

  • Mike T

    I'm looking to meet some people who like to climb some peaks!

7 not going

(See all)
  • Jeff

    I climbed Shasta last year, now I want to tackle more peaks :)

  • Ingrid S.

    in good shape but not an experienced hiker

  • Yi F.
    SMC MEMBER

    Climbed The Matterhorn, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Whitney (winter, mountaineers' route), Chimorazo

  • Raymond L.
    SMC MEMBER
  • arielle
    SMC MEMBER

    I have a B.A in Outdoor Recreation, have worked as an outdoor guide, travel globally... more

  • Darren S.
    SMC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, Organizer,
    Event Host

    I have always been drawn to the mountains and adventure. I enjoy sharing my passion for climbing... more

  • Mike L.
    SMC FULL MEMBER

    MTN 2; SIG2; RCK 1, RCK 2, AIARE Cert'd. Level 1. Some sport and lead climbing experience.

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