Day 1: Airport – Mendoza (760m)
Transfer to Hotel. Gear check and question time with guide. 30 minute drive Hotel 3*
Day 2: Mendoza – Penitents (2500m)
Transfer from Mendoza to Penitents where we drive along the Rio Mendoza. Along the way we can see white water After breakfast we get our climbing permits and drive out to Penitentes. In Penitents we have time to pack our bags for the mules.
3 - 4 hour drive to Penitents (B) Hotel 2*
Day 3: Penitents – Pampa Leña (2800m)
A small transfer by car to Puente de Vacas, from where we start our hike up to Pampa Lena. We follow the river up the valley. Along the way we can see green, yellow and black lizards lurking from the sun backed rocks. We want to take today’s walk at an easy pace, as it will help with the acclimatizing.
4 - 5 hours trekking (BLD) camping
Day 4: Pampa Leña – Casa de Piedra (3200m)
Not much altitude gain today, but we have a long walk up the valley. Following the Rio Vacas up stream we see a little wild life and if lucky we can spot wild Guanacos.
Just before reaching camp we have a first views of Aconcagua. We
can see the east and south face. We also can see the valley we have to walk up the next day.
6 - 8 hours trekking (BLD) camping
Day 5: Casa de Piedra – Plaza Argentina (4200m)
Today is our last day of walking to reach base camp, The walk is up a
different valley called the Relinchos. We follow the river coming from base camp, we also have a lot of climbing. We really feel the altitude. In front us we have great views of the south and east face. This is one of our most
important days for acclimatizing. If you fell good arriving to base camp, it will help a lot.
7 - 8 hours trekking (BLD) camping, Base camp services
Rest day and medical check up by the medical staff in the base camp. Some light
actives in base camp.
(BLD) camping, base camp services
Day 7: Base camp – to Camp 1 (4900m) – Base camp
Today we bring a load of equipment up to camp 1, which is part of our acclimatizing. The walk follows a small trail through the moraine. There are some steep sections along the way. Once at camp 1 we stop for a rest and after head back down to base camp.
5 – 7 hours (BLD) camping, base camp services
Day 8: Base camp – Camp 1 (4900m)
If the group is feeling good, we will move up to camp 1 and spend the night. Some may need another rest day.
5 – 6 hours (BLD) Camping, base camp services if a rest day is needed
Days 9 to 14 will be used for acclimatizing and portering gear between camps. These days will also depend on the group’s ability and acclimatization of the group. The trails between the camps are well defined, make the walking a a little easier.
There are 3 main camps along the way. Altitudes of the camps and times are below
In this program we still have 2 spare days for rest or bad weather.
Base camp (4200m) - Camp 1 (4900m) 4 - 5 hours
Camp 1 - Camp 2 (5400m) 3 - 5 hours, also know as the chopper camp
Camp 2 - Camp 3 (5850m) 3 - 5 hours, Known as Cholera
Day 15: Cholera (5850m) - Summit (6962m) - Cholera
Today is our big day, to try for the summit! We leave around 6 am. It’s going to be cold on the mountain, so this means we want to dress well. The trail is well defined as it zig zags its way up the mountain. The first mayor place is Independencia (6200m) a small wooden hut, which is almost destroyed. This is a good place for a break as it’s has some protection from the wind. After Independencia we climb up to traverse Paso el viento (windy pass). This is going to be the coldest place on the mountain and can reach up to -45°C. We going to be moving slow through here to try and conserve
energy for the last part, the Canaleta! After the traverse we reach the bottom of the Canaleta. From here the summit looks really close, but it’s still 2 more hours
minimum. The Canaleta can have ice and snow and this means we need to use our ice axe and crampons. The Canaleta is also the steeper part of the route so pacing is a must if your going to reach the Summit. Next stop is the summit! We made it! From the top we have amazing views all around us. After some rest and photos we head back down the same way. Going down through the Canaleta can be a little tricky, so this means we want to take it easy. Once we are below the Canaleta the trail gets
easier. A few more hours and we are back at camp. Time for a rest and to rehydrate.
10 - 16 hours climbing (BLD) camping
Day 16: Cholera – Plaza de Mules (4200m)
After our Summit bid, we will walk down to Plaza de Mules. This side is where the real highway is. There are many tracks to follow and people. On the way down we will pass Nidos de Condor camp. From Nidos down, it’s large scree slop to the small city of tents called Plaza de Mules. Tonight we can stop for some beers at varies pubs in base camp.
3 - 5 hours trekking (BLD) camping Base camp service
Day 17: Plaza de Mules - Horcones (2800m) - Penitentes - Mendoza
The last day on the mountain, we have an easy walk out. Most people run this section as there are hot showers and cold beers waiting for us in the hotel! We follow the
infamous Playa ancha (the wide beach) and pass the camp site of Confluencia. From Confluencia to the park entrance is one hour more, from where we take a transfer to the Penitents. We need to wait for our equipment to arrive with the mules before we take a transfer to Mendoza.
6 - 8 hour trek, 3 - 4 hour drive (BL) Hotel 3*
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