As the highest mountain in both the western and southern hemispheres, climbing Mt. Aconcagua is both a true adventure and a rewarding experience. At 22,841 feet or 6,962 meters Aconcagua is also the highest mountain in the world outside of Asia. It is located on the border of Chile in western Argentina and is famous for its dry environment and powerful winds. There are several routes leading to the summit. Some of the routes are technical such as the Polish Glacier, the northwest or vacas valley route do not involve ice climbing or roped travel and finally you have the extremely dangerous south face route. I climbed via the northwest route also called the normal route. If you are interested in taking up the challenge yourself, click here for details on my training program, gear list and for climbing tips.
The trek to Camp Confluencia takes place in the lower altitudes of the Andes. You’ll pass by some beautiful peaks and even see some occasional wildlife. This part of your adventure is essentially a normal hike in the national park, and is more about reaching the mountain than actually climbing it.
Hiking to Aconcagua’s base camp will take you over 14,000 feet (4,300 meters). This base camp is the largest in the world after Mt. Everest and is filled with hundreds of other hikers and climbers. From here you’ll get some great views of the giant mountain and experience some high altitude camping.
The final push to the summit from base camp takes another week with at least two nights spent above 20,000 feet (6,000 meters)! Of course these part of the climb is by far the most challenging as you battle severe winds, extreme altitude, and steep terrain.