Cerro Aconcagua, sometimes known as just Aconcagua, is a peak in Argentina near the Chilean border. The tallest mountain in the American Continent is Aconcagua. It rises to a height of more than 6,706 m (22,000 feet). However, the precise altitude of its pinnacle has been questioned several times.
Climbing Aconcagua is an ambition for mountain climbers all over the globe. Hundreds of trekkers trip to Argentina's southernmost regions each year to ascend the highest mountain in South America.
So, when it comes to preparing your own Aconcagua ascent, what should you take into consideration? How can you make the most out of this trek? Well, these concerns are evident for anyone planning an expedition to climb Aconcagua. Read on to get more hands-on information about some essential things before you get started with your journey.
What are things to keep in mind before climbing Aconcagua?
Every year, thousands of individuals try to climb Aconcagua, but only some succeed. This failure is the lack of proper planning and execution that is necessary for any trek. Here are some things that you must remember before climbing the peak so that you get the complete experience of the journey:
1.Preparation goes a long way:
Since the entire Aconcagua climb takes roughly 20 days, much planning is required ahead of time. When conquering Aconcagua, fitness level is the most vital factor to consider, and leg endurance, in particular, is crucial to a successful ascent. Before the journey, four to six months of continuous training is suggested. It includes jogging or pedaling to develop stamina, weight training to develop speed and muscle. You must also be accustomed to carrying weight since at least part of the ascent will likely include taking a pack.
Since most of the popular routes of traveling are regular walks, little technical preparation is required. But, if you intend on climbing any of the lesser-known paths, make sure you are familiar with tools such as crampons and harnesses. Again, altitude is the biggest challenge that climbers face. Therefore it's critical to include several acclimation days in your climbing itinerary so that you're ready for the next stage of your journey.
Staying hydrated is one of the most critical things to consider in the arid desert of Aconcagua. Before breakfast, drink one liter of water or when you first wake up. Two liters around lunch and one-two liters in the mid-evening is required. It's best to utilize a water bladder system since you can drip water into the system regularly. Remember to not force water in since you'll only urinate it out. While on the excursion, you'll also need extra water packets, mineral supplements, and minerals.
3.Know about the routes:
There are a few primary paths on Aconcagua that are well-traveled and relatively easy. Then some routes are less trafficked because they demand degrees of professional capacity and talent that only skilled climbers can handle. The most popular routes are the "Regular Route" and the "Polish Traverse," with the Regular Route usually regarded as more straightforward than the Traverse.
The "Normal Route" is simply a long hike that takes you straight up the northwestern ridge to the summit. Starting in the Lesser Horcones Valley and rising 14,980 ft (4,260m) to Plaza de Mulas, it usually takes around 18 days to finish. The path passes through three camps, and the peak is covered with boulders, stones, and loose debris, which may cause dust storms in strong winds.
Aconcagua may be climbed in various seasons, but October through February are the ideal months for climbing. Aconcagua National Park opens in October on precise dates and closes in early March. There is seldom a perfect weather window, so make sure you include additional opportunities for trekking in your program if you fail the first time.
The weather, on the other hand, might be very chilly and stormy at any moment. The busiest season on Aconcagua is from mid-December to mid-January, when over 1,000 adventurers may be on the peak. When there are many people on the peak, you should usually try to avoid ascending. With so many people around you, your overall experience may deteriorate. Therefore, it is best advised to travel with fewer crowds.
5.Pack all the essential goods:
You'll encounter several climatic fluctuations on Aconcagua, and having the correct gear may make the journey a lot more pleasant. It can be pretty cold, so bring a sleeping bag certified to -30 degrees Celsius, an alpine terrain winter jacket, and thermal gloves or cuffs suited for extreme cold.
Above base camp, you'll be wearing dual mountaineering footwear; make sure they're a good fit with movement space for your toes, and get accustomed to wearing them before you go. A broad-brimmed sunny cap, sunglasses, higher impact sun cream, and lip balm are all must-have items on Aconcagua.
The climbing expeditions aren't just about reaching the top but also about the connection you have with the crew, the outdoors, the mountain, the natives. But most importantly, it is about the feeling of thrill you have inside your soul, which one cannot emphasize enough. If you follow these tips sincerely, you will indeed get prepared for one of the most amazing trekking experiences in Aconcagua.