Aconcagua Expedition: Diary of My Experience in Aconcagua

Suppose you are going to be part of an Aconcagua expedition. In that case, it is recommended to stay a day in Confluencia to acclimatize, in which you can walk to the point of view of Plaza Francia (4,000 m) in the day.

In the Plaza de Mulas, the difference in altitude is 910 meters, and it takes 7 to 10 hours of walking. Leaving Confluencia, you will cross the lower Horcones river until you reach Playa Ancha, an extensive 10 km plain.

After walking for several hours on a Playa Ancha, the Cuesta Brava begins, not very long but very steep, which finally leads to the base camp. All the Aconcagua treks have to have the opportunity to know Plaza de Mulas, it is an actual city of tents, with several companies that provide services of shops, kitchen, dining room, bathroom, shower, internet, etc.

Hundreds of mountaineers from around the world converge Aconcagua each year. They are gathering in a lost city in the middle of the Andes at more than 4,000 m. Muleteers, campers, cooks, park rangers, porters, guides, and climbers live for a few days and share nights of meetings in that desert of the starry sky. It is elementary to acclimatize here while you prepare your Aconcagua ascents.

Think you have the skills for higher peaks but don’t know what you should try next? At an elevation of 23,837 feet (6,960.8 meters), Aconcagua is one of the best mountains globally to challenge yourself in high-altitude mountaineering due to its non-technical nature. The mountain is the second-highest of the “Seven Summits.” For the rest of us who are looking for incredible adventures and life experiences, Aconcagua works too.

The trip begins by flying to Mendoza, Argentina. A shuttle will pick you up from your hotel and take you to Penitentes, a ski resort about three hours away by car, where you will find the Valle de Vacas and Valle de Horcones trails. Trips to Aconcagua, including time for acclimatization, rest, and weather contingency, have an average of 15 to 21 days in a guided expedition. One of the reasons that doing an Aconcagua hike is a bit friendlier than some of the other great peaks in the world is that it is logistically easy. The base camp cooks have done their homework and know how to cook at 14,000 feet. With the help of mules, we could walk with a light backpack for the first three days on the way to base camp. Every afternoon, the arrieros (local cowboys) arrive at the camp with all our expedition equipment, and we prepare for the night. Argentina is known for its excellent steaks, so if you are approaching Valle de Vacas, bring the largest piece of red meat you can find, and the muleteers will cook it for you (for a small tip).

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