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The mountain guide from Kazakhstan, Andrey Gundarev 

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Aconcagua climb

Trip overview

Mendoza (700m)— Penitentes (2700m)— Aconcagua Provincial Park — Confluencia(3300m) — Base Camp Plaza de Mulas (4250m)— Plaza Canada (4900m) — Nido de Condores (5500m) — Berlin (5900m) — Summit of Mt. Aconcagua (6961m)


Why go there?

Aconcagua (6961m) is the highest mountain in South America, one of the 7 Summits. It is located in Argentina in the Province of Mendoza. The name may have come from several possible origins: Kon-Kawa («Snowy Peak») — from the Argentine aboriginals, the Aymara; Aconca-Hue («Coming from Other Side») — from the Chilean Araucano; Akon-Kahuak («Sentinel of Stone») — from the Quechua.
From the top of this mountain you can revel in the breath-taking views of the amazing white ranges of Cordillera de Los Andes.
As a climbing objective Aconcagua offers a rich variety of interesting routes of all the technical levels. The Normal (or NW) Route is physically very demanding, but not really technical.

Route description:

Our expedition starts in the town of Mendoza. On arrival we go right away to Penitentes (a small village next to Puente del Inca) and on the next day the climb starts (by NR). We stay two nights in Confluenca Base Camp (3300m) and, for better acclimatization, two nights in Plaza de Mulas Base Camp (4350m). After that with the help of experienced guides and porters we begin to establish high camps: Canada (4900m), Nido de Condores (5500m) and Berlin (5900m). On the 12th day we make a bid for the summit. And of course we have a reserve day to make up for bad weather. The expedition ends in Mendoza, where we stay for one night before saying a hearty thankful good-bye to these places.

Itinerary
Day 1     Arrival in the town of Mendoza. Bus transfer to a hotel. Acquaintance walks in the city, arranging all the necessary permits, checking gear. Hotel.
Day 2     Buying (and/or renting) necessary gear. A bus transfer to Penitentes (2700m). Sending the main bulk of the gear by mules to Base Camp. Hotel.
Day 3     Transfer to the entrance of Aconcagua Provincial Park (Laguna Horcones) and a hike to Confluencia (3300m, 4-5 hours). Camp.
Day 4     Acclimatization hike from Confluencia to Plaza de Francia (4200m) from which the fantastic views of the South Face (2700m high) open up. 4-5hr. Return to camp.
Day 5     Long walk (8-9hr) to the main Base Camp at Plaza de Mulas (4350m). The way is along the wide valley of Playa Ancha. Camp.
Day 6     Rest day in Plaza de Mulas (4350m). Sightseeing around the camp, easy ascent to the Orkones Glacier. Camp.
Day 7     Walk from Plaza de Mulas to Camp 1 (Plaza Canada, 4850m). Pitching tents. Camp.
Day 8     Walk from Plaza Canada to Camp 2 (Nido de Condores, 5500m), a night there. Camp.
Day 9     Descent to Plaza de Mulas (4350m). Camp.
Day 10     Rest day in Plaza de Mulas (4350m). Camp.
Day 11     Climb from Plaza de Mulas (4350m) to Nido de Condores (5500m), night there. Camp.
Day 12     Climb from Nido de Condores (5500m) to Camp 3 (Cholera, 6000m). Camp.
Day 13     Ascent of Mt. Aconcagua (6961m), descent to Cholera (6000m). Camp.
Day 14     Reserve day in case of bad weather. Camp.
Day 15     Reserve day in case of bad weather. Camp.
Day 16     Descent to Plaza de Mulas. Camp.
Day 17     Hike back from Base Camp to Laguna de Horcones. Bus transfer to Penitentes. Night in Penitentes.
Day 18     Bus transfer from Penitentes to Mendoza. Rest and farewell dinner. Visits to the local distilleries. Night in hotel.
Day 19     Bus transfer to the airport. Flight from Mendoza.


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