Argentina, Climbing, 21 days - from £3,795 (land only) - from €5,315 (land only) - from $6,100 (land only)
The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.
Mountaineering double boots*
Ice axe (walking axe)
Waterproof and breathable over-trousers
Long johns (thermal underwear)
Thermal baselayer shirts
Shirts or T-shirts
Waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
Warm jacket (down)
Fleece hat and thermal balaclava
Inner thermal gloves
Insulated outer gloves or mittens
Waterproof over mittens
Sleeping bag rated to minus 30 degrees C
Sleeping bag liner
Backpack - minimum 70 litres ***
Small daypack for carry-on and trek to basecamp
Headtorch with spare battery
Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
Water bottles. Take 4 x 1litre (1 quart) 'Nalgene' bottles Washbag and toiletries
Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)
Basic First Aid Kit including Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium) painkillers, altitude (Diamox), plasters and blister treatment, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).
Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)
Trainers / sneakers or similar for camp use
Swimwear (for the hotel pool)
Pocket-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
Repair kit (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
Camera, media, batteries
*Mountaineering boots required for this trip
You will need high altitude double boots for this trip. Climbing at altitudes of over 6000 metres, the temperatures can be very cold (as low as minus 30 degrees centigrade) and there is less oxygen in the blood to cope with these conditions. Single boots are really not suitable for these cold, high conditions. Most double boots consist of a plastic outer shell and an inner boot which may be a synthetic or leather construction. Scarpa Vega is an example of a good all-round plastic boot. La Sportiva Spantiks are an excellent alternative to a plastic boot, where the outer boot is constructed from modern synthetic materials. You must make sure that you are suitably equipped for these extremely low temperatures and high altitude.
** Camping Mattress
For this trip we recommend you bring a closed cell foam camping mattress as these are light and robust while providing good insulation. You may also want to consider bring a thermarest or similar inflatable mattress in addition for greater comfort at base camp. The thermarest can be left at base camp while you are on the mountain.
*** Backpack required for this trip
While on the mountain we employ Argentinean guides to carry the groups tents, stoves and fuel. You will be required to carry all of your personal equipment including your sleeping bag and camping mattress, and a small proportion (approximately 1kg) of the groups food. To do this you will need a large (minimum 70 litre.) backpack suitable for your size (or with adjustable back system) which is designed for load carrying with a comfortable hip belt. During the 3-day trek up to the basecamp, mules will carry your backpack containing those items you need during this stage of the trip. You will carry a small daypack with the things you need during the day.
What happens to your KE trek bag
Your KE trek bag containing the climbing gear items that you dont need on the walk up to the Plaza des Mulas (ice-axe, crampons, big boots etc.) will be taken directly up to Plaza de Mulas and you will not have access to this bag from the morning of Day 3 until the evening of Day 5.
PHD specialise in cold weather equipment, from the worlds lightest right up to the most protective for Everest or the Poles. Its a large range. So to help you choose what you need to keep you warm, PHD have listed the gear that is appropriate for this expedition.