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Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • Aconcagua - One of the continental `7 Summits`
  • Extra acclimatisation and summit days for best chance of success
  • Assistance of local guides to carry group equipment to high camps
  • Climb via the Normal route for the best chance of summiting

Lying on the border between Chile and Argentina, Aconcagua (6962m), is the highest peak in the Southern Hemisphere, the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere and is also the highest peak in the world outside of the Himalayas. It is not a technically demanding peak and given normal conditions the difficulties of the ascent are confined to those of trekking at extreme altitude. On account of both its height and the potentially straightforward nature of the ascent, Aconcagua is a very popular peak. KE Adventure Travel has been running treks and climbs throughout the South American continent for many years and during 1999 we added Aconcagua to our repertoire. We have successfully operated Aconcagua expeditions in every year since that first trip. Flying via Buenos Aires to Mendoza, capital of the beautiful wine growing Cuyo region, our approach to the mountain starts with a drive to Penitentes Village. It is from here, that we start the 2-day trek to the mountain's basecamp at Plaza de Mulas. When climbed via the Normal Route, Aconcagua is not technically difficult, but it is extremely demanding due to its altitude and on account of the potentially extreme weather conditions. We have allowed for an extra-long (when compared to the itineraries of some of our competitors) and carefully planned programme of acclimatisation, which includes as many as 3 days for summit attempts. Depending on the group size, 2 or 3 English-speaking professional Argentinean or Bolivian mountain guides will accompany the group. These highly experienced local guides have qualifications from the High Mountain and Trekking Guides School in Mendoza (EPGAMT) and/or from the Bolivian (AGMTB) and Argentinean (AAGM) Mountain Guides associations. Our groups are also assisted on the mountain by additional local guides, who help to carry the group's equipment between the basecamp at Plaza de Mulas and the highest camp on the mountain, the so called 'Berlin' Camp at 6000 metres. Our well-established set up and generous acclimatisation programme has helped KE achieve an excellent success rate on Aconcagua over the years.

Is this holiday for you?

The ascent of Aconcagua is generally considered to be a trek, rather than a climb and as such it is a very difficult holiday to grade. On the approach to the mountain we have several days of straightforward trekking above Penitentes Village and in the valley which leads to the basecamp at Plaza de Mulas. Above basecamp we will encounter mostly zig-zag trails across scree, as well as unstable boulder fields and easy-angled snow slopes. Although the gradient of the ascent is generally low, the extreme height of the peak and the variable weather conditions will provide a real challenge. As we go higher, our increasingly poor physical performance will exaggerate the apparent difficulties, and you will require determination as much as physical strength to reach the summit. We have taken care to allow lots of time for acclimatisation and we have built in extra days for summit attempts to allow for bad weather. This climbing holiday offers the best possible chance of reaching the summit of Aconcagua.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Mendoza. A single transfer from Mendoza Airport is provided.
  • Complete permit formalities and drive to Penitentes Village (2580m).
  • Drive to Ranger station and trek beside the Rio Horcones to 'Confluencia' (3350m).
  • Acclimatisation day. Trek to Plaza de Francia (4000m) and return to Confluencia (3350m).
  • Trek through the Horcones Valley to Plaza de Mulas Base Camp (4260m),
  • Acclimatisation day.
  • Trek to Bonete Peak (4980m) and return to Plaza de Mulas (4260m).
  • Acclimatisation day.
  • Trek to Camp I (4910m) with supplies and return to Plaza de Mulas (4260m).
  • Rest and acclimatisation prior to the ascent.
  • Trek to Camp I (4910m).
  • Trek to Camp II at Nido de Condores (5400m).
  • Trek with food and equipment to Camp III (6000m) and return to Camp II (5400m).
  • Trek to Camp III (6000m).
  • Trek to the summit of Aconcagua (6942m) and return to Camp III (6000m).
  • Contingency day for possible delays.
  • A second contingency day for possible delays.
  • Trek down to Plaza de Mulas (4260m).
  • Trek down the Horcones Valley to the Ranger Station and drive to Mendoza.
  • Free day in Mendoza
  • Departure day. A single transfer to Mendoza Airport is provided
2016
Mon 12 Dec - Sun 01 Jan Code ACO /03/16/ Adult$6,260 Status Provisional dates Book now
More information
  • Aconcagua Climb
  • The departure reference for this tour is ACO /03/16/
  • This tour begins on Mon 12 Dec and departs on Sun 01 Jan
  • The dates and prices for this departure are provisional. Please call our office for more information prior to confirming your booking.
  • Single Supplement $475 - Includes all group hotels nights (single tent not available)
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Mendoza. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Mendoza airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers', and 'Flights' sections in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.


BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure Travel is a fully ATOL licensed and bonded tour operator with ABTA and AITO.

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Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • peaks
  • trip direction
  • trek
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Mendoza. A single transfer from Mendoza Airport is provided.

    Rendezvous with the lead guide at the group hotel in Mendoza. There will be a complimentary timed, group transfer to the group hotel on this day. Our hotel is located close to Mendoza’s shops and restaurants and the central, Plaza Independencia. We have the afternoon free to look around this attractive town. KE Land Only package services begin with the overnight stay in the group hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

  • Complete permit formalities and drive to Penitentes Village (2580m).

    In the morning, all group members need to go to the Secretariat de Turismo to receive their permits. Then, after lunch, we meet our transport for the journey to Penitentes Village (2580m), which is reached after a most picturesque two and a half hour drive (around 160 kilometres distance) from Mendoza. Starting out from an altitude of only 735 metres at Mendoza, our route winds up into the foothills of the Andes, with expansive views to the east and increasingly impressive views of the snow-capped ranges of the Andes. Heading west on the main highway between Argentina and Chile, we follow the River Mendoza which has cut a deep valley to the south of Aconcagua. Penitentes Village is a ski resort, located some 8 kilometres from the Puente del Inca, a natural stone bridge over the River Mendoza. We overnight here as an important part of our acclimatisation programme. Whilst at Penitentes Village, we will stay at one of the several hotels in this small village.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bd

  • Drive to Ranger station and trek beside the Rio Horcones to 'Confluencia' (3350m).

    A 20 minute ride by pickup truck takes us to the Ranger station beyond Puente de Inca. Here, the group must complete the formalities of entering the park including the receipt of a numbered rubbish bag which must be returned on exit. Before setting off, the guides will divide the group’s gear amongst the ponymen, whose pack animals will be used to ferry our loads as far as the Plaza de Mulas. Please note that your KE trek bags containing your mountaineering gear will go directly to Plaza de Mulas and you will not have access to these bags until the evening of Day 5. Today’s walk up to the fixed camp at Confluencia is an easy stroll of around 3 hours with the awesome south face of Aconcagua looming ahead. When we reach the gorge of the Rio Horcones, we drop down to the river and cross it on a small bridge. We take the lower of two trails (the other heads more directly to Plaza de Mulas) and cross a ridge, before dropping down to the campsite at the junction of the Rio Horcones and the Lower Horcones River. This is the location of our first camp, at the place which is known as Confluencia.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 540m

    • Distance 8km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 50m

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs trekking

  • Acclimatisation day. Trek to Plaza de Francia (4000m) and return to Confluencia (3350m).

    We have planned a day excursion up to a viewpoint for the south side of Aconcagua. We return to the bridge over the Rio Horcones, cross it and take the trail which heads left up towards the Glacier Horcones Inferior. After 3 to 4 hours, we reach an altitude of around 4100 metres and have a spectacular, unobstructed view of the Aconcagua’s south face. We then continue for a further hour to reach the Plaza de Francia below the face. We return to our camp at Confluencia.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 880m

    • Distance 14km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 880m

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Trek through the Horcones Valley to Plaza de Mulas Base Camp (4260m),

    Climbing the hill behind the Confluencia campsite on a zig-zag trail, we soon reach the broad, level valley of the Rio Horcones. We now follow this valley, walking across the Playa Ancha (Long Beach). It can be quite hot on this stretch as we journey over 8 kilometres of outwash gravels on the river bed. The Horcones River has to be forded several times but it is rarely more than ankle deep and in some places judicial use of stones will avoid the need to remove boots. We pass the Ibanez Camp and reach the old Plaza de Mulas site at around 4000 metres. At this point we are due west of the summit of Aconcagua. There is a final steep climb to the new site of the Plaza de Mulas (4260m) basecamp area. We set up camp alongside the permanent camp (mess tent, crew tents and kitchen tent) of our agent.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 1030m

    • Distance 20km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 80m

    • Time 8 - 9 hrs trekking

  • Acclimatisation day.

    A rest day today and the opportunity to do a bit of laundry. We can also take a stroll across to the very impressive Plaza de Mulas Hotel which is a half hour away across the glacier. There is a bar in the hotel.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Trek to Bonete Peak (4980m) and return to Plaza de Mulas (4260m).

    A second day of acclimatisation, making an ascent of Bonete Peak (4980m). Starting out by walking across to the hotel, we then take the trail heading off to the right. A reasonable trail leads up into the hanging valley below Bonete Peak and from there we climb a switch-back track across a broad, convex scree slope to the summit pyramid. The trail moves out right to avoid some serious crags and then climbs back left to the summit. The total time for the ascent is around 4 hours. Descent is by the same route, with a few obvious short cuts. This superb acclimatisation walk covers predominantly easy ground and also offers outstanding views of Aconcagua, including the whole of the route of our ascent.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 730m

    • Distance 9km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 730m

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs trekking

  • Acclimatisation day.

    Another important day for rest and acclimatisation. The base camp area of Plasa de Mulas is unlike any other mountain base camp and as well as a permanently staffed medical facility, also boasts restaurants, cafes, bars and internet!

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Trek to Camp I (4910m) with supplies and return to Plaza de Mulas (4260m).

    On our fourth day at basecamp we will make a carry up to the site of Camp 1 (Canada Camp) at 4910 metres. Carrying some of the expedition gear and food, we will make a cache of our supplies at the camp and then return to the Plaza de Mulas. The route follows easy switch-backs to the camp, located on the top of a cliff and the only flat ground in the vicinity. It takes approximately 4 hours to reach Camp 1 and possibly less than 2 hours to descend from here to Plaza de Mulas.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 670m

    • Distance 6km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 670m

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Rest and acclimatisation prior to the ascent.

    A final day of rest and acclimatisation at basecamp before our ascent of Aconcagua. We can use today to sort our equipment and make final preparations for the climb. The leader will advise on whether we will need to bring our crampons and ice axe further up the mountain.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Trek to Camp I (4910m).

    Today, we will move up to Camp 1 to spend our first night on the mountain. We will probably already feel the difference of the extra acclimatisation compared to our first foray to this altitude. It should take around 3 to 4 hours walking to reach Camp 1.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 660m

    • Distance 3km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs trekking

  • Trek to Camp II at Nido de Condores (5400m).

    We move up at a more gentle gradient than yesterday across expansive scree slopes to Camp 2 at 5400 metres. This camping place, at a windy col known as 'El Nido de Condores' (the condor’s nest) affords spectacular views of a host of surrounding peaks. Looking upwards, we can see the top of the mountain and also the 'canaleta' (channel or couloir) of scree and snow which leads to a col between the mountain’s twin summits. This canaleta is the key to the ascent of Aconcagua.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 550m

    • Distance 3km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 hrs trekking

  • Trek with food and equipment to Camp III (6000m) and return to Camp II (5400m).

    Today we will make a carry up to Camp 3 (c.6000m) , which is variously known as Berlin Camp or 'The Huts' on account of two small refuges constructed by the Berlin Alpine Club. This will be our highest camp on the mountain and it can be a cold and windy place. After leaving our supplies at this camp we make the descent back to the Nido de Condores.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 340m

    • Distance 4km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 340m

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs trekking

  • Trek to Camp III (6000m).

    We climb up again to Camp 3, carrying with us the remainder of our gear. There are fantastic views from this camp of many high Andean peaks. We spend the night at Berlin Camp, which is the usual high camp on Aconcagua's Normal Route.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs trekking

  • Trek to the summit of Aconcagua (6942m) and return to Camp III (6000m).

    This is the first day that we have scheduled for a summit ascent. We have an early 'alpine' start for the longest and most serious day of the expedition. We climb the north ridge to the Independencia Refuge (an old ruined shelter) at 6250 metres, where we will hope to see the sun for the first time today. The next section of the route is known as El Portezuelo del Viento (the door of the wind) as there is usually a strong wind blowing here, even on a calm day. Traversing the west face, we arrive at the canaleta, a 300-metre scree-filled couloir, which leads up to the summit ridge. Without doubt this is the sting in Aconcagua’s tail and many people turn back from this point. With our extra acclimatisation this crux section needs only an hour or so of steely determination on our part to overcome. At the top of the caneleta we arrive on a high col and can look for the first time to the south and down the ice flutings of the incredible south face. Turning to the east, the so called Guanaco Ridge takes us thankfully more easily now to the summit of Aconcagua in a further hour of climbing. A spectacular 360 degree panorama from the summit will be adequate compensation for the hardship of the ascent. This is a very long day of 10 or 12 hours from Berlin Camp to the summit and back. We take care that the group members hold something in reserve for the descent back to our high camp. Arriving back at the camp we prepare drinks and food and after a small celebration most people will just want to sleep.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 10 - 12 hrs trekking

  • Contingency day for possible delays.

    This is a spare or contingency day, which the leader can use at any time, for resting, for additional preparation or for waiting out bad weather.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • A second contingency day for possible delays.

    A second spare day. These extra contingency days give us the best chance of a successful expedition. If they are not needed, the lead guide will discuss with the group how best to use these days.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Trek down to Plaza de Mulas (4260m).

    Return from Camp 3 all the way to basecamp. It will take anything from 3 to 7 hours for the walk down to Plaza de Mulas. At the basecamp we will be welcomed back by our crew who will have prepared a celebration dinner.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bl

    • Time 4 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Trek down the Horcones Valley to the Ranger Station and drive to Mendoza.

    We retrace our route from Plaza de Mulas to the Ranger Station at the roadhead. This is a long day of 8 hours trekking, covering around 18 miles, all downhill and if we have not had to use the contingency days at this point, we may opt to split this day into two, trekking first to Confluenca and then to the road-head the next day. At the road our vehicles will be waiting for the 2 to 3 hour drive out of the mountains and back to Mendoza. Arriving in Mendoza, we check in at the hotel and after a shower and clean up it will be time to go out on the town and celebrate our success.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 105m

    • Distance 25km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals b

    • Descent 1530m

    • Time 7 - 9 hrs trekking

  • Free day in Mendoza

    A free day to enjoy the delights of Mendoza and to relax and recuperate before beginning our journey home. This may also be used as an additional contingency day if required.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals b

  • Departure day. A single transfer to Mendoza Airport is provided

    KE Land Only package service end after breakfast. A complimentary group transfer to the airport is provided.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • Professional Argentinean mountain guides at a ratio of 1:3
  • Single timed group airport transfers
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Once on trek a full service including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment)
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • National Park fees (Climbing Permit)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Some meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Tips for trek staff
  • Airport transfers (except for timed group transfer)
  • Airport taxes

For an expedition to a near 7000 metre peak, you can expect to eat well. The camps we use at Confluencia and the base camp at Plaza de Mulas are fixed camps operated by our agent. The camps have cooks and excellent catering facilities. The Argentinean diet includes a fair amount of prime beef and red wine but there will be plenty of carbohydrate and fresh fruit too. On the mountain the food is simpler, with more dependency on lightweight dried foods. Here the emphasis will be more on food as fuel rather than a gourmet meal, but previous clients have been impressed with what it is possible to cook on a small MSR stove with well chosen ingredients. Expedition members are invited to assist with making the meals once above base camp. We can cater for vegetarians on this trip but please do talk to us to discuss your needs. In Mendoza there is a wealth of options for eating in a town and a country famous for its great food.

During the expedition all meals are included from breakfast on day 2 until arriving back in Mendoza. In Mendoza there is a wide range of dining options and here it makes sense to leave the choice of where and what to eat to you. We have therefore not included in the price of the trip, meals other than breakfasts while staying at the group hotel in Mendoza. Based on the current itinerary this is a total of 2 lunches and 3 dinners, but please note this may be more if the group opts to return to Mendoza following an early success on Aconcagua. You should budget between $10 and $20 per meal while in Mendoza.
The group will rendezvous in Mendoza. A single group transfer will be arranged to meet the Aeorolineas Argentinas flight from Buenos Aires. This transfer will normally be around 3.00 pm. on day 1 of the Land Only itinerary. At the end of the trip there will be a single group transfer from the group hotel to Mendoza Airport. This transfer will be in the early hours of day 21 to meet the 6.00 am Aeorolineas Argentinas departure flight. Independant transfers can be arranged outside of these times at additional charge. Full joining instructions together with contact details of the group hotel in Mendoza and an emergency number, are provided with your booking confirmation.
The trip price includes 3 nights at a tourist class hotel in Mendoza and 1 night in a basic hotel in Penitentes. Whilst on trek there will be a total of 16 nights camping. All accommodation is allocated on a twin-sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. Please note that we cannot offer the option of single tent occupancy, as this is not practical on this type of trip. For the 4 hotel nights, single rooms are available for a supplementary cost. Additional hotel nights in Mendoza are also available. For Hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

Important note: If the extra days allowed for summit attempts are not required, the group may wish to make an early return to Mendoza. In this case accommodation at the group hotel is not guaranteed and any additional hotel nights must be paid at the time by group members.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

The cost of the park fee/climbing permit for Aconcagua is included in the holiday price.

The group will be led by a qualified English-speaking mountain guide and during the climb will be assisted by other guides. The guide to client ratio while on the climb will be 1:3.

We estimate that $250 - $300 will be sufficient to cover your spending requirements including the aforementioned meals in Mendoza, tips for the mule drivers and other trek staff, departure taxes, and other incidental personal expenses. It is not necessary to purchase local currency (Argentine Pesos) prior to your trip. Credit and debit cards can be used to withdraw cash from ATM’s in Mendoza (Argentinian pesos only) and usually this will be at the most favourable rate of exchange though your bank may make a charge. Credit cards can also be used to purchase goods and to pay for meals at most restaurants in Mendoza. If you are bringing your spending money with you we recommend bringing cash as this is generally much easier to exchange and will usually attract a more favourable rate. Sterling and US dollars are readily exchanged at most banks though cash dollars can often be used in an emergency for transactions and are therefore the preferred currency.

Tips are the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your local guides. They do not form part of their wages. KE always pays local staff the best rates of pay, no matter what country they are in and any tips they receive are seen as a personal thank you from group members. The economy of Argentina is not dissimilar to what we are used to and the group should decide on the appropriate level of tipping.

You should take 3 bags on this expedition. Your KE trek bag or similar, your 70 litre rucksack and a small daypack. If your airline restricts you to a single piece of luggage, you may need to pack your rucksack inside your KE trek bag. At Penitentes, you will divide your gear, placing your mountaineering gear (boots, ice-axe, crampons) in your KE trek bag and this will be taken directly up to the Plaza de Mulas. During the trek to basecamp your 70 litre rucksack (with your sleeping bag, Thermarest, spare clothing etc) will be carried by mules. You will carry your small daypack with your camera, water bottle etc. Above the basecamp at Plaza de Mulas you will be responsible for carrying all your personal equipment. We use Argentinean climbing guides to ‘porter’ the bulk of the group’s tents, stoves and fuel on the mountain, but expedition members may be expected to carry a small share of the group’s food supplies between camps as well as your own personal equipment. Anything not essential for the climb can be left in secure storage at the base camp. You should make every effort to keep the total weight of your baggage to no more than 20kg.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least several nights above 5000 metres and you will climb to almost 7000 metres on summit day. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes and our proven programme of acclimatisation will ensure you are in the best condition to attempt the climb, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude. Unless you have previous experience of trekking above 5000 metres you should consult one of our trekking experts before embarking on this holiday. Aconcagua by the normal route has a permanent (during the main climbing season) medical facility in the base camp at Plaza de Mulas. The facility is staffed by at least 2 doctors and has a portable altitude chamber and bottled oxygen. The base camp also has a helipad for emergency evacuations.

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.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots

  • Mountaineering double boots*

  • Ice axe (walking axe)

  • Crampons

  • Gaiters

  • Socks

  • Trekking trousers

  • Waterproof over-trousers

  • Underwear

  • Thermal baselayer - leggings

  • Thermal baselayer shirts

  • Shirts or T-shirts

  • Fleece jacket

  • Waterproof  jacket with hood

  • Warm jacket (down)

  • Sunhat

  • Fleece hat

  • Sunglasses

  • Ski-goggles

  • Inner thermal gloves

  • Warm and waterproof gloves or mittens

  • Spare Warm and waterproof gloves or mittens

  • Sleeping bag (comfort rated -30°C)

  • Sleeping bag liner

  • Camping mat**

  • Plastic bowl

  • Plastic mug

  • Spoon

  • Backpack - minimum 70 litres ***

  • Small daypack – for carry-on and trek to basecamp

  • Headtorch and spare battery

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Water bottles. Take 3 x 1 litre 'Nalgene' bottles

  • Thermos flask - 1 litre

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Small towel

  • 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)

The following items are optional:

  • Neoprene facemask

  • Trainers or similar for camp use

  • Spare laces

  • Trekking poles

  • Swimwear (for the hotel pool)

  • Travel clothes

  • Pen-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)

  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)

  • Camera

  • Pee bottle

Notes

*Mountaineering boots - 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°C) 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 group’s 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 group’s 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 don’t 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 Gear Advisor

PHD specialise in cold weather equipment, from the world’s lightest right up to the most protective for Everest or the Poles. It’s 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. http://www.phdesigns.co.uk/gearadviser/destination.php?destinations_id=8.

 

 

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport for each country that you visit.

Visa Argentina

UK passport holders do not require a visa for short stays.

For USA passport holders there is a $160 fee to enter the country from any entry point – land, sea or plane and is valid for 10 years. It is required that fees are paid online PRIOR to arrival. For further details please visit http://www.migraciones.gov.ar/accesibleingles

Transit via USA

You will require an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation), and you must get this before boarding any US-bound aircraft or ship, or entering on a land border. The fee is USD$14 and you should apply for it at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/. With the ESTA complete, the majority of British Citizen passport holders can enter the US under the Visa Waiver Programme, VWP. As of 1st April 2016 you will be required to have a passport with an intergrated chip. Note that if you have travelled to Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan in the last 5yrs you will have to apply for a visa.

NOTE: This is required if you are transiting through the USA 

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking or climbing trip getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. We suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime. Regular hiking in hill country is the best preparation but almost any regular excersise is good for developing better stamina and general cardio-vascular fitness. Before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country. There is little you can do to prepare for the altitude other than through previous experience but if you have a good level of fitness this will help.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

The best time of the year to climb Aconcagua is during the Southern Hemisphere summer - from December until early March. While Aconcagua is entirely within the Republic of Argentina, the Pacific Ocean is only 150 kilometres to the west. The mountain receives almost all of its bad weather from the moist winds which blow in from the west off the Pacific Ocean, but summer storms are relatively rare on Aconcagua and the sun shines for most of the climbing season. Rough guide to temperatures December - February Maximum Minimum Mendoza + 30º C (86º F) + 20º C (68º F) 4000m. / 13,000ft + 15º C (59º F) - 5 º C (23 º F) 5000m. / 16,000ft + 10º C (50º F) - 15º C (5º F) 6000m. / 19,000ft + 5º C (40º F) - 25º C (-13º F) On its upper slopes, Aconcagua is notorious for a fierce wind called “Viento Blanco” - the white wind - which can further reduce temperatures. This wind can be strong enough to rule out any summit attempt but rarely lasts more than 48 hours. Our spare summit days mean that an occurrence of this wind should not spoil our chance to reach the summit.

  • Aconcagua, Highest trek in the world Cierone press

  • Argentina - Footprint Handbook.

  • The High Andes -A guide for climbers John Biggar.

  • Argentina – Lonely Planet

  • Latin America Spanish phrasebook - Lonely Planet

Aconcagua 1: 50 000 - Zagier y Urruty

Attractive and detailed topographic map covering the whole Aconcagua Provincial Park. Contour interval is 50m, with spot heights for peaks. Roads tracks & trekking trails clearly marked.

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