Aventuras Patagonicas on Aconcagua Normal Route with porters

Aventuras Patagonicas on Aconcagua Normal Route with porters

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Aconcagua Normal Route with porters

On the summit of Aconcagua
On the summit of Aconcagua

Our newest expedition, via the Normal Route, with Porters, is a variation of our original Aventuras Patagonicas expedition offered over a decade ago. Although our Guanacos Valley Route, to date, remains the most pristine route on the mountain and is presently closed, we have received many requests for a shorter route on Aconcagua, with the option of porter assist. To satisfy these requests we have designed a new alternative of ascending the Normal Route of Aconcagua, (mules carrry loads to Base Camp, as usual), and porters carry loads from Base Camp to High Camp, as needed.

Aconcagua penitentes (Photo: Dan Holmes)
Aconcagua penitentes (Photo: Dan Holmes)

Over the past few seasons we have purposely chosen not to guide the Normal Route for aesthetic reasons, due to the route's overuse, causing the route in general to be unappealing. We began exploring other options on the mountain, to offer fresh alternatives and challenges to our clients, resulting in our Guanacos Valley and Traverse Route (currently closed) and the Ameghino Valley and Upper Guanacos Traverse which has been extremely successful and well received. But due to popular demand, we have re-introduced the Normal Route with a new twist, for those of you who find the Guanacos not what you are looking for. If you are not bothered by the overcrowding of the Normal Route, seeing many other climbers while climbing, enjoy the social aspect of Base Camp (meeting climbers of all nationalities!), and feel regular loads (45 to 50 lbs) are too heavy for you, then our Normal Route with porters expedition is just the one for you! We have designed this trip so that at Base Camp you are able to decide how often you will need a porter, and so on. You may use a porter for every carry, you may choose to alternate between days, or simply to experiment as you go.

Itinerary (view full itinerary in one page)

  • Aconcagua Normal Route with porters
    Day 01

    Group meets in Mendoza, Argentina. Equipment check and afternoon briefing will be at the hotel. For dinner we will have a chance to taste fine Argentinean cuisine and wine.

  • Aconcagua Normal Route with porters
    Day 02

    Drive West from Mendoza to Penitentes ski area at 8,500'. Our drive winds along the Rio Mendoza deep into the heart of the rugged Andes mountains where we begin our acclimatization in Penitentes. An afternoon hike is recommended, though optional.

  • Aconcagua Normal Route with porters
    Day 03

    We will begin our approach to Base Camp. This 25 mile approach gives us the chance to begin our acclimatization. We follow the Horcones Valley, and camp our first night in Confluencia, at 10,900’. Mules carry our gear.

  • Aconcagua Normal Route with porters
    Day 04

    Hike to the base of the majestic South Face of Aconcagua, at 13,000', toward Plaza Francia. Return to Confluencia to spend our 2nd night, before heading to Base Camp the next day. This hike will facilitate our acclimatization process.

  • Aconcagua Normal Route with porters
    Day 05

    After 3 days of hiking through colorful desert landscape we reach our Base Camp, Plaza de Mulas, at 13,800'.

  • Aconcagua Normal Route with porters
    Day 06

    Rest and acclimatization day at Base Camp. We want everyone to have the best possible chance to make the summit. The most effective way to do this is to take the time to acclimatize to the low oxygen environment. We will incorporate rest days into our schedule and climb in traditional expedition style. We will be carrying loads up to our next camp, and returning to sleep below at the previous camp. The next day we will move to the higher camp.This day (Day 6) we will practice snow and ice techniques on the Nieve Penitentes, unique snow and ice formations created by direct sunlight.

  • Aconcagua Normal Route with porters
    Day 07

    Carry a load to Camp I, Plaza Canada, at 16,170' . Return to Base Camp.

  • Aconcagua Normal Route with porters
    Day 08

    Leave Base Camp. Move to Camp I. Beautiful campsite with impressive views of the north side of Aconcagua and alpine Cerro Cuerno.

  • Aconcagua Normal Route with porters
    Day 09

    Carry a load to Camp II, Nido de Condores, at 17,820'.

  • Aconcagua Normal Route with porters
    Day 10

    Leave Camp I. Move to Camp II.

  • Aconcagua Normal Route with porters
    Day 11

    Carry a load to Camp III, Piedras Blancas (High Camp) at 19,200'.

  • Aconcagua Normal Route with porters
    Day 12

    Move to Camp III. This unique spot will be our High Camp where we will spend at least 2 nights. Here we are surrounded by interesting rock formations only a day from the summit.

  • Aconcagua Normal Route with porters
    Day 13 - 15

    Summit! Weather permitting. We allow a window for our Summit Day in case of poor weather and depending on how group is acclimatizing.

  • Aconcagua Normal Route with porters
    Day 16

    Descent from High Camp to Base Camp.

  • Aconcagua Normal Route with porters
    Day 17

    Hike out the Horcones Valley with its impressive views of Aconcagua's South Face. Mules carry our gear. We arrive in the afternoon to Penitentes where we may take a quick shower and head on to Mendoza to the comfort of the Mendoza Park Hyatt. If extra weather and acclimatization days are not used on our expedition, you and your team may arrive a day or two earlier to Mendoza. Evening banquet with your team, if too late summit Certificates will be given at breakfast or lunch the next day.

  • Aconcagua Normal Route with porters
    Next Day

    Leisure day in Mendoza, possibly fly home this afternoon or continue traveling in South America.

Note: This itinerary is intended to be a guideline only. Weather days, rest days and some flexibility on the itinerary are always a possibility while on a climbing expedition.

Cost Includes

  • Professional Mountain Guides
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Mendoza at the Mendoza Park Hyatt Hotel with breakfast buffet (1 night at the beginning of the expedition and 1 night at the end of the expedition)
  • 1 night hotel accommodation with breakfast and dinner in Penitentes, on the way to the mountain
  • All land transportation
  • Mules
  • All expedition food
  • All community gear such as: tents, stoves, state of the art Base Camp, cooking gear, medical kits, satellite phones, radios, gamow bag, pulse-oximeters, etc.

You are responsible for

  • Round-trip flights to and from Mendoza, Argentina
  • Aconcagua climbing permit fee (approx $300 to $750, which you will pay in Mendoza, accompanied by your guide)
  • meals in Mendoza
  • personal equipment
  • passport
  • personal items and services (laundry, snacks, drinks, tips, etc.)
  • *Porter fee (if used)
  • expenses incurred in the case of a rescue or early departure from the expedition
  • SAT phone charges.

Want more Aventuras?

previous Aventura: Polish Glacier
next Aventura: Guanacos Valley

*PORTERS ARE ONLY AVAILABLE, BUT NOT INCLUDED, YOU NEED TO LET US KNOW IF YOU WISH A PORTER AND WE WILL HAVE IT ALL ARRANGED FOR YOU.

Porters cost $120 to $160 per load carry. You will need a maximum of 5 to 6 load carries from Base Camp to High Camp and back down to Base Camp again, if you choose to have a porter for each carry, and move, and for the descent of the mountain.

Porters will be available at Base Camp. The final number of estimated load carries may be decided at Base Camp.

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