Aventuras Patagonicas on Aconcagua Polish Glacier via Ameghino Valley with traverse

Aventuras Patagonicas on Aconcagua Polish Glacier via Ameghino Valley with traverse

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Aconcagua Polish Glacier via Ameghino Valley with traverse

Acon. Summit Ridge
Acon. Summit Ridge

We approach the Polish Glacier via the Ameghino - Upper Guanacos Valley and traverse the mountain. If you are signing up for the Polish Glacier Route you need to have previous high altitude experience, and be very familiar with the use of ice axe, crampons, and belaying techniques. We are specialized in the Polish Glacier Route, having successfully guided it many times.

The line we choose will depend on conditions. If a lot of penitentes (snow pinnacles formed by direct sunlight) are encountered in the lower section of the glacier, we will start by climbing through the scree and rock on the right hand side.

The steeper Polish Glacier Direct Route has been the choice route in recent years. Although steeper, it is safer and easier due to fewer icy and exposed traverses than on the old Polish Route. On this spectacular, steep snow and ice climb we will use several running belays.

In steeper icy sections we will climb pitches instead of using running belays, belaying and regrouping at every anchor. A long day of climbing will take us to the Summit Ridge at 22,000' after the last steep pitch; a 55-60 degree narrow gully with the entire Glacier below at our feet. The final ridge is very long and gentle. After summiting, we descend quickly down the Normal Route to Independencia (20,790') where we descend to our High Camp at 19,200' to rest and spend the night. The next day we descend the Normal Route.

Itinerary (view full itinerary in one page)

  • Aconcagua Polish Glacier via Ameghino Valley with traverse
    Day 01

    Group meets in Mendoza, Argentina at the Mendoza Park - Hyatt Hotel. Please be at the hotel by 3 pm. Afternoon or evening team meeting at the hotel, individual equipment check with your guides. For dinner we have a chance to taste fine Argentinean cuisine and wine.

  • Aconcagua Polish Glacier via Ameghino Valley with traverse
    Day 02

    Get our permits at the Aconcagua Park Service office. Drive west from Mendoza to Penitentes ski area at 8,500’. Lunch stop in Uspallata on the way. Our drive winds along the Rio Mendoza deep into the heart of the rugged Andes mountains where we begin our acclimatization in Penitentes. Afternoon hike is recommended, though optional.

  • Aconcagua Polish Glacier via Ameghino Valley with traverse
    Day 03 - 05

    Approach to Base Camp. Hike up the Vacas and Ameghino Valleys to Base Camp. Mules will carry our gear. Here we begin the route, which was established in 1934 by a Polish Expedition. Even today this eastern approach to the mountain is not as heavily traveled as the Normal Route. After three days of spectacular, colorful, high desert scenery we reach our Base Camp, at 13,800’. The hike to Base Camp is approximately 40 kilometers and gives us the perfect chance to begin our acclimatization.

  • Aconcagua Polish Glacier via Ameghino Valley with traverse
    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 the next camp and returning to sleep below at the previous camp. The next day we will move to the higher camp. This is an excellent method of acclimatization, which is our main focus throughout your expedition.

  • Aconcagua Polish Glacier via Ameghino Valley with traverse
    Day 07

    Carry a load to Camp I, at 16,300’. The route goes up a gentle trail on the rocky moraine-covered Relinchos Glacier situated between Cerro Aconcagua and Cerro Ameghino. Here we will be able to see Nieve Penitentes, unique snow and ice formations created by the direct sun. Return to Base Camp.

  • Aconcagua Polish Glacier via Ameghino Valley with traverse
    Day 08

    Leave Base Camp. Move to Camp I.

  • Aconcagua Polish Glacier via Ameghino Valley with traverse
    Day 09

    Carry a load to Camp II, at 17,500’. Fantastic view of the Polish Glacier. We ascend scree slopes to a broad ridge crest where we will establish Camp II. Here we reconnect with our UPPER GUANACOS VALLEY ROUTE! After reaching the Ameghino saddle, a gentle easy traverse takes us to Camp II.

  • Aconcagua Polish Glacier via Ameghino Valley with traverse
    Day 10

    Move to Camp II.

  • Aconcagua Polish Glacier via Ameghino Valley with traverse
    Day 11

    Move to Camp III, at 17,800’. A carry may not be needed today, since we have already done our short carry, most likely the day before. This is an easy day, where we traverse from the saddle to the upper Guanacos, elevation gain is minimum. This camp and tactic are key for our success. This route creates one of the best upper mountain acclimatization possibilities on Aconcagua. The results are overwhelmingly positive: a team well acclimatized.

  • Aconcagua Polish Glacier via Ameghino Valley with traverse
    Day 12

    Carry to High Camp, Piedras Blancas (White Rocks), at 19,200'. We will establish this camp at the base of the Polish Glacier.

  • Aconcagua Polish Glacier via Ameghino Valley with traverse
    Day 13

    Move to High Camp from where we will tackle the summit the next day.

  • Aconcagua Polish Glacier via Ameghino Valley with traverse
    Day 14 - 17:

    Summit! Weather permitting. We leave several days for our summit day in case of poor weather. Some of these weather or rest days may be used at lower camps for better acclimatization.

  • Aconcagua Polish Glacier via Ameghino Valley with traverse
    Day 18

    Descend via the Normal Route, on the west side of Aconcagua, all the way down to Plaza de Mulas Base Camp, at 13,800'. This is a more direct descent than our approach of the east side of Aconcagua.

  • Aconcagua Polish Glacier via Ameghino Valley with traverse
    Day 19

    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 Polish Glacier via Ameghino Valley with traverse
    20

    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.)
  • Expenses incurred in the case of a rescue or early departure from the expedition
  • SAT phone charges

Want more Aventuras?

previous Aventura: Ameghino Valley
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