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Aconcagua 2012/2013

Discussion area for peaks outside of the USA.

Aconcagua 2012/2013

Postby shredthegnar10 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:45 pm

I'm looking for a partner or group to climb Aconcagua via the Normal Route this winter. Ideally, this would be over winter break - sometime between December 17 and January 9 - as I'm a graduate student, but if necessary I could go into the first week of spring semester. I haven't done too much planning yet but I've looked into logistics services from a couple companies (i.e. renting mules, etc). At this point I'm just gauging interest to see if I can find someone else who's serious about this.
I have glacier experience in the Cascades and Ecuador -- though from what I hear there's not much need for this on the Normal Route, and high(ish) altitude experience up to around 19k' (Cotopaxi). I speak minimal Spanish but I'll work on that if this looks like it's going to become a reality.
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Re: Aconcagua 2012/2013

Postby Dave B » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:20 pm

Just a couple of thoughts:

1. No glacier travel required unless you want to do the Polish direct. I think it goes at AI2+ - 3 at 20-23000 feet.
2. Minor Spanish will get you around Mendoza quite well. Argentinians are very friendly and seem happy if you make half-assed effort to speak their language.

3. Do Tupangato or some other high Argentinian peak. Aconcagua is like spending two weeks climbing a Sawatch 14er. The basecamp thing and big mountain feel is cool and all, but the other biggens in Argentina are way more aesthetic and way less crowded.
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Re: Aconcagua 2012/2013

Postby ules2025 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:50 pm

Hi there, I'm interested. I'm planning on a winter climb (likely January), to take advantage of good weather. I'd go sooner, but I'll still be in Nepal in December. I'm also in grad school (at CU Boulder).

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Re: Aconcagua 2012/2013

Postby Kiefer » Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:11 pm

shredthegnar10 wrote:I'm looking for a partner or group to climb Aconcagua via the Normal Route this winter. Ideally, this would be over winter break - sometime between December 17 and January 9 - as I'm a graduate student, but if necessary I could go into the first week of spring semester. I haven't done too much planning yet but I've looked into logistics services from a couple companies (i.e. renting mules, etc). At this point I'm just gauging interest to see if I can find someone else who's serious about this.
I have glacier experience in the Cascades and Ecuador -- though from what I hear there's not much need for this on the Normal Route, and high(ish) altitude experience up to around 19k' (Cotopaxi). I speak minimal Spanish but I'll work on that if this looks like it's going to become a reality.


I'd be down for this. It's enough time to save up the pennies. However, not interested in the Normal Route. After talking to Sarah about it, it's a long, dusty walk...nothing more. Would ya be interested in the Polish?
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Re: Aconcagua 2012/2013

Postby MyFeetHurt » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:31 pm

I might be interested. I tried it last season and got stuck in the tent in high camp for 4 days of crappy weather. Definitely no need for glacier experience. Definitely no need for a guide either, unless you are too lazy to cook. I would never hire a guide, did fine last year without one. I would also never hire Grajales for mules again, they definitely earned their right for me to call them douche bags, but that is another story. I like the idea of going early, mostly to save money on the permit. The experience was awesome, the mountain itself is so so, haha.

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Re: Aconcagua 2012/2013

Postby blazebo » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:59 pm

Climbe the polish direct. Totally worth the effort and solid climbing. I descended the Falso polaco and it looked pretty boring for an ascent. But I would still recommend that over the other side of the peak. Weather usually isnt the issue, but the 50 knot winds are brutal and constant. Enjoy.

Re: Aconcagua 2012/2013

Postby shredthegnar10 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:09 am

@ MyFeetHurt ... I have no intention of hiring a guide, seems like a waste of money either way -- I was just looking into a logistics service basically for mules, possibly renting a stove (don't think you can take them on an airplane?). According to Summitpost even mid-December is considered the high season, so we'd probably have to pay full price for permits. Do you know of any good companies that offer logistics assistance?

@ Kiefer ... Polish Traverse or Direct?

@ ules2025 ... When is the earliest you'd be able to go?
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Re: Aconcagua 2012/2013

Postby MyFeetHurt » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:10 am

I would imagine Inka Expeditions and Grajales would be able to provide logistics, but there really isn’t any logistics. Basically your itinerary is this:
 
Get permit in person in Mendoza
Take a bus to Los Penetentes (4 hours)
Get off the bus and hire Inka Expeditions to take your stuff to camp on a mule, then start hiking
Reach base camp, climb
Hire any of the millions of outfitters in basecamp to take your stuff back down on a mule
Pick up your stuff back in Los Penetentes, and get back on bus to Mendoza.
 
There are some climbing shops in Mendoza that can arrange stuff ahead of time for you. If that is really what you want, I’d still wait until you get in town and then talk to the shops in person.
 
You can carry a stove on the plane, just not the gas. Gas cartridges are easy to find in town once you land. You can get them within walking distance from the permit place.
 
The polish glacier route looks really cool, but when you realize how high and cold you are while climbing it, it looks more like torture. I think if I was going to do a technical climb, it would be on one of the prettier surrounding mountains, where it doesn’t take me 10 days to get up it. Props to the people who do go for it.
 
 
 

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Re: Aconcagua 2012/2013

Postby sdkeil » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:23 am

I could be interested. I have not read up much on the other non-standard routes, but I have heard the same thing about the standard route being dry and dusty. I would be open for whatever. The timing really works well for me. I would just need to get a grasp on the costs involved since I am planning on Denali in 2013.
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Re: Aconcagua 2012/2013

Postby mts4602 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:47 am

How long to you plan for the entire trip to take, not just the climb?
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Re: Aconcagua 2012/2013

Postby shredthegnar10 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:38 pm

I would plan on somewhere around 17 or 18 days for the Normal Route (starting on the first full day in Mendoza, ending on the day when we return there -- but not including travel between the USA and Mendoza). This would include a couple extra days in case of bad weather. According to summitpost, the approach for the Polish Traverse is a day longer, so I would imagine 19 or 20 days for that? I kind of went by trip reports and itineraries posted on trekking company web sites. MyFeetHurt, if you think this is too long/short, let me know :)

Based on what I've read, I think the Polish Direct would be too difficult for me. 19,300 is the highest I've been, and while I'd probably be fine with something that technical, I don't know about doing it at high altitude. I've never been sick but damn I was feeling the thin air on the last steep(er) pitch up Cotopaxi. Granted we were doing it in a snowstorm, but that's another story. I would be fine with the Polish Traverse or Normal Route.

@sdkeil, I'll let you know more on the costs as I do more research into this, but plane tickets will probably be between $1700-2000 and climbing permits around $700
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Re: Aconcagua 2012/2013

Postby blazebo » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:55 pm

shredthegnar10 wrote:I would plan on somewhere around 17 or 18 days for the Normal Route (starting on the first full day in Mendoza, ending on the day when we return there -- but not including travel between the USA and Mendoza). This would include a couple extra days in case of bad weather. According to summitpost, the approach for the Polish Traverse is a day longer, so I would imagine 19 or 20 days for that? I kind of went by trip reports and itineraries posted on trekking company web sites. MyFeetHurt, if you think this is too long/short, let me know :)

Based on what I've read, I think the Polish Direct would be too difficult for me. 19,300 is the highest I've been, and while I'd probably be fine with something that technical, I don't know about doing it at high altitude. I've never been sick but damn I was feeling the thin air on the last steep(er) pitch up Cotopaxi. Granted we were doing it in a snowstorm, but that's another story. I would be fine with the Polish Traverse or Normal Route.

@sdkeil, I'll let you know more on the costs as I do more research into this, but plane tickets will probably be between $1700-2000 and climbing permits around $700



good lord that is a long hike.. read some books on Twight and go lighter and faster. especially since you have mules hauling gear all the way to 14K. we were on, up and off the polish direct in 9 days. 2 to base, 1 to 16.5, 1 push to 19, 1-rest day at 19, 1-summit and decend to 19, 1-decend to 14, 2 out from base. left us 1 whole week to hitch-hike to chile. i will say that this worked based on aclamitization prep done on quandry in the weeks before leaving USA. good luck and enjoy. it may not be the prettiest peak, but it is still the highest this side of asia.
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