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Altitude Prep - Aconcagua

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Altitude Prep - Aconcagua

Postby ThnkSno » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:45 pm

Looking for any advice on preparing for my climb on Aconcagua this January. I'll be in the mtns most of December but would like to get in a few nights up higher and would prefer car sleeping out of convenience. What would be the highest road/trailhead?

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Re: Altitude Prep - Aconcagua

Postby geojed » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:04 pm

Loveland Pass
Vail Pass
Fremont Pass
• It's by getting away from life that we can see it most clearly... It's by depriving ourselves of the myriad of everyday experiences that we renew our appreciation for them...I've learned from my experiences in the mountains that I love life. — Dave Johnston
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Re: Altitude Prep - Aconcagua

Postby RyGuy » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:06 pm

ThnkSno wrote:Looking for any advice on preparing for my climb on Aconcagua this January. I'll be in the mtns most of December but would like to get in a few nights up higher and would prefer car sleeping out of convenience. What would be the highest road/trailhead?

This year seems to be a bit odd due to the lack of snowfall. However that could change pretty quickly as we all know.

That being said, the highest paved road that is typically open year round is US-6 over Loveland pass, which is 11,990 feet. Not sure if there are any issues with parking at the top and car camping it, but that will likely be your best bet.

The next best bet would be CO-9 over Hoosier Pass, which is 11,541. Also paved and open year round.

Third option would be see if the City of Colorado springs would let you drive up the Pikes Peak highway (weather permitting) and sleep in the parking lot overnight. That gets you to 14,110 feet. The highway is open year round, but I am not sure what the rules are about being on the peak with a vehicle.

Until the next storms hit...there are probably a few trailheads that can get you up near 12,000 feet, but they will become an increasingly difficult task to get to, not to mention dangerious with ice and snow starting to take hold. Given you are just looking for nights at high altitude...Loveland or Hoosier are going to give you the best return on a pretty minimal investment.

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Re: Altitude Prep - Aconcagua

Postby RyGuy » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:10 pm

geojed wrote:Loveland Pass
Vail Pass
Fremont Pass


Vail pass is only 10,666, so probably not a good option. I'd say Fremont is option 4 @ 11,318 feet. However, the Climax Molybdenium mine owns nearly all the land up there, I'd recommend calling them and asking them before parking at the summit next to their main enterance and car camping. They have a security guard on duty 24/7 that should be able to clarify any questions.

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Re: Altitude Prep - Aconcagua

Postby TravelingMatt » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:14 pm

Loveland Pass parking is signed as 7am - 7pm. Not sure how heavily that is enforced. There are some lower parking areas that are not signed.

Fremont Pass might get noisy in the early morning as the workday at the Climax mine starts around 6am.

Vail Pass (including the rest area and parking areas up to Shrine Pass) should be your best bet of the three.

You can also pull off a bit off the road from Hoosier Pass on CO 9.
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Re: Altitude Prep - Aconcagua

Postby Matt » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:19 pm

Please don't forget Berthoud Pass. 11,306' with a bathroom.
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Re: Altitude Prep - Aconcagua

Postby FireOnTheMountain » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:35 pm

If you down to work for your altitude (I know you mentioned you'd prefer to car camp) there is a nice little Cabin at Deluge Lake in the Gores at 11,700. Beautiful basin with some nice 13ers available if you so desire. The hike in is kinda long. Take a heavy pack in and stay the night, that would be some good training if you ask me.

Edit: Forget about Fremont, they're dicks up there plus it would be loud as mentioned.
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Re: Altitude Prep - Aconcagua

Postby ThnkSno » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:17 pm

Cool, I'm going to check the cabin at Deluge Lake. That would be great to get in some hikes and altitude.

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Re: Altitude Prep - Aconcagua

Postby jeremy27 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:42 pm

I was at the Deluge Lake cabin in Sept of 2011 and the floor was almost completely destroyed by something (marmots?). The cabin was also pretty beat up from two-legged vandals as well.

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Re: Altitude Prep - Aconcagua

Postby kiliclimber7_17_02 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:29 am

Before I went which was a few years ago, I skinned up at A Basin several times a week which gets you up to like 12,400. I also camped at 13,000 ft on Loveland Pass. I parked at the parking lot on the road and packed up the ridge to the top before you turn to head toward Torreys. It was good training for Aconcagua. December 27th, very windy and cold. Much like the peak above the 14,000 ft base camp on Aconcagua. Good luck.

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Re: Altitude Prep - Aconcagua

Postby globreal » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:01 am

There's also Monarch Pass at 11,312 which is probably pretty quite at night.

But better yet would be Cottonwood Pass (just west of Buena Vista) at 12,126. With the west side down off of the pass being a dirt road, I bet you wouldn't have ANY traffic at night!
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Re: Altitude Prep - Aconcagua

Postby geojed » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:50 pm

ThnkSno wrote:Looking for any advice on preparing for my climb on Aconcagua this January. I'll be in the mtns most of December but would like to get in a few nights up higher and would prefer car sleeping out of convenience. What would be the highest road/trailhead?


An idea that came to me would be to car camp at the Mayflower Gulch TH which is near Fremont Pass at ~11,000' and do climbs of either Drift Pk 13,900' or Atlantic Peak 13,841 or Pacific Peak 13,950'. The parking lot is fairly big and you could find a dark corner away from the highway so it won't be noisy.
• It's by getting away from life that we can see it most clearly... It's by depriving ourselves of the myriad of everyday experiences that we renew our appreciation for them...I've learned from my experiences in the mountains that I love life. — Dave Johnston
• Mountains are not climbed merely to reach a geographical location — but as personal and spiritual challenges to the participants. — David Stein
• The best climber in the world is the one who’s having the most fun.— Alex Lowe
• Why do I climb the mountain? Because I'm in love! — The Captain

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