Aconcagua at 6962 metres is the highest mountain outside the Himalayas and summiting the peak is one of the great trekking challenges in the world. Whilst not a technically demanding climb, the combination of high altitude, extreme temperatures and weather conditions and a long 12 hour climb to the summit make it a difficult experience that requires a high level of fitness and stamina. The whole trek will take the better part of 3 weeks to complete, which will include several days for acclimatisation, training excursions and equipment carrying. From the trailhead, there is a trek to the base camp at Plaza de Mulas (4350m). After resting here, there are staggered moves up to Plaza Canada (4950m), Nido de Condores (5500m) and White Rocks (5980m), with load carrying ascents preceding the final move between camps. The 12 hour summit is attempted from White Rocks at first light and rewarded with stunning views down the South Face and as far away as the Pacific Ocean on a clear day.
Organised group tours: The following tours for Aconcagua are available:
KE Adventure Travel has an outstanding collection of climbing holidays that will take you to the world's most spectacular mountain ranges. Our climbing trips usually involve the ascent of snow-covered peaks where climbing ropes, ice axes and other items of mountaineering equipment may be used. Our climbing holidays can involve multi-day approaches on foot to a basecamp below the objective mountain. On this stage of the trip (which is effectively trekking) there will usually be the support of a trek crew to carry personal belongings, along with any tents, group climbing equipment, food and cooking equipment. The climbing is generally above the snow-line and can be at high altitude. Most of our climbing holidays have an experienced Western leader and in the case of our Alpine trips, the leader is always IFMGA qualified. None of our climbing trips requires more than a single mountaineering ice-axe, together with crampons and a climbing harness. Ropes may be used to safeguard steep or exposed sections or crevassed sections of the route. With long days, high altitudes, glacier camping and the possibility of encountering poor weather, these trips can be challenging.
Lying on the border between Chile and Argentina, Aconcagua (6962m. / 22,842ft) 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 trekking peak 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 short 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. Our expeditions are coordinated by the same Mendoza-based guide service that we have used since our first trip to the mountain. Depending on the group size, 2 or 3 English-speaking professional Argentinean 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 from Argentinean Association of Mountain Guides (AAGM). 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 (19,686 feet). Our well-established set up and generous acclimatisation programme has helped KE achieve an excellent success rate on Aconcagua over the years.