Dates: 4/1/20 to 26/1/20 Price: £3000

Cerro Aconcagua, (6,960m) set in the Andes near the border of Argentina and Chile is the highest mountain in South America, as well as the highest peak in the Southern Hemisphere.

The peak has two distinct aspects – the northern side, which is gently angled to the summit, and a huge, steep and complex south face on which the hardest routes up the mountain are to be found.

We climb up the northern side of the mountain on what is known as the Falso Route, having approached it via the Vacas and Relinchos Valleys. Utilising the lightly used Plaza Argentina base camp, we follow the Polish Glacier Route to its second camp before a rising traverse joins the Normal Route just below the Independencia Hut.

The approach and lack of crowds at base camp and on the mountain make this a much more enjoyable experience than doing the standard Normal Route from the Plaza de Mulas. In addition, we begin the trip in Mendoza and finish in Santiago, giving you the chance to experience both of these cities.

1-2 International flights to Santiago, Chile and then on to Mendoza, Argentina, where you will be met and driven to the hotel in the city.
3 A mini bus is used to take us from Mendoza to Penitentes, where we spend the night.
4-6 From Penitentes, we drive to the road head at Punta Vacas and start the ‘walk in’. It will take a further two days to reach the Plaza Argentina.
7-18 Climbing days. We establish two camps above the base camp, before making our summit bid.
19-20 Return walk to Punta Vacas. Transport will be waiting to drive us to Santiago in Chile for two nights of luxury in a hotel.
21 Free in Santiago.
22-23 You are driven to the airport for the international flight home.

The climb does not require technical climbing ability, but it does require good fitness, a degree of mental toughness and the necessary skills to look after yourself in a mountain environment. After the three day walk in you are required to carry all of your own gear and food up the mountain (don’t worry, this won’t all be done in one go!), and to assist in the preparation of food and drinks.

One night in the Hotel Carollo in Mendoza, a night in a pension in Penetentes, tents while on the mountain and two nights in the Hotel Principado in Santiago at the end of the trip.

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