Provincial Park of Aconcagua

Located in Argentina, near the border with Chile, Aconcagua Provincial Park is home to the highest mountain in the Americas and also in the Western hemisphere: the Aconcagua, 6962 meters high with. Its grandeur and relative ease to upload it, attract climbers from all over the world, making it one of the most sought-after of the Andes mountains, the Park was created in 1983, with 71 1000 acres, and is located 180 km from the city of Mendoza, in the Department of Las Heras. Since 1990 ‘s regulation and control structure and assistance to visitors who practice activities, trekking or climbing. Your entry (2700 meters above sea level) lies 3 km from the village of Puente del Inca. The park aims to preserve the fauna, flora and archaeological sites in the region of Aconcagua. The conservation of natural resources is very relevant to the ecosystem that the Andean region, and ensure the supply of water for consumption and irrigation of nearby cities of the Andes, which depend on your defrosting.

In addition to the Aconcagua Park, two other high mountain parks can be visited in the region: the Tupungato volcano and the Laguna del Diamante. The Cordón del Plata, 70 kilometers from the city of Mendoza, is possible to climb several peaks above 5000 meters of altitude, in three to five outputs, ideal for training and acclimatization of who wants to climb the Aconcagua. The time recommended for visitation of the Aconcagua Provincial Park is between November and March, mid-December to January is considered the period of high season within the Park What makes the values of entrance fees (arrive at $ 754 per person for those who stay up to 20 days to climb the Aconcagua).

The values for the entry fees are established as the period of stay within the Park and date of visit (low, medium or high season). Details on the Park’s official website:www.aconcagua.mendoza.gov.ar

Despite the low altitude compared to other high mountain regions such as the Himalayas, the Aconcagua Park has great moisture, precipitation and winds, which makes the place quite hostile. Those visiting the region must prepare to face the constant winds, which reach gusts up to 200 mph. Its climate is cold and dry for most of the year, with temperatures that can reach large thermal variations on the same day, between -2 and 30 degrees in the summer, and -15 and 10 degrees in the winter. In fact, the winter is very strict on the site and therefore is not suitable for visit, the snow covers completely the access, including the home headquarters of the park entrance. The vegetation consists of shrub steppe and virtually disappears from the 3300 metres. Stand out, too, the more than 60 kinds of birds found within the Park, being the most typical species the condor and the Eagle. Its beautiful mountainous landscape, large valleys, meadows, swamps and rivers multicolored, offers visitors many possibilities for trekking, from short day walks, until the rise to Aconcagua, recommended to more experienced climbers. The Park has several natural attractions of easier access: the Laguna de los Horcones, feeding and breeding site of numerous water birds, mammals and amphibians and that is next to the entrance to the Park (approximately 20 minutes walk); the Laguna Mirror, which has a great diversity of plants and animals, and the water comes from melts; the Errant Blocks, huge rocks that were deposited, originally, by the glaciers of the region; In addition to the Observatory of Aconcagua, which offers a magnificent panoramic view of the south wall, with its glaciers suspended, called seracks. For those who want to stay overnight, the most common routes are those who also serve on the way to the ascent of Aconcagua. A good choice is the walk of moderate level until the Plaza Francia (4200 meters above sea level), normally made in three days, round trip (about 26 km), with the first camp on the confluence and another at the place of destination. The site is the second camp for the Aconcagua, and is often used as a base camp for those who want to climb the South face of the mountain, the more vertical hard, made only for experienced climbers. They say that is the point where you can have the most beautiful view of Aconcagua. Extending in two more days to stay, totaling five days inside the Park, you can follow up to Plaza de Mulas (4230), base camp for who will do the normal route of Aconcagua. For all these scripts there are wide range of travel agency in the city of Mendoza. They offer the whole organization logistics (food, tents, toilets, drinking water and shower), as well as guides for the activities. More than 5000 people pass through the Park each year. In addition to camping areas, the Park and ecotourism agencies offer Chargers service with mules (who originated the name Plaza de Mulas because is the maximum point where you’re going) to take the heavier material. In this same location is possible to stay at Hotel Refugio Plaza de Mulas, with a comfort that no one would expect the 4370 m above sea level. For any script in the Park, it is always recommended to the accompaniment of an experienced guide. Ascent to Cerro Aconcagua

The word Aconcagua in Quechua means “white Sentinel”, in aymará can be translated by “the stone Sentinel”.

To climb the Aconcagua Park requires regulated guides, plus more expensive access payment and life insurance. Everything must be arranged in advance and exclusively in the city of Mendoza, in the Department of renewable natural resources, General San Martin Park.

The Aconcagua is a mountain that offers interesting challenges for any climber. The normal route (north face) is physically demanding and requires basic knowledge about the logistics of a high mountain climbing, as well as climbing techniques in ice and snow. The lack of glaciers on this route makes her the perfect mountain for those who want to take the first steps in altitude. But don’t be fooled! The Aconcagua victim many people per season – curious inexperienced end up neglecting the safety because I thought that the rise, not to get technical, is easy.

The Plaza de Mulas, 4230m above sea level, is the base camp and starting point for climbing expeditions to the north face, the more accomplished. Already the Plaza Francia offers access to the south wall, more difficult access. With roads to the more experienced climbers, the South face has extreme difficulty in ice, snow and rock. The tracks “the Polish glacier” and “South Face” have glaciers and require a lot of skill and knowledge in snow and unstable environments.

Even without considering the difficulties of the chosen, the high-altitude route, the extreme climate and the extremely low temperatures are already sufficient challenges on hard journey to the Summit of this fascinating Andean Mountain.

For those who are not accustomed to high altitudes is common to feeling tired, sleep or headache. So, one of the most important attitudes to be taken is the acclimatization, which consists of preparing the body, slowly, to get in the ascent of the mountain, where the air is more thin. To facilitate this process, take plenty of fluids at any moment, be sure to make any meal, take to the acclimatization hikes powerbars, breathe through your nose and walk slowly, because the lack of oxygen is noticeable. Part of the training through the day at a higher altitude and return to sleep in the previous level.

Also, stay tuned on the best time to climb it. The historic mountain, about 50% of people who try to climb it, manage between January and February Between November and early December, only 10% can, because of the weather.

How to get there

To get to the Aconcagua Provincial Park need to travel to the city of Mendoza (1000 km of Buenos Aires), where do you get easily for international flight. From there travels 180 km by RN-7 (national route 7), toward Chile, passing through the cities of Uspallata, Polvaredas, Potrerillos, Punta de Vacas, Penitentes and, finally, Puente del Inca, in a 3-hour drive by car or bus. The entrance to the Park is located at 3 km after the town of Puente del Inca. Some prefer to catch a flight to Santiago, capital of Chile, and from there take the bus (about 360 km, or 7:00).

Aconcagua with Trails & Directions

The ascent to the Aconcagua requires attention in the choice of equipment, which should be enough technicians, both because of the low temperatures, as the altitude to be achieved. After all, how much more comfort these equipment can provide, the better.

To carry all the material, it is necessary a good cargo bag, for example, the CramponTech 77 Tech. Ideal for long walks, has compartment for hydration bottles and canteen, and quick adjustment of the support structure by Quick Fit System. For those who need a little more room, it’s worth taking the Crampon 80freighter, the largest of the Trails & Directions. With anatomical frame is made with metallic fabric resistant to tears (Kodramax II).

The sleeping bag is another essential item in this script. What stand lower temperatures in our models, is the Super Feather Ice, which has resistance up to 15ºc. Features double layer with filling into Microtech (micro silica fiber filament), which increase the air retention and consequently heat up more. Weighs 1.7 kg and is made of ripstop nylon.

Other suggestions for the script, in relation to clothing, is the Shelter Parkha Klima, which consists of two parts: an internal coat of polar fibre and, outside, an anorak. Have the option to dismember in two, in the hottest moments. Has 1200 mm sealing for the water column, and reinforcement in exposed to friction points (shoulders and elbows). This shelter can be used in the lower part of the course, in conjunction with other clothes, suitable for these conditions.