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Aconcagua Ameghino & Upper Guanacos Route with Porters

The Ameghino route approaches the mountain via the Vacas Valley. This scenic 3 day approach allows ample time for acclimatization as you hike to Plaza Argentina base camp. This side of the mountain is less traveled then the normal route and provides for a quieter mountain experience. The Plaza Argentina base camp is smaller then Plaza de Mulas on the Normal route but still provides access to all the same services. There are porters available for assistance carrying loads higher on the mountain, a base camp doctor and helicopter in case of medical emergency, and full kitchen/dining services. The route ascends to the same camp 1 as the Polish routes but then traverses to the Upper Guanacos for camps 2 & 3. These upper guanacos camps are less traveled and are closer together in altitude allowing for better acclimatization and stronger summit attempts.

Route Map

Route Overview

Route Overview

Day 1  Picked up Plumerillos airport at Mendoza and transferred to Hotel to meet the guides, gear check and have a power point expedition presentation. Later we go have a great Argentinean asado. Hotel

Day 2   Transfer to Aconcagua Provincial Park permit office, to obtain the respective climbing permits, a mandatory personal procedure, and then head west to the village of Penitentes, situated at the foot of the valleys that access the mountain. Lodging at Hotel Penitentes.

Day 3  The Aconcagua Express vehicles transport us to the area called Punta de Vacas where we begin the first day’s trek towards the foot of Aconcagua through Vacas valley. This is a beautiful less traveled route with greener landscapes than the normal route. After 4 to 5 hours of hiking we reach our first camp called Pampa de Leña situated at an elevation of 2,800m (9,330f) Here we eat a delicious barbecue along with the muleteers while the animals graze. Tent.

Day 4  Continuing along the same valley for 6 to 7 hours, we reach Casa de Piedra camp situated at an elevation of 3,200m (10,665f). From camp up through the Relinchos pass we can clearly see the Polacos glacier on Aconcagua. Tent

Day 5  Today we make an easy hike from Casa de Piedra that will help us adjust our bodies to the altitude. We had great results with this additional relax journey last season. Tent

Day 6   We climb up the steep and marvelous Relinchos valley to our base camp called Plaza Argentina situated at 4,200m (14,000f). This is a 7 hour day where we climb 1,000 vertical meters to reach Plaza Argentina. Our chef awaits us with hot drinks and a big dinner.  Tent

Day 7  Rest day at Plaza Argentina base camp. It is necessary to keep hydrated and rest in order to adapt well to the altitude before continuing on to the high camps and before summit day. Tent

Day 8   Without the help of the mules, we begin our first day of portage, carrying small personal and common gear to deposit it at what will be our high C I, situated at 4,530m (13,600 ft). We return to base camp. It is crucial to take advantage of the comfort of our base camp and achieve a slow and safe acclimatization from the start. Tent

Day 9   Rest day at Plaza Argentina base camp. Tent

Day 10   Today we climb to high C I at 4,530m (13,600 ft). with the rest of our gear. This climb is the beginning of the ascent to the summit leaving base camp behind. All unnecessary equipment will be left here at Plaza Argentina to be carried out on the mules. Tent

Day 11   We start our second load carry to C II 5,500m (18,000 ft) and the connection with the Upper Guanacos route by crossing the Ameghino pass and a gentle traverse that reach camp 3 of Guanacos. We return later to camp 1 of the Polish route. Tent.

Day 12   Climb with remaining gear and establish C II (Guanacos C III). Tent

Day 13   Rest and acclimatization day. Our bodies are in need of a rest day. This day has proven to make all members so much stronger higher up on the mountain. Tent

Day 14   We make a relatively light portage/acclimatization hike to our high camp. A.K.A. Piedras Blancas, Colera or C IV at 6000m (19,600 ft), and return to sleep at C II. Tent

Day 15   We climb from C II (5,500m) to Piedras Blancas at 6,000m (19,600 ft). From this high camp we can reach the summit in one day. Camp at Piedras Blancas. Tent

Day 16  Rest day here before using our summit day’s budget. Tent

Days 17, 18 & 19  From Piedras Blancas we are now ready to attempt the summit, at an elevation of 6,959m (22,834 ft), so we wait for the best climatic conditions for this purpose. After reaching the summit we return, tired, to Piedras Blancas. Tent
Day 19 We come down from Piedras Blancas on the normal route to Plaza de Mulas at 4,200m where our Aconcagua Express Chef, Jorgelina Gonzalez, awaits us. This base camp has showers, satellite telephone, and an exquisite menu especially prepared for our expedition. Tent.

Day 20   From Plaza de Mulas we have mules to help carry out our gear, allowing for a “light” trek through Playa Ancha and Horcones Valley to the village of Penitentes in a 6 to 7 hour hike. At the Park Rangers station transport awaits us to take us to Mendoza. We meet later for our group dinner at a super, local restaurant with all the guides and assistants. And the next day transfer to the airport or continue relaxing on your own time (End of expedition). Hyatt.

Services Included

Services included 

Professional Bilingual Mountain Guide. 

✓ Ratio, Guide to Clients 1-3.
✓ Porter for group gear (tents) during the entire expedition.
✓ Mules for individual gear to base camp and return with a maximum of 25 kg. per person.
✓ Mendoza two hotel nights in double occupancy with breakfast, at Hyatt Park Plaza Hotel or equivalent.

✓ One hotel night in Penitentes, double occupancy with half pension.
✓ Private transportation, including airport pick-up.

✓ Assistance at Mendoza airport.

✓ All local organization and supervision by Aconcagua Express Expeditions & KL Expeditions Staff.
✓ All meals during the expedition.
✓ Permanently available hot drinks and biscuits at base camp tent.
✓ Full dining room set up at base camp, with tables, chairs, etc.
✓ High quality expedition common gear: The North Face, Mountain Hardware, and Marmot tents, insolate mattresses, stoves and fuel.

✓ Satellite phone during the entire expedition on a per minute payment basis.
✓ VHF 2 mt and BLU HF radio communication equipment.

✓ The Aconcagua, “Summit of America” book, by Mauricio Fernandez.

Services Not Included

Services not included
✘ Aconcagua climbing permit fee.
✘ All personal climbing equipment and gear.
✘ Porter for personal gear, except for those who have purchased this service.
✘ Any costs involved in an early or late departure.
✘ Meals & drinks in Mendoza.
✘ Airport drop-off.
✘ Cancellation, accident, and rescue insurance.
✘ Cash for extra expenses.
✘ Gratuities.
✘ Any other service not mentioned above.



☝ All itineraries are subject to change due to changes in the weather, individuals’ acclimatization rates, and the guide’s criteria.
☝ A Private Porter, to be shared between two expedition members carrying 10kg each, is available upon request at an additional cost.
☝ Any departure dates can be re-scheduled with a minimum of 6 persons.

  • Duration: 20 days
  • Difficulty: Excellent physical shape
  • Departures:
    Dec 11 - Dece 30, 2011
    Dec 18, 11 - Jan 06, 2012
    Dec 25, 11 - Jan 14, 2012
    Jan 02 - Jan 21, 2012
    Jan 08 - Jan 27, 2012
    Jan 12 - Feb 03, 2012
    Jan 22 - Feb 10, 2012
    Jan 29 - Feb 17, 2012
    Nov 25 - Dec 14, 2012*
  • Expedition cost:
    Cost:: 4990
  • Single room suplement:US $600
  • Reservation cost:US $1,000
  • Balance payment date: 75 days prior departure
  • Space available: 6 private & 10 group