The Highest Mountain in the Americas
Route: Horcones Valley Route (Normal route) and Vacas Valley Route (360 or Polish Traverse Route)
Location: Argentina (32° 39′ 11″ S 70° 00′ 43″ W)
Altitude: 6960m (22,834ft)
At 6960m, Aconcagua is the tallest mountain in the Americas. Its South Wall is considered the most emblematic in the Southern Hemisphere. Despite its modest description as a “trekking peak” it is an enormous undertaking. Care needs to be taken if illness and injury are to be avoided. High altitude illnesses such as AMS, HAPE and HACE are seen on a daily basis during the busiest times of the season (please refer to the UIAA Medical Commission advice on these subjects).
Given the weather conditions close to the summit, cold injuries are common too. Each year a small number of deaths occur. Many of these are altitude related and can be avoided.
This article describes ascents that offer an excellent opportunity for a safe and successful climb of Aconcagua.
Permits for Aconcagua Provincial Park are only issued in Mendoza. The process requires several hours and as of 2018/19 could only be paid for in cash. Park authorities require all non-Argentinean climbers to have evacuation insurance.
Bring cash in US Dollars or Euros. Cash machines often have locally defined daily cash limits and high fees. The climbing permit can only be paid for in cash and many other services both in the city and on the mountain are more easily handled this way.