MountainSkills.Ca

V.A. Poulin & Associates Ltd.

  1. 2153 West 46th Avenue

  2. Vancouver, British Columbia

  3. Canada                     V6M 2L2

  4. (604) 263-0424

Aconcagua Expedition 2014 In western Argentina near the Chilean border stands Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America. This sought after objective is one of the 7-highest summits in the world and a superb peak for climbers wishing to experience high-elevation mountaineering. The expedition climbs Aconcagua by the Polish Traverse a route that takes the team through the scenic Vacas Valley then gains the summit by traversing to the standard route for the final ascent. It is the least crowded of the non-technical routes and most scenic. We return by the standard route giving the team opportunity to descend quickly and experience both Standard and Polish Traverse routes. 

The expedition is open to four climbers. They will become part of a self-lead team under the leadership of two senior expedition leaders. The expedition begins February 4, 2013 and concludes February 26, 2013. Each member of the team becomes a full working member of the climbing team making the expedition an excellent learning experience in mountaineering and making expeditions. Team members will work-share all activities needed to summit including carrying personal gear, carrying a portion of common gear, setting up tents, cooking, and assisting partner team members where necessary. We use mule transport services throughout the trip to assist in acclimatization training and going to and from base camps on Aconcagua. The route avoids permanent snow-fields but requires good trekking skills, a high level of fitness, team work, and good acclimatization which we achieve prior to climbing the mountain. During the expedition all members are given training in use of all mountain equipment.



Pre-Acclimatization To give the team the highest possible chance of summit success the team will spend one-week doing acclimatizing training on mountains close to Mendoza. This will provide the team with ample time to assess individual abilities, test fitness and build load-carrying capabilities while achieving acclimatization outside the park.  Pre-acclimatization allows the mountain to be climbed more quickly with greater confidence. It  reduces the amount of weight needed to carry forward and better ensures each climber will have a highly successful and satisfying experience. Climbing Aconcagua in this manner takes more overall time but provides the greatest chance of team success. 

Who Should Join? Adventure seeking climbers looking to experience the unique thrill of gaining one of the world’s highest peaks while being self-lead should consider this expedition. You will share the experience with two well-experienced senior expedition leaders. Climbers should have good English speaking skills, but throughout the expedition Ping Ho will provide Chinese translation where necessary. People offered to join will be like minded, have past experience hiking and trekking experience and tolerant of circumstances beyond the control of the team such as weather, rates of acclimatization, foods, sanitation, and camp conditions while on expedition. They must be fully ensured for medical and personal accident coverage and emergency evacuation by land or air ambulance. Coverage must include all risks associated with high-elevation trekking and climbing.  Evidence of the necessary insurance is required prior to departure. Team members must sign a waiver of liability on part of the leaders and all other team members. 






Itinerary (will be adapted to meet contingencies):
Day 1 - Arrive Buenos Aires, bus to Mendosa - overnight
Day 2 - Climb permits, final supplies, team gear check, Free Time
Day 3 - Acclimatization Hike- objective - vehicle assisted - short walk, 8,000-10,000' (2,500 m)
Day 4 - Acclimatization Hike- objective - 3-hours, 11,000 - 11,500’ (3,300-3,500 m)
Day 5 - Acclimatization Hike- objective - 5-hours, 12,500 - 13,500’ (4,000-4,200 m)
Day 6 - Rest Day
Day 7 - Acclimatization Hike- objective - 2-hours, 15,000 - 16,000’ (4,600-4,800 m)
Day 8 - Acclimatization Hike- objective - full day SUMMIT hike, 17,000 - 18,000’ (5,300-5,500 m)
Day 9 - Return Hike - Drive to Penitentes, entrance to Aconcagua Provincial Park - overnight, 8,500’ (2,500 m) 
Day 10 - (Climb Day 1) Begin Aconcagua Climb - trek Vacus Valley (4 hr hike) to Pampa de Lenas, mule assisted - 9,678’ (2,950 m), Trekking camp
Day 11 - (Climb Day 2) Trek Vacus Valley (4 hr hike) to Casa de Piedra, mule transport assisted - 11,800’ (3,600 m), Trekking camp
Day 12 - (Climb Day 3) Hike to Plaza Argentina Base Camp (6-7 hours) mule transport assisted - 13,750’ (4,190 m)
Day 13 - (Climb Day 4) Move to Camp 1 - 16,240’ (4,950 m), 6 hours, camp
Day 14 - (Climb Day 5) Rest Day - short hike on traverse
Day 15 - (Climb Day 6) Load Carry Camp 2 on Guanacos Valley side, 7 hours, 17,552’ (5,350 m), camp, return to Camp 1
Day 16 - (Climb Day 7) Move to Camp 2, 7 hours
Day 17 - (Climb Day 8) Move to Camp 3 at Chorela, 7 hours, 19,685, (6,000 m), camp
Day 18 - (Climb Day 9) Summit Day on Normal Route, 22,841, (6,962 m), or descend to Camp 1 on Normal Route to wait for improved weather
Day 19 - (Climb Day 10) Reposition for Summit Attempt (weather contingency)
Day 20 - (Climb Day 11) Summit Day second attempt (weather contingency)
Day 21 - (Climb Day 12) Descend to Plaza de Mulas (Base Camp), Normal Route, camp
Day 22 - (Climb Day 13) Hike to Penitentes, take van to Mendoza, overnight
Day 23 - Bus to Buenos Aires, catch return flight to Hong Kong/Canada
Join the Team!


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Expedition Aconcagua