Day 0: Welcome and equipment check
Arrival to Mendoza. Transfer from the airport to the hotel in the city. Welcome meeting with all the members of the team and brief introduction. Check of the equipment and rental of the gear, if necessary.
This “zero” day must be taken into account since the check and rental of the equipment can be delayed and Mendoza is the last place where you can find these things.
Day 1: Mendoza - Penitentes
Breakfast at the hotel. We’ll get the climbing permits in Mendoza city, and then go to Penitentes (2,700 m). We will drive all along the Mendoza River valley until arriving at our Mountain Hotel. Here we will start to feel the mythical mountain environment that the Aconcagua transmits. Then, we will prepare the gear to be carried by the mules. It is necessary to deliver the equipment for the mules the day before the start of the expedition.
Day 2: Laguna de Horcones - Confluencia
After a night in Penitentes, a transfer will take us to the entrance of the Park in the Laguna de Horcones, where we will have the first view of the mountain. We will present the permits at the park ranger post and then, we will start a trek of 4 or 5 hours to finally set up camp in Confluencia (3,400 m).
Day 3: Playa Ancha - Cuesta Brava - Plaza de Mulas camp
After 8-9 hours crossing the “Playa Ancha” and climbing the steep “Cuesta Brava”, we will arrive at Plaza de Mulas (4,200 m), the largest campsite of the Aconcagua Provincial Park.
In this shorter program we don’t do the trek to Aconcagua’s south face viewpoint, in order to have more time later on to do the acclimatization at higher altitude.
Day 4: Rest day
Rest day at the base camp. It is a good day to ask all your doubts and train the team on the necessary issues, getting ready for the biggest challenge.
Day 5: Camp 2: Nido de Condores
We will finally start the ascent to the Aconcagua. We will move to Camp 2, called “Nest of Condors” (5,400 m) from where we will have a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains.
We will also move the camping equipment and tents with the help of the porters. In this way, mountaineers should only carry their personal gear and some group things distributed among all members.
Day 6: Rest day before the big goal
Rest day to regain strength and prepare for the great challenge. After a hard day is important to recover energy, before the most demanding days of the program. The 5500 meters above sea level is the maximum height in which the body can still rest and recover energy.
Day 7: Colera - Camp 3
Today we will start a 4-hour hike to Cholera (5950 m) located on the North edge. Camp 3 is the first point shared between the normal route and the Polish traverse. Once here, there is nothing left but to wait and take it easy. The following day will demand the best of us. I always recommend to ascend as far as possible to get close to the summit. Keep in mind that the next day we will ascend and descend 1000 meters of altitude change.
Day 8: Summit day!
It is the most demanding and important day of our expedition. We will climb by the North edge to the Independencia Hut, at 6,500 m. Then, we will ascend through the “Portezuelo del Viento”, followed by “La Canaleta” and the “Filo del Guanaco”, which takes us directly to the summit.
The prize is waiting for us: a 360° view and the feeling of personal achievement, which ca nonly be understood once we are on the summit. Being at 6962 meters, at the highest point of the continent, is the dream of anyone. However, we must never forget that this is only half the way. We still have to go down. So, we will descend to Camp 3 – Colera (5,950 m).
Day 9: Camp 3 - Base Camp
With the satisfaction of what we have done, we will return from Camp 3 to the Base camp (Plaza de Mulas at 4,200 meters). We will enjoy a great dinner to celebrate the experience.
Day 10: Quebrada de Horcones - Transfer to Mendoza city
Descent through the Quebrada de Horcones (2,950 m) On our way down, we will be reconnected with the more vivid nature that says good bye between birds and lagoons. Check out at the park entrance. Transfer back to the city of Mendoza. Accommodation in the hotel.
Day 11 to 12: Extra days
Days to be used only in case of contingency at any time of the expedition.
Day 13: Ending point
Breakfast at the hotel and end of the program.