Aconcagua Basecamp Trek - 9 days

About

Aconcagua Basecamp Trek - December until February

Set date 1: 28/12/2017 until 04/01/2018

Set date 2: 18/01/2018 until 25/01/2018

Set date 3: 08/02/2018 until 15/02/2018

During the trek to Aconcagua Basecamp, you will closely follow a real expedition to the summit of Mount Aconcagua. Together with the guides and all climbers, you will go along with the expedition until the start of the summit push.

Also, this is a great option to enjoy the breathtaking scenery that can be only be seen in Aconcagua. Views like the south wall of Aconcagua would leave anyone speechless. If you are lucky, you may even witness huge ice avalanches on the south wall, of course, from a safe distance. Continue reading the information available here and will be happy to clarify as many questions as possible.

Requirements for joining this trek are:

  • International Travel Insurance
  • Multi-day altitude trekking experience
  • Good health and physical prepared
  • Fill the booking and medical form
  • Read all the information available on this website

Itinerary

Aconcagua Basecamp Trek - 9 days

Day 1 – Arrival to Mendoza – 900m

One member of our staff will welcome you at the airport and bring you to the hotel. In the evening all expedition and trekking members will meet for dinner. Depending upon your arrival time, we will assist you to buy or rent all equipment you need. Included: Transport and hotel.

Day 2 – Permissions and drive to Penitentes – 2300m

We will have morning meeting about logistics and all expedition aspects as well as answering any questions you might have. We will also check all your personal equipment, assist you for rentals and purchases and sort out all climbing permits so you can legally go to Aconcagua. Included: Transport, hotel, and dinner.

Day 3 – Penitentes – Confluencia – 3300m

Our luggage is carried by mules at 5am to Confluencia so we will have everything packed in the previous night. After taking breakfast at our hotel in Penitentes we’ll take a private transport to Horcones where we entry Aconcagua Provincial Park. We’ll stop for lunch at Puente del Inca and at 2pm we’ll start the 3-4 hour trek to Confluencia. Our staff will wait for us with a reception meal at our dining tent. In the evening we will have dinner and sleep in tents. Included: Private transport, breakfast, lunch at Puente del Inca, reception meal in Confluencia, dinner and double tents with mattress.

Day 4 – Confluencia – Plaza Francia – Confluencia – 4150m

This is one of our acclimatisation days. We’ll walk carrying a basic rucksack with water, jacket, gloves, trekking poles, sunscreen, etc. and walk very slowly to the base of the south face of Aconcagua. The views are absolutely stunning! We might even see some avalanches falling from the southern steep slopes of Aconcagua. Included: Double tents with mattress, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 5 – Hike to  Plaza de Mulas – 4300m

Today our longest day. The 18km walk to BC might take us from 5 to 8 hours. We’ll carry a very light rucksack and have lunch at the base of a huge rock named Ibañez. The landscape here is very dry so you might want to bring a good hat. At the end of the huge open valley named Horcones, we will arrive in Plaza de Mulas, our basecamp. Included: Double tents with mattress, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 6 – Rest at Plaza de Mulas – 4300m

Rest day at Plaza de Mulas. Depending on the team, we can take a short walk to a nearby glacier. Included: Double tents with mattress, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Dia 7 – Plaza de Mulas – Mendoza – 900m

After waking up at 8am, having breakfast and walk to Confluencia. We’ll take a 30 minute rest and eat fruit and have cold juice. We will then walk for 1.5 to 2 hours to Horcones. Our private transport will wait for us at Horcones and take us to Penitentes so we can take another private transport to Mendoza. On the way, we’ll stop at Uspallata for a steak dinner. Included: Breakfast, pack lunch, snack food in Confluencia, private transport, hotel and celebration steak dinner.

Day 8 – Flight out – 900m

You will be taken to the airport 2-3 hours before your flight. Included: breakfast and private transport.

** The above itinerary is subject to change due weather conditions, performance of the group, political/administrative problems and any other events not described.

Equipment

Having good mountaineering equipment is one of the key points to have a safe and enjoyable trek to Aconcagua basecamp. Please note all your personal equipment will be checked by one of our guides in the hotel. You can easily rent or purchase all necessary mountaineering equipment in Mendoza. Find out rental prices in our FAQ.

Head
  • equipamento buff

    Bandana

    Buff or similar

    Quantity: 1 or 2
  • gorro neblina cinza copia

    Hat

    Woollen hat or similar for cold days

    Quantity: 1
  • xNxExplorer noir vert J

    Sunglasses (cat 3 or 4)

    With side protection to fit your face

    Quantity: 1 (rental for U$16)
  • GG

    Sunscreen and lip balm

    30 FPS or more

    Quantity: 1
  • xNxlanterna

    Headtorch

    Working headtorch and spare batteries

    Quantity: 1
Torso
  • pluma

    Summit Down Jacket

    Heavy hooded down jacket for cold conditions

  • jaqueta

    Snowproof jacket

    A good snow, rain and windproof jacket

    Quantity: 1 (rental for U$34)
  • camiseta dry

    T-shirt

    Synthetic fibre long or short sleeve t-shirt

    Quantity: 3 or more
  • fleece

    Fleece jacket

    Used alone or as part of a layer system for better performance

    Quantity: 1 (rental for U$16)
Legs
  • Caláa de Trekking

    Trekking pants

    Light trekking pants

    Quantity: 2
  • caláa segunda pele

    Base layer pants

    For very cold days and summit push

    Quantity: 1
  • Caláa anorak

    Snowproof pants

    Goretex or similar pants will be used for high wind or during snow conditions

    Quantity: 1 (rental for U$28)
Hands
  • Luvas segunda camada

    Gloves

    Fleece or polartec gloves for every day use

    Quantity: 1 pair (rental for U$7)
Feet
  • crocs

    Sandals or crocs

    Sandals or crocs for river crossing or hanging around camp

    Quantity: OPTIONAL Quantity: OPTIONAL
  • bota

    Trekking boots

    Waterproof trekking boots, try wearing them before the expedition

    Quantity: 1 pair (rental for U$28)
  • Meias de trekking

    Trekking socks

    Good thick trekking socks

    Quantity: 3 or 4 pairs
Other Equipment
  • gel

    Carbo gels

    These gels help out on recovery

    Quantity: 1
  • food

    Snacks

    Salty snacks, sweets, etc. Any sort of tasty ready food as complement. On high altitude mountains we don’t normally worry about vitamins and proteins as these kinds of food are too hard to digest. You can buy all these in a local market.

    Quantity: 500g
  • estanque

    Stuff sacks or bin bags

    Helps to keep your stuff dry and organised

    Quantity: 2
  • Saco de dormir

    Sleeping Bag

    A good down sleeping

    Quantity: -10C (Comfort temperature) - rental costs U$40
  • Rucksack

    A decent rucksack with hip belt and rain cover

    Quantity: 35 litres or more (rental for U$28)
  • meds

    Altitude medicine

    Our guides already have pretty much any drugs you might need during any trip. However, it would be great if you could have a spare tab of the most used drugs:

    Ibuprofen (Advil)– This is an anti-inflammatory and works great for high altitude head aches
    Loperamide (Imodium) – controls diarrea (not to be used in case of digestive infections. Ask our guides)

    Quantity: kit
  • kit

    Personal Hygiene kit

    Soap, tooth brus, come, etc

    Quantity: 1
  • nalgene

    Water bottle

    Nalgene 1 litre bottles or similar are great for expeditions! We prefer to not use camelbacks as its hose pipe might freeze

    Quantity: 2 x 1 litre or 3 x 600ml
  • duffel

    Duffel Bag

    Used to transport or store your equipment. In many cases, we transport your personal gear on animals and we don’t want your equipment to get wet or have mule smell…

    Quantity: 1 - Rental for U$18
  • cadeado

    Padlock

    To lock your duffel during transportation

    Quantity: 1
  • Bast∆o de caminhada

    Trekking poles

    Gives you more stability during walk and summit push.

    Quantity: 1 or pair Quantity: 1 or pair (U$ 16 for rental)

FAQ

How much equipment will I have to carry? Can I make it?

Your backpack will never weigh more than 7 kg. The rest of it will be carried by mules.

Is there communication on the mountain?

Yes! our guides carry sat phones at all times and you can easily make emergencies phone calls for U$3/minute. Recently a mobile phone antenna has been installed at BC. Its power however is a little unreliable (generator and solar power) and one shouldn’t fully rely on this type of communication. Our guides carry VHF radios and can communicate between camps at any time.

Would you guys call my family and tell them I’m alright?

Of course! Even better! We have a blog that is updated every day! We normally post messages or photos about the expedition progress. Please visit our Facebook page and check the latest posts.

Do I have to share tents to anyone?

Yes. All tents are shared by every 2 persons and this is previously agreed.

Can I charge my iPhone battery or my camera?

Yes! At the base we have solar panels to charge batteries, iPods, etc. Of course this changes when there’s no enough sunlight.

What if I abandon or quit the expedition?

If you quit the expedition 1 week before departure, it is possible to recover part of your investment. Contact us and find out more.

If you quit the expedition in Mendoza, you can continue enjoying the services we provide you such as transportation and hotel. However we can not pay back the money you invested because logistics will already be hired.

If you quit the expedition after we left Mendoza, you will have to cover individual transportation and accommodation costs. Everyone who leaves the expedition for personal or health reasons, should pay these costs.

If you give up at Plaza Francia or Confluencia, you will never have to go down alone. Usually we coordinate your descent with more expedition members or also with guides from other known expeditions. One of the guides will always be with you. Also, Aconcagua is a very strict mountain. They wouldn’t allow a paying client to go down alone. You should have U$150 ~ U$250 for extra expenses in case you abandon the mountain.

What’s your philosophy?

We accept women and men of any age, experience or ambition. We ask our members to be patient, respect the leader’s decisions and never go up or down alone.

Remember that you don’t pay us to take you to basecamp, you pay mountaineering professionals with several years experience to help you up and down a mountain in the safest possible way.

Our itinerary may seem slower than other companies, this is due to a longer acclimatisation plan based on safety. More days will actually improve the chance of reaching your goals!

How much money should I take?

You might have to spend money on dinner and lunch in Mendoza, equipment rentals, telephone bills, internet, showers, tips, etc. You might also have extra expenses in case you decide to abandon the mountain. We recommend you to bring a total of $850 in US currency for the whole trip. Please check the expenditure list:

Climbing permit (non latin americans): U$300
Dinner and lunch in Mendoza (average of 3): U$100
Equipment rentals (average): U$200
Cost of abandoning trip: U$250

Can I use credit cards in Argentina?

We do not recommend you using credit cards in Argentina. In addition to the up to 25% tax, it is quite possible that your credit card might not work due to poor communication system. Only major hotels and supermarkets might accept foreign credit cards. The financial situation in Argentina is very unstable so we highly recommend you to bring US dollars.

How much is the permission to trek to Aconcagua basecamp?

Last time we’ve checked, the 7 day trekking permit costs U$305 for non-latin americans.

What sort of training do I need for this trek?

For trekking to Aconcagua BC we recommend you to start training at least two months before, depending on your physical condition. Aerobic exercises like running and cycling are very useful. Ideally ask a professional to recommend you a good aerobic training program. A very effective exercise is to go hiking with a rucksack in any trails. BEWARE of injuries! We have had some cases of clients who have trained too much and ended up hurting themselves.

What experience do I need for this trip?

To get to Plaza de Mulas we recommend you to have experience in multiple day hikes.

How is the weather in Aconcagua?

At normal summer conditions we might have fairly hot days during the approach and cloudy/windy afternoons. At basecamp weather is normally clear and warm during day time and drops to below zero overnight. So basically expect all possible conditions: rain, hail, wind, boiling hot days, freezing cold days, storms…

What if I have a special diet?

Please tell us in advance about any food issues you might have and also please remind our guides about it too. Unless you bring your own food, we cannot help you if you are macro-biotic, vegan or celiac due to extreme logistical difficulties. Contact us and let us know about your food restriction.

Where will I sleep during the hike to BC?

In the two nights in Confluencia, you will stay in a tent shared by two people. On the night after Mendoza, you’ll sleep in a mountain hut in bunk bed.

Is there water during the approach?

Yes, we will provide you with fresh water in all camps.

What if I have a health problem?

Our leader Maximo Kausch has extensive experience in mountain medicine and can solve most of problems you might encounter. in addition, we have doctor at BC and Confluencia.

What if I need a rescue?

Helicopter rescues can be performed at Confluencia and Plaza de Mulas (depending upon weather conditions). All helicopter rescues authorised by basecamp doctors are free.

I was climbing in Peru before and I had a hard time communicating to my guide. Do your guides speak any english?

Yes, our leader Maximo Kausch has lived in the UK for 10 years and speaks fluent english. Please check our team’s information and find out about our guides’ communication skills.

Where do we go to the toilet on the mountain?

There are toilets in Plaza de Mulas and Confluencia. Anything between that is taken back apart from liquids. For the ‘solid business’ we do it in a bin bag, tight a knot and bring it back to camp.

What if I want to rent equipment?

It is very easy to rent equipment in Mendoza. Check out the list of equipment needed before buying anything. Rentals can be paid in dollars or pesos. These are the costs for the 2017 season. Prices are for the whole expedition:

  • Windproof Jacket USD 34
  • Trekking pole USD 16
  • Trekking boots USD 28
  • Duffel USD 20
  • Fleece jacket USD 16
  • Thick down Jacket USD 48
  • Fleece gloves USD 8
  • Sunglasses or Goggles USD 16
  • Rucksack USD 28
  • Windproof pants USD 28
  • Sleeping bag -8ºC USD 40

What’s the temperature my sleeping bag should stand?

We recommend you to bring good down sleeping bags with comfort temperature of -10 up to -15. Please note there are 2 types of temperatures shown in most of sleeping bags. We’re focusing on the “comfort temperature”.

Do I need an entry visa to go to Argentina?

Depending on which country you come from. American, Canadian and Australian citizens for example, have to pay a U$160 visa to enter Argentina as per reciprocity fee. This should be paid at the airport in cash.

View our photos of Maximo Kausch:
Related links about Maximo Kausch:

Maximo Kausch

Founder and expedition leader

Maximo is sponsored by the following brands:

logos

Language skills:

English - native speaker
Spanish - native speaker
Portuguese - native speaker

Maximo Kausch is one of the most accomplished climbers in the world. By 2015 he has reached the summit of 70 x 6000 metre peaks and climbed over 100 more worldwide. As expedition leader, Maximo has led several expeditions for the American owned company SummitClimb.com.

He was born in Argentina, raised in Brazil and lived over 10 years in the UK. Max is a full-time climber and guide. He literally spends most of his time in the mountains, mainly at the Andes and Himalaya. During his expeditions, Maximo has climbed some of the most remote mountains in the planet and visited at least 25 countries.

Max is a very calm person and focuses on safety and good acclimatisation plans during his expeditions. He is a trained rescuer and has extensive knowledge in high altitude medicine and medical emergencies. On his spare time, Maximo likes rock and mixed climbing in remote mountains.

In 2012 he started an unprecedented project alone and climbed 30 mountains over 6000 meters all alone. His project in now recognized as one of the main exploring projects in the Andes. Max wants to climb all 6000 metres peaks in the Andes by 2017. He publishes all his GPS climbing routes for free so others can climb remote peaks as well.

Maximo has been to at least 11 x 8000-metre expedition at the Himalayas and has plenty extreme logistic experience. Over the years he has helped hundreds of clients to reach the summit of various mountains.

Awards

World Record: Maximo has recently become the record holder of the most number of 6000 metre peaks. He has been to at least 170 high altitude mountains over his 19 years of climbing experience.

Golden Carabiner 2015 - Brazil: For his '6000+ Bolivian Andes' project, Maximo Kausch and Pedro Hauck were chosen to receive the mountaineering Golden Carabiner of 2015. This prize is given to the most accomplished climbs or projects of the year.

Outsider 2013: Maximo was chosen by Outside Magazine as the 'Outsider of the year' in 2013 for his 30 x 6000 metre mountains climbed in a single push late 2012.

Mount Everest Foundation 2015: Mount Everest Foundation UK, has chosen Max's exploring project and decided to finance part of it in May 2015. The prize is given to the more significant exploring projects worldwide.

More about Maximo Kausch

Wikipedia profile

Max's World Record

Facebook Athlete FanPage 

Instagram Page

Some of his Wikiloc routes

View our photos of Eduardo Tonetti:
Related links about Eduardo Tonetti:

Eduardo Tonetti

Mountain Guide and Trekking Guide

Language skills:

Portuguese - native speaker
Spanish -  near native speaker
English - good command

Eduardo Tonetti was born in São Paulo - Brazil and was in the advertising business for 15 years. In 2010 he decided to quit his career and guide for living. After 4 years of studies, Edu has graduated at EPGAMT Guiding School in Mendoza. He is now a professional mountain guide and a WFR trained rescuer, licensed to guide in Aconcagua among many other Andean peaks.

Edu has been a rock climber for 13 years and has extensive experience in several rock climbing areas. He specialized in high altitude mountaineering and climbed dozens of mountains in the region. Edu has climbed big mountains like Aconcagua (6962m, 11 times), Ojos del Salado (6898m), Tres Cruces Sur (6738m), Tres Cruces Central (6640m), Mercedario (6770M), Tupungato (6556m), Cerro Plata (5943m), Vicuñas (6087m), among others.

Eduardo has worked with human development and coaching in São Paulo, Brazil and he is now using mountaineering as coaching activities having amazing results!

He has been working in Aconcagua for the last 4 years in a row and started as a porter in 2012. He worked his way up and has now led several expeditions at Central and dry Andes.

Map

Cost

Trekking cost is U$ 2350, contact us to know payment methods:

What’s included:

  • Leadership of Maximo Kausch, world record holder on number of 6000 metre peaks;
  • 1 or 2 assistant mountain guides (EPGAMT/AAGM certification) depending upon number or clients (client per guide ratio = 2/3);
  • Help on purchasing and equipment rental in Mendoza;
  • Transport from/to airport;
  • 2 days of full pension at Plaza de Mulas (breakfast, lunch, dinner, tents, dinning tent, mattresses, etc);
  • 2 days of full pension at Confluencia (breakfast, lunch, dinner, tents, dinning tent, mattresses, etc);
  • 2 nights in a 3 star hotel with breakfast included in Mendoza – rooms are shared by every 2 clients;
  • Transport from/to Penitentes;
  • 1 night in a 3 star hotel at Penitentes;
  • Lunch at Puente del Inca;
  • Transport from/to Horcones;
  • Mule transport of a 15kg load to/from basecamp;
  • Transport/assembly of tents, pots, gas, food, water in all camps in Aconcagua;
  • Usage of dinning dome tent, toilets tents, personal tents, mountain tents, medical oxygen, gamow bag and medical kit in all camps;
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, packed lunch, treated water in the whole Aconcagua;
  • We even include Malbec wine for dinner at Confluencia and Plaza de Mulas!

What is NOT included:

  • Trekking permit (it varies according to the time of the year and your nationality, check FAQ);
  • Flights from/to Mendoza;
  • Personal equipment (check equipment tab);
  • Money return in case you abandon the trip;
  • International travel insurance;
  • Any costs caused by excess luggage (over 15kg);
  • Lunch and dinner in Mendoza;
  • Reimbursement for loss or damage of your personal equipment.

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