Cerro Plata + Aconcagua - 23 days

About

Cerro Plata + Aconcagua - January

Next set date: 12/01/2018 until 03/02/2018

For mountaineers who would like to acclimatise before climbing Aconcagua, Cerro Plata is a great option! Also, if you are one of those who doesn’t appreciate been around so many people like at Aconcagua BC, Plata is your peak! This will definitely increase your chances of summiting Aconcagua.

At 6962 metres above sea level, Aconcagua attracts climbers from all over the world. Climbers come with completely different climbing backgrounds. Despite having almost 7000 meters, its summit can be reached without any technical climbing at all. In addition, Aconcagua has one of the best logistics in the world. Making the mountain extremely accessible even to inexperienced climbers.

Cerro Plata in Argentina is a great option for those who wish to climb a high altitude mountain for the first time or those who would like to acclimatise for something bigger like Aconcagua. Plata is one of the most accessible high altitude centres in the Central Andes.

Requirements for joining this expedition are:

More information:

Itinerary

Cerro Plata + Aconcagua - 23 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 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 – Drive to Vallecitos – 2900m
In the morning of our second day, we will leave the hotel after lunch and head to Vallecitos, an old ski station used now as base for expeditions. Will spend the night in mountain hut named Mausy. The food there is very good, the hut is very cosy and the staff very friendly. You will also meet our guardians Mr Lobo and Miss Brisa, a husky and a weimaraner who will even come with us to BC! Included: Transportation, night in mountain hut and dinner
Day 3 – Hike to Piedra Grande – 3550m
After breakfast, our near 600 meters climb starts to Piedra Grande, a very comfortable camp at 3550m. Included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Day 4 – Piedra Grande – Salto BC – 4300m
We will take a 3km walk to Salto where we will set up our base camp and spend our next 3 nights. Salto means waterfall in Spanish and this comes from a small waterfall a few metres above camp. Included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Day 5 – Rest – 4300m
Rest day at Salto. Depending upon our entire team’s health, we can take a short walk to a nearby glacier or just rest for the whole day. Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 6 – Salto – Hoyada – Salto – 4700m
Let’s take a 2km walk to a camp named Hoyada which is almost 4700m. This will be our summit camp and we want to stock it before we actually go there to sleep. This walk to 4700 metres is a great acclimatisation opportunity. Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 7 – Rest – 4300m
Rest day at Salto. Very important day of doing absolutely nothing, this will really help with the acclimatisation. Included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Day 8 – Salto – Hoyada – 4700m
We will go to sleep to Hoyada and take the remaining equipment up there. Included: Breakfast and lunch
Day 9 – Hoyada – Summit – Hoyada – 5943m
We will try to summit Plata today. We expect a 8 to 12 hour summit push (up and down).
Day 10 – Hoyada – Mendoza – 900m
We will start early to walk down the mountain passing through Salto, organising our tents and loading the mules. From there we have a 3 hour walk to Vallecitos. Included: Snack, dinner and transport.
Day 11 – Rest at Mendoza and permits – 900m
Your are free to rest and enjoy Mendoza today. Included: breakfast and hotel
Day 12 – Drive to Penitentes and trek to Confluencia – 3300m
We will have morning meeting about logistics and all expedition aspects as well as answering any questions you might have. Included: Transport, hotel and dinner.
Day 13 – Confluencia – Plaza de Mulas – 4300m
Today is the 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 to Plaza de Mulas, our basecamp. Included: Double tents with mattress, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 14 – Rest – 4300m
Rest day at Plaza de Mulas. Depending on the state of the entire team, we can take a short walk to a nearby glacier. Included: Double tents with mattress, Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Day 15 – Plaza de Mulas – Plaza Canada – 4900m
Three-hour walk to Plaza Canada after a nice breakfast at BC. Included: Double tents, Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Day 16 – Plaza Canada – Nido de Condores – 5600m
Five hour walk to Nido de Condores, our second camp. Included: Double tents, Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Day 17 – Rest at Nido de Condores – 5600m
Light walks around camp to improve acclimatisation. Included: Double tents, Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Day 18 – Nido de Condores – Colera – 5950m
3 to 4 hour walk with carrying climbing equipment (wearing most of it) to Colera, our last camp at almost 6000 metres. Included: Double tents, Breakfast and lunch.
Day 19 – Colera – Summit – Colera – 6962m
Early start to the first summit attempt (2 or 3am). We’ll hidrate as much as we can and leave camp at around 4am for the 12 hour round trip to the summit (average time) Included: Double tents and water melting
Day 20 – Spare summit day
Day 21 – Colera – Plaza de Mulas – 4300m
We’ll walk down through all camps arriving at BC at around 4pm. Included: Double tents with mattress, Breakfast, lunch and celebration dinner.
Day 22 – Plaza de Mulas, Confluencia, Mendoza – 4300m
After an 8 am breakfast, we’ll pack our duffels and send them to Horcones on mules and start the 8-hour walk to Horcones. On the way, we’ll stop at Confluencia for food and a short break. 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 23 – Flight out – 900m
** 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 successful expedition to Aconcagua. 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

FAQ

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

Your backpack will never weigh more than 12-15 kg. We prepared our itinerary in a way so your equipment is split into 2 loads to be taken up in 2 different days. This way you don’t have to carry so much weight

Do I have to carry tents and stoves?

All group equipment is purchased, carried, cleaned and assembled by our guides and porters, you don’t have to worry about it.

I still think 12 kg is too much. Can I hire a porter to carry my equipment?

Of course, no problem. If you feel you will not be able to carry your equipment, you can easily hire a porter. This must be ordered in advance.

How much does a porter charge?

Aconcagua porters are unionized and are certainly the most expensive porters in the world! For a 20kg load they charge:

Plaza de Mulas to Plaza Canada: U$150
Plaza de Mulas to Nido de Cóndores: U$250
Plaza de Mulas to Colera: U$300
Full package: 20kg > Plaza de Mulas > Canada > Nido > Colera > Plaza de Mulas: U$1000

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.

I heard Aconcagua is an easy trek, is that true?

In fact, anyone can get to the summit of Aconcagua without climbing anything technical. There are no technical steps on the normal route of Aconcagua. We are however talking about a 7000-metre peak and anything can happen. Several unprepared climbers lost their lives due to relatively simple mistakes. Please read all information before attempting any high altitude mountain.

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 during the summit attempt, 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. This is a common practice in mountains like Aconcagua.

For example, if you decide to abandon the expedition at Camp 2 5650m high, you might have a U$550 ~ U$750 expense to get to Mendoza.

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 the summit, you pay mountaineering professionals with several years experience to help you up and down a steep 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 the summit!

How much money should I take?

You might have to spend money on dinner and lunch in Mendoza, equipment rentals, telephone bills, internet, showers, porters, tips, etc. You might also have extra expenses in case you decide to abandon the mountain. We recommend you to bring a total of $2200 in US currency for the whole trip. Please check the expenditure list:

Climbing permit (non-latin Americans): U$800
Dinner and lunch in Mendoza (average of 3): U$100
Equipment rentals (average): U$450
Cost of abandoning trip: U$550
Average Porter expenditure (if any): U$220

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 the 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.

What sort of training do I need for big mountains like this one?

To 6000m mountains, we recommend you start training at least three 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 on lower mountains. 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 Aconcagua?

Ideally, anyone attempting Aconcagua should have climbed a 6000-metre peak before, in order to become familiarized with acclimatisation and snow walking. We, however, understand how hard it can be to have enough holidays in a year to climb these. So alternatively you can get away with just a multi-day altitude trek such as Everest base camp, Annapurna Basecamp or machu picchu. If you don’t have high altitude experience and you do have to acquire experience before Aconcagua, please let us know and we can organize an expedition for you.

How is the weather in Aconcagua?

It is almost certain that we will take at least one snowstorm. 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… Find out more about the weather in Aconcagua: http://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Aconcagua/forecasts/6962

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 macrobiotic, vegan or celiac due to extreme logistical difficulties. Contact us and let us know about your food restriction.

Who cooks at altitude camps?

We have 4 very skillful cooks at BC and 2 in Confluencia. As for the altitude camps, our guides will cook for you. We guarantee you will e impressed about the meals!

Why do I have to bring freeze dried food?

We recommend our customers to bring 2 or 3 packs of freeze dried meals to camp 3. We have tried to serve a standard menu at camp 3 for several years but it never worked. One of the symptoms high altitude produces on the human body is the lack of appetite. Therefore people become very ‘picky’ on extreme altitudes so we prefer everyone brings their own meal.

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 the problems you might encounter. in addition, we have a doctor at BC and Confluencia.

What if I need a rescue?

Helicopter rescues can be performed at Confluencia, Plaza de Mulas and Nido de Condores (depending upon weather conditions). All helicopter rescues authorized by Basecamp doctors are free.

Do you recommend the use of Diamox?

NOT for the Central Andes. In extreme altitudes like the Himalayas or Karakorum we do recommend using Acetazolamide or Diamox. This drug seems to actually work during the acclimatisation period by increasing the breathing rate at night (reduces CO2 levels), and also is a diuretic which eliminates sodium out of your system. In the Andes mountains, however, mountains are too dry and taking diuretics such as Diamox actually decrease your acclimatisation capacity.

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.

What percentage of your clients actually make it to the summit?

It depends upon weather, experiences, fitness and their nationality. But usually, about 75% of our European and North American clients get to the top.

Where do we go to the toilet on the mountain?

There are toilets in Plaza de Mulas and Confluencia. Anything above that we have a toilet tent and everyone has to do their business in a plastic bag. We then stash it and bring it down the mountain.

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. However, if this is the case, we recommend you to arrive at least a day before the arrival date so you have enough time to rent whatever you need. Rentals can be paid in dollars or pesos. Prices vary, but they should around (price for a 20-day trip):

Goretex jacket U$67.00
Trekking poles (pair) U$30.00
Double plastic boots U$115.00
Hiking boots U$55.00
Duffel bag U$30.00
Fleece Jacket U$30.00
Down Jacket U$97.00
Mattress U$24.00
Crampons U$49.00
Gloves Polartec U$15.00
Mountain Sunglasses U$30.00
Mittens U$42.00
Rucksack U$55.00
Pants Polartec U$30.00
Pants Goretex U$55.00
Piolet/Ice axe U$49.00
Gaiters U$24.00
Down Sleeping bag -30C U$127.00

What’s the temperature my sleeping bag should stand?

We recommend you to bring good down sleeping bags with comfort temperature of -15 up to -22. Please note there are 2 types of temperatures shown in most of the 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. 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:

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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 Angel Armesto:

Angel Armesto

High altitude mountain guide

Angel Armesto is sponsored by:

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Language skills:

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

Angel Ezequiel Armesto is a professional high mountaineering guide, graduated in 2001 at EPGAMT Mendoza. Angel was actually one the first high mountaineering guides graduated at EPGAMT Mendoza. Since then he has successfully guided 72 expeditions to Aconcagua and several at the Himalayan Range, including 2 x Everest expeditions, Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam, among others. He has also led expeditions with very complex logistics to very remote peaks including Vinson in Antarctica. In the Andean range alone, Angel has climbed over 75 different extreme altitude peaks.

Angel is an extremely relaxed and easy going person. He’s the kind of guy who can have a solid conversation on subjects ranging from quantum physics to politics or from world macroeconomy to gut microbiology.

More about Angel Armesto

Facebook Athlete FanPage

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

​​Expedition cost is U$ 4950, contact us to know payment methods:

WHATS INCLUDED

  • Leadership of Maximo Kausch on Aconcagua, world record holder on number of 6000-metre peaks;
  • English speaking guide with at least 5 years experience guiding Plata;
  • 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;
  • Transport from/to Vallecitos;
  • Night at mountain hut in Vallecitos;
  • 4 days of full pension at Plaza de Mulas (breakfast, lunch, dinner, tents, dining tent, mattresses, etc);
  • Full pension at Confluencia (breakfast, lunch, dinner, tents, dining tent, mattresses, etc);
  • 4 nights in a 3-star hotel with breakfast included in Mendoza – rooms are shared by every 2 clients;
  • Transport from/to Penitentes;
  • Lunch at Puente del Inca;
  • Transport from/to Horcones;
  • Mule transport of a 20kg load to/from Plaza de Mulas;
  • Mule transport of a 20kg load to/from Salto (BC at Plata);
  • Transport/assembly of tents, pots, gas, food, water in all camps in Aconcagua and Plata;
  • Steak dinner at Uspallata;
  • Usage of dining 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 and Plata;
  • Gas stoves and pots and cups in all camps at Aconcagua and Plata;
  • We even include Malbec wine for dinner at Plaza de Mulas!
 
WHATS NOT INCLUDED
  • Flights from/to Mendoza;
  • Climbing permit (it varies according to the time of the year and your nationality, check FAQ);
  • Personal climbing equipment (check equipment tab);
  • Money return in case you abandon the expedition;
  • International travel insurance;
  • Porters for you personal equipment (can be arranged in advanced);
  • Any costs caused by excess luggage (over 20kg);
  • Lunches and dinners at Mendoza;
  • Reimbursement for loss or damage of your personal equipment.

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