Nevado de Chañi (5949m) is the highest mountain in the province of Jujuy, Argentina. Its prominence is noticeable from a distance as it is one of the most prominent mountains in the whole north of Argentina. Tourism is growing rapidly in the Humahuaca region, bringing paved road and progress to the countryside. Fortunately, there are still quite a few wild areas to explore and Chañi is definitely one of them.
The requirements for joining this expedition are:
Day 1 – Arrival to Tilcara – 2500m
After meeting the whole team, we’ll have the expedition briefing and gear check. We will stay in a good and comfortable hostel.
Day 2 – Drive to El Moreno – 3500m
2 to 3-hour drive to a small town named El Moreno. We will be driving through “Lipan hills” and cross a large desert. We will spend the rest of the day to rest and acclimatise. Accommodation will be in a nice local hostel.
Day 3 – Acclimatisation at El Moreno – 3500m
Acclimatisation day. As we’re pretty high already, we prefer not to go for long treks. Instead, we’ll hang around El Moreno and go for short walks at the nearby hills.
Day 4 – Drive to Basecamp – 4200m
After having a great breakfast, we will load the trucks and drive following an old mining road (nowadays it is almost abandoned) to our basecamp. Upon arrival we will have lunch, and then a good walk to improve our acclimatisation. We’ll spend the night in tents.
Day 5 – Summit attempt – 5949m
If conditions are good enough to try, we might give it a shot to the summit. If the weather is not so good, we might use this day as acclimatisation.
Day 6 – Spare weather day
Our second summit attempt, in case we need it.
Day 7 – Drive to Tilcara – 2500m
Return to El Moreno and then to Tilcara, where we will celebrate our summit.
Day 8 – Drive to Jujuy – 400m
** The above itinerary is subject to change due weather conditions, performance of the group, political/administrative problems and any other events not described.
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.
Buff or similarQuantity: 1 or 2
Woollen hat or similar for cold daysQuantity: 1
Sunglasses (cat 3 or 4)
With side protection to fit your faceQuantity: 1
Sunscreen and lip balm
30 FPS or moreQuantity: 1
AA or AAA batteries depending on your headtorch. Can be purchased in local store.Quantity: 1 set
Working headtorch and spare batteriesQuantity: 1
Light down jacket
A good snow, rain and windproof jacketQuantity: 1
Synthetic fibre long or short sleeve t-shirtQuantity: 1 long sleeve non-cotton
Used alone or as part of a layer system for better performanceQuantity: 1 (becomes optional if you have a down jacket)
Light trekking pantsQuantity: 1
For snow, sand or scree terrainQuantity: 1
Base layer pants
For very cold days and summit pushQuantity: 1
Goretex or similar pants will be used for high wind or during snow conditionsQuantity: 1
A pair of good waterproof gloves for ice climbing with padded knucklesQuantity: 1 pair (no need if you have mittens)
Thick down mittens for summit pushQuantity: 1 pair (OPTIONAL)
Fleece or polartec gloves for every day useQuantity: 1 pair
Sandals or crocs
Sandals or crocs for river crossing or hanging around campQuantity: OPTIONAL
Waterproof trekking boots, try wearing them before the expeditionQuantity: 1 pair of waterproof boots
Good thick trekking socksQuantity: 2 pairs
Thick expedition socks
For summit dayQuantity: 1 pair (OPTIONAL in case you have cold feet)
Water purifying tables/drops
A reliable way to treat waterQuantity: 1 (OPTIONAL)
These gels help out on recoveryQuantity: 1 (OPTIONAL)
A good down sleepingQuantity: -5C (Comfort temperature)
A decent rucksack with hip belt and rain coverQuantity: 45 litres
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)
Personal Hygiene kit
Soap, tooth brus, come, etcQuantity: 1
1 litre thermos
Metallic good quality 1 litre thermos for the summit push. You must have one. Please do not bring smaller ones.Quantity: 1
Nalgene 1 litre bottles or similar are great for expeditions! We prefer to not use camelbacks as its hose pipe might freezeQuantity: 2 x 1 litre or 3 x 600ml
Gives you more stability during walk and summit push.Quantity: 1 or pair
What is the experience I need to participate?
Ideally, we recommend you to have experience on high altitude mountains. However, to climb Chañi you should have at least experience on multi-day treks so you’re already familiar with camping techniques and the use of hiking backpacks, etc.
What is the training I need for big mountains like this one?
To mountains of near 6000m, we recommend you start training at least 3 months before departure. Of course, this depends upon your physical condition. Aerobic exercises like running and cycling are great. Ideally, ask a professional to recommend you a good aerobic training program. Mountain hiking with a backpack is also a very efficient exercise.
How do I get to Tilcara?
There are many buses from Jujuy (Province capital) or from Salta. Tilcara is quite touristy so this won’t be a problem. If you are already traveling around South America you might prefer Salta which has many more options for tours. Both cities have a local airport which you can fly from Buenos Aires. There are dozens of nice tours ar the Humahuaca Valley. Locals do speak two to three languages, but usually no English. Anyway, everyone will understand you if you show a big smile and respect.
How much cash would I need for casual shopping?
Most of the climbing costs are already covered. Drinks are not included either in hotels or stopovers. Including cold drinks and some souvenirs, it will be reasonable to consider USD20 per day in local currency, while we are in towns. You don’t have to worry about it up on the hills as there is nothing to spend your money at.
Is the countryside of Jujuy pretty clean? Do you think I can get sick?
It’s very unlikely to get food poisoning if you follow very simple common sense rules. For instance, you shouldn’t buy food at street shops. Avoid drinking water from taps, except for the ones in the hotel. Most Argentinean North West foods, apart from being delicious, are spicy as hell! Avoid them at least prior to return from the summit!
Are there any forms of communication on the mountain?
We take a satellite phone and SPOT devices to update our Blog and Facebook daily. Other than that we have VHF radios to communicate between us. Forget WiFi or 3G.
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.
Ask your guide, trust your guide, share your concerns with your guide. 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.
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 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.
What if I have a health problem?
Our leader Angel Armesto has extensive experience in mountain medicine and can solve most of the problems you might encounter.
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 Angel Armesto has lived in the US for 5 years and speaks fluent English. Please check our team’s information and find out about our guides’ communication skills.
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$160 visa to enter Argentina as per reciprocity fee. This should be paid at the airport in cash.
Angel Armesto is sponsored by:
|English - near native speaker|
|Spanish - native speaker|
|Portuguese - excellent command|
Angel Ezequiel Armesto is a professional high mountaineering guide, graduated in 2001 at EPGAMT Mendoza. Angel was actually one the first high mountaineering guides graduated at EPGAMT Mendoza. Since then he has successfully guided 72 expeditions to Aconcagua and several at the Himalayan Range, including 2 x Everest expeditions, Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam, among others. He has also led expeditions with very complex logistics to very remote peaks including Vinson in Antarctica. In the Andean range alone, Angel has climbed over 75 different extreme altitude peaks.
Angel is an extremely relaxed and easy going person. He’s the kind of guy who can have a solid conversation on subjects ranging from quantum physics to politics or from world macroeconomy to gut microbiology.
More about Angel Armesto
Expedition cost is U$ 900, contact us to know payment methods:
What is NOT included: