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Tupungato is a stratovolcano located in the Central Andes at the border between Argentina and Chile. Tupungato is 6570 meters high and the tenth fourth highest in the whole Andes range. Although not very famous, it calls attention to anyone driving on the Ruta 7 from Mendoza towards Santiago Chile. Tupungato is that great prominence on the left-hand side.
Considered a dormant volcano due its low activity, Tupungato hasn’t erupted for over 10,000 years. Unlike its neighbor, Tupungatito – also called Bravard -, which despite being much smaller is much more active. Tupungatito was erupting when Darwin was in Chile in the nineteenth century and it generated a lot of confusion. The famous English naturalist thought this mountain was in fact Aconcagua.
Climbing Tupungato isn’t a technical challenge, but a very physically demanding one. The approach starts at 1800 meters, therefore the whole climb requires a 4770 metre gain! All of it in a 37 km hike! For the challenge, it’s necessary to have altitude experience and plenty physical preparation. We recommend Tupungato to those who want a different Andean experience while climbing a true wild mountain.
Requirements for joining this expedition are:
Day 1 – Arrival to Santiago – 700m
We’ll pick you up at the airport and check your climbing equipment same day. Today we have our first dinner together and you’ll meet the rest of the team. Included: hotel, transport and climbing permits.
Day 2 – Santiago – Cajon del Maipo – Agua Buena – 2650m
After leaving Santiago early after breakfast, we will stop at San José de Maipo to show paperwork to the local police. At Alfafal we’ll meet our mule drivers and load the mules to start the trek. Our walk might take us 4 to 5 hours. From 2100m to Agua Buena at 2650m. Included: transportation, permits, packed lunch, and dinner.
Day 3 – Agua Buena – Camp 2 – 3300m
We continue our walk for another 6 hours to Camp 2. This is at 3300m. Included: breakfast, packed lunch and dinner.
Day 4 – Camp 2 – Camp 3 – 3800m
Our trek continues north bordering Rio Colorado and small chain called Cordón Del Bizcocho. Our camp 3 will be set at 3800m by beautiful grassy meadows. Included: breakfast, packed lunch, and dinner.
Day 5 – Camp 3 – Camp 4 – 4100m
We finally cross the 4000-metre line today. After following up a deep valley we’ll set our camp 4. Included: breakfast, packed lunch, and dinner
Day 6 – Acclimatisation carry to 5200 – 4100m
Today is our first carry to 5200 metres in order to split the logistics’ weight and acclimatise. Included: breakfast, packed lunch, and dinner
Day 7 – Camp 4 – Camp 5 – 5200m
Today is time to move the rest of the equipment to 5200 and finally sleep there. We are at camp 5. Included: breakfast, packed lunch and dinner
Day 8 – Rest day – 5200m
Is now time to do absolutely NOTHING. Included: breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 9 – Camp 5 – Camp 6 – 5800m
Is now time to climb the remaining 600 metres to our 6th and final camp at 5800 metres. This camp is also called ‘Argentinos’. Included: breakfast, packed lunch, and dinner
Day 10 – Summit – 6570m
A strong breakfast and a 5am start. At about 8am we should be overcoming technical part of the climb: a 30-metre ice headwall on a 25-degree slope. It’s an easy climb, but at 6100 metres nothing is easy. Our guides will set a fixed line in advance so the rest of the team won’t struggle. From here we have a 4h walk to the summit. We should be back to 5800m 2 or 3 hours before sunset.
Day 11 – Return to base – 3300m
We will descend to camp 2 at 3300m where our mule drivers will be waiting. Included: breakfast, packed lunch and dinner
Day 12 – Return to Camp 1 – 2650m
After crossing the Azufre River, we’ll descend back to camp 1 at 2650m. Included: breakfast, packed lunch, and dinner
Day 13 – Return to Santiago
We should meet our driver at about 1pm and drive down to Santiago to a well-deserved dinner and a shower. Included: Breakfast, packed lunch, transportation, and hotel
14 – Extra day for bad weather or acclimatization
** 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 Cerro Plata. 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
To protect your face on summit pushQuantity: OPTIONAL
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
Summit Down Jacket
Heavy hooded down jacket for cold conditionsQuantity: 1
A good snow, rain and windproof jacketQuantity: 1
Synthetic fibre long or short sleeve t-shirtQuantity: 2 or 3 long sleeve
Used alone or as part of a layer system for better performanceQuantity: 1
Light trekking pantsQuantity: 1 pair
For snow, sand or scree terrainQuantity: 1 pair
Base layer pants
For very cold days and summit pushQuantity: 1 pair
Goretex or similar pants will be used for high wind or during snow conditionsQuantity: 1
Fleece, polartec or similar. To be used with other layers for very cold conditionsQuantity: 1
Chemical hand warmers for the summit push.Quantity: 2 packs
Thick down mittens for summit pushQuantity: 1 pair
Fleece or polartec gloves for every day useQuantity: 1 pair
Sandals or crocs
Sandals or crocs for river crossing or hanging around campQuantity: 1 pair
Waterproof trekking boots, try wearing them before the expeditionQuantity: 1 pair
Good thick trekking socksQuantity: 4 or 5 pairs
Thick expedition socks
For summit dayQuantity: 1 pair
A pair of double or double plastic boots such as Koflach Exped, Koflach Vertical, Asolo Ottomilla, Asolo AFS, Trezetta, Scarpa Vega, Scarpa Inferno, La Sportiva Baruntse, Olympus Mons, La Sportiva Spantik, Scarpa Phantom, La Sportiva G2.
Single layer boots such as La Sportiva Nepal XT, EVO, Batura or Boreal Latok, ARE NOT SUITABLE.Quantity: 1 pair
A light helmet with enough room for your clothingQuantity: 1
A good light alpine harnessQuantity: OPTIONAL
A traverse ice axe (piolet). Can be a straight tool or slightly curved.Quantity: 1
Crampons with antibott systemQuantity: 1 pair
An inflatable mattress and its repair kitQuantity: OPTIONAL
Water purifying tables/drops
A reliable way to treat waterQuantity: OPTIONAL
These gels help out on recoveryQuantity: 3
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: 500 gr for summit push
A good down sleepingQuantity: -15C (Comfort temperature)
A decent rucksack with hip belt and rain coverQuantity: At least 65 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: kit
We prefer taking 2 foam sleeping mattress because of sharp rocks. If you have an inflatable mattress you should also bring a foam mattress to protect the inflatable one against sharp rocks. Don’t forget bringing a repair kit if you have an inflatable mattress.Quantity: 2
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
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
Freeze dried food
Freeze dried or dry food for high campQuantity: 2 or 3 packs
To lock your duffel during transportationQuantity: OPTIONAL
Gives you more stability during walk and summit push.Quantity: 1 or pair
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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.
Expedition cost from U$ 2950 (*), contact us to know payment methods:
What’s NOT Included: