Equipment List

Aconcagua expeditions: Guanacos Valley, Ameghino Valley, Polish Glacier* and Normal Routes needs this equipment list (Polish Glacier requires additional equipment (see below)




  • Socks:
    • 3 or 4 pair thick outer socks, synthetic or wool
    • 3 pair thin inner liner socks, silk or synthetic
    • 2 pair cotton, synthetic, or thin wool socks (for approach hike)
    • Optional sock combos – 1 pair thick and 1 pair thin or 2 pair thick and 1 pair thin
  • Plastic or synthetic leather double mountaineering boots for above Base Camp, NOT SINGLE BOOTS
  • Lightweight hiking boots or sturdy approach shoes for hike to Base Camp
  • Gaitors (for scree, goretex type work well – NOT overboots)
  • One pair velcro – strapped rubber sole sandals (such as tevas or chacos) OR old tennis / running shoes for river crossings
  • Lightweight running shoes for hike out last day (can also be used for river crossings on approach hike)


UPPER BODY - wear in layers


  • Lightweight synthetic turtleneck – 2
  • Expedition weight synthetic shirt – 1 (or 2 midweight shirts)
  • Heavy fleece jacket (or similar weight synthet or down micro light puffy jacket)
  • Breathable windproof outer jacket, such as goretex or event fabric, with hood
  • Heavy weight down or Polarguard Expedition Parka with heavyweight expedition insulated hood (-20 F)
  • Cotton or synthetic T-shirts for approach – 2
  • Lightweight, breathable, long sleeved shirt for sun protection on approach hike

LOWER BODY - wear in layers


  • Synthetic or nylon briefs or underwear – 3 pair
  • Lightweight synthetic or capilene long underwear bottoms – 1 pair
  • Expedition weight synthetic or capilene long underwear bottoms- 1 pair
  • Midweight fleece pants or synthetic guide / scholler pants for mid – mountain – 1 pair optional (full length side zippers recommended)
  • Breathable windproof pants or bibs such as Goretex (full length sidezippers recommended)
  • Shorts – 1 pair for approach hike
  • Lightweight cotton or synthetic breathable pants for sun protection on approach hike



  • 2 pair thin gloves, polypropylene or capilene – for lower mountain
  • 1 pair insulated windproof, fingered gloves, such as ski gloves, with longer cuff – for upper mountain
  • 1 pair insulated overmitts for summit day
  • OR substitute for insulated mitts above: a combination of 2 pair mitts (fleece, or wool Dachstein) to fit one inside the other with room AND 1 pair Goretex win shells for wear



  • Ski hat, wool or fleece
  • Balaclava, wool, fleece or capilene – to cover neck, chin & face
  • Baseball cap for sun



  • Down or polarguard sleeping bag comfortable to -20F with compression stuff sack
  • 1 closed cell foam pad and / or 1 inflatable thermarest pad (full length) BOTH recommended



  • Pack with 5000 – 6000 cubic inch / 80 – 100 liter capacity
  • Day and a half pack for approach, approx 2000 – 3000 cubic inch / 30 – 50 liter capacity
  • Extra Large strong duffel bag (at least 7000 cubic inches / 140 liter) w/strong zipper and a lock.  THIS IS YOUR MULE BAG.  Must be able to fit full expedition pack and double boots in this bag for mule to carry on approach
  • 1 compression stuff sach with straps or lightweight daypack (15 liter) to use as a daypack for hike out



  • Ice axe 70 cm. approx. Standing with your arm relaxed at your side, the ice axe should reach from the palm of your hand to the ground. For Polish Glacier Route it can be 5-10 cm shorter.
  • Crampons, 12 points non-rigid recommended. For Polish Glacier Route; rigid are fine.
  • Ski poles or sturdy trekking poles – adjustable preferred



  • Climbing harness, to fit comfortably over bulky clothing.
  • Carabiners, 6 regular, 2 locking
  • 1 Ascender
  • 30 feet of 6mm perlon rope (for rigging your ice axe, ascender and harness)
  • Shorter ice axe – 60 to 65 cm (in place of longer ice axe used on other routes)
  • Climbing helmet



  • Non – breakable plastic bowl, large cup (insulated) with lid, durable spoon and fork – NOT PROVIDED
  • 2 water bottles – 1 liter capacity, with wide mouth (hard plastic) with 1 or 2 water bottle insulators
  • Head lamp and extra bateries
  • Sun glasses – 2 pair (one as a spare)
  • Ski goggles for summit day and stormy weather
  • Sun screen lotion SPF 30 or higher – 1 large or 2 small tubes
  • Sun screen lip protection – 1 stick
  • skin moisturizer – 3 oz
  • Personal supply of mole skin, bandaids, tape, second skin, throat lozenges
  • Pocket knife
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Toilet paper – 1 or 2 rolls in plastic bag (such as a ziplock bag)
  • Antibiotics 1 cycle broad spectrum (for wound or respiratory infections)
  • Aspirin or Ibuprofen – 30
  • Disposable lighter (always useful on a mountaineering expedition)
  • Stuff sacks 2-3, assorted sizes (also bring a compression stuff sack to use as a daypack on hike out)
  • Iodine or similar water purification tablets – 2 or 3 new small bottles
  • $300 – $400 USD cash (some $20 bills) for extra meals, drinks, tips, emergencies, (more if hiring porters)

OPTIONALS: some of these iterms may be left in Base Camp - will be taken back to Penitentes by mules


  • 1 pair Vapor Barrier Liner (VBL) socks
  • Booties, down or polarguard with cordura soles (for camp and tent, above Base Camp) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
  • Sleeping bag liner (if renting sleeping bag)
  • Camera, batteries, small solar charger
  • Plug adaptor for hotels
  • Journal, pen/pencil, book, games, I Pod
  • Small towel and soap, baby wipes, foot powder (wet wipes are very handy)
  • Cotton bandana or buff for sun protection, neck gaitor for warmth
  • Pee bottle 1 liter capacity, wide mouth, nalgene type bottle (useful at higher camps)
  • 1 lightweight, metal, mini thermos, 1/2 to 3/4 liter capacity, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for summit day
  • Your favorite energy bars (we provide full lunches), in original package for customs
  • Hydrating system, 2 quart capacity (i.e. camelbak) Does not replace water bottles CAMELBAKS FREEZE for approach hike only
  • Portable water purification system (be prepared to share this item with your team) i.e Katadyn, steripen
  • 2 large plastic garbage bags to use in sleeping bag stuff sack
  • neoprene windstopper facemask (for cold summit day)
  • warm vest
  • Light synthetic or nylon bag to use to protect pack on mules for hike out last day
  • Straps for outside of pack to carry crampons and other gear (essential if pack is smaller than recommended)