I personally recommend using Aventuras Patagonicas for your Aconcagua expedition for the following reasons: They have great logistics on the mountain, and logistics is key to success. Being ill prepared on this mountain not only decreases your chances, but as history keeps repeating, it can be fatal. It is not worth using a cheaper company or compromising gear to save $500. Up there you need everything to your advantage. Everything from their meal planning to packing to mule provisioning to the highly skilled American guides they used was excellent. Just a quick look at other companies on the hill was all that was needed to tell we were the best prepared and provisioned team up there. We had the cool Mountain Hardware tents; got morning blood-oxy readings daily; used Grajales for the mules (they are the oldest and most reliable mule company in ARG); and the Guanacos Route, in my personal opinion, is superior for acclimatization.
Your success on Aconcagua depends on many factors, the least of which are certainly not your pre-trip physical prep, mental preparedness and fortitude, the quality of your gear and some serious luck with the weather. Because there are so many complications that can deny you the summit which may be out of your control, it certainly makes sense to max out on the things which can control; because for the price you pay for guided expeditions, it is always a real shame to come down off the mountain with failure, when problems you may have had could have been avoided by better planning. Using A.P. is part of great planning and I am not too proud to admit that my success in February 03 of sumitting was partly because of their great program. Come prepared and take the pre-departure gear check in Mendoza seriously. Augment their food by taking some of your favorite nutritious lunch snacks with you (like beef jerky, tuna and high-protein energy bars); the lunch snacks available in Argentina are marginal, especially for your high days when your appetite will be pretty awful. Most of all enjoy the stark beautiful Andes; summit or not I am sure you will have the adventure of a lifetime. If I can be of more assistance, feel free to call: (310) 717-5748Brian Ward, Marina del Rey, CA
Overall, I was very impressed with the Guanacos Valley Route and much preferred it from the normal route after our descent on the latter. Additionally, I was impressed with the quality and experience of the guides and was very happy that the weather turned in our favor so that I was able to summit. Finally, I was pleased that our group chemistry worked out as well as it did….no negative incidences whatsoever.Thanks for your help with everything. Keep up the good work and I hope to climb with your outfit again someday soon.Dave Markewell, USA
I think Rodrigo and Bonnie have done a great job of putting together a very professional and highly competent team and organization. And though I have heard and am sure that Rodrigo himself as well as other AP staff are great guides as well, I was lucky enough to go with lead guide Jim Williams, who is not only fun but also one of the most (worldwide) experienced guides out there anywhere, I would not do the normal route — since Rodrigo’s circuit, going out on the normal route, is such a great circumnavigation of the mountain, that I would not recommend it any other way if possible.Mauricio Jaramillo, Ketchum, Idaho
Dear Rodrigo, Thanks for the follow up and all the efforts for such a successful trip. It was truly memorable and was all and more than I had expected. The mountain showed us many faces – from warm dry days, to snow flurries, to the full out Summer Storm. Bruce, Noah, and Mike all did a superb job. The decisions were well thought out and well made, food was fine, and they did a fine job of adapting to the weather. Many thanksDan Holmes, Ventura, California
In my book you could not find a more qualified company. I am certain, there are other good ones, but no other company knows Aconcagua as well. They own that mountain! The people are first-class and I am sure you will have a wonderful experience, but most of all a safe one. Should you have any further questions, feel free to contact me evenings @ 509-838-1543 or during the day @ 509-624-5242.Hubertus Guenther, Spokane, WA
They are the best on Aconcagua. I have known Rodrigo Mujica for almost 8 years now, and I have climbed both Aconcagua and the Vinson Massif with Adventuras Patagonicas. The guides are excellent, and the whole organization is well organized, especially on Aconcagua which is basically their “home court”. Have fun.Hank Skade, Tiburon CA
No doubts that Rodrigo Mujica owner of AP has a top company with skilled guides. If you want to summit Aconcagua ( like me ) AP is your only option. Good LuckChristian Smidth, Parana – Brazil
Overall it was a great trip that Id highly recommend to others. Should be doing Denali with Aventuras Patagonicas next April / May.Wayne Morris, UK
Rodrigo, The expedition was fantastic, everything was first rate. Tom and Brendan were very knowledgeable and a lot of fun. If the weather would have cooperated I’m confident we would have made the summit, although that didn’t dampen the experience. I would certainly recommend your company to anyone. I would like to get 5 of your baseball style caps from you. Thanks!Al Haeg, Columbia Heights, Minnesota
Hi Rodrigo (and Bonnie),Just wanted you to know that I had a great time on Aconcagua. The trip was everything I had hoped it would be. Summitting was definitely the high point. Overall I thought the expedition was excellent. I really thought the guides were excellent. I especially enjoyed spending time with Mike and Zoe. I didn’t get to know Orion as well because he had to come out with sick clients fairly early in the trip. Martin is one of the strongest people I’ve ever met. He helped carry my pack down from the summit when I was starting to get really tired later in the day. That was incredibly appreciated!Nathan Dolbeare, Normal Illinois
I can give nothing but the highest recommendation for Aventuras Patagonicas. I have climbed in North and South America with Rodrigo Mujica and he is without question one of the finest guides in the business. I have known him for most of twenty years and his expeditions are an education in culture, an adventure in safe climbing, and all with excellent food and detailed preparations. You will be pleased with your choice if you decide to climb with them. Best of luck. Let me know how it goes and give Rodrigo my best regards.Cleve McDonald, Anchorage, Alaska
Great company, great guides, AWESOME trip. I highly recommend them. They are safe, cautious, very experienced on the mountain and professional. Have a good time and train hard. It will be worth itCheryl Akright, Tabernash, Colorado
Rodrigo – I had the time of my life on Aconcagua. The trip was absolutely incredible, two weeks that I will treasure for the rest of my life. Whilst I enjoyed Orion and Zoe, and think they are highly competent, I have to say that Mike made the trip. Even though he is young, he just inspires confidence and security. I knew no matter what happened up there, he could fix it for us. I would climb anything with him. In fact, does he climb Denali? Well done Rodrigo – I would recommend Aventuras Patagonicas without hesitation.Hope to climb with you again soon.Nicky Messner, USA
I have climbed with a number of companies in the past and found my experience with Aventuras Patagonicas to be the best. Honestly, the services received from others has been good, but Patagonicas had (1) great, highly skilled, personable, and knowledgeable guides, (2) great food through advanced base camp, (3) a super ability to read and adapt to clients, (4) a wonderful climbing route (knowing what I know now – if the “Normal” route were my only option, I wouldn’t climb the mountain) and (5) very strong organizational and logistical skills. If I were to climb Aconcagua again, they would undoubtedly be my first choice.Howard Jones, Show Low, Arizona
It was truly a great trip and I look forward to the next one, although I’m not sure when that will be!Geoff Martindale, UK
I have climbed with many different companies and found Aventuras Patagonicas to be an outstanding company. Their route selection is unmatched. The guides were the best I’ve had with any company. The food was unquestionably the best I’ve ever had (up through advanced base camp – after that, it’s good old high altitude grub).Our guides were very experienced, read the group well and established an excellent pace. If I were to climb Aconcagua again, they would definitely be my choice of guides.HJ, Arizona
Spokane, WA 99224(509) 838-154310/20/96
American Mountain Guides Association
710 Tenth Street, Suite 101
Golden, Colorado 80401
Re: Aventuras Patagonicas
For the past five years have I known Mr. Mujica and Bonnie Schwahn as Guides both on Denali and Aconcagua. I personally have been twice on expeditions with his company, Aventuras Patagonicas, on Aconcagua. I also feel I have a fair assessment of guide companies and their quality of guides.
I am very pleased to inform you that Aventuras Patagonicas scores a solid A+ in virtually all areas:
-The cost of the Aconcagua expedition is less than others I was aware of.
-Their information and communication before the climb are thorough, helpful and geared toward your individual needs. Someone is always available.
-Once in South America you find yourself in the top hotels available. You feel safe, looked after and entertained in a tasteful first class manner. Everyone goes out of their way to show you the interesting parts of the Chilean culture, which of course as locals only they can do.
-The arrangements for the hike-in and climb are flawless and professional. Nothing is left to chance. You begin to feel in competent and safe hands. The equipment is state of the art. On both of my expeditions the tents were brand new, a trademark of the Company.
-Once on the mountain you begin to realize what a superb guide Rodrigo Mujica really is. He is very sensitive to his clients, anticipates their strengths, their weaknesses and uniquenesses. The food is good and plenty as I have ever had on a mountain. Most important he is a safe top notch climber and knows Aconcagua better than any person I know, to the point that guides of other companies rely on his input, decisions and judgment, especially in tight spots. Truly, cowboys, rangers, guides, and climbers alike consider Rodrigo as Mr. Aconcagua. You feel he owns the mountain. His summit success ratio speaks by itself and you know if anyone can get you to the summit, Rodrigo will.
-On the way down, you get surprised with all kind of niceties. While other companies camp at Plaza de Mulas, we stayed at the hotel, showered, ate quasi restaurant food and slept in beds. What a treat and all part of the package fee. At the trailhead watermelon and beer was waiting for us, followed by an incredible feast of a meal, followed by another first class hotel in Santiago, which again is part of the fee. An evening of dinner and top entertainment are followed by a sad good bye.
If you dont already know by now, in my opinion Aventuras Patagonicas is a first class act. I recommend them highly and you are welcome to give out my name for future references. As busy as our lives are, one does not want to go wrong and expose oneself to three weeks of misery or possibly danger. Both of my trips with this company were marvelous, safe and extremely enjoyable.
Sincerely.Hubertus Guenther, Spokane, WA (509) 838-1543