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Aconcagua Map

Mapping out each Aconcagua Route

While Aventuras Patagonicas expeditions of varying length, there are three well-established routes on which we guide our clients:

Ameghino Valley Route

This is ours and our clients' favorite route on the mountain! Our transport drops us off at the Punta de Vacas Park Entrance. For the next three days, we hike to basecamp covering ~25 miles, and sleep in two camps along the way: Pampa De Leñas on the first night, and Casa De Piedro on the second night. We then travel up the Ameghino Valley to reach Base Camp (Plaza Argentina) on Day 3.

Over a period of multiple days, we climb from Base Camp to Camp 1, Camp 2 and then Camp 3. Finally we climb to High Camp (Piedras Blancas / White Rocks). Only when we are ready to make the summit push do we climb to High Camp, where we rest for a few hours before getting an early start to go for the summit! We descend from the summit via the Normal Route down to its Base Camp (Plaza de Mulas). The final hike out from Plaza de Mulas to the Park entrance is done in a day and covers ~15 miles down the Horcones Valley to the Park Entrance/Exit at Penitentes.

This route enables us to traverse Aconcagua (sometimes called the 360 route) from one side to the other. Being able to see the mountain from every angle, on the way up and on the way down, makes for a truly unforgettable experience. No wonder it's ours and our clients' favorite route!

Polish Glacier Route

The Polish Glacier route is largely the same as the Ameghino Valley route all the way to Camp 3 (High Camp). Our transport drops us off at the Punta de Vacas Park Entrance. For the next three days, we hike to basecamp covering ~25 miles, and sleep in two camps along the way: Pampa De Leñas on the first night, and Casa De Piedro on the second night. We then travel up the Ameghino Valley to reach Base Camp (Plaza Argentina) on Day 3.

Over a period of multiple days, we climb from Base Camp to Camp 1, Camp 2 and then Camp 3. Finally we climb to High Camp (Piedras Blancas / White Rocks). Only when we are ready to make the summit push do we climb to High Camp, where we rest for a few hours before getting an early start to go for the summit! This is where the Polish Glacier route comes into its own: while other routes climb a mostly shared path to the summit, we begin our ascent directly on the Polish Glacier. The summit day on the Polish Glacier can take up to 18 hours given the technical nature of the route. From the summit, we descend via the Normal Route down to its Base Camp (Plaza de Mulas). The final hike out from Plaza de Mulas to the Park entrance is done in a day and covers ~15 miles down the Horcones Valley to the Park Entrance/Exit at Penitentes.

Like the Ameghino Valley route, the Polish Glacier route enables us to traverse Aconcagua (sometimes called the 360 route) from one side to the other. While the Polish Glacier is certainly the most challenging route to the summit, it is also by far the most technically rewarding. If you have prior glacier experience and are looking to do something extraordinary, then this is your route!

The Normal Route

The Normal route is the route we use for our:

  • 12 Day Climb
  • 12 Day Climb with Oxygen
  • Normal Route Climb (clearly!)

While this is the busiest route on the mountain, it is also the shortest. We believe that the Ameghino Valley and Normal Route are equally approachable as non-technical route, but the advantage of the Ameghino Valley is that it is less frequented and much more picturesque. Because it is the shortest route, the Normal Route lends itself perfectly to our 12 Day climbs where time is of the essence.

We drive from Mendoza and are dropped off at the Penitentes Park Entrance. We either hike up the Horcones Valley, or take a helicopter straight up to Base Camp (Plaza de Mulas).

Over a period of multiple days, we climb from Base Camp to Camp 1, and then Camp 2. Finally we reach Camp 3, from where we will make our summit push. From the summit, we descend the same route we came up down to the Normal Route Base Camp (Plaza de Mulas). The final hike out from Plaza de Mulas to the Park entrance is done in a day and covers ~15 miles down the Horcones Valley to the Park Entrance/Exit at Penitentes.

While the Normal Route can get very busy with other climbers, it remains the quickest way to the top for those who are short on time and who have take the time to pre-acclimatize by using a Hypoxic Tent before their trips. Regardless of the route you choose, your summit experience will be a memory that you will never forget!

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