Aconcagua Polish Glacier Direct with Traverse

Challenge yourself with Aconcagua's most technical route! (Porter Option Available)

Overview | Full itinerary | Cost Includes

We approach the Polish Glacier via the Ameghino – Upper Guanacos Valley and then traverse the mountain descending via the Normal Route. If you are signing up for the Polish Glacier Route you need to have previous high altitude experience, and be very familiar with the use of ice axe, crampons, and belaying techniques. Over the years, we have specialized in the Polish Glacier Route, and have guided it successfully many times.

Overview

The line we choose will depend on conditions. If a lot of penitentes (snow pinnacles formed by direct sunlight) are encountered in the lower section of the glacier, we will start by climbing through the scree and rock on the right hand side.

The steeper Polish Glacier Direct Route has been the choice route in recent years. Although steeper, it is safer and easier due to fewer icy and exposed traverses than on the old Polish Route. On this spectacular, steep snow and ice climb we will use several running belays.

In steeper icy sections we will climb pitches instead of using running belays, belaying and regrouping at every anchor. A long day of climbing will take us to the Summit Ridge at 22,000′ after the last steep pitch; a 55-60 degree narrow gully with the entire Glacier below at our feet. The final ridge is very long and gentle. After summiting, we descend quickly down the Normal Route to Independencia (20,790′) and then down to our High Camp at 19,200′ to rest and spend the night. The next day we descend the Normal Route.

Our Polish Glacier Climb Program also offers the following options:

Helicopter flight from the trailhead to Base Camp

This shaves 2 days off the approach to Base Camp (this is optional and will need to be arranged at the last minute depending on flying conditions. Cost is ~USD $1800 for 3 people) Call or email us for more info on this.

Rental of Altitude Training System

Hypoxic tent, ONLY available in the US & Canada (possibly the UK) for shipping. If you live outside of the US & Canada you can buy the system.

We have done the research and tried it ourselves and the Hypoxic tent system really works! If you are willing to sleep for 4-6 weeks at home in this tent, you will be pre-acclimatized for Aconcagua. You can even watch a movie at home in your Hypoxic chamber, among other things, and regulate your elevation right where you are, increasing it week by week!

Hypoxico offers altitude training equipment starting at $150 a week. They also offer a special Rent-to-Own program. If you decide to keep the unit after your rental period, you can apply up to 8 weeks of your rental cost towards a full buyout! The Rent-to-Own program is a great way to test the equipment and ensure it delivers the performance benefits you are looking for. Please let us know if you are interested and we can arrange the Hypoxico rental for you, or feel free to reach out to Hypoxico directly and let them know you are climbing with Aventuras Patagonicas to receive a 10% discount!

Methods and Explanations of Altitude Training

There are three main training methods used to gain the benefits of Altitude Training:

  • Sleeping at altitude
  • Exercising at altitude
  • Intermittent Hypoxic Training

By engaging in these, you can expect the following physiological reactions to occur:

  • Amplified pulmonary oxygen absorption
  • Boosted production of Erythropoietin Hormone (EPO) by the kidneys, stimulating generation of Red Blood Cells (RBCs) and enhanced oxygen transportation through the body
  • Increased capillarization for greater oxygen delivery to the tissues, muscles and brain
  • Enhanced production and rejuvenation of mitochondria (the cell’s hub for aerobic energy production) and mitochondrial enzymes, allowing more efficient use of oxygen for energy production and superior enzymatic anti-oxidative defense.

Visit the Hypoxico website for more info on Hypoxic Training.

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Dates of Trips
2024 – 2025

Nov 30th – Dec 18, 2024
Dec 9 – 27, 2024
Dec 17, 2024 – Jan 4, 2025
Dec 27, 2024 – Jan 14, 2025
Jan 5 – 23, 2025
Jan 11 – Jan, 29, 2025
Jan 18 – Feb 5, 2025
Jan 25 – Feb 12, 2025
Feb 1 – 19, 2025

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Rates

$5,000 $5,500

Price drop expires on June 1st, 2024

Booking Deposit: $800

Deposit amounts are insurable through Global Rescue and IMG.

Dowbload Brochure PDF

Waiting List: If an expedition departure you are interested in is full, please contact us to be put on the expedition’s waiting list. In the event of a cancellation, qualified applicants will be able to get that new spot and register.

Itinerary

DAY 1

Group meets in Mendoza, Argentina. Equipment check and afternoon briefing at the hotel. For dinner we will have a chance to taste fine Argentinean cuisine and wine

Cost Includes

  • Professional Mountain Guides
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Mendoza at the Mendoza Park Hyatt Hotel with breakfast buffet (1 night at the beginning of the expedition and 1 night at the end of the expedition)
  • Mules
  • All expedition food
  • All land transportation (except for airport drop off, we leave this as leisure since many people travel afterwards etc, this can be arrange directly at reception at the Hyatt as well)
  • All community gear such as: tents, stoves, state of the art Base Camp, cooking gear, medical kits, satellite phones, radios, gamow bag, pulse-oximeters, etc.

You are responsible for

  • Round-trip flights to and from Mendoza, Argentina
  • Aconcagua climbing permit fee ($700 to $900 depending on season) which you will pay in Mendoza, accompanied by your guide. South Americans pay about half of this amount and Argentinean Citizens about 1/4 of that amount.
  • Meals in Mendoza
  • Personal equipment
  • Passport
  • Personal items and services (laundry, snacks, drinks, tips, etc.)
  • Expenses incurred in the case of a rescue or early departure from the expedition
  • SAT phone charges
  • Porter fees (See below)

Hiring porters (Available on All Routes)

Porter fees are not included in any of our trips costs, but porters are available to hire on EVERY route that we offer.

If you plan to hire porters, please let us know and we will be more than happy to arrange it for you. We don't take a fee for arranging porters, you just pay the porters directly. 

Porters cost from $160 to $300 per load carry depending on the altitude they carry to. The cost per load increases as you climb the mountain, so a carrying a load from Camp 2 to Camp 3 will be more expensive than carrying the same load from Base Camp to Camp 1.

You will need a maximum of 5 to 6 load carries from Base Camp to High Camp and back down to Base Camp again (~$1,200 USD), if you choose to have a porter for each carry, and move, and for the descent of the mountain.

Porters are available at Base Camps on both sides of Aconcagua: Plaza Argentina for Ameghino Valley/Polish Glacier routes, and Plaza de Mulas for the Normal route which is also used for our 12 Day Climbs. The final number of estimated load carries can be decided when you get to Base Camp but it's best to plan ahead and let us know if you do plan on hiring porters so we can ensure a smooth and easy experience for you!

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