Aconcagua
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<Pre/Post-Climb>    <Horcones Valley and Base Camp>    <High Camps>    <Summit Day>

January 2004
Another one of the affordable yet climbable (with plenty of training, time, and money) of the fabled Seven Summits. Led once again by Steve Bonowski of the Colorado Mountain Club, much of the same group of folks from Elbrus this past summer trained together and prepared for this climb of Aconcagua at 22,841ft; the highest peak in South America, the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere, and the highest peak outside of the Himalayas. Some claim this peak as a "High Altitude Walkup", I disagree after finding that you can barely walk above 22K feet!

Follow along with my dialog and pictures from the trip of a lifetime broken down into these four sections:
Part I: Pre and Post Climb: This part involved getting back and forth to Mendoza and Puente del Inca at the base of Aconcagua. Plenty to do in Mendoza....land of hubcap sized steaks and fine wine!
Part II: Horcones Valley and Base Camp: We spent 2 days hiking up the beautiful and extremely wide Horcones Valley just to get to base camp at 14,200ft. Base Camp itself was a bustling international metropolis of climbers. Complete with phones, tent restaurants and bars, and email (of course).
Part III: High Camps: We used Camp Canada at 16,500ft and Nido de Condores at 18,300ft to advance up the mountain beyond base camp and set ourselves up for a chance at the summit. We were weathered in for the better part of 5 days which led to some long and interesting times in the confines of a tent.
Part IV: Summit Day: This is what months and months of ass-busting hard work and training all came down to!

My Gear List (MicroSoft Word format) I went pretty slim on the food and clothing but somehow managed to fit all of this into one duffel.

Itinerary for Normal Route (in parenthesis was original itinerary when different then actual)
Day 1: Fly Denver to LA to Santiago
Day 2: Fly Santiago to Mendoza, free day in Mendoza
Day 3: Get permits and food, bus to Puente del Inca at ~9000ft
Day 4: Day hike in area, prepare for climb
Day 5: Trek up Horocones Valley to Confluencia at 11,450ft, sleep there
Day 6: Trek to Plaza de Mulas base camp at 14,200ft, sleep there
Day 7: Rest day at Mulas, sleep there
Day 8: Carry and cache to Nido de Condores at 18,300ft, sleep at Mulas
Day 9: Rest day at Mulas, sleep there
Day 10: Climb to Camp Canada at 16,500ft, sleep there
Day 11: Weathered in at Camp Canada , sleep there (Climb to Nido, sleep there)
Day 12: Climb to Nido, sleep there (Carry and cache to Camp Berlin at 19,500ft, sleep at Nido)
Day 13: Rest day at Nido
Day 14: 1st summit day, ended up being a weather day (Climb to Camp Berlin, camp there)
Day 15: Summit day!!! (1st summit day, or rest day)
Day 16: Descend to Mulas (2nd summit day)
Day 17: Trek to Puente del Inca (3rd summit day)
Day 18: Bus to Mendoza (Descend to Mulas from Camp Berlin)
Day 19: Free day in Mendoza (Trek to Puente del Inca)
Day 20: Free day in Mendoza before night flight to Santiago then LA
Day 21: Fly Santiago to LA to Denver

Roger's Aconcagua website

<Pre/Post-Climb>    <Horcones Valley and Base Camp>    <High Camps>    <Summit Day>