• Cerro Aconcagua
  • 6962 m.
  • Argentina
  • Location: South 32.39.186, West 70.00.724 (GPS reading at the summit)
  • Highest in the Southern and Western Hemisphere
  • Difficulty: YDS class 2+ (French Alpine PD)
  • Climbed January 29. 2002


How to get there: Any trip to Aconcagua should (must) start in Mendoza, as the climbing permit can only be obtained there in person.
Mendoza is a very beautiful city with modern stores and all services.
We flew via Frankfurt directly to Sao Paulo, Brazil. From here there is a convenient flight to Mendoza (with a brief stop in Cordoba). One can also fly via Santiago, Chile and connect to Mendoza by air or bus.
Route description: The short version is listed below, for a more complete trip report you may click here.
In 2002 the climbing permit cost US \$ 200. It can only be obtained in the city of Mendoza. This permit allows you a maximum of 20 days in the national park.
Day 1: We entered the park on January 16., from the small place Puente del Inca (2740m) and walked (approx. 2.5 hours) to the camp site Confluencia (3380m).
Day 2: We continued the hike to Base Camp, Plaza de Mulas (4385m). This hike consists of approx. 3.5 hours of very flat valley including several crossings of the creek until one passes a small camp site next to a very distinct, large boulder at the end of the flat valley. Thereafter, the trail starts climbing to Base Camp, this section takes about the same time (3.5 hours) if a non-trivial backpack is carried along.
Day 3: Resting (acclimatization) day in Base Camp.
Day 4: I carried the high camp tent and some supplies to Camp 1, called Canada (5050m), sleep in Base Camp.
Day 5: Tor Erling and I carried some more supplies to Canada (5050m), sleep back in Base Camp.
Day 6: We moved to Canada (5050m).
Day 7: We rested (acclimatization) in Camp 1.
Day 8: We carried supplies to Camp 2, Nido de Condores (5570m), sleep in Camp 1.
Day 9: We moved to Camp 2, Nido de Condores (5570m).
Day 10: Resting (acclimatization) day in Camp 2.
Day 11: Move back to Base Camp, due to bad weather.
Day 12: Climb of Bonete (5060m) from Base Camp.
Day 13: Move back up to Camp 2, Nido de Condores (5570m).
Day 14: Start at approx. 0445, the slopes up to Berlin, via Independencia, the Traverse and the Canaleta, directly to the summit, Cerro Aconcagua, 6962m, reached at 1215. We spent 20 minutes at the top in good conditions, weak wind and a 360 degree panorama. Return to Camp 2 well before 1600, after a fantastic day. Sleep at Camp 2.
Day 15: Return to Base Camp (4385m).
Day 16: Climb Catedral (5295m) from Base Camp.
Day 17: Rest day at Base Camp, pack equipment for transport by mules.
Day 18: Hike out of the park, we left Base Camp at 1130, and reached the road (park entrance) after 4 hours and 53 minutes, including short rests along the way. This indicates that the actual distance is about 25 km, in any case less than 30 km.
Comments: I did this most memorable climb with my son Tor Erling, age 19.
This mountain (probabely) has the largest primary factor of among all mountains, 6962m.
This mountain is also the one with the largest distance to any higher mountain.
It is (extremely) likely that any person on its top in January is the highest human being on the planet, since peaks in the Himalaya are typically not climbed during this period.
We collected some medical information every morning and evening.

We organized this as a completely private trip. We purchased meals in Base Camp as well as the renting of a Base Camp tent from Mallku. This service is highly recommended, they also offer more complete service including guiding and porting on the mountain itself. We talked to several parties on the mountain that got "minimal" service from their commercial organizer/provider. In contrast, Mallku Expediciones provided excellent service and a personal touch and attention that certainly contributed to a very successful expedition. Send email to Victor Hererra: or You may also contact him via the WEB page for more information. Mallku can provide exactly the service or level of support that is right for you.