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About the Mountain


As the highest mountain in South America, Aconcagua (22,841 feet) is a must-do for anyone hoping to reach all Seven Summits. Even if you aren’t in pursuit of standing on the roof of every continent, climbing Aconcagua is worth putting on your bucket list. It’s a true expedition into the heart of the Argentine Andes, taking three days of trekking through desert valleys just to reach the base. The entire journey typically takes a full three weeks, after which you’ll want another week to celebrate in Mendoza and Buenos Aires.

“From the sum­mit you can look back at the knife edge ridge of the low­er sum­mit...to the val­ley glac­i­er below and see into Chile towards the South Pacific Ocean.”

- Doug Peers

There are two main routes up Aconcagua: the Vacas Valley Route and the Normal Route. While the Normal Route is the shorter and more direct way up, the Vacas Valley Route is considered more scenic. No matter which one you choose, this is not a mountain to underestimate. Over half of those who attempt Aconcagua do not reach the summit, thanks at least in part due to it being perceived as an easier mountain. In fact, Aconcagua has harsh, freezing weather and extreme altitude to contend with. While you can only do so much against weather, you can give it your best shot against the altitude by arriving in top fitness and with basic mountaineering skills. Use of crampons can be necessary at times even on the Normal Route and you do not want to be trying them for the first time in such a high-consequence environment.

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