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Aconcagua Argentina









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    The Mountains

    Aconcagua, at 6962m, is the highest mountain in the Americas, the highest peak outside of the Himalaya and one of the “7 Summits”. Located entirely in Argentina, Aconcagua is approximately 70 miles Northwest of Mendoza and about 15 miles east of the border with Chile. The first recorded successful ascent of Aconcagua was on the 14 Jan 1897 by Swiss guide Matthias Zubriggen using what is now known as the normal route.

    The Route

    Monkey Mountaineering uses the Vacas Valley route which is also known as the “Falso de los Polacos” route and more commonly as the 360 route. This route crosses through the Vacas valley before ascending to the base of the Polish Glacier and then traversing across to the normal route for the final ascent to the summit. Descent is via the Normal route.

    Best Time To Go

    The best time to climb Aconcagua is from November through to the end of March. Entry into the Aconcagua Provincial Park is not permitted after the last day of February. The best weather for summiting tends to be in December and January and this is when most expeditions take place.

    We will collect you from the airport and transfer you to your hotel in Mendoza.

    After completing the formalities surrounding permits, we will travel to Penitentes, taking lunch on the way, where we will spend the night in a hostel. Sleeping altitude 2600m.

    After breakfast we will move by road to the trailhead where we will sort our luggage and trek to Camp Pampa de Lenas at 2800m. This is about a 5-to-6-hour trek.

    Roughly 6 hours of trekking takes us to Camp Casa de Piedra at 3250m.

    Today we will trek to Camp Plaza Argentinas at 4200m.

    This is an acclimatisation and load carry day to Camp 1 at 4850m. After arriving at Camp 1 we will spend a short period acclimatising before descending to sleep at Plaza Argentinas.

    Trek to Camp 1 where we will spend the night.

    This is an acclimatisation and load carry day to Camp 2 at 5400m. After arriving at Camp 2 we will spend a short period acclimatising before descending to sleep at Camp 1.

    Trek to Camp 2 where we will spend the night.

    A day spent at Camp 2 with the opportunity to take an acclimatisation walk up to the high camp

    Final trek day up to High Camp at 5970m.

    Depending on the weather we will make our attempt on the summit.

    Contingency summit day.

    Contingency summit day.

    After achieving the summit we will descend to Camp Plaza de Mulas at 4300m.

    Today we will trek from Plaza de Mulas to the trailhead where we will be met and transferred back to a hotel in Mendoza.

    Join one of our scheduled expeditions from £3250 per person. Scheduled expeditions run throughout the season, please get in touch to find out more and confirm dates. You will join a team of up to 12 international clients.

    Private expeditions on dates of your choosing can be arranged with prices starting from £4000 per person. The minimum group size for private expeditions is three.

    To book or find out more please contact us or get in touch by email info@monkeymountaineering.com or phone 01765773015

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    Included in the price of this trip

    • Arrival transfers from the airport to your hotel in Mendoza.
    • Pre & Post climb accommodation in Mendoza in shared rooms on Bed & Breakfast basis (single rooms available for a supplement).
    • Park entry fee and assistance with obtaining permits.
    • Transport to the trailhead and back to Mendoza after the climb.
    • Hostel accommodation in Penitentes in shared rooms on a Bed & Breakfast basis.
    • A fully supported expedition which includes mountain tents, fully equipped dining tent, toilet tent and all meals.
    • Professional guiding and support team including porters and chef.
    • Mule Portage of 20 kg per client from Penitentes to base camp and back out on completion of the climb.

    Not included

    • International Flights from/to the UK.
    • Personal clothing and equipment (see our clothing and equipment section for guidance about what to bring).
    • Additional accommodation in Mendoza if summit is achieved early or expedition has to be curtailed for whatever reason.
    • Personal porters (portage of equipment above base camp - this service can be arranged for an additional fee).
    • Tips.
    • Personal travel insurance (to cover you for cancellation, accident, health, emergency evacuation and loss, theft of or damage to baggage and personal effects etc. You must ensure you have specific cover for ascending to the summit of Aconcagua for this trip).
    • Lunch, dinner, and drinks etc. whilst in Mendoza and/or Penitentes (hotel accommodation is B&B).
    • Additional expenses incurred should there be a need to curtail your climb early and transfer you from the mountain back to a medical facility or hotel (it is essential that you have personal travel insurance that includes cover for climbing Aconcagua).

    Essential Clothing & Equipment

    • Boots

      A good pair of light-weight GoreTex lined walking boots which provide ankle support and are well broken-in. Boots are essential - Please do not bring trail shoes.

    • Boots High Altitude

      A good quality High Altitude double boot with an insulating gaiter is preferable. It is important that these boots are as warm as possible. We recommend boot such as La Sportiva G2 SMs, Scarpa Phantom 6000s, La Sportiva Spantiks or 8,000m boots. These can be hired from http://www.expeditionkithire.co.uk/index.html. Make sure there is sufficient room in these boots for a good thick sock and a liner sock – tight boots can lead to frostbite so please make sure whatever boots you choose have adequate space.

    • Buff

      Essential for helping to keep the sun off your neck at lower altitudes, protecting from dust and wind and as neck/face protection higher up.

    • Climbing Harness - Lightweight

      A lightweight alpine type climbing harness will work best. Ensure it is large enough to go on over all your clothing.

    • Climbing Helmet

      You only have one head - best to look after it. Make sure you can wear a beanie/woolly hat under your climbing helmet

    • Crampons - C3

      12 point mountaineering crampons with anti-balling plates. Ideally these will have a rigid toe and heal bale as opposed to flexible bindings and will be a good fit to your expedition/B3 boots.

    • Down Jacket - Expedition Weight

      For wearing at high altitude and on summit day. Ideally it should be at least 700+ fill down (or equivalent) and baffle construction with a hood – make sure it is rated down to at least -25 degrees C, the warmer the better!

    • Dry Bags

      A selection of rucksack liners and dry bags as required to keep your clothing, sleeping bag and equipment dry and organised.

    • Duffle Bag

      This should be big enough to carry all the clothing and equipment you have with you. It will be carried by a porter, so a soft duffle type bag is best – suitcases are not suitable.

    • Face Mask

      Not essential but worth considering – Buff can be used instead.

    • Fleece or Soft Shell Layer

      This can be a fleece jumper or fleece jacket or a soft shell jacket.

    • Gilet

      This is an optional item but a good choice as an extra layer to keep your core warm. Any gilet you choose should be low volume (not bulky) down, primaloft or fleece.

    • Gloves

      A lightweight windproof pair of gloves for wearing on a daily basis as required.

    • Head Torch

      With spare batteries or the means to recharge.

    • High Altitude Socks

      Thick socks for wearing above Base Camp in your High Altitude Boots. Take 2 pairs and keep one pair in reserve for summit day. Socks such as Thorlo extreme cold or Smartwool mountaineering extra heavy crew socks are great.

    • Hiking Socks

      We recommend a good pair of proper hiking/trekking socks. A minimum of three pairs but ideally you should have a pair for each day.

    • Ice Axe

      This should be a walking axe between 55 and 65 cm long.

    • Insulated Jacket

      Can be down or synthetic.

    • Lightweight Walking Trousers

      To wear on a daily basis if not wearing shorts and for evening wear. Jeans or tracksuit bottoms are not suitable.

    • Liner Gloves

      Thin silk/wool/polypropylene liner gloves – 2 pairs.

    • Liner Socks

      2 to 3 pairs. For wearing in your expedition boots.

    • Long-Sleeved Thermal Top

      Essential base layer for colder days and nights. Pack at least 2 of these.

    • Mid-Layer

      Lightweight microfleece or something similar is ideal as a mid-layer. You should bring two mid-layer tops – tops with zips allow ventilation and are often better than round neck tops.

    • Mittens

      Expedition standard modular mittens with a warm fleece lined inner and a durable windproof/waterproof outer shell. Ideally your mittens will also have wrist straps.

    • Outer Gloves

      These should fit over your liner gloves and be fleece lined with a durable windproof/waterproof outer shell. Ideally they will have wrist straps.

    • Pee Bottle

      A 1lt Nalgene bottle works well so long as it is clearly marked as a ‘pee bottle’, saves time and energy by removing the need to leave your tent in the middle of the night. Females may wish to purchase a ‘Shewee’ or similar.

    • Personal First Aid Kit

      This should include suncream, lip balm, blister plasters (compeed), plasters, painkillers and any prescription medicines, insect repellant etc.

    • Rucksack 30lt

      A small rucksack, around 30lt will be ideal.

    • Rucksack 70lt

      70lt+ expedition rucksack for use during the acclimatisation phase for load carrying etc.

    • Shorts

      These are optional but the weather is often good enough for shorts.

    • Sleeping Bag - Expedition

      This should have a comfort rating of at least -25 (4 or 5 seasons). It is important to get a good night’s sleep and so you need to ensure your sleeping bag will keep you warm.

    • Sleeping Bag - Liner

      Optional silk liner for extra warmth and to help keep your sleeping bag clean.

    • Sleeping Matt

      Good ground insulation is crucial as is a comfy surface to sleep on that softens the hardness of the ground. A full length inflatable sleeping mat is recommended.

    • Small Padlocks

      As required to provide security for your bags.

    • Snow Goggles

      For protecting your eyes on glaciers and/or travelling in snowy winter conditions.

    • Soft Shell Trousers

      These should be insulated/fleece lined for winter use.

    • Soft-Shell Jacket

      Make sure it is insulated and, importantly, windproof (not all soft-shell jackets are windproof).

    • Sports Bra

      Ladies only, take 2. Should be a technical fabric, avoid cotton.

    • Sports Sandals/Flip Flops/Crocks

      Or something similar for river crossings/around campwhen not wearing your boots/in the tea houses etc.

    • Sun Hat

      To keep the sun off your head!

    • Sunglasses

      For general eye protection, wearing whilst trekking or on glaciers if applicable to your trip – for wearing on glaciers sunglasses need to be Category 4 and be close fitting or have side protection.

    • Tee-shirt

      For wearing on a daily basis whilst trekking. Should be a technical fabric – avoid cotton as it is slow to dry. You will need 2 or 3 of these.

    • Thermal Long Johns

      1 pair, for wear at high altitude an/or whilst sleeping.

    • Toiletries and Travel Towel

      Include wet wipes, hand sanitizer and toilet tissues as well as nappy sacks or dog poo bags (to bag your toilet paper and keep rubbish under control).

    • Underwear

      Ideally these will be quick drying and moisture wicking. Take 3 pairs as a minimum.

    • Water Bladder

      It is essential that you have the means to carry at least 2 litres of drinking water. The best solution is a bladder type water carrier such as a camelbak as this then allows you to drink whilst walking with no need to stop to get out a water bottle.

    • Water Bottle

      At higher altitudes your Camelbak may freeze and so it is a good idea to have a 1 litre Nalgene type bottle. Also great for events like the Cuillin ridge Traverse.

    • Water Purification System

      Running water found along the trail ‘should’ be drinkable but it makes sense to have some sort of purification system such as ‘water purification tablets’, filtration system or UV light purification system (recommended).

    • Waterproof Jacket

      Hard shell jacket ideally this will be waterproof and breathable (GoreTex or equivalent) and it will have a hood.

    • Waterproof Trousers

      Ideally they should be windproof and breathable (Gore Tex or equivalent) and with full or ¾ length side zips.

    • Woolly hat

      To keep your head warm - Ideally a hat that will cover your ears too and fit under a climbing helmet.

    Optional Clothing & Equipment

    • Camera

      Make sure you have spare batteries or the means to re-charge.

    • Ear Plugs

      To help with sleeping.

    • Hand/Feet Warmers

      Not essential but extremely useful on summit day if the weather is very cold and/or windy. Taped on top of clothing (at the wrist/forearm or boot top) they can make a real difference.

    • Mobile Phone

      You may want to use you phone as a camera. On our overseas trips signal is often limited or non-existent so making calls or sending texts may not be possible - see FAQs for trip specific info.

    • Penknife

      Or multitool - useful for kit repairs etc.

    • Sewing Kit

      Optional but useful for running repairs to clothing or equipment.

    • Small Stainless Steel Flask

      Useful for hot drinks during the day/night

    • Travel clothing

      Clothing that you will not wear whilst on the trek. This can be packed in a small bag and left at your accommodation for collection on your return.

    • Walking poles

      Not essential but extremely useful when carrying a load, descending and for any river crossings.

    Paperwork

    • Booking Confirmation

      This will be sent to you aproximately 10 days before departure

    • Immunization Papers

      Check requirement - see specific country information at https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

    • Insurance Documents

      It is crucial that you have comprehensive travel insurance that includes emergency medical treatment and rescue apropriate for your trip. You must ensure you take your insurance documents with you and that the 24 hour emergency contact number for your insurance is clearly identifiable.

    • Passport and Visa

      Your passport should have at least 6 months validity beyond your last day of travel. It is worth making a photocopy of your passport and bringing this with you too just in case. See https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice for information about Visa requirements. See also our FAQs for Visa information.

    Carbon Footprint

    We are yet to determine the average CO2 emissions per person for our Aconcagua Trek.

    What are we doing about it

    Trekking trips such as this are low carbon in comparison to other forms of travel and activities. That said though, we are working hard to understand exactly what the carbon emissions are for all our products. By the end of 2023 we hope to have measured everything we do and have a good understanding of all the individual carbon footprints. This will then act as a starting point for us to take action to reduce our emissions to as low as reasonably practicable and drive towards net zero.

    FAQs

    No, unfortunately we don’t currently provide equipment for hire but can recommend Expedition Kit Hire.

    Allergies and intolerances shouldn’t limit what you can do, so we make sure we cater for everyone. We ask that you let us know at the time of booking about any dietary requirements so that we can make sure these are taken into account on the trek. That said it is worth noting that kitchen conditions and facilities on some of our trips are fairly basic. Standards of food hygiene are good, but we cannot guarantee against cross contamination of ingredients. If you have a particularly serious allergy or are extremely sensitive to certain ingredients such as nuts or wheat for instance, then please get in touch with us to discuss options.

    You are likely to require vaccinations for the majority of our overseas trips. We recommend you book an appointment with your GP to discuss your trip so they can provide you with specific advice. More information can be found here.

    Yes, you will need to book your own flights for this trip.

    Yes. Most insurance companies do not cover you for trekking above 4000m. Make sure when taking insurance cover the policy covers you for trekking up to the appropriate altitude as follows:

    Kilimanjaro – 5895m
    Everest Base Camp – 5644m (summit of Kala Patthar)
    Kanchenjunga Base Camp – 5200m
    Toubkal – 4167m

    Your insurance should also include medical and emergency evacuation (helicopter rescue). Insurance is a condition of booking and we request that all clients provide us with proof of insurance before travel (8 weeks before departure).

    Mosquitos don’t generally survive above 1800m. However, a risk still remains and we recommend taking advice from your GP before you travel. Further information including advice on bite prevention and vaccinations can be found here.

    Yes, we recommend you carry a small first aid kit in your day pack containing the following items:

    • Blister plasters
    • Antiseptic cream
    • Personal medications
    • Ibuprofen
    • High factor sun protection
    • Imodium

    Your first aid kit should be small and light so as not to add too much weight to your day pack. Our Guides carry full group first aid kits for dealing with more serious injuries.

    Ultimately this is your choice, but we would say yes. It’s important you keep yourself warm and down is without a doubt the best insulation. You will really feel the difference when the temperatures drop and especially on summit day. There are some very good synthetic brands on the market, and these have the advantage of still keeping you warm when they are wet but synthetic insulation is heavier and bulkier than down – you need a bigger, bulkier synthetic jacket for the same warmth as a lighter down jacket. Sleep helps us to recover from our trekking and is an important part of the acclimatisation process. So, our recommendation for a sleeping bag would again be down. Be sure to pick a bag with a comfort rating of -20oC and 3-4 seasons. You can buy silk or similar liners which will also enhance the warmth. With all down sleeping bags, the best way for you to keep warm is to remember to wear as little as possible whilst inside it. The heat from your body then warms the bag and the feathers retain the heat.

    On all our trips (unless specifically excluded) we provide you with adequate safe drinking water. Early on we generally provide bottled water. As we move further from civilisation water is sourced from local streams and springs. All water provided for drinking is filtered and boiled to ensure it is safe.

    We believe prevention is better than cure and all our trips are planned and structured to reduce the likelihood of problems arising. That said, things can go wrong. Our local Guides are experienced and first aid trained. They work hard to prevent problems however, if a problem does arise they deal with it in the first instance. If the problem is beyond their abilities, we can call on the support of local rescue services and get you evacuated to the nearest medical facility without delay. Please ensure your insurance covers rescue and medical emergencies.

    The best way to avoid AMS is to follow these five simple steps:

    1 – Go slowly. Trekking up to 5600m should be done at a snail’s pace. Be first out on the trail in the morning and last into the teahouses in the afternoon, take your time, keep your pulse and breathing rate down, enjoy the views and take plenty of breaks to take photos. Going slowly means that your body can focus on acclimatising rather than keeping you moving at a fast pace.

    2 – Stay hydrated. Make sure you drink plenty of water whilst on the trail. Being hydrated helps with the acclimatisation process. As a guide, you should need the toilet more than normal and your urine should be clear.

    3 – Eat. Trekking to Everest Base Camp requires lots of energy and so does the acclimatisation process. Eat well at each meal.

    4 – Keep Warm. If you start to get cold your body will need to use extra resources to keep you warm. This slows down the acclimatisation process so make sure you put that fleece on when you stop and that you take a 4-season sleeping bag to stay warm at night.

    5 – Get good rest. Sleep and rest are extremely important and also part of the acclimatisation process. Don’t be up chatting all night, get an early night and make sure you are warm and comfortable so that you can get a good night’s sleep.

    A deposit of 25% of the total cost of the trip/course is payable at the time of booking and the balance is due 8 weeks before the departure date. If the booking takes place less than 8 weeks before departure, then the full amount is due at the time of booking. If you would like to discuss payment options, then please get in touch.

    You may be experiencing altitude for the first time, and the facilities at times will be basic, it may become difficult to sleep and eat so yes you might feel a little out of your comfort zone. Our experienced team will be with you to help you through these moments and remember your trekking partners will be going through this too so you can help each other along the journey.

    Our team of guides and leaders do everything we can to make sure all your possessions remain safe, but we recommend a small padlock on your duffle bag for extra piece of mind. Like any other trip we recommend things like passport, money etc should be kept with you at all times (in your daysack). If you normally wear jewellery, unless it is absolutely necessary or for medical reasons, we suggest this is left at home. It is important that you take responsibility for your valuables and look after them whilst you are travelling.

    Diamox has been shown to reduce the chances of getting AMS, but it does not replace proper acclimatisation. We don’t recommend you take or use Diamox on our trips and would encourage you to take your time and acclimatise naturally.

    Visas requirements vary from country to country and can change from time to time. Specific and up to date requirements can be found on the UK Government’s Foreign Travel Advice website.
    In all case, we recommend that you apply for a Visa on-line before travelling where possible.

    Kilimanjaro: There are no plug sockets or recharging points on the mountain so we recommend you bring a solar battery charger or a power pack that will last for the duration and provide sufficient charge for all your devices. If your device has disposable batteries, then please take spares and make sure you carry the used batteries back down the mountain for recycling. Keeping your devices warm at night by taking them in your sleeping bag is a good way to prolong your battery life.

    Nepal: Some teahouses will offer a re-charging service for a small fee however, as a general rule, there are no plug sockets or recharging points. We recommend you bring a battery bank (or similar) or a solar charger. If your device has disposable batteries, then please take spares and make sure you carry the used batteries back down the mountain for recycling. Keeping your devices warm at night by taking them in your sleeping bag is a good way to prolong your battery life. If you are planning on staying in hotels before and after the trek the voltage is 230v similar to the UK and uses one of three types of plugs with round pins (Type C, D & M – see here for more info).

    Our local teams work very hard to make sure your trip runs smoothly and to help you achieve your goals. Tipping is down to you but I’m sure once you see how hard the crew work and what they earn in comparison to our own wages you will want to reward them. Tipping is generally done on the last day of your trek, before your guide and crew disappear back to their homes and villages.

    Kilimanjaro: For guidance on tipping please read our article on tipping your Kilimanjaro Mountain Crew.

    Nepal: We suggest around $160 per client for the entire local crew, which will be shared amongst them. However, you can tip more if you feel you have received exceptional support from individuals.

    HACE stands for High Altitude Cerebral Edema which is essentially a swelling of the brain due to excess fluid.

    HAPE is High Altitude Pulmonary Edema or fluid in the lungs.

    These two conditions are fairly rare and can be prevented by careful management of any symptoms of AMS whilst ascending to Everest base camp.

    A comprehensive list of clothing and equipment required for your trip can be found by visiting the ‘Kit List” tab on the relevant experience.

    If this happens for any reason don’t worry our Guide will make all the arrangements. If you need emergency attention you will be accompanied by one of our experienced Sherpas. You will be responsible though for any additional costs, such as transport, hotels, meals etc. so make sure you have appropriate insurance that covers you for the maximum altitude you will be trekking to. (please get in touch with us to confirm if you are not sure) and that it includes emergency evacuation and medical treatment.

    AMS is short for Acute Mountain Sickness, an illness caused by being in a high-altitude environment, where the body needs more time to adjust to the low levels of oxygen. Symptoms of AMS include headaches, nausea, loss of appetite and poor or disturbed sleep. Whilst we can’t promise you won’t experience these symptoms, we can promise that we will carry out checks twice per day (at breakfast and again at evening meal) to make sure we monitor your resting heart rate and blood/oxygen saturation levels, recognising any symptoms and taking action to help reduce the risks. AMS might sound scary but it is really easy to avoid. You can find out more about AMS and altitude sickness HERE.

    Please refer to our Booking Conditions which can be found here. Alternatively, please feel free to contact a member of the team.

    You need to look after your feet, after all it will be your feet that get you to the top. Making sure you choose the right footwear, preferably boots, and allowing time to break them in will help prevent injuries like blisters, which can be very painful and potentially prevent you from reaching the summit. When choosing suitable boots make sure they are waterproof, insulated, have a good sole and provide ankle support and above all, make sure they are comfortable. If you are looking to buy specifically for Kilimanjaro, then the best advice we can offer is to pop into your nearest outdoor gear shop and speak to a store assistant who should be able to help you choose the most suitable pair.

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    Bespoke experiences

    Can’t see what you are looking for? All our trips can be customised to meet your needs so, if you need bespoke dates, want to add extra days, or modify the itinerary then please just let us know – we will be happy to help.