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Follow Tim Rippel


MT. ACONCAGUA EXPEDITION- 6962m with Peak Freaks 

EVEREST ALTITUDE TRAINING- Aconcagua. This past year successful Everest summits by various climbers including two Peak Freak members, made a trip to Aconcagua pre-Everest. This is a non-technical peak offering excellent altitude prior to an Everest bid.  Acclimatization can stay with you up to three weeks or more making this trip an excellent pre-Everest preparation climb.

  • DATE
  •  Jan. 30 to Feb. 18, 2010 FULL  Jan. 30 to Feb. 18, 2011- Open
  •   Jan. 3 to Jan. 22, 2010 - Summit Success on Jan. 16- at 2:30pm.   Jan. 3 to Jan. 22, 2011- Open
  • COST:  $3780.00US (based on a minimum of 4 participants maximum 8)
  • LOCATION:  Aconcagua is located in Northern Argentina, in the Province of Mendoza, where the summit is just 12 kilometers from the Chilean border
  • ROUTE: EXPEDITION FOR January 3, 2010 and JANUARY 30, 2010 - False Polish Glacier.   2011'- 2 trips same dates.
  • Blog- January 30, 2010' trip


The local Aymara Indians, named the mountain Kon Kawa, or snowy Mountain. The Chilean Indians, the Araucanos, named the river on the western side of the Andean range Aconca-Hue, or ït comes for the other side." As the Inca empire influence reached the central Andes, they called the mountain Ancocahua, where the Quechau the root anco means white and cahuac means sentinel. There is considerable evidence that the Incas climbed very high on the mountain. In 1947, a skelton of guanaco, a wild relative of the llama, was found along the ridge between the North and South summit. Archaeologists doubt that this animal would have made it to this elevation o nits own! The most significant find occurred in 1985 where a mummy, preserved by cold dry air, was found at 5200m (17,060 ft) along the southwest ridge of Cerro Pyramidal, a sub peak of Aconcagua. It is thought that there are other undiscovered archaeological sites on Aconcagua that found, deserve to be left untouched and accurately reported to the authorities for investigation. In 1883, the German Paul Gussfeldt was the first European to attempt the might mountain in "full Scottish conditions, " with poor equipment, and very little information Gussfeldt didn't make the summit summit, but he made it to the 6500m mark. Their expedition was notable because they opened the route for future expeditions. On January, 14th 1897, the Swiss Mathias Zurbriggen was the first to reach the summit solo!

Available   (Jan. 3) Sold out (Jan. 30)


Jan 03 Jan 30 Arrive Mendoza- transfer to our hotel. This is a lovely little city and wine capital of Argentina. 
Jan 04 Jan 31 Final day for permit issuance and then board the bus after lunch for Penitentes.  Check into the Ayelen Hotel, steak dinner. Get your legs moving again walking around the ski area.  
Jan 05 Feb 01 Gentle hike to Pampa de Lenas, camp
Jan 06 Feb 02 Climb to Casa Pedrias
Jan 07 Feb 03 Approach from Casa de Piedras to Plaza Argentina (4200 mt)
Jan 08 Feb 04 Rest and acclimatization Base Camp
Jan 09 Feb 05 Equipment carrying to Camp 1 (5000m)
Jan 10 Feb 06 Ascent to Camp 1 (5000m)
Jan 11 Feb 07 Equipment carrying to camp 2 (5500m)
Jan 12 Feb 08 Rest at Camp 1 (5000m)
Jan 13 Feb 09 Ascent to Camp 2 (5500m)
Jan 14 Feb 10 Equipment carrying to Camp 3 –high camp  (5900m)
Jan 15 Feb 11 Ascent to Camp 3 (5900) 
Jan 16 Feb 12 Summit day (6962 m) ******
Jan 17 Feb 13 Reserve day  for acclimatization and weather.
Jan 18 Feb 14 Reserve day for acclimatization and weather
Jan 19 Feb 15 Plaza Argentina
Jan 20 Feb 16 Pampa de Lenas
Jan 21 Feb 17 Coach transportation back to Mendoza
Jan 22 Feb 18 transfer to the airport or take in other parts of Argentina: Buenos Aires, Patagonia etc. all within reach.

About the route

The approach is made through the Valle de Vacas ( Vacas Valley ) and then, from Base Camp Plaza Argentina (4200 m) we climb the mountain through the route of the Falso Polacos (False Polish). After leaving base camp and arriving to camp 2, we climb diagonally and towards the left, from the rocky area (5900 m) at the base of the Polish Glacier. You must cross the bottom, flat part of the glacier to arrive to the camp up on the glacier of the Aconcagua . After this, you keep going up to a snow ridge which leads to the summit. The descent is through the same route, returning to Plaza Argentina .

This is not a route where you will find technical difficulties but it is a glacier at the top.  On summit day we will be on the glacier wearing crampons and using ice axes. 

Daily Program

Day 1: Airport reception and transport to the hotel

Our expedition begins in Mendoza, Argentina. At your arrival to the international airport or bus station in the City of Mendoza transfer to the hotel and hitch up with Tim and Angel to go over your gear items.  This is a very important step. Mendoza is the last place available, where you can buy or rent equipment, it is not always easy to find the things you need at the last minute in this city so please do you best to get properly geared up before arriving here . After this, there is a group meeting and later we go to one of the many fine restaurants for dinner. You get the chance to taste the delicious argentine "asado" (barbecued meat) and wonderful wines from Mendoza. There are numerous alternatives for those who do not drink wine or eat red meats. Dinner in Argentina is usually around 9:00 P.M.

We use the well appointed Hotel Aconcagua for our Mendoza base camp on all our expeditions:  

Rooms BBQ Lobby


Day 2: Transport from Mendoza to the Hotel in Penitentes.

After all the permissions and permits to climb are in place we jump on board our private transportation and begin our drive through the mountains on the breath taking picturesque road to Villa de Penitentes; at noon we stop in Uspallata, a beautiful Andean Valley where we have lunch in a typical restaurant. After another hour of driving through high mountain roads, we arrive to Villa de Penitentes, where we stay at Hotel Aylen in the mountain. In the afternoon we weigh all the equipment for the mules to get ready for transportation to the base camp. Evening dinner and rest.

Day 3: Approaching from Penitentes to Pampa de Leñas.

During this day we start the approach from Penitentes to Pampa de Leñas. After a night in Penitentes, we are transported to the entrance of Aconcagua Park. We arrive to Punta de Vacas, where the mule carriers load the equipment on the mules and we walk to the Base Camp, this takes three days. On this day, we trek from 4 to 5 hours up to the camp Pampa de Leñas (2950 m). This is where we present our permits to the park rangers, we meet up with our equipment and assemble our tents. After refreshment, we will enjoy a hot dinner.

Day 4: Acclimatization trek from Pampa de Leñas to Casa de Piedras.

In the early morning we prepare our equipment again to be transported by the mules and we have a large breakfast. On this day, we advance towards an intermediate camp, passing through the Quebrada de Vacas, for 6 to 7 hours where you see the Quebrada de Relinchos Stream. This is where we will be able to see the first sight of the Western Face of the Aconcagua. This place is named Casa de Piedras (3240 m) and is where we spend our last approaching night, from Base Camp. Again we assemble the tents and then we have dinner.

Day 5: Approach from Casa de Piedras to Plaza Argentina (4200 mt)

This is the last day of approaching to Plaza Argentina (4200 m). We start trekking for 5 to 6 hours, going through the margins of the Relincho Stream and ascend up the steep slope of the same name, which takes us to Inferior Plaza Argentina. This is where we will be able to see the last native vegetation before climbing towards the glaciers, where Plaza Argentina is placed. At this camp, we meet up with our personal equipment.

Day 6: Rest and acclimatization Base Camp.

At Plaza de Argentina we rest and use the day for acclimatization. This is a good opportunity to get to know the Camp, take a shower and explore the area. One get a medical check-up here and reorganize and review the equipment, prepare the loads, the fuel and food for transportation for the next day. It is here you start to meet climbers from other parts of the world and our staff that works at the camps.

Day 7: Equipment carrying to Camp 1 (5000m)

We keep our backpacks as light as possible to be able to gradually adapt to the altitude.  This is a hard day, where we will be walking for 6 hours, ascending on easy terrain. This is when we start enjoying the real beauty of high altitude, ascending more and more, obtaining a spectacular view of the Quebrada de Relinchos and the Horcones Valley. 

Day 8:  Ascent to Camp 1 (5000 m)

We have breakfast and start the ascent from Camp 1. After a 5 to 6 hour walk on easy terrain we arrive to Camp 1 (5000m). We meet with the load that we brought in the day before. We assemble the camp and then organize the loads for carrying the following day. We rest and have dinner.

Day 9: Equipment carrying to camp 2 (5500m)

We carry food and fuel to camp 2 (5500m). This exercise helps us keep our backpacks as light as possible  to continue with our gradual acclimatization.  We return to Camp 1. Have dinner and rest.

Day 10: Rest at Camp 1 (5000m)

This is our rest day to hydrate ourselves and fuel up. We must prepare ourselves mentally, for the final stage. 

Day 11: Ascent to Camp 2 (5500m)

After breakfast we start the ascent from Camp 1 to Camp 2 (5500m). We meet with our loads that we brought two days before and reorganize for the next day.   We rest and have dinner.

Day 12: Equipment carrying to Camp 3  (5900m)

We carry food and fuel to camp 3 (5900m).  This is a hard day, of about 4 hours of walking, where we ascend on easy terrain. Besides this effort, it is very important to control our body adaptation to the altitude and listen to your bodies response carefully. We will keep a close on your from here on out to make sure everyone is adapting as planned. 
We return to Camp 2 and rest. We have dinner.

Day 13: Ascent to Camp 3 (5900)

Early morning, after breakfast and after disassembling our tents, we start climb for about 4 hrs. The climb is diagonal and towards the left.  The lower part of the glacier is flat then steeper to Camp 3.   We also plan the final strategies for the last day of ascension to assure success in reaching the summit. We have dinner and rest.

Day 14: Summit day (6962 m)

The day begins at 5:00 am. This is the most demanding day of our expedition. We continue up the glacier to a ridge of snow which leads us to the summit at 6962m.  This is normally where we would see the first sun rays of the day. We can find strong winds, even on calm days. The Southern Wall of the Aconcagua, considered one of the largest walls of the world. An indescribable sensation takes of total satisfaction takes over as we reach the summit at 6962 m, where the prize is waiting for us, a 360° view and the experience of overcoming, that you only finally understand once you reach it. After sharing these moments of accomplishment and emotion with our expedition mates, we descend to camp 3, disassemble and move down to Camp 2 15:

Day 15: Reserve Day 1 for acclimatization and weather.

Day 16: Reserve Day 2 for acclimatization and weather or catch up day if late arrivals in Mendoza occured.

Day 17: Plaza Argentina

Return to Base Camp. Special reception and have a dinner for celebration

Day 18: Plaza Argentina to Pampa de Leñas

We have breakfast and start the descent from Plaza Argentina to Pampa de Leñas. After a 7 hrs walk we meet with our equipment. We assemble the tents and enjoy our last night at the mountain.

Day 19: Pampa de Leñas - Punta de Vacas - Mendoza

We have breakfast and then start the descent from Pampa de Leñas to Punta de Vacas, approximately for 3 hours.  Transport to the hotel in Mendoza in private vehicles. Farewell dinner. 

Day 20: Airport

Transport from the hotel to the Airport or bus terminal. End of services.


  • Transport by taxi (cost $6US to $9US) to th Hotel Aconcagua. After clearing customs proceed out the door and taxi's will be waiting to whisk you away.
  • Transport to and from Mendoza-Penitentes in a private vehicle. From the hotel we take you to Penitentes, 180km, over a mountainous road where you can enjoy the most spectacular view of the Central Andes. Overnight at the Aylen Hotel.
  • Transport to and from Penitentes to the entrance of Aconcagua Park to start the trekking.


  • We no longer include this amount in the above program costs.  We are advised since the amount changes frequently it is better that each participant pay upon arrival the rate at that time. You can estimate to bring with you between $300 to $400US for this.


  • Hotel Aconcagua in Mendoza is at your expense. We have secured rates between $75 and $85US per night. You should budget for 2-nights here. One inbound and one outbound. 
  • We include one (1) night at the Ayelen Hotel in Penitentes, a 3***, Double or triple, half board, beverages not included. For the past years, this ski center, Penitentes, has been the parting point for most expeditions to the Aconcagua. Some expeditions go through Puente del Inca, but we prefer Penitentes because the lodging is better. In Penitentes, you can find from hostels to 3*** hotels. Peak Freaks works with the  Ayelen Hotel *** Star, which offers single, double and triple rooms with private bathrooms. The welcome dinner, breakfast and taxes are included


  • All meals are included during the approach tot Base Camp and high altitude camps. Complete and balanced diet. Meals are prepared daily by the cooks at the camps. And then expedition simplified meals are organized for the higher camps.


  • There is permanent communication, 24 hours a day, through VHF, HF radios, Satellite Telephones, between Base Camps, mountain expeditions, Penitentes and Mendoza. This is for safety and organization that will lead your expedition to be a successful one.


  • Mules for equipment transportation (30 kg/person) up the Valle de Vacas (Vacas Valley) is included. "Responsibility and Confidence service" means taking your equipment on time and in perfect conditions to and from Base Camp and back to Penitentes.   Each person has the right to transport up to 30 kg. We recommend you take a resistant bag, even though the gear is protected for transportation.


  • The kitchen and food tents are completely equipped with tables, chairs, dishes. Our base camp tents is an exclusively designed dome,  made to provide the highest comfort and quality services. 


  • Our Base Camps have hyperbaric chambers, oxygen equipment, oximeters and first aid kits for an immediate response under any situation. You will be seen by a medical examiner at base camp to determine your state of health for the climb.


  • Peak Freak provides our own sleeping tents and we contribute financially to the use of the latrines established at the camps. We provide our clients with the best mountain tents available. The North Face and Mountain Hard Wear.
  • Our Base Camps have hyperbaric chambers, oxygen equipment, oximeters and first aid kits for an immediate response under any situation. You will be seen by a medical examiner at base camp to determine your state of health for the climb.


Climbing Gear
__ Alpine climbing harness Must have adjustable leg loops and fit over all clothing (Alpine Bod or equivalent harness)
__ 1 locking carabiner Large, pear-shaped carabiner is best, screw gate type recommended
__ Ice axe w/leash Light weight (i.e. Grivel Air tech or Black Diamond Raven) under 5’7” use 60cm, 5’7”- 6’2” use 65cm, over 6’2” use 70cm
__ 1 pair plastic expedition boots Make sure that the boot is expedition quality and has a new or in excellent condition stock liner or alveolite liner. Scarpa Inferno or similar are recommended.
__ 1 pair insulated super-gaiters Super-gaiters will provide more warmth and are required. If the toe section of the rubber rand of the gaiter fits loosely you may want to consider gluing the toe section to the boot.
__ Crampons Must be fit to plastic boots prior to trip, new-matic type recommended, (i.e. Grivel G12, Black Diamond Contact, or Charlet Moser Super 12 make sure they fit properly with your super-gaiters prior to arrival in Argentina
__ Adjustable trekking poles

Upper Body
__ 2 cotton t-shirts
__ 1 polypropylene t-shirt
__ 2 long sleeve polypropylene shirt Lightweight, light colored for sunny days.
__ 2 women sports bras Synthetic, no cotton!
__ 2 soft shells Marmot Dri-Clime Wind Shirt, Patagonia Stretch Zephur or Krushell Jacket (R2 pullover acceptable).
__ Down/synthetic sweater or vest Patagonia Puffball Jacket or Sweater preferred, R4/ 300 weight fleece jacket acceptable.
__ Hard shell jacket with hood Waterproof and breathable. Gore-Tex or equivalent is best, roomy enough to fit over multiple layers.
__ 1 expedition down parka with hood. This is probably your most important piece of clothing! It is important that your jacket is 700+ fill down, baffle construction (not sewn through seams) and has a thick insulated hood.

Hand wear
We require two systems; one glove system for lower on the mountain and a mitten overmitt system for the cold temperatures encountered on summit day.
__ 2 pair liner gloves Thin wool or polypropylene
__ 1 pair warm glove Fleece or wool
__ 1 pair expedition shell gloves
__ 1 pair modular expedition shell mitts. OR Pro Mitts If they do not have wrist straps consider sewing one on so that you can either attach it to your jacket or cinch the strap to your wrist so that you do not loose your mittens in high winds.

Head gear
__ Warm hat Wool or synthetic that cover your ears.
__ Balaclava
__ Face mask
__ Shade hat or baseball cap
__ Glacier glasses 100% UV protection with side shields and a hard-sided storage case (i.e. Julbo or Cebe)*
__ 1 pair extra sunglasses (Also with UV protection in case your primary pair breaks)
__ 1 ski goggles With UV protection *

Lower Body
__ 4 pair of liner socks. Polypropylene or Capilene
__ 2-3 pair light weight trekking socks
__ 4 pair med-heavy wool socks Check boot fit with liner and wool socks on
__ 1 pair nylon shorts
__ 1 pair nylon pants For trekking and around camp
__ 2 pair lightweight long underwear bottoms
__ 1 pair fleece pants w/ side zipper or farmer johns or “puff-ball pants”
__ 1 pair soft shell pants. (i.e., Patagonia Guide pants or OR Granite Pants. Schoeller fabrics)
__ 1 pair of hard shell pants. Waterproof/ breathable with full side zips, Gore-Tex or equivalent is best.
__ 1 pair down booties (optional)
__ 1 pair trail shoes for the hike to base camp and use at camp.
__ 1 pair sandals or tennis shoes for river crossings and in camp.

All clothing should be kept dry using waterproof stuff sacks or large plastic bags

Sleeping gear
__ 1 down or synthetic sleeping bag Rated to 0° to -20 F
__ Sleeping pad full length closed cell foam (mandatory) and a Therma-Rest for extra warmth and comfort

Back Packs
__ 1 large capacity internal frame pack Approx. 5000+ cubic inches
__ 1 daypack for the approach hike, possible use on summit day and carry-on pack. If you plan to use it for your summit pack it must be large enough for your down jacket, misc. clothes, food and water. The Lowe Alpine Neutrino or Black Diamond Speed 28 are excellent, lightweight (16 oz.) choices.
__ 2 large (7,500+cu.in.) duffle bags for gear must be durable for use on pack animals
__ 1 small duffel bag To store in Mendoza
__ Small padlocks For duffel bags

__ 1 first-aid kit With ibuprofen and any other doctor recommended medications
__ Lip balm At least SPF 20, 2 sticks. A string taped to the stick is helpful, to hang around your neck
__ Sunscreen At least SPF 40
__ Headlamp 
__ 3 Water bottles 1 liter wide-mouth Nalgene (1 is a pee bottle).
__ Hydration bladder With drinking tube for lower mountain-(optional).
__ 2 water bottle insulators
__ Plastic mug With snap-on lid, 16 oz. or larger.
__ Bowl and spoon Plastic, small Tupperware works well. Lexan spoons are best.
__ Pocket knife Small Swiss-Army type.
__ Water purification Iodine tablets or Polar-pure crystals.
__ Toiletry kit Be sure to include toilet paper stored in a plastic bag. Women: Tampons and storage bag for disposal. Midol and other cramp meds. Iron supplementing pre-expedition is also a very good idea for our female climbers to help with acclimatization.
__ 3-4 large plastic bags for keeping miscellaneous gear dry
__ Nylon stuff sacks For food and gear storage (OR has a good selection); large Ziplocs are useful also
__ Bandana
__ Camp towel
__ Ear plugs
__ Hand wipes
__ 1 small stainless steel thermos Optional
__ Favorite snack foods No more than 2 pounds!
__ Paperback books, cards, iPod etc.
__  Camera Optional, 1 light weight point & shoot on the mountain,
__ Fanny pack or wallet For travel documents, money & passport
__ Passport and passport photos- passport valid for not less than 6 months from your arrival date.
__Airline ticket


Contact trek@peakfreaks.com

$1000 US deposit is due at time of booking. Final amount is due: 90 days prior to departure.


Angel Armesto and Tim Rippel work these climbs, together or separately depending on availability.        


Mtn. Guide: Tim Rippel 

Mtn Guide: Angel Armesto











Email:  trek@peakfreaks.com  -  Nelson, B.C. Canada


Website designed by: Becky Rippel -  ©2001- Peak Freak Expedition Inc.