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Adventures in South America with GoTrek

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When you join an expedition to climb a mountain in South America, you’ll find not only adventure in the climb, but in the colorful markets, villages and people as well. Even the names are exotic! Aconcuagua in Argentina is the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere.

Go Trek’s guided mountain climbing trips to Bolivia include a summit climb to Huayna Potosi and Illimani. If you have extra time, you can climb Bolivia’s highest peak, Sajama. Join us for any of our South America trekking adventures or climbs, from Aconcaugua to Illimani and Huayna Potosi, and you’ll have the trip of a lifetime.

Aconcagua

The majestic Cerro Aconcagua or The Sentinel of Stone in Argentina is the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere. Go Trek has one of the best success rates on Aconcagua and climbs the mountain “expedition style,” which allows team members the time they need to acclimatize. One of the unique features of our guided climb is that we ascend the Vacas and Relinchos Valleys, a variation that allows you to avoid the crowds and have a much more enjoyable experience. Then after we reach the summit, we traverse the mountain and descend via the normal route.

Culture & Sightseeing

Discover the vibrant city of Mendoza. A walking tour takes you to the “Plaza de la Independencia” and the popular Sarmiento walkway, one of the city’s main arteries with its centric cafes and open air restaurants. We exit the trip via Santiago and with any extras days you can head to the beach for a day or two, or return home early.

Experience Requirements

Previous high altitude experience is not required for this climb, but would be helpful. A basic knowledge of the rest step, pressure breathing and basic ice axe arrest is required. Having cold weather camping skills would be a benefit and you must be in excellent physical condition. The more time you spend training for this climb, the better your chances are of staying healthy at high altitude and being successful on summit day. The best workout is walking up hill or up steps wearing a backpack.

The ascent of Aconcagua is non-technical however the high altitude and remote location make this expedition a serious undertaking. We will use mules on our three day approach to base camp at 13,400 feet. Climbing “expedition style” allows us to establish three higher camps before making our summit attempt, followed by a descent via the normal route.

The Go Trek Aconcagua expedition is organized by Craig Van Hoy who has personally lead ten climbs to Aconcagua since 1984.

  • Includes: All group equipment such as ropes, tents, stoves, shovels, breakfasts and dinners on the mountain, land transportation except taxis, hotels, and permits and guide fees.
  • Does Not Include: Airfares, insurance, extra hotel nights, meals while not on the mountain, lunches, tips and items of a personal nature.

Itinerary

  •  Day 1: Flights from the United States to Santiago, Chile.
  •  Day 2: Fly from Santiago to Mendoza, and then drive to Penitentes at the base of the mountain.
  • Day 3: Rest day and packing.
  • Day 4: Approach to base camp.
  • Day 5: Approach to base camp.
  • Day 6: Arrive base camp at 13,400 feet
  • Day 7: Rest day at base camp.
  • Day 8:Carry to camp 1 at 16,200 feet.
  • Day 9: Rest day at base camp.
  • Day 10: Move to camp 1.
  • Day 11: Carry to camp 2 at 19,000 feet.
  • Day 12: Rest day at camp 1.
  • Day 13: Move to camp 2.
  • Day 14:First possible summit day.
  • Day 15: Contingency da.
  • Day 16: Contingency day.
  • Day 17:Contingency day.
  • Day 18:Return to base camp.
  • Day 19:Hike out of base camp.
  • Day 20:Continue hike out of base camp.
  • Day 21:Drive to Santiago and catch evening flights to the Unites States.
  • Day 22: Arrive home.

A final detailed itinerary will be e-mailed to enrolled participants 30 days prior to departure on international trips and 14 days prior to departure on domestic trips.

Equipment List

Clothing:

  • Plastic climbing boots with high altitude liners
  • Gaitors
  • Lightweight hiking boots for the approach
  • Three pairs of socks
  • Fleece pants
  • GORE-TEX® pants
  • GORE-TEX® jacket
  • Down parka (with insulated hood)
  • Fleece jacket
  • Two synthetic long underwear tops
  • One pair synthetic long underwear bottoms
  • Light cotton shirt for the approach hike
  • Hiking shorts or pants
  • Fleece hat (ski cap)
  • Ski gloves
  • Fleece liner gloves
  • Heavy insulated mittens
  • Baseball hat or sun visor
  • Sunglasses (wrap around style)
  • Ski goggles
Gear:

  • Large backpack, 6000-to-7000-cubic-inch capacity
  • Ice axe (70 cm works great)
  • Collapsible Ski Poles
  • Crampons
  • Harness
  • Helmet
  • Three non-locking carabiners
  • One locking carabiner
  • Sleeping bag, rated 0 to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Sleeping pad (inflatable or closed cell foam)
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Two Nalgene water bottles (wide mouth recommended)
  • Bowl, mug, and spoon
  • Pocket knife
  • Bic lighter
  • Camera and film
  • Small paperback book
  • Lightweight toiletries
  • Five large plastic garbage bags
  • Two rolls of toilet paper
  • Headlamp with two sets of new batteries
  • Personal First Aid Kit: aspirin, antacids, Band-Aids, Cipro, Imodium, personal medications
  • One package Potable Aqua (iodine tablets for water purification)