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Normal Route Non-Technical Route To The Summit Of Aconcagua

Aconcagua Normal Route Highlights


Summit the highest mountain in South America and the second highest of the Seven Summits
A serious challenge, but no roped mountaineering experience required
Three days set aside for the summit in case of bad weather
Breathtaking views from the summit
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The ‘Stone Sentinel’ as it is sometimes  known reaches an amazing 6,962m, the highest peak in South America and is described as the highest trekking peak in the world by many. The fact that it is a 'trekking peak', does not mean by any stretch of the imagination that it’s easy.

The altitude, weather and environment conspire to make this an adventure that will truly test oneself.

Whilst not a technically demanding peak in good conditions the difficulties of the ascent are, as always those of trekking at extreme altitude.

We offer what is known as the ‘Normal’ route via the Horcones valley which suits those without roped mountaineering expertise. Crampon and ice axe experience is desirable, although we will conduct refresher training on the mountain.

With rest and contingency days built into the itinerary, every opportunity exists for you to experience the astonishing views of the Andes from the top and enjoy the benefit of all that effort!

Our highly experienced local guides have qualifications from the High Mountain and Trekking Guides School in Mendoza (EPGAMT) and/or from the Bolivian (AGMTB) and Argentinean (AAGM) Mountain Guides associations.

Aconcagua is a popular choice for those climbers who have successfully summited Kilimanjaro. It is a significant step up and shouldn’t be taken lightly, so training is vital.

We run private climbs on the Normal route for a minimum of 2 people.  Please check out here the best time to climb.

Detailed Itinerary for the Aconcagua Normal Route

Day 1Arrive in Mendoza

Arrival in Mendoza, transfer from the airport to your hotel for the night. Enjoy the rest of the day exploring the bustling city of Mendoza, the centre of winemaking in Argentina. With wide tree lined streets and plazas the city is easily explored on foot with plenty of shops and restaurants. Beware 2.00 – 5.00pm is siesta time!

Day 2Mendoza to Penitentes

Transfer in private vehicles from Mendoza to Los Penitentes where the group will spend the night prior to starting the climb (2580 m). Transfer time 3 hours.

Overnight - Hotel

Day 3Los Penitentes via the Horcones Valley to Confluencia (3400 m

From Los Penitentes, we make our way to the Horcones Valley (2950m) where the trek begins, and we start our trek to Confluencia where we spend the night. (3400 m) 4 hours At Penitentes we divide our gear into 2 loads. 1 high altitude and 1 to remain with you on to Confluencia. The high altitude gear is transported by mules to base camp and will comprise of your crampons, ice axe and high altitude boots amongst others.

Overnight – Camp

Day 4Confluencia - Plaza de Francia - Confluencia

Confluencia – Plaza de Francia (4050m) - Confluencia. Our main objective today is one of acclimatization as we get our first clear view of the imposing south face of Aconcagua before reaching the Plaza de Francia 4050m, before returning to Confluencia for the night. (3400m) 7 hours

Overnight – Camp

Day 5Confluencia - Plaza de Mulas.

Confluencia - Plaza de Mulas. Today we trek to our base camp at Plaza de Mulas This is the toughest day so far and climbs a 1000m from the start point. You will be glad to hit the camp where the additional ascent team will meet you and be your ascent team. A mess tent will be set up for all meals, briefings and general use. (4350m). 7 hours

Overnight - Camp.

Day 6Rest and acclimatise day at Plaza de Mulas

Today we rest! Make sure you take plenty of water on board and eat well. This is an acclimatisation day and an opportunity to rest after the prior days’ exertions. Showers are available as is the opportunity to phone home from the Hotel nearby.

Overnight - camp

Day 7Plaza de Mulas - Cerro Bonete - Plaza de Mulas

This is a second day of acclimatisation. From Plaze de Mulas we leave to climb Bonete Peak (5004m) which affords you a clear view of the route almost all the way to Aconcagua before descending. You will remain overnight at Plaza de Mulas base camp.

Overnight - Camp

Day 8Equipment carry to Plaza Canadá returning to Plaza de Mulas

Our first serious outing on the flanks of the mountain where we make our way to camp 1, Camp Canada (5050m). We will carry up to the site some of the expedition gear and food required and cache them before returning to the Plaza de Mulas. 5 hours

Overnight - Camp

Day 9Rest day in Plaza Mulas

This is your last day of rest and acclimatisation at basecamp before we ascend Aconcagua. This is the day to finalise your gear and make preparations for the climb. Overnight - Camp

Day 10Plaza de Mulas - Plaza Canadá

Moving up to Camp 1 allows us to spend our first night on the mountain. This should feel a lot easier than the first outing and the benefits of steady acclimatisation become real. 3 hours Overnight – Camp

Day 11Canadá - Nido de Condores

Assisted by our porters who will carry the tents and most of our gear we set off for 'El Nido de Condores'(5560m), the condors nest, to set up Camp 2. From here we can see Aconcagua and the canaleta that leads to the col between the twin peaks. 4 hours Overnight - Camp

Day 12Nido de Cóndores - Berlín

Today we climb to our highest point on the mountain yet to Camp 3, the Berlin camp (6028m). It is exposed and can be cold and windswept at times. There are some wonderful views of the high Andean peaks which warrant more than a second glance. This is our final camp prior to making the summit push. 3 hours

Overnight - Camp

Day 13Summit day (6962m)

Today's the day! An early starts underpins the summit attempt and the most arduous day of the expedition. Climbing the North ridge to the Independencia Refuge (6250m) to meet the sunrise we follow the route to the base of the canaleta, a 300m scree climb leading to the summit ridge where you will appreciate the early start if it’s still frozen. Often windy and cold this is where your gear earns its value. Taking about an hour of hugely demanding effort we reach the Cresta del Guanaco, the ridge joining the South summit (6930m) to the North summit (6962m) before we push for the aluminium cross that marks the peaks highpoint. From here we descend back to Camp 3 for a celebration, or as is more likely, a well deserved sleep!

Overnight - Camp

Day 14Contingency day

One of 2 spare days. The lead guide will use these days to the best effect in securing summit success for the team.

Day 15Contingency day

One of 2 spare days. The lead guide will use these days to the best effect in securing summit success for the team.

Day 16Berlín - Plaza de Mulas

We make our return from Camp 3 all the way down to basecamp. Taking anything from 3 to 7 hours for the walk down to Plaza de Mulas the crew will welcome you back for a celebration dinner.

Overnight - camp

Day 17Plaza de Mulas – Penitentes

Today we make our way downhill to the ranger station where we will be met for the final 2-3 hour drive back to Mendoza after collecting our gear from Penitentes. Depending on time and the status of the contingency days, there is an opportunity to split this day in 2 and spend another night at Confluencia. Once in Mendoza we will check in at our hotel and look for a suitable venue to celebrate our success. Trek 7 hours. Car 3 hours

Day 18Departure day

Transfer to the airport is included for your return or onward journey with happy memories of your expedition.

Aconcagua Normal Route Open Group Availability

Last Updated November 20 2017
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Arrival: January 5 2018
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