Sunday, February 3, 2008


800px-Aconcagua_-_Argentina_-_January_2005_-_by_Sergio_Schmiegelow.jpgThis post is part of the two day Alta Montaña trip we took out of Mendoza. Read the post here for an overview of the trip.

You see them everywhere in Mendoza around January. They descend from every corner of the world with one goal in mind—to scale the highest mountain in both the western and southern hemispheres. Aconcagua draws mountains climbers of all stripes to Mendoza.

Despite being one of the highest mountains at 6,962 metres (22,841 ft), it is one of the least challenging technically. The main challenge is the altitude. Therefore, you see climbers of every skill level and age on the streets of Mendoza in January when the weather offers the best hopes of making it to the top.

Aconcagua Redux

My first introduction to Aconcagua came our first weekend in Mendoza. Sitting on the patio of the Park Hyatt we overheard a guide prepping a group of climbers from England. They ranged in age from 60 down to 40.

Later that week, I had to help two young guys from New Zealand no more than 19 navigate the ins and outs of the local supermarket as they loaded up on supplies for their climb.

Everyday at our hotel apartment saw new arrivals loaded down with mountain climbing gear. I never knew that Mendoza was a popular base for mountain climbers.

Aconcagua View from Penitentes

Aconcagua is one of the Seven Summits with each being the highest peaks on the seven continents. Kilimanjaro in Africa is one of the others that does not require technical skill or equipment.

A close friend of mine tried to talk me into climbing Kili with him. He ended up going with a another friend of his. I wish I would have tried it. Although, spending time in Mendoza prepping for the climb and drinking the best red wine in the world seems a lot more appealing than a third world hotel in Africa.

Sounds like I need to start training for next January.

Aconcagua?  View from Christ the Reedemer of The Andes

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