Argentina: Climb Aconcagua – Polish 360 Traverse Route
At 22,841 ft, Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Americas and the highest peak outside of Asia- it is also famously one of the Seven Summits. The name translates from the Quechua word “Akon-Kahuak,” which means Stone Sentinel, the mountain lives up to this reputation as it towers over the heart of the Andes lying on the border between Chile and Argentina.
The Polish Route, often called the “360 Polish Traverse,” completely circumnavigates Aconcagua by ascending the Polish Route from the east and descending the Normal Route to the west. This non-technical climb is a wonderfully dynamic experience as we travel on varied terrain with ever-changing views. The Polish Glacier Traverse is a more challenging ascent than the Normal Route with longer distances and times between the camps and is much more aesthetically pleasing. This expedition-style endeavor employs multiple days of the proven climb high/sleep low approach to acclimitization, giving you the greatest chance of a successful summit attempt. We have also ensured built-in ‘weather’ days in case we are delayed. We have well-appointed Base Camps on both sides of the mountain where you will spend a total of five days relaxing and enjoying well-cooked meals in our dining tents. Don’t get too comfortable though, you will be hiking challenging stretches at high altitudes. By the time you have summitted the mountain you will have a solid knowledge of yourself and this memorable
- Circumnavigates Aconcagua by ascending the from the east and descending to the west
- Multiple days of the proven climb high/sleep low approach, giving you the greatest chance of a successful summit
- A more challenging ascent than the normal route with longer distances and times between the camps
- Activity Level
- Trip Type
Upon arrival at Mendoza, transfer from the airport to the hotel where you will have an orientation meeting. You will meet your guides, perform a comprehensive gear check, receive an overview of the entire climb, and answer any questions.
Guides will assist you with any gear rentals or purchases if required. Your evening is free to explore the enchanting town of Mendoza, known for its many bodegas (wineries), as this town is nestled in the heart of wine-country, famed for Malbecs.
After registration with Aconcagua Provincial Park, we will drive three hours to Penitentes to start our acclimatization. We will have lunch in Uspallata and continue our journey. Upon reaching Penitentes, we will check in to our quaint hotel at the base of the mountain. The afternoon will be spent preparing our gear for the mules at our repository at Los Puquios for the following day.
This morning you will be transported to the entrance of the park in our private van, where we will begin the
trek to Pampa de Leñas Camp by winding our way through the Vacas Valley, where our camp sits at river's edge. Mules will carry our equipment and our staff will set up camps upon arrival.
After breakfast we will pack gear and head off on our trek to Casa de Piedra Camp. This is a gradual walk
along the Vacas River for about five to six hours, one of the most beautiful days on the trek. We will see the
magnificent East Face of Aconcagua with the Polish Glacier that runs directly to the summit. Staff will help
ready camp and cook dinner, you are free to relax and enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery.
The trek to Plaza Argentina Base Camp is our longest most intense trekking day (six to seven hours). Today we will depart from the main valley and begin ascending the Valle de los Relinchos. Once at Plaza Argentina, we will stay in our own private campsite with the necessary comforts to make your stay enjoyable.
Today we take the day to rest and do some optional short walks in the area to help acclimatize. Plaza Argentina is where you will become acquainted with (or reminded of) the world of mountaineering. With swaths of dome tents, guides and porters and adventurers from all over the world it is a very busy exciting place.
For today's expedition, each team member will carry their own food and equipment to Camp 1; which will take approximately 5 hours to reach. We will eat packed lunch at Camp 1, then return to Plaza Argentina. These hikes (also referred to as 'carries') such as these are an important aspect of our acclimatization process.
A day in Plaza Argentina to rest, acclimatize, and prepare gear for our move to Camp 1.
Today is a big move to Camp 1, approximately six hours. Today you will be responsible for carrying personal
equipment and as well as additional supplies. Porters will carry sleeping tents. Upon arrival, you will be aided by your guides to help set up your tent.
Today is a carry to Camp 2, taking approximately four to five hours. As part of our acclimatization, team members will carry the necessary food and supplies and stowe some of it at Camp 2. We will begin by ascending moderate switchbacks that make the climbing easier, about a third of the way up, the trail takes us officially out of the valley and up on the mountain face, where views will not disappoint. Throughout the climb, the surrounding mountains open up revealing wide vistas and a magnificent view of the Polish Glacier. At Camp 2 we will cache our supplies and rest while enjoying lunch, then descend back to Camp 1.
Today we will climb to Camp 2 and set up camp. Again, everyone will be responsible for carrying personal
equipment and additional supplies. Porters will carry sleeping tents. At camp we will work together to pitch
tents, then rest and recover.
Today we take the day to rest and relax.
Carry to Camp 3. You will carry expedition equipment and food that you will need in Cólera (about four to five hours of climbing). Once at Cólera Camp, we will have lunch, then return to Camp 2. This trek will continue helping with your acclimatization process.
We begin with breakfast and an early start, ascending toward the Normal Route. On this day, everyone will be responsible for carrying personal equipment and additional supplies. Sleeping tents will be carried by our porter staff. At Cólera Camp we will settle our campsite, which is strategically located for its altitude and protection from strong winds. The team guide will check each member of the group and orient climbers regarding summit day plans.
Our planned summit day will begin with a pre-dawn start. As expected, today will be our most challenging of the entire expedition. Today will be like none other in our expedition, as you climb on narrow, exposed paths while the sun rises, gradually lighting the surrounding mountains. Our goal is to reach the summit, where we will be rewarded with an unforgettable experience, and then return to Camp 3 (Colera).
After a long trek, you will get to Plaza de Mulas Base Camp. On this day, everyone will be responsible for carrying personal equipment and the expedition equipment assigned to them. Porters will carry sleeping tents and waste. Once in Plaza de Mulas, the group will have the afternoon to enjoy the lower altitude and reflect on our experience.
Descend to Horcones Lake and privincial park (six to seven hours) on the last trekking day of our expedition. Mules will carry our belongings so team members will only take a light daypack with a packed lunch. Transfer to Mendoza city. Lodge in the hotel.
Breakfast, end of services.
Extra day for weather.
Extra day for weather.
Dates & Pricing
Jan 20Feb 8$4295 (Based on 10) USD
Above Costs Include:
- Mountain guides certified by the AAGM (Argentinean Association of Mountain Guides) and the EPGAMT (School of High Mountain and Trekking Guides).
- Airport transfers
- Hotels in Mendoza
- Assistance with climbing permit
- Meals at Base Camp and High Camps
- Equipment and Tents
- Porters for common equipment
- Use of dining tent, bathrooms and storage facilities
Cost Does Not Include:
- Climbing permit fee ($720 in Feb)
- Private porters hired to carry your personal gear if you choose. Please ask us for porter pricing
- Flight between Buenos Aires and Mendoza
- Additional hotels and meals if the expedition finishes early and returns to Mendoza
- Single occupancy supplement
- Any fees incurred as a result of an early departure from the scheduled itinerary (whether personal or medical), including: additional hotels, meals, and transportation (mules, auto, or helicopter).
- Wifi in camp
- Excess baggage charges, lost luggage, and airport taxes
- Personal Porters