On Elbrus we’d enter the world of snow as soon as we “went up the mountain.” Aconcagua is very different. There is snow and ice: there are the penitentes and the route goes over glaciers on multiple occasions. But the snow and ice is mostly covered by rock and dust, so it’s much harder to be conscious of it. This year there was so little snow that we didn’t even need to take our crampons for the summit attack.
After Plaza Argentina base camp, we kept doing the same load carrying routine: carry up some team gear, go back down, maybe rest and then move to the higher camp. We had a total of three high camps: camp 1 at 4950m, camp 2 at 5570m and camp Colera at 5870m. While we were climbing Aconcagua the “Polish traverse” route, Colera is also the highest camp of the “normal” route.
The route up to almost 7000m altitude on Aconcagua is a long one. I’ll write about the “world below” (Mendoza and the area) later. Our route, the “Polish traverse” goes up the Vacas valley to the base camp at Plaza Argentina. On the way we had lunch at some roadside restaurant where we met another team (of two + guide) who were going up the “normal route.”
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