EXPEDITIONS

NORMAL ROUTE



Normal Route
We start our trip going from Plaza de Mulas (4200 m) towards North-East and then directly East. We follow a twisted path covered with small rocks until the slope becomes less slanted (5150 m) in this place we will find several platforms used for camping. It is a very windy place, but it is excellent for a trek journey. This is generally used to place camp number 1 if there is snow to melt for water supply.

Warning: there might be falling rocks from the rocky mountain nearby.
About 200m above there is a small shelter called Antartida which is in ruins. This shelter isn’t in the normal route of climbing, it is better to go North-East up to 5350m. At this height there are many big rocks which are perfect to camp, it is called Nido de Condores, the landscape is beautiful and mysterious, and it is located between Aconcagua and Cerro Manso (5350m). There is permanent snow in this area and also big portions of ice. From Nido de Condores the bent path takes direction South-East and it follows the crest North-West. There are a group of shelters at 5800m: Libertad, Plantamura and Berlin. Only the first two shelters are inhabitable.
These shelters should be used as dining rooms or as emergency shelters, in high season the population increases highly over the capacity of these simple, tiny buildings.
This place is generally used for camping but the frequent winds with a Venturi effect make the stay troublesome.

From the shelters area (5800m approximately) the path continuous towards North-East to arrive to a shelter called Independencia (6250m) located under Portezuelo de los Vientos.  From this shelter and going up towards South-East, you reach Portezuelo from where you can see the rest of the trail. When you look directly to the mountain, to your left you will see a pyramid shaped hill and to your right there is a perfectly visible trail that takes you to La Canaleta, the last portion of the climbing.

From Portezuelo de los Vientos this trail goes through Ventisquero de Schiller, it is between 50 and 100m wide and 30º or 35º gradient, there is sometimes ice in this area making the use of crampons a must. There are big rocks in La Canaleta, and it is a 400mgradient; the summit is visible towards its left end.

La Canaleta has always been a myth: "when you take a step, you go back two”, its secret is to climb it slowly through the right using ski poles to keep the balance and save energy.
Remember when you are coming back, to be extremely precautious at La Canaleta, because you will be exhausted from the climb and you might fall in its dangerous terrain .

Low Visibility Descent
It is easy to follow the route when you are coming down La Canaleta, but you will have to be extremely careful when you reach its end not to go directly into El Acarreo, a frozen land covered with small loose rocks, and exposed to winds. When you are in La Canaleta the direction you would take is North-East going through Ventisquero de Schiller, carefully, up to Partezuelo de los Vientos from where you will see down East-North-East, the ruins of Independencia shelter. Once you arrive at the shelter the direction is North-North-West. You should follow the crest attentively without going to the left, El Gran Acarreo, or to the right, Cordon de los Penitentes.
The shelters are very difficult to see when the visibility is low; actually, you will only be able to see them when you are literally right next to them.

The cases of lost people are more numerous during the descent, and many of those have had a fatal end. You have to keep in mind that the Normal Route can take you very easily to potentially dangerous paths, even more when you are not an expert of these routes or you are extremely tired. Due to different reasons 40 people have died in this route.
 
Temperature in the Normal Route
This side of the mountain is extremely windy, with drafts coming from West-South-West causing a dangerously low thermal sensation. The weather condition in the Normal Route is frequently bad that is why your equipment should be of a high quality wind proof and thermal capacity.
It is advisable to make a homemade insulation for your modern boots: with insulating soles made of polystyrene.

Gloves and footwear are of vital importance, you need to take at least three pairs of mittens, to keep in case of loss or moist, and one pair of silk or polypropylene gloves to wear as first layer.

Normal Route Timings
  • Plaza de Mulas - Nido de Cóndores ( 5.350 m) 2 to 6 h.
  • "Nido de Cóndores" ( 5.350 m), shelters area ( 5.800 m) 30" to 3 hs.
  • Shelters ( 5.800 m) - summit ( 6.962 m) 3 to 8 hs.
  • Descent-summit – shelters area ( 5.800 m) 1 to 5 hs.
The acclimation in Plaza de Mulas (4200m) is crucial to reach the top of the Aconcagua successfully. It is worthless to skip acclimation steps, you need to reach the shelters at 5800m in perfect physical conditions. The time taken to get to Nido de Condores will be doubled when going from there to the top. It is important to wait for acclimation or for better weather conditions at the shelters area (5350m) because your body strength rapidly deteriorates at high altitudes, making the descent a must.
- Mendoza -
Peatonal Sarmiento 231 Mendoza(5500) - Argentina.
Tel: 54-261-425-5511 / 4381166 / 438-0818 E-mail: info@cerroaconcagua.com

- Bs As -
Peatonal Reconquista 379 (Edificio Continental), piso 3 ofi; 305.
Tel: 11-43285805, 1160883534 // Celular: 11-60198052