Aconcagua is bounded by the Valle de las Vacas to the north and east and the Valle de los Horcones Inferior to the West and South. The mountain and its surroundings are part of the Aconcagua Provincial Park. The mountain has a number of glaciers. The largest glacier is the Ventisquero Horcones Inferior at about 10km long which descends from the south face to about 3600m altitude near the Confluencia camp. Two other large glacier systems are the Ventisquero de las Vacas Sur and Glaciar Este/Ventisquero Relinchos system at about 5km long. However the most well-known is the north-eastern or Polish Glacier, a common route of ascent.
The mountain was created by the subduction of the Nazca Plate beneath the South American plate during the geologically recent Andean orogeny; however, it is not a volcano. The origin of the name is contested, it is either from the Arauca Aconca-Hue, which refers to the Aconcagua River and means 'comes from the other side',Шаблон:Fact the Quechua Ackon Cahuak, meaning 'Sentinel of Stone',Шаблон:Fact or Quechua Anco Cahuac, 'White Sentinel'.
In mountaineering terms, Aconcagua is technically an easy mountain if approached from the north, via the normal route. Although the effects of altitude are severe (atmospheric pressure is 40% of sea-level at the summit), the use of supplemental oxygen is not required. Altitude sickness will affect most climbers to some extent, depending on the degree of acclimatization.
The second most frequented route is the Polish Glacier Traverse route, also known as the "Falso de los Polacos" route. This approaches the mountain through the Vacas valley, ascends to the base of the Polish Glacier, then traverses across to the normal route for the final ascent to the summit. The third most popular route is the Polish Glacier itself.
The routes to the peak from the south and south-west ridges are more demanding and the south face climb is considered very difficult.
Before attempting the mountain climbers need to purchase a permit from the Aconcagua Provincial Park authority in Mendoza. Prices vary depending on the season.
The camp sites on the normal route are listed below (altitudes are approximate).
- Puente del Inca, 2,740m (8,990ft): A small village on the main road, with facilities including a lodge.
- Confluencia, 3,380m (11,090ft): A camp site a few hours into the national park.
- Plaza de Mulas, 4,370m (14,340ft): Base camp, claimed to be the second largest in the world (after Everest). There are several meal tents, showers and internet access. There is a lodge approx. 1 km from the main campsite across the glacier.
- Camp Canadá, Шаблон:Convert: A large ledge overlooking Plaza de Mulas.
- Camp Alaska, Шаблон:Convert: Called 'change of slope' in Spanish, a small site as the slope from Plaza de Mulas to Nido de Cóndores lessens. Not commonly used.
- Nido de Cóndores, Шаблон:Convert: A large plateau with beautiful views. There is usually a park ranger camped here.
- Camp Berlín, Шаблон:Convert: The classic high camp, offering reasonable wind protection.
- Camp Colera, Шаблон:Convert: A larger while slightly more exposed camp situated directly at the north ridge near Camp Berlín, with growing popularity.
- Several sites possible for camping or bivouac, including Piedras Blancas (~6100m) and Independencia (~6350m), exist above Colera, however seldom used and offering little protection.
Summit attempts are usually made from a high camp at either Berlín or Colera, or from the lower camp at Nido de Cóndores. Practical hints and descriptions about different routes to the summit can be found on the Aconcagua mountaineering map, published 2006 by climbing map.
The first attempt on Aconcagua by a European was made in 1883 by a party led by the German geologist and explorer Paul Güssfeldt. Bribing porters with the story that there was treasure on the mountain, he approached the mountain via the Rio Volcan, making two attempts on the peak by the north-west ridge and reaching an altitude of Шаблон:Convert. The route that he prospected is now the normal route up the mountain.
The first recorded ascent was in 1897 on a British expedition led by Edward Fitzgerald. The summit was reached by the Swiss guide Matthias Zurbriggen on January 14 and by two other expedition members a few days later.
The youngest person to reach the summit of Aconcagua was Matthew Moniz of Boulder, Colorado. He was 10 years old when he reached the summit on December 16, 2008.
The mountain has a cameo in a 1942 Disney cartoon
called Pedro. The cartoon stars an anthropomorphic small
airplane named Pedro who is compelled to make an air mail run over
the Andes and has a near-disastrous encounter with Aconcagua. The
mountain (also anthropomorphic, and scary-looking), later appeared
in an illustration used in a retelling of the story in a Disney
- Mendoza Province
- Las Heras, Mendoza
- Polish Glacier
- Aconcagua on summitpost.org
- Daily time lapse animations of the Aconcagua base camp Webcam
- Highest peaks on peakware.com
- Interactive Satellite / Terrain Map, Photos, and Information on climbing Aconcagua
- Live webcam from Aconcagua base camp