Aconcagua Normal Route (Contact us if youre interested in other routes for Aconcagua trek)
22,840 ft/6962 mts.
Aconcagua is the highest point on the American continent and the tallest peak in the world outside of Asia. Rising approximately 4,000 ft above its surrounding peaks, Aconcagua, “The Stone Sentinel”, dominates the rugged Andean landscape. The ascent to its summit offers spectacular views of the Andes mountain range.
Aconcagua was first climbed in 1897, up the Northwest side of the mountain by Swiss Mountain Guide Matthias Zurbriggen. This route has become the most popular way to climb the mountain, and is known as the Ruta Normal or Normal Route. The extreme altitude, severe winds, and cold temperatures make an ascent by this, or any other route on this mountain, very challenging.
Following the Horcones Glacier, we’ll attempt the summit on the northeast aspect of the mountain, on the classic original route.
Aconcagua Normal Route Trip fine points
Skill level: Non-technical ascent, Expedition style. Strenuous hiking, mainly on summit day.
Location: Aconcagua, Andes Range, Argentina
Length: 20 days
Climber/guide ratio: 3:1
Prerequisites: Excellent physical condition
Departure dates: (Contact us to check availability)
Day 1 Flight to Mendoza. You should arrange your flight in order to arrive in Santiago (Chile) in the morning and connect to Mendoza the same day. It is much easier to fly through Santiago then Buenos Aires, but BA is still a viable option.
Mendoza (2,428 ft). We’ll be waiting for you at the airport and then we’ll drive to the Hotel. After an introductory meeting the guides will check all of your gear and we’ll be ready for a welcome dinner in one of the best restaurants in town.
Day 2 Mendoza – Penitentes. We’ll get up early and obtain the mandatory permits and then drive to Penitentes (8,860 ft) where we’ll arrange the loads for the mules. Night at the Hotel.
Day 3 Penitentes – Confluencia. We’ll drive to the entrance of the Park and after check-in and a quick meeting with the park ranger we’ll hike about 3 hours to Confluencia Camp (11,010 ft).
Day 4 Plaza Francia Acclimatization Trek. After a 3-4 hour hike, we’ll reach the lookout of the impressive South Face of Aconcagua (13,400 ft). Return to Confluencia Camp.
Day 5 Confluencia – Plaza de Mulas. We’ll hike for about 6-8 hours to Plaza de Mulas base camp
(14,300 ft) crossing “Playa Ancha” and then climbing “Cuesta Brava”. After avviving to base camp, we’ll just get confortable and relax after a long hike.
Day 6 Plaza de Mulas. We’ll just relax and enjoy the surrounds. Plaza de Mulas is a quite interesting place to hang out, with its international atmosphere and little town feeling.
Day 7 Cerro Bonete. We’ll attempt our first summit Cerro Bonete (16,500 feet). This will be a great chance to test our overall fitness, refine our hiking skills and check out our gear. From the its summit we’ll have a superb view of the entire Aconcagua normal route. 5/6 hours roundtrip. We’ll return to Plaza de Mulas.
Day 8 Plaza de Mulas. Active rest day.
Day 9 Canada Camp Acclimatization Carry. We’ll climb for 3-4 hours from Base Camp to Canada Camp where we’ll stash some food, gear, and other supplies. If weather permits we will climb above Canada Camp to help with our acclimatization process and then we will return to Base Camp. 4-6 hours roundtrip.
Day 10 Plaza de Mulas. Rest Day. We’ll just relax and get packs ready for moving to high camps.
Day 11 Canada Camp. We’ll climb back to Canada Camp where we’ll set up our camp with the help of our porters.
Day 12 Nido de CÃ³ndores Camp. We’ll climb for 5-6 hours to reach camp, which is at 17,500 ft. From here we’ll be able to see one of the best sunsets ever!
Day 13 Nido de Condores Camp. We’ll have a full rest day and get ready for the next push.
Day 14 Berlin Camp. We’ll climb for 3-5 hours to reach our high camp at 19,600 ft and get prepared for summit day.
Day 15 Aconcagua summit (22,841 ft). We’ll begin climbing early in the morning and make our summit push.
After reaching Independencia shelter at 21,476 ft and crossing the “big traverse” we’ll start climbing the groove “Canaleta”.
After this strenuous section we’ll traverse the Guanaco’s ridge, which will take us straight to the highest point in the Western Hemisphere.
After some time on the summit for pictures and celebration we will begin our decent back to camp. 10-13 hours roundtrip.
Day 16 Extra day. We have include an extra day in case of inclement weather or for further acclimatization if needed.
Day 17 Berlin Camp – Plaza de Mulas. We’ll wake up late and hike down to base camp, where we’ll arrive for lunch. In the evening we’ll prepare the mule’s to go down.
Day 18 Plaza de Mulas – Penitentes. We’ll put on our hiking shoes again and go all the way down to the Park entrance and then to our hotel in Penitentes where we’ll spend the night.
Coditions permitting, we’ll have the option of taking a 20 minutes helicopter ride all the way down (optional).
Day 19 Penitentes – Mendoza. After breakfast we’ll drive to Mendoza and check-in to our hotel, then have a free afternoon to do some shopping and walk Mendoza’s streets.
In the evening we’ll visit a “bodega” to taste some local wines, have our last dinner together and celebrate our climb.
Day 20 Flight back Home. Transfer to the airport. End of the program.
Restaurant meals included: day 1 (D), day 2 (L, D), day 18 (D) and day 19 (D).
Hotel includes breakfast.
Included in Price
Local Certified Mountain Guides (bilingual)
2 nights Hotel accommodations in Mendoza and Penitentes. 2 nights Hosteria in Penitentes.
Assistance obtaining the permits (permit fee not included)
All meals while in the mountains
Restaurant meals in Mendoza and Penitentes (as seen on the Itinerary)
Camping and cooking gear for the group
Base camp services: dining tent, WC, hyperbaric chamber, emergency oxygen
Satellite phone service.
Porters for group gear (tents, cookware, food, etc)
Private ground transportation throughout the trip.
24/7 assistance in the US before and during the program.
Real time online dispatches
Excluded in Price
Restaurant meals and those not listed in the itinerary
Personal equipment (Aconcagua Normal Route Equipment List)
Sat Phone calls.
Rescue costs and extra expenses caused by abandoning the expedition.
Aconcagua Normal Route Trip Itinerary