My most significant doubts were always the same regarding Aconcagua ascents. First, I did not know whether to do the ascent alone or be part of an Aconcagua guided climb; I admit that it took me several months to decide that. And my last big question was regarding which route to take, the Normal or the Aconcagua 360 Route? below I make a summary of the experience
The base camp at Plaza Argentina was not too crowded when we arrived as there were only a few dozen tents and several larger tents for the various vendors. The past month had been very snowy and windy without many successful summits. We decided to take a rest day at base camp. Both Anna and I had been battling colds, and we thought having a day to acclimatize and rest would do us good. As always, mountain climbing provides the opportunity to meet amazing people from all over the world. We had a chance to meet numerous climbers, porters, and park rangers throughout the camp on our rest day. One of the groups we met, and with whom we ended up jumping frog along the climb, was Antoine, a guide from Canada, and his two clients Lucia and Isabella. On our rest day, we also had to register with the base camp doctors and pass the health certificate to climb the mountain. This is a more recent fact in Aconcagua to have to pass a medical check-up. While frustrating for some, the intention is justifiable. As Anna said, Aconcagua is an underrated mountain. Although there are “trekking” routes to the top, the high altitude and unpredictable weather make it a formidable climb. On the 31st, we took the equipment to camp one at 16,200 ′. The path mainly was loose sand and stones, skirting a few penitents at times. The elevation gain started quite steep outside of base camp, got a bit more undulating, and ended on a vertical wall just below Camp 1. Although the partying gauchos had kept us up the night before, the climb felt good, and we were happy. Be progressing. The route allowed great views back to the base camp, along with Ameghino and the east face of Aconcagua in front of us the entire way. The return to base camp was quick and easy, followed by a New Year’s Eve celebration dinner with our new friends from Canada. I’m not sure any of us saw midnight come unless we’re going east coast time. On January 1st, we had another day of excellent weather. We packed up at base camp, said goodbye to our friends, and continued to camp 1. Despite our large packages, the climb was easier the second time around. Maybe it was due to acclimatization, a good night’s rest, or knowledge of the route and what to expect; it was probably a combination of all three . At Camp 1, it took a little more effort to get water.