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Mercedario Trip Report (#5505)

  • Signed By: Andre WEBER
  • Date submitted: May 04, 2001
  • Number of People Encountered:

More interesting und as easy as the Aconcagua, and nearly the same altitude. From the end of the paved road until the base of the mountain (2000m)there is a sand road. You can join an expedition. If you are already used with altitude (I climbed before 5 summits above 6000 in the last three months) and a little bit crazy you can do the trip on this mountain alone, in 6 days. But be carefull : nobody will find you If you have a problem : In the summit log book there were 2 ascents in the last 6 months... On the first 70 km you have no clean water (and it's hot, you cross a desert), but the dirt is only sand / earth, the water will become more clear if you let it a few hours. Verify if the "cable-bridge" after 40 km still exists (otherwise you would have to walk 50-100km more to arrive at a point where you can cross the big river. There is a path until the top. Careful : cold and windy like Aconcagua, fantastic view on it from the top. Do this alone only if you are in a very good shape. I had very lightweight equipment, no stove, but with food for ten days and the water for the firt part, I started with 28 kg. 1 1/2 days on the road to go, the same back. From 2000 I walked to 4000, last camp 5600, third day until the top and back down to the road. At the end of the road a military post(I saw nobody), then follow the big river who goes to the left. In 1994 an ancient road -path had mostly disappeared (until you reach a small lake with a hut (3000 ? 3200 m?) at the end. To cross the river can be life-threatening. If you are not sure to manage stay on the same side (left up) quite tiring because of loose stones and sand. Before arriving to the lake you will find a good path. If you need some more infomations about the route, contact me. If you are not used to high altitude, you will need 2-3 weeks, it means need to organize transport of food with a good jeep. Warning : What I describe is not a "normal" climbing. But interesting if you have no technical skills but a really good shape and used to altitude (A few days later I climbed the Aconcagua : 3hours from Berlin to summit, it means 350 m/hour between 6-7000m.)

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