Aconcagua Trip Report (#17377)

Our group of 4 from Las Vegas, Nevada included Jim Ness, Tryge Simpson, Don Turley and myself. It struck us that this mountain cannot be climbed unless the good lord permits it to be done with sufficiently good weather. It also struck us that 7 people had died by the time we left the mountain during this climbing season alone. I think all of the machismo declaring this mountain a "walk up" encourages people who haven't a clue to attempt the climb, and they get into trouble. Because this is one of the "Seven Summits" and is exceptionally accessible, the machismo that this is a "walk up" probably makes it the mountain that kills the most people year after year in the world.

Four young Argentines in their 20's died roped up on the Polish Glacier, as one of their group fell and the other three couldn't arrest. A Mexican woman died at Nido De Condores after members of her group climbed higher and left her alone not feeling well in camp. A Japanese man died two days after arriving in Base Camp, and he was found in his tent with all of his possessions stacked on top of him. I believe he was solo. Finally, what I understand to be an Argentine woman died at Cambio de Pendiente (Camp Alaska) after ascending too fast.

Our group had a good experience because we would not permit ourselves to underestimate the mountain nor get cocky. We spent one night in Confluencia, five at Plaza De Mulas Base Camp, and four at Nido De Condores. We did have some altitude sickness problems despite our slow ascent, and decided to quit the mountain as a nasty looking storm was blowing in. Because we had such a good group of companions, we had an excellent trip. We also met many wonderful and interesting people on the mountain. I am sure we will all be back!!

I would strongly advise against staying at the Refugio Plaza De Mulas. A tent is much more hospitable. Aymara Services performed very well for us in arranging the mules, hotels, and logistics, and I highly recommend their services. Ricardo Roman of Aymara did very good work for us.

I would like to hear from anyone who had success summitting directly from Nido De Condores.

Thanks for your attention!!

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