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Aconcagua Polish Direct

The new dimension of high alitude mountaineering on Aconcagua: the lonesome and spectacular Direct Polish Glacier route.

With its 6962m Aconcagua is the highest mountain of the American continent and one of the Seven Summits.

The way over the Polish-Glacier more technical and demanding than the normal routes on Mt. Aconcagua but definitely the most stunning and lonesome one as well. It leads from the last camp at 5850m across the glacier trough ice, snow and mixed terrain in a direct line up to the summit. In order to guarantee a safe ascent and descent we’ve installed the same fixed ropes that we use on Everest. Compared to the dry gravel slopes of the normal route and polish traverse, this direct polish glacier route is much more attractive and now finally made accessible. A new dimension of high alititude mountaineering on Mt. Aconcagua!

Climbing Aconcagua over the Direct Polish glacier route is not only a great experience, but also the perfect preparation for Mt. Everest due to the similar terrain and the fixed ropes, installed on both mountains. Furthermore, one climbs a summit over 6500m, which is a future requirement for the Everest-permit. And in addition, there’s the option to book and test the Everest oxygen system on Aconcagua summit day.

The Incas, the natives of the Andes, considered the Aconcagua as a temple. This assumption is based on findings of art pieces, religious items and even a mummy in a cave.

Relatively early, the Aconcagua became also relevant in mountaineering: In 1882 the first expedition to the so called “Roof of America” was launched and until today, the Aconcagua is a popular target for mountaineers and adventurers from all over the world. Especially its relative technical simplicity paired with its high altitude of almost 7000 m, makes the Aconcagua a perfect preparation for the easier 8000ers of the Himalaya.

It is quite busy at the Roof of America. But for those who can refrain from its well-trodden paths and wander its thoughts over the unending expanses of the Andes, the Aconcagua hasn’t lost much of its appeal and beauty that must have already compelled the Incas. And where to enjoy this better than on the lonesome Polish direct route?

Adventure Factor courageous
Experience / Emotion mindblowing
Fitness / Struggle workout
Risk feel free to tell your partner about it
Comfort comfy expedition style

Highlights:

  • The highest mountain of America (6962m) via direct polish glacier route
  • Individual support by our mountain guide
  • The only line of fixed ropes on the mountain: 1200m of ropes, which are maintained regularly
  • More safety due to the communication network covering the complete route
  • Travelling through the beautiful scenery of the Andean Region
  • Option to book the hypoxic pre-acclimatization system or Everest oxygen system for summit day

Trip dates:

Booking code:-
Minimum members:-
Price per person: 0

Preparation:

In order to enable an expedition in such a short time frame, appropriate preparation is vital. The preparation starts with an individual consultation, where goals and training topics are defined. Every participant must have comprehensive mountain experience in high altitudes. Fitness and mental resilience must be trained intensively during the months prior to the expedition. Furthermore, we emphasize the importance of careful acclimatization on the mountain or already at home in hypoxia.  If you have any questions, read our FAQs or contact us directly.

The exact schedule of the expedition depends on the weather conditions. In addition, please keep in mind that we are in a very remote and politically sensitive area in a nationalpark where our freedom of movement may be limited at any time due to governmental or environmental restrictions.

The following schedule is planned:

 

 

Day 1 - 5: Trip to basecamp

Day 1 Arrival in Mendoza (760 m / 2,493 ft).
Our driver will pick you up at the airport and drive you to the Diplomatic Hotel. Your guide will contact you to schedule a gear check and the team meeting.

Day 2 Transfer in private vehicles from Mendoza to Penitentes. After getting the climbing permits at the Park office in Mendoza, our private van drives the group to the lodge at Los Penitentes. This small mountain village at 2.580 m / 8,465 ft is where we have our warehouse and where the loads for the mules are prepared.
3 hour drive

Day 3 Penitentes – Punta de Vacas (trailhead) – Pampa de Leñas camp (2.950 m / 9,678 ft).
After breakfast, we drive ten minutes to Punta de Vacas. We get our climbing permits stamped at the rangers station and begin the approach to base camp. After a 4 to 5-hour hike along Río de las Vacas we arrive at our first camp, Pampa de Leñas, where we enjoy a genuine asado criollo (Gaucho BBQ). For the entire hike in to BC you will be carrying a day pack with only the necessary essentials. The mules take care of the heavy loads.
Trek: 4-5 hs

Day 4 Pampa de Leñas – Casa de Piedra (3.240 m /10,630 ft).
Hike to Casa de Piedra, our second approach camp. Great view of the Polish Glacier and the eastern face of Aconcagua as we arrive to the camp.
Trek: 6 hs

Day 5 Casa de Piedra – Plaza Argentina Base Camp (4.190 m / 13,746 ft).
We follow the trail up the Relinchos Valley to Plaza Argentina. Our BC chef greets us with a hearty dinner in a comfy dining tent. A proper reward after the hardest day of the approach.
Trek: 6-7 hs

Day 6 - 16: Acclimatization and ascent

Day 6 Plaza Argentina.
Rest day at base camp. Sleeping, reading in the dining tent or trying the yoga mats in our heated lounge tent; whatever you do, get hydrated!

Day 7 Plaza Argentina – Camp 1 – Plaza Argentina (4.800 m/ 15,748 ft).
With the trek to BC and the first stage of acclimatization completed, the climb itself begins with this gear carry to camp 1. After catching equipment, food and gas we return to base camp.
Trek: 7 hs

Day 8 Plaza Argentina. Rest day at base camp.

Day 9 Plaza Argentina – Camp 1 (4.800 m/ 15,748 ft).
The team leaves BC behind and moves to camp 1 with the remaining gear. Our porters will carry the tents and other common gear, the climbers carry their own gear and their share of the common gear if needed (expect to carry a 18-22 kg backpack).
Trek: 4-5 hs

Day 10 Camp 1 – Camp 2 – Camp 1 (5.486 m/ 18,000 ft).
Gear carry to camp 2, also called “Guanacos”. Astonishing view of Mt. Mercedario and other peaks of the Ramada massif. Return to Camp 1.
Trek: 5-6 hs

Day 11 Camp 1 – Camp 2 (5.486 m/ 18,000 ft).
Move to Camp 2 “Guanacos”.
Trek: 5 hs

Day 12 Camp 2 (Guanacos – 5.486 m / 18,000 ft).
Rest day.

Day 13 Camp 2 (Guanacos) – Camp 3 (Polish Glacier Camp 2 – 5.863 m / 19,235 ft).
4-5 hs

Day 14 Summit day! (6.960 m – 22,837 ft).
We leave early to get the most of the (long) day. You will be carrying a very light backpack (water, snacks, some clothing, camer a).
Trek: 8-12 hs

Day 15 Extra weather day. To secure the success of the expedition we have added two additional summit days in case of bad weather.

Day 16 Extra weather day.

Day 17 - 20: Descent and return journey

Day 17 Camp 3 (Polish Glacier Camp 2) – basecamp Pl. Argentina.
Celebration time! We enjoy our dinner in dining tents with tables and chairs again. What a pleasure!

Day 18 Plaza Argentina – Pampa de Leñas.
We say good bye to our “home away from home” and begin the two day trek out to the trailhead. An alternative way to end the expedition in grand style is to flight out in a helicopter (optional service, with additional cost). The heli-charter spares two days of strenuous hiking and lets you admire Aconcagua from the air: the perfect icing on the cake!

Day 19 Pampa de Leñas – Punta de Vacas – Penitentes – Mendoza.
We complete the trek out to Punta de Vacas, where we meet our van. Private transfer to Mendoza, after picking up the gear at Penitentes. Hotel check-in, end of the program.
Trek: 7-8 hs + 3-4 hour drive

Day 20 Individual flight back home
Hasta luego Argentina! It’s time to say goodbye. Transfer to the airport and individual flight back home.

check_circle_outline  Included:

  • Organisation of the expedition
  • Certified, english speaking mountain guide
  • Excellent guide to climber ratio for the summit day: 1/1, 2/2, 2/3 or 3/4
  • 2 nights in upscale hotel in Mendoza with breakfast (single room optional)
  • 1 night in Penitentes with breakfast and dinner
  • All accommodation in double or triple rooms
  • Fullboard while in the national park and on the mountain
  • Equipment at the basecamps (sleeping and dining tents, etc.)
  • High camp equipment (tents, stove, cooking gear, gas, meals)
  • 1200m of fixed ropes on the glacier, which are carefully fixed and regularly maintained by our guides
  • All transfers (jeep / private shuttle)
  • One porter every four climbers, to carry 20kg of common gear
  • Mules from Penitentes to basecamp and back for personal gear
  • Permanent VHF radio communication
  • Satellite coverage and tracking during the trip through an InReach device
  • Free internet at basecamp (limitations apply)
  • Emergency medicine, pulseoxymeter
  • Assistance with the required climbing permit procedure
  • Security and warranty of an Austrian tour operator

 

help_outline  Optional:

  • The included accommodations are double or triple occupancy (depending on availability). Single rooms and tents are available upon request.
  • Pre-acclimatization in hypoxic tents
  • Oxygen for the summit day (4x bottles of oxygen, mask, modulator, lending system) € 2800
  • Helicopter transfer from the entrance of Horcones Valley Park – Basecamp – entrance (depending on weather and other conditions)
  • Personal Porter

 

highlight_off  Not included:

  • International Airfare (ask for an offer)
  • Permit for the climb of Aconcagua (see “Porters & Permits”)
  • Personal insurance (evacuation insurance required by Mt. Aconcagua State park)
  • Personal medicine
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned
  • Tips
  • Helicopter flights
  • Additional porters for personal gear
  • Personal climbing gear
  • Sleeping bag
  • All not specifically mentioned included services as well as an cost incurred by the climber for leaving the trip early (such as transfers, mules, guide, etc.)

 

Porter

Each porter carries up to 20 kg, from BC to any given camp and down from high camp or camps between, to BC. The price includes 1 porter every 4 climbers, to carry 20 kg of common gear, only when the group moves from one camp to the next (not when the group carries gear to a cache and comes back to camp). Climbers who don’t want to carry weight can hire a personal porter, on a daily basis or for the whole trip.

Climbing Permit

In the last seasons Mt. Aconcagua State Park has not published the price of the climbing permit until the last weeks before the season. There are different prices, according to the climbing route, the date of the trip and the nationality of the climbers. Please refer to the official website for last season’s prices (www.aconcagua.mendoza.gov.ar).

info  General Infos

Tour operator for this trip: Furtenbach Adventures.

An expedition to high altitudes still presents an enormous challenge despite modern equipment and tactics. Besides technical and fitness requirements, the high altitude still poses the largest hurdle. That is why we place great emphasis on prudent, slow acclimatization and recommend the possibility of pre-acclimatization in a high altitude tent at home (see also FAQ).

Weather and conditions on the mountain can lead to program or route changes. Participation in the expedition lies in your own individual responsibility. Furtenbach Adventures assumes no liability for accidents, damages or loss of materials.

If you are not sure whether taking part in an expedition is the right thing for you, feel free to contact Lukas Furtenbach at Tel +43 512 204134 or per email [email protected] for an answer to this question during a personal interview!

This package in general is not suitable for persons with reduced mobility.

 

https  Insurance

We strongly recommend taking out a travel insurance (including trip cancellation, interruption, medical and luggage insurance) For this journey, the Global Rescue Signature Travel Insurance is suitable. The price of the insurance depends on the trip and the personal data of the traveller. We happily make you an offer after booking or upon request.

To cover search and rescue costs in the mountains, we ask our expedition participants to take out a “medical only”-membership at Global Rescue. This membership can be concluded here before departure: https://ss.globalrescue.com/partner/furtenbach/. Further information are provided after your booking.

language  Entry Requirements

Passport and Visa Requirements

Swiss or EU citizens:

Argentina: When entering the country, you need a passport with a validity of at least 3 or more months. Visa is only required if your travel is not only tourism purpose or if you plan to stay for more than 3 months.

Information on recommended vaccines and health regulations:
http://www.who.int/ith/en/

More detailed information regarding entry, visa and health requirements for this travel destination will be provided once you’ve communicated your nationality.

 

work  Equipment

You need to bring your own personal equipment such as down clothing, expedition shoes, an isolated sleeping mat and a sleeping bag with a comfort range of – 20 to -25 degrees celsius. Following your booking we will send you a detailed equipment list. We will be happy to advise you personally during the selection and purchase of required equipment. With years of expedition experience, we know what has proved its worth and what not.

 

insert_chart_outlined  Difficulty/ Technique

The ascent always lies in the participant‘s personal responsibility, while led by the mountain guide and expedition leader. Participants must be able to move safely and independently in mixed terrain (rock, snow, ice) and – if required – independently build rope teams under the guidance of the mountain guide. Cooperation, camaraderie and support on the mountain increases the chances of success for all. The guide is there to provide guidance for the whole group, the possibilities for him to respond to individual needs is limited. It is imperative that participants adhere to the instructions and decisions made by the mountain guide. Regardless, each participant must know their own physical limits, and be able to make a timely decision to turn back.

 

perm_identity  Physical Fitness

A key success factor in expeditions is being in good shape. Train in the months before the expedition! Several hour climbs with a backpack and around 1000 meters per day should not be a problem for you. We will gladly provide individual advice on how to best prepare yourself mentally and physically for an expedition!

 

local_hospital  Health

We recommend that each participant undergoes a medical examination prior to the expedition. Good health is a prerequisite for participation. Particularly important is a visit to the dentist because previously unnoticed dental problems can become quite acute due to the sudden change in pressure conditions in higher altitudes.

 

check_box Experience

We are very familiar with the charm and attraction of a high mountain! However, we want to make certain that you can ascend safely, come back alive, and be able to enjoy the expedition while on it and not afterwards. Therefore, in order to participate in one of our Seven Summit expeditions, you must already have collected some experience at high altitudes and mountaineering. When booking, please let us know which heights you have already reached and which high mountains you have climbed. If you are a newcomer, no problem, we offer a bespoke program aimed to train you for reaching your desired destination.

We offer a special introductory weekend for all those who want to learn about – or refresh their knowledge of – all the skills and techniques needed on an expedition. More info here.

 

payment  Payment

Deposit Payment is made less than eleven months prior to the end of the trip and is a maximum of 20% of the price. The balance must be paid no earlier than 20 days prior to departure. Please find more information regarding the payment in our GTC.

directions_run Right of withdrawal

The traveller has the right to withdraw from the travel contract at any time by paying the according cancellation fee stated in the General Terms of Conditions of Furtenbach Adventures GmbH.

The following fees apply for cancellations on the part of the client prior to travel:

until 30 days prior to departure…………………………. 30%
29 – 20 days prior to departure…………………….. 40%
19 -10 days prior to departure…………………….. 70%
9 – 4 days prior to departure………………………… 80%
from the 3rd day prior to departure (72 hours)………100%
on the day of departure………………………………… 100% of the tour fee.

The tour operator will be released from the contract if the specified minimum number of participants is not achieved and if the customer has been notified about the cancellation in writing within the following periods: until 20 days prior to departure.