POLISH GLACIER ROUTE
More technical and demanding, but less crowded than the normal routes on Mt. Aconcagua, the Polish Glacier route is a postgraduate degree in high altitude mountaineering. The huge glacier, on the north-east face of the mountain, owes its name to the legendary team of Polish mountaineers that first climbed it in 1934. The three day approach hike follows the pristine Vacas Valley up to Plaza Argentina base camp, where the route separates from the more frequented Polish Traverse route. With sections of 55º snow and ice at more than 6,000 m, the Polish Glacier is a perfect training ground for the big challenges of the Himalayas.
SEASON 2023 / 2024
Departures: December 17th / January 28th
Price: U$D 7,450 per person
Duration: 19 days.
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10 FACTS THAT SET OUR EXPEDITIONS APART
Day 1 > Arrival in Mendoza (760 m / 2,493 ft). Our driver will pick you up at the airport and take you directly to the Diplomatic Hotel downtown. After checking into your room, you can relax or explore the many sidewalk cafes of the city. Your guide will contact you to confirm the next day’s schedule.
Day 2 > Packing and permits in Mendoza. The team and the guides get to know each other. Activities such as gear check, permit procedures and equipment sorting and packing are carried out on this day. Reminder: you’ll need two large duffle bags and an expedition backpack.
Day 3 > Mendoza – Penitentes – Punta de Vacas – Pampa de Leñas (2.950 m/ 9,678 ft). Private transfer vehicles from Mendoza to our warehouse in Penitentes. You can have coffee and snacks while the guides and our logistics staff prepare the mule loads. Lockers and safe storage place are available. After a 15 minutes drive to Punta de Vacas and a brief check with the rangers, the team begins the 4-5 hour hike to Pampa de Leñas, the first camp in the Vacas Valley routes. You will be carrying only a day pack. The asado criollo (Gaucho BBQ) is the highlight of the day. 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, featuring a great view of the Polish Glacier and the East Face of Aconcagua as we arrive. / 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 base camp chef greets us with a hearty dinner in a comfy dining dome: the perfect reward after the hardest day of the approach. / 6-7 hs
Day 6 > Plaza Argentina. Rest day at Base Camp. Sleep, get in touch with your significant ones, read in the dining tent or try 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. / 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). / 4-5 hs.
Day 10 > Camp 1 – Camp 2 – Camp 1 (5.486 m / 18,143 ft). Gear carry to camp 2, also called “Guanacos”. Astonishing view of Mt. Mercedario and other peaks of the Ramada massif. Return to C1. / 5-6 hs.
Day 11 > Camp 1 – Camp 2 (5.486 m / 18,000 ft). Move to Camp 2 “Guanacos”. / 5 hs.
Day 12 > Camp 2 (5.486 m / 18,000 ft). Rest day at “Guanacos”.
Day 13 > Camp2 – Camp3 (PolishGl.Camp2-5.863m/19,235ft) /4-5hs
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, camera). / 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 > Camp 3 (Polish Glacier Camp 2) – Pl. Argentina. Celebration dinner in dining tents with tables and chairs.
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. / 7-8 hs + 3-4 hour drive.
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