ITINERARY · POLISH TRAVERSE ROUTE (Vacas)


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 > Rest day at Plaza Argentina. 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 > Camp 2 – Cólera (5.970 m / 19,586 ft). We move to our last camp, from where we will attempt the summit. You will be having dinner at almost 6.000 m. It’s higher than most places on Earth! / 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, 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 > Cólera – Pl. de Mulas Base Camp (4.350 m / 14,271 ft). We continue our circumnavigation of Aconcagua by descending via the northwest side of the mountain to the lively BC of the Normal Route. Celebration dinner in dining tents with tables and chairs.

Day 18 > Plaza de Mulas – Horcones – Penitentes – Mendoza. The hike out takes approximately 7 hours. Most of the gear goes in the mules, so you walk light. From the trailhead at Horcones, our van drives you 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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