Aconcagua “The Summit of the Americas”

Difficulty Level: Advanced Beginner - Intermediate

Aconcagua is a mighty peak, standing at 22,841 ft, it is the second highest mountain of the Seven Summits after Everest and the tallest peak outside the Himalaya and in the Western Hemisphere. A true test, it straddles the Andes and is roughly equal distance between the stunning South American towns of Mendoza, Argentina and Santiago in Chile. A rugged challenge, the mountain sits in a predominately arid, hot climate which makes for stable summer climbing but still offers some snow and cramponing high on the peak. Not to be underestimated, the altitude, elevation gains and load carries make it unique and arduous but an amazing accomplishment for even the seasoned mountaineer.

Expedition Highlights:
  • Enjoy the warmth and hospitality of European-esque Mendoza and it’’s vibrant people.
  • Join our Arrieros (mule drivers) while they cook the traditional meal “Asado” (BBQ meats, veggies, bread, and of course Argentinian wine) over an open fire and under the stars on the trek in to base camp.
  • Watch the shadow of Aconcagua grow larger, cast by the rising sun over the Andean range, on summit morning.
  • Look down from the summit ridge on the mighty South Face, climbed by Reinhold Messner, as well as by other infamous climbers.
  • Celebrate your success with a relaxing wine tour of the famous Mendoza wine region after the climb.

Although we offer a variety of expedition options, our main guided teams will climb the mountain via a new variation on the False Polish route that CTSS Owner Mike Hamill helped develop. This route approaches the mountain through the Vacas and Relinchos Valleys and ties in higher on the mountain with the old upper Guanacos route. From here it uses one more camp then the typical False Polish climb. This route is less crowded and cleaner then the normal routes and we feel it is the best option on the mountain. Our climb finishes with a traverse and descent to Plaza de Mulas base camp. We chose this route as it offers a more direct descent from high camp and a shorter trek off the mountain.

This expedition will be organized and led by Mike Hamill, Owner of Climbing the Seven Summits. Mike has personally guided nearly 30 Aconcagua expeditions, 10 Mt. Everest expeditions, 23 X 8,000m expeditions, has 6 Everest summits, currently holds the record for most non-Sherpa summits of Cho Oyu, and has written the guide book to “Climbing the Seven Summits,” making him one of the most experienced guide on the mountain. Well over 150 summits have been notched on Aconcagua under Mike’s direct leadership. Climbing the Seven Summits expeditions are meticulously organized with the best logistics.

Climbing the Seven Summits is committed to providing the highest quality Aconcagua expedition.  You can be assured that it will be both challenging and fun, a true once in a lifetime experience. Rest assured that our professional priorities are first and foremost “Safety” and “Success” which we achieve by outfitting our teams with the best logistics and the most capable, qualified and seasoned guides in the world.

While this is a challenging peak, our Aconcagua program is designed to see you succeed. Expedition leader Mike has utilized his extensive knowledge and experience with over 30 expeditions on the mountain to achieve a 93% client success rate.

 

Welcome to “Climbing the Seven Summits” Aconcagua Expedition!

Climbing the Seven Summits is committed to providing the highest quality Aconcagua expedition.  You can be assured that it will be both challenging and fun, a true once in a lifetime experience. Our professional priorities are first and foremost “Safety” and “Success” which we achieve by outfitting our teams with the best logistics and the most capable, qualified and seasoned guides in the world.

Best regards,
Mike Hamill
Owner and Lead Guide, Climbing the Seven Summits

Expedition Options (Schedule and Prices)

At CTSS we offer a variety of different Aconcagua climb options to customize your Aconcagua experience to your climbing style and ability:

Aconcagua Guided Team Climb and Traverse
February 2 – 24, 2018; $4,595/climber (plus $600-$800 Park permit fee)

Our most popular option, this expedition is our traditional guided team climb which traverses the mountain by ascending the Vacas Valley and descending the Relinchos Valley. Provided are guidance, leadership, and expedition oversight by renowned expedition leader Mike Hamill, local guides, logistics, team gear, food, and support for a summit attempt on Aconcagua.

We begin our expedition by meeting in Mendoza, Argentina, where we obtain our climbing permits before driving to Penitentes and beginning our trek to base camp. We will then climb the mountain and return to Mendoza via the Relinchos Valley.

Polish Glacier Route via Upper Vacas Valley and Traverse:
February 3 – 23, 2018; $6,950

For those looking for more of a challenge than just climbing Aconcagua itself, we offer an ascent of the classic Polish Glacier route.

The Polish Glacier ascends the upper northeastern slopes of Aconcagua to its summit. The route climbs 35-55 degree snow and ice on summit day to the top of Aconcagua, offering stunning views on a large and arduous summit day.

Clients must have significant high altitude experience and strong ice and snow climbing ability to be considered for this program. You will be paired up at either a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio with a guide on this program and have separate logistics than the normal team climb, hence the difference in price. This route is very weather and conditions dependent and has a lower chance of success then ascending the normal route.

Aconcagua Private and Custom Climb: 1:1 Client:Guide

February 3 – 23, 2018; $14,950 (plus $600 – $800 Park permit fee)

Having your own private guide climbing with you can be an indispensable advantage and allow you to customize your itinerary and program to fit your schedule. A personal guide will give you total autonomy and control over your trip, and they can coach you throughout the expedition, give you valuable feedback, be available if there are any medical issues and make your climbing experience more enjoyable overall. Although the summit is obviously never guaranteed, there is no better way to stack the odds in your favor than climbing with a private guide.

This expedition provides a Private guide at a 1:1 ratio, logistical oversight by renowned expedition leader Mike Hamill, logistics, food, team gear, and support for a summit attempt on Aconcagua. This is our signature premiere expedition. Our private guided climb is for those who want to stack the odds in their favor as much as possible with unparalleled safety and personal attention. Whether you’re a less experienced climber or have climbed at altitude many times before, our private climb with 1:1 Private Guide will give you the best chance of standing on top of Aconcagua.

We begin our expedition by meeting in Mendoza, Argentina, where we obtain our climbing permits before driving to Penitentes and beginning our trek to base camp. We will then climb the mountain and return to Mendoza via the Relinchos Valley.

Aconcagua Speed Ascent w/ Private Guide and Hypoxic Pre-acclimatization Chamber
(contact us for dates) $16,950

CTSS offers select climbers our “Speed Ascent” option which employs state-of-the-art technology to allow you to summit in less time. We use a time-tested training program in conjunction with a portable hypoxic altitude chamber to pre-acclimate your body to the rarefied air found at altitude. This option is perfect for those who want to minimize time away from home while still stacking the odds in their favor for summit success. If you think this option may be right for you, please contact us directly, and we will work with you on a personalized plan.

Having your own private guide climbing with you can be an indispensable advantage and allow you to customize your itinerary and program to fit your schedule. A personal guide will give you total autonomy and control over your trip and they can coach you throughout the expedition, give you valuable feedback, be available if there are any medical issues, and make your climbing experience more enjoyable overall. Although the summit is obviously never guaranteed, there is no better way to stack the odds in your favor than climbing with a private guide!

This expedition provides a Private guide at a 1:1 ratio, logistical oversight by renowned expedition leader Mike Hamill, logistics, food, team gear, and support for a summit attempt on Aconcagua. A private guided climb is for those who want to stack the odds in their favor as much as possible with unparalleled safety and personal attention. Whether you’re a less experienced climber or have climbed at altitude many times before, our private climb with 1:1 Private Guide will give you the best chance of standing on top of Aconcagua.

We begin our expedition by meeting in Mendoza, Argentina, where we obtain our climbing permits before driving to Penitentes and beginning our trek to base camp. We will then climb the mountain and return to Mendoza via the Relinchos Valley.

Porter Optional Add-on:
$2,000 usd

Many clients choose to use porters to facilitate their ascent of Aconcagua. This option entitles you to 20kilos of porter-carried gear each day we move to a higher camp and on the descent from high camp to base camp. If you want to make your climb easier, or you simply want to enjoy the climb more, hiring porters may be the right call.

Please let us know if you’re considering hiring an a porter, and we can discuss if this option is right for you.

All prices are in US Dollars.

CTSS requires clients to buy trip insurance for all expeditions. Please see our page on trip insurance and cancellation policy for more information.

All payments once submitted are non-refundable and non-transferable. If balances are not received by specified dates, the client forfeits their place on the program and any prior fees paid.

  • Aconcagua is the tallest mountain in the world outside of the Himalayas.
  • Aconcagua was first climbed in 1896-97 a team under the leadership of Edward FitzGerald.
  • Aconcagua lies in Argentina just east of the border between Argentina and Chile.
  • The “Normal Route” ascends the western side of the mountain.
  • Aconcagua is an ideal training climb for anyone considering attempting an 8000m peak. It is one of the safest and least technical high altitude peaks despite its massive height, making it a great way to determine how your body does at extreme altitude in this unique part of the world.

Aconcagua Climb Difficulty: Advanced Beginner to Intermediate

Climbing Aconcagua requires serious fitness, an ability to perform well at altitude, the mindset to be away from home for 3 weeks, and a desire for rugged adventure travel. The Andes are still a very remote and rugged place with few of the creature comforts we have come to expect. We try to give our climbers all of the creature comforts that we can but at the end of the day this is true adventure travel!

Climbers need solid cramponing skill and knowledge of self arrest technique and ice axe use are valuable but not a pre-requisite. If you want to join this expedition but don’t have these skills we can work with you to get you up to speed prior to the climbs. Please let us know how we can help!

Description of the Upper Vacas Valley route and Traverse:

Although we offer several expedition choices on Aconcagua, our main guided route is the Upper Vacas Valley and traverse. Our director, Mike Hamill, is perhaps the most experienced guide on this route and helped pioneer this route over a decade ago. It is our choice route because it offers us a wilderness experience while offering the easiest and safest climbing and the best chance of success. It is a breathtaking route with less traffic then the normal route, and great wild life (especially guanacos) viewing opportunities. The route one climbs in large part determines the experience and this route will give you by far the best climbing experience available on Aconcagua.

Despite being more pristine and less crowded then the normal route, it’s a relatively straight forward climb with few technical difficulties. There is some moderately steep, loose scree scrambling on our route as with all other routes but no technical climbing. We hike along well beaten mule paths all the way to Base Camp. From Base Camp to the summit our route varies between smooth hiking trails, loose scree, walking on snow and through “Penitentes”, and crossing small streams. This variety keeps our ascent interesting while never posing a real impediment to progress. Overall, this route is casual and enjoyable. Anyone with limited climbing experience should have little difficulty with the terrain.

All of our expeditions incorporate a slow acclimatization schedule to give you the best chance at continuing upwards without experiencing altitude illness. We employ the “carry high, sleep low”, principle of high altitude mountaineering by carrying up to our next camp and then returning to a lower altitude to sleep before moving to the higher camp the following day.

Although we offer a variety of expedition options, our main guided teams will climb the mountain via a new variation on the False Polish route that CTSS Owner Mike Hamill helped develop. Our route climbs the east side of the mountain through the Vacas and Relinchos valleys using Plaza Argentina. Historically this has been a less crowded way to ascend the mountain. After a summit bid we descend the west side of the mountain via the “Normal Route” through Plaza de Mulas camp. We chose this route as it offers a more direct descent from high camp and a shorter trek off the mountain.

 

Making a Traverse of Aconcagua:

Mike has had incredible success making a traverse of the mountain and people really enjoy this option. Traversing Aconcagua allows us to see both sides of the mountain, makes for an easier descent, and cuts a day off the trek back to the trail head. Overall, it’s a huge advantage! However, there are logistics that need to be considered to make the traverse run smoothly. Since we have an 18 mile (30km) trek out the last day of the trip on the opposite side of the mountain we need to have a day pack and footwear for this last day. We recommend that you bring a light pair of sneakers up the mountain as camp booties that you can hike out in the final day. Do not attempt to hike 18 miles in your climbing boots: your feet will be destroyed! As for a day pack, many climber’s top pouch on their packs turn into a hip pack, or they may be able to dump the contents of your big pack into a duffel bag and trek out with your pack. Also, since we traverse the mountain we won’t cache gear at camps on our way up the mountain since we won’t be descending the same route to recover these items. This means that climbers need to make sure they bring only the essentials up the mountain. We will leave duffels at Plaza Argentina base camp before ascending the mountain and this gear will meet you back at Penitentes (not base camp on the other side), so if you have a few comfort items like a book or cotton T shirt on the trek, you won’t need to haul this up and over the mountain. Making sense? The traverse is a great option and you will love it once you experience it. Your guide will give you a more detailed description of the traverse at the team meeting in Mendoza.

Aconcagua Team Expedition Climb Schedule: Upper Vacas Valley and Traverse

This itinerary is only a rough estimate and will be determined by weather and acclimatization. This is adventure travel meaning things rarely go as planned and this schedule will likely change. Climbers need to be adaptable and positive.

We always recommend climbers arrive in Mendoza one day early to avoid travel delays or issues with lost baggage. Added expenses (hotel/food/sightseeing) of this extra day are the clients responsibility. Please let us know if you want us to arrange logistics for early arrivals or for a single rooming option.

  1. Fly from home
  2. Meet in Mendoza, permits, team meeting
  3. Permits and travel to Penitentes
  4. Mule assisted day hike to first camp
  5. Mule assisted day hike to second camp
  6. Mule assisted hike to Base Camp at Plaza Argentina
  7. Rest and acclimatization day at Base camp
  8. Load carry to Camp 1 and return to B.C.
  9. Move to Camp 1 with gear
  10. Carry to Camp 2 and return to Camp 1
  11. Move to Camp 2 with gear
  12. Carry to Camp 3 and return to Camp 2
  13. Optional rest day
  14. Move to Camp 3
  15. 1st potential summit day
  16. Contingency summit day
  17. Contingency summit day
  18. Descend to Base Camp at Plaza de Mulas, making the traverse
  19. Trek out from base camp to Peneitentes and drive to Mendoza, arrive late
  20. Day in Mendoza and team dinner
  21. Fly home
  22. Arrive home

Speed Ascent: Aconcagua Normal Route Via Horcones

The following is a tentative itinerary for the Normal Route Private Guide Speed Ascent. We use the Normal route on this ascent option because it is shorter and faster option; perfect for someone looking to shave time and is already acclimatized. This itinerary is only a rough estimate and will be determined by weather and acclimatization. All climbers need to be adaptable and roll with the schedule if it changes.

We always recommend climbers arriving to town one day early to avoid travel delays or issues with lost baggage. Added expenses (hotel/food/sightseeing/etc) of this extra day are the clients responsibility. Please let us know if you want us to arrange logistics for you arriving a day early or for a single room.

  1. Leave Home
  2. Meet in Mendoza, permits, team meeting
  3. Permits and drive to Penitentes Hotel
  4. Mule assisted day hike to Confluencia camp
  5. Mule assisted hike to Base Camp (Plaza de Mulas)
  6. Rest/organization day in Plaza de Mulas
  7. Climb to Camp Canada and return to base camp
  8. Rest/acclimatization in Plaza de Mulas
  9. Move to Camp Canada
  10. Move to Nido de Condores Camp
  11. Acclimatization hike to Camp Cholera
  12. Move to Camp Cholera
  13. Summit day
  14. Contingency summit day
  15. Descend to Plaza de Mulas
  16. Hike out of mountain, drive back to Mendoza
  17. Fly home
  18. Arrive home

This detailed gear list is provided for your reference. Each item has been selected over many expeditions to Aconcagua. Please follow these guidelines carefully. Every item on the list is mandatory, and if you arrive in Mendoza missing some of them, you will be required to track them down in town prior to the climb at your own expense which can be difficult and costly. Please make sure you are fully prepared so that your trip and the trips of your teammates goes smoothly. If you have any questions about the gear, please give us a call, and we can discuss it: we’re here to help!

  • Water treatment (Steripen, Iodine tabs, Chlorine tabs, or water filtration system)
  • Ear plugs
  • Camera or phone camera
  • Small Aloe Vera for sun burn
  • Hand Cream (optional)
  • Power battery/recharger/solar charger with cords (optional)
  • Soap and shampoo for base camp shower (optional)
  • Towel for base camp shower (optional, there are showers available for $20)
  • 1 ski/winter hat
  • 1 ball cap for sun protection
  • 1 balaclava/face mask (must cover your whole face (all exposed skin) with goggles
  • 1- 2 buffs
  • 1 pair liner gloves
  • 1 pair heavy ski gloves (like OR alti glove)
  • 1 pair heavy mitts (like OR altimitt)
  • 1 pair dark goggles (like Smith turbofan)
  • 1 sleeping bag, rated to -20F (like Marmot Col)
  • 1 thermarest
  • 1 ridge rest
  • hiking shoes or light hiking boots for the approach (these will come up the mountain with us as a camp booty and for the trek out from base camp on the other side of the mountain the final day, so keep them light)
  • 1 thin long john pants, and 1 pair of medium weight long john pants
  • 1 pair of light trekking pants
  • 1 pair medium weight climbing pants
  • 1 goretex water proof pants, must be full zip
  • 1 goretex waterproof jacket
  • 1 pair insulated pants, must be full zip (like Mountain Hardware Compressor Pant)
  • 1 pair trekking shorts
  • in town clothes (some restaurants are nice so a collared shirt/dress is not a bad idea)
  • 2 pairs trekking socks
  • 3 pairs climbing socks (1 thin, 2 thick (1 for sleeping))
  • 2 pair climbing underwear
  • swimsuit for pool at hotel (optional)
  • 1 pair steel crampons
  • Double climbing boots (like La Sportiva Baruntse or Scarpa Inverno)
  • Heavy gaiters (like OR Crocodiles)
  • 2 long john tops (1 light, 1 medium)
  • Synthetic Sun hoodie or trekking shirt, long sleeve (like Patagonia sun hoody)
  • Upper body Pile Layer, like Patagonia R1 or similar hoodie
  • Synthetic Puffball jacket, synthetic or down, mid weight with front zip and hood or similar (like Patagonia Puffball)
  • Heavy weight down parka with hood (like Mountain Hardware subzero or similar)
  • Lip balm
  • Sunscreen (like All Good 35spf with high Zinc Oxide content)
  • Book (optional)
  • Alarm (on watch or other)
  • Headphones (optional)
  • Baby wipes, for staying clean
  • Meds: (bandages, triple antibiotic ointment, tums, antacid, immodium, ciproflacin, azithromycin, ibuprofen, aspirin, blister kit, bandaids, etc) keep it fairly small and light to reduce weight
  • Toilet paper (2 rolls)
  • Pee bottle (1 liter)
  • Pee funnel (women)
  • 5 large heavy duty trash bags (for waterproofing duffels, backpack, and caching gear)
  • 2 X 1 liter Nalgene-type water bottles with full covers (Camelback-type hydration systems are fin until base camp but are unacceptable above there. They freeze, pop and break so are unreliable.)
  • Large internal frame pack, must be 100+ liter (like Mountain Hardware BMG)
  • day pack for trek in to base camp (also doubles as a carry on, 45L)
  • 2 – 3 large duffels, water proof PVC rugged construction (like North Face XXL) (One will stay at Penitentes with your street clothes and other items not needed for the climb and the second will come with us on the trek to base camp. If you can’t fit all of your gear for the trek and climb in one duffel bag then there will be some extra room in group duffels or bring an extra duffel that you can share with others)
  • Travel wallet
  • Passport
  • Cash
  • Light harness (like Black Diamond)
  • Helmet
  • 1 locking carabiner
  • 1 non-locking carabiner
  • Tooth paste and toothbrush
  • 1 light headlamp with extra batteries
  • 2 pairs glacier glasses (one spare)
  • Belt for climbing pants
  • Collapsable ski poles
  • 1 long alpine length ice axe
  • 3 stuff sacks
  • 1 compression sack
  • Neoprene surf booties for river crossings, or something similar
  • Print out of team emails and bring with you
  • Hand sanitizer (small container)
  • Marker
  • Pen
  • 3lbs personal snack food (real food and stuff that you know you will want to eat at altitude when you don’t feel like eating: nuts, jerky, granola bars, dried fruit, candy, etc.)
  • Cup
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  1. Select the program for which you would like to apply.
  2. Fill out the CTSS online application form completely, truthfully and to the best of your ability or ask us to email you the application package. Pay initial deposit of 25% of the program fees into our trust account to reserve your place. Payment can be made by credit card, PayPal or bank wire transfer. Your spot will not be secured until monies have been received, and we have reviewed your application and accepted you to the program.
  3. Upon acceptance of your application*, we will send you follow up forms including a waiver form, physicians medical form, travel sheet, and passport information form to make sure we have all of your details. We will also begin sending you the program emails to get you up to speed on all the details for your trip.
  4. Submit your remaining 75% balance payment and paperwork prior to 120 days before the program start date.

*Note: This application requires the acceptance of CTSS personnel before the applicant will be enrolled on the program. CTSS reserves the right to deny an applicant enrollment in its programs. Further, if the applicant is under the age of 18, the application must be signed by their legal parent or guardian and they must be accompanied by a legal parent of guardian on the program. If you are not accepted for the program your deposit will be refunded.
 (Please Note: Full Payment Terms & Conditions, Cancellation & Refund Policies can be found on the Waiver Release Form.)

Included:
  • Guides: Professional Mountain Guides
  • Mule Service: Reliable, professional mule support from the best local outfitters.
  • Hotels: One night lodging in Mendoza, one night lodging at Penitentes, our jumping off point for Aconcagua, and one night lodging in Mendoza upon our return.
  • Transportation: All group transportation while on the expedition. If you depart early then the added expenses for transport, lodging, rescue, and evacuation is your own responsibility.
  • Food: All expedition (on Mountain) food is covered including breakfast, dinner, snacks and hot drinks, and breakfast at the Penitentes Hotel. Lunch and in town/Penitentes restaurant meals are your own expense.
  • All Group Gear: Four season tents, cooking gear, group duffels, stoves, etc.
  • 1st Aid Equip
  • Satellite Phone: To update the blog and available to clientele at $3/min

  • Mountain Climbing Permit fee ($600  $800 for high season)
  • All in town restaurant meals (breakfast is provided), Penitentes dinner, and mountain lunch food
  • Transportation to the airport upon departure
  • Flight costs to and from Mendoza
  • Personal gear: all personal climbing gear is the responsibility of the client
  • In the event of a rescue, evacuation, or early departure from the group, any rescue expenses incurred or excess expenses above and beyond our normal trip costs including transport, hotels, evacuation, flight changes, and gear shipping are the responsibility of the client.
  • Guide and Porter Tips (customary but optional)
  • Costs incurred as a result of events beyond the control of CTSS above and beyond the normal expedition costs
  • Required trip insurance policy (for trip cancellation, interruption, rescue & evacuation, medical treatment, repatriation, etc.)

Each expedition is led by Mike Hamill.

Mike Hamill, lead guide and owner of CTSS, is universally regarded as one of the most experienced and respected high altitude mountaineers in the world. He has guided thousands of climbers on the Seven Summits and well over 150 climbers have stood atop 8000m peaks, including Everest, under his direct guidance.

A guide for over 20 years, he boasts a 91% expedition success rate and an 83% climber summit success rate for all of his expeditions world-wide.

Who you choose as the leader of your expedition is a big deal. Sound leadership is the difference between a great expedition and a miserable, potentially dangerous one and you only want the best in your corner. Mike has an unprecedented safety record, has 6 Everest summits and currently holds the record for most non-Sherpa summits of Cho Oyu. He’s also the author of the guide book “Climbing the Seven Summits,” making him among the most experienced Western guides in the world.

An adventurer by nature, he has skied to the South Pole, cycled unsupported across the United States and completed the famed Seven Summits 6 times. He has competed as a nordic skier, ultra marathoner and cyclist.

His love for the mountains and adventure continues to compel him to travel the globe and connect with the local mountain communities, particularly the Sherpa of the Khumbu region. This bond was his impetus in creating the “Tiger of the Snows Fund” a not-for-profit that provides grants to further education of mountain tourism workers and their families & a portion of each CTSS expedition goes to support the fund.

Mike is a familiar and well respected face in the mountaineering community. He is passionate about imparting his knowledge, skills and experience to inspire others to harness their full potential in the mountains

Climbing the Seven Summits’ primary aim is to help you attain your personal climbing and trekking goals while experiencing the best of our planet, its unique cultures and environments.

We strive to offer the highest quality mountaineering expeditions and treks at a great value while focusing on our primary goals: safety, success, and enjoyment.

We achieve this by bringing our extensive experience, top of the line logistics  individualized service, and world-class guides to each adventure we undertake.

To give our clients the highest possible chance at success we are detailed in our approach, ensuring we’ve dotted our ‘i’s and crossed our ‘t’s. We provide personalized service, employ conservative acclimatization schedules, use top of the line mountaineering, camping and communications gear, hire only the best mountain leaders and we don’t skimp on costs.

Our expeditions strive to set the highest standards and climb in “good style”. By this we mean prioritising the wellbeing and safety of our teams, leaving no trace on the environments we operate in, respecting culture, contributing to local economies by employing regional partners and paying them higher than the industry standard and working in a self-sufficient and self-reliant way. We promote a responsible approach to adventure travel by connecting people to the natural world and giving back to local communities by donating a percentage of every expedition to ‘Tiger of the Snows Fund”

We take immense pride in our expeditions and this shows in the positive feedback we receive from our teams who form lasting friendships forged in the mountains as they work together and overcome tough challenges.

Please visit our Client Testimonials page for quotes reflecting CTSS leadership and experience. If you would like to talk to previous customers as references, please contact us, and we can put you in touch with many satisfied climbers. Please feel free to give us a call or send us an email, and we will be happy to discuss the expedition with you. Joining a climbing or trekking expedition is a big deal, and it’s important to feel comfortable with the expedition leadership. The majority of our clients are return customers because of their overwhelmingly positive experiences.

Aconcagua FAQ

Yes, both at base camp and one the mountain, tents will be shared accommodations due to limited tent space on the mountain and the weight of carrying extra tents. Please plan to share a tent with one of your fellow climbers.

In general, climbing packs on Aconcagua are moderately to quite heavy. You will likely be carrying 40lbs – 50lbs (18kg – 24kg) most of the time while climbing on the mountain but less on the trek into base camp. During the trek to base camp, you only need to carry what you need for the trek that day which is generally only 15 lbs (7kg). We make available the option of hiring porters to carry some of your gear, but keep in mind that this is expensive, and you must have cash on you to pay this expense directly. The cost for 20kg is typically $200 usd to $400 usd per day depending on how big the carry.

Yes. Trip delay and cancellation, rescue, repatriation, medical insurance is mandatory for this program for your own benefit. We have seen too many times people need to cancel their trip either before or during the expedition for reasons such as injury, health, family and business matters. With such a long trip and so much at stake, climbers need to be prepared for contingencies.

In general our food on and off the mountain is excellent. Mendoza is known for its food and wine. En route to base camp we will be eating “Asado,” traditional Argentinean BBQ over an open fire that the muleteers make for us (vegetarian options are available). At base camp we have hired the services of first rate chefs. On the mountain, the guides will be cooking large, hearty meals that are tasty albeit a bit more rustic then in town.

You will need light shoes that double as camp booties to bring up and over the mountain with you for the long hike out of base camp the final day. Also, you will need a way to carry gear for this hike out. If the top of your pack turns into a hip belt, that would be ideal, or you could bring an ultra-lightweight pack.