Aconcagua, “The Sentinel of Stone” is a big name for anyone who is into mountaineering. It is the highest peak outside of the Himalaya and each year attracts people from around the world from November to March. It is the highest peak in both the Southern and Western Hemispheres and is one of the most sought after Seven Summits. It is the highest trekking peak in the world and that’s perhaps why it generates immense interest from high-altitude mountaineering junkies, from around the world. It takes a lot of conditioning and physical strength to climb Aconcagua and that’s why this piece has been put together to enlist 5 key tips for anyone wishing to climb Mount Aconcagua.
- Planning and Preparation- Aconcagua might be a ‘trekking peak’ but it is certainly not easy in any way whatsoever. The altitude and weather combined make it testing for even the toughest of mountaineers. Hence, before beginning your trip you need to extensively plan and prepare for the minutest bit of your trekking experience. As they say ‘better be safe than sorry’, you need to pack all essentials and be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
- Excercise- Trekking is a very intense physically exerting experience and to prepare for it, you need to exercise consistently. It is of paramount importance that you train your body to adjust to the strain of climbing high altitude for at least six hours per day with a 15-20 kg pack. You need to exercise to train your body for the sojourn and a healthy combo of cardio, jogging, and running is advised to get your body in the right optimal shape for this tough trekking test.
- The Right Gear – Gear is of paramount importance during trekking or hiking and you should make it a point to buy the most appropriate gear, as you prepare to climb Mount Aconcagua. Your clothing and footwear should provide optimal support when you hike in testing circumstances. To prepare for the changing environment as you trek, always make it a point to carry windproof, rainproof and lightweight essentials.
- Eatables – Food is necessary for sustenance and survival and the same couldn’t be truer when it comes to your sojourn to Mount Aconcagua. Get in touch with your tour guide and inquire from him or her, the kind of food that you should pack with you for the expedition. Something lightweight but high in energy should be the most favored option. Carry plenty of water and avoid foods that can make you lazy and sluggish. Make it a point to consult with the experts to get a better understanding of the foods that are required in testing altitudes and weather.
- Emergency Shelter – A lot can go wrong during a trekking expedition. So you need to work with a ‘hope for the best, prepared for the worst’ mindset. When climbing Aconcagua know about the shelter hubs such as “Nido de Cóndores” “Plaza Canadá”, and “Berlín” or “Cólera”.
Aconcagua trek is an adventure that tests even the toughest. On good days, it is a challenge to climb it and on bad days, it is borderline impossible. It is important that you provide for resting and contingency days in your itinerary as things may not happen as you expect them to happen. Put your best foot forward and better be safe than sorry if you intend to see the great views from the top of Mount Aconcagua.