place #111 




Cerro Aconcagua

Lat: -32° 39' 12"
Lon: -70° 0' 42"

date in: 2008.04.20 13:32:44

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details for #111

with 6962m is the Aconcagua the highest Mountain outside Himalaya. It's easy to climb up, only oxygene is a problem. You need a good acclimatisation time for that. The Peak is member of the "seven summits"

visit report

place #111 aconcagua visited! 

[2014.01.26 19:25:16 | Argentina | 3 comments]

Aconcagua. A 6962 meters high bureaucracy monster. The visit requires a permit, exclusively sold in Mendoza. Crime scene Av. San Martin 1182, 2nd Floor, Aconcagua National Park Authority. At first, fill out an online form. Name, date of birth, complete address, mobile and phone number, passport number, e-mail address, gender, blood type. Then choose your tour (seems that Telekom and Deutsche Bahn - both famous for their tariff jungle - were consulting here): ascent route A or B, 1, 3 or 7 days trekking, half-day excursion, with an agency (only Licensed, see list!) or without, Argentinean, Latin American and other foreigner, planned ascent route (very nice, called "upgrade path"), number of expedition members, guide (choose from list, only licensed!), name of the expedition leader, other tour providers, emergency contact, insurance including details, medical data (long list), GPS tracking system including access. I choose 3 days trekking, high season, other foreigners, no agency, no guide, call mum in case of emergency, healthy - except glasses (yes, you have to specify). Switch from computer to human. human number one can't find my request - special characters in names are something ugly. Finally, the request is found, compared with passport details and printed. Under controlling gaze I have to read the three pages carefully (written like a license agreement - inaudible) and sign it. Now leave building, go a half block further, and hand over the application form plus a wad of notes to human number two in a dingy kiosk. He scans a barcode, compares my pages and the screen, counts the wad (three times), checks two notes in detail, prints a receipt, pin it to the application, stamped both, sign something and dismisses me. Back to the office. Passing the stamped application and the passport to human number three. Informations on passport and application are getting inspected, matches get marked with yellow marker. If the application is yellow enough three signatures are following and the leaves are directed to human number four. A barcode scanner beeps, comparative views between paper and screen, a bit of keyboard clatter, a bit of mouse clicks, appreciative nods, the three pages disappear in three different drawers. A printer rattles. The print result - the permit - goes to human number five. Check of ID and Permit again, marking passport number and name in yellow, signing the new document three times, stamp it three times. At the park entrance (I'm getting ahead) human number six compared ticket and passport, transferred some information in a book, write a number three times on the ticket, in a book and on a plastic bag, three times pops a stamp three times followed by a signature and the upper third of the ticket stored in a drawer. The usual policy (Do not leave paths! No fire! No free camping! Do not shit in the streams! Penalty!) followed by some special notes. The numbered plastic bag is the personal assigned garbage bag, give back necessarily (Penalty!) and not empty (Penalty!) at park exit, to see the camp doctor is mandatory (Penalty!) and has to be confirmed on the ticket (Penalty!), same for the proper use (Penalty!) of the provided toilets including confirmation (Penalty!) on the ticket and that I should not exceed (PenalWTF!) a maximum height of 4,300 meters under absolutely no circumstances!
I just wanted to go trekking!

Needless to say that human number seven in the first camp though controlled Passport and Permit but no doctor examined me and confirmed my proper bowel movements, nobody controlled my maximum elevation and the trash bag disappears into a container without any further investigations.


By bus - I cycled the same route a few days later - from Mendoza (800m) to the park entrance (2850m), on foot to Camp I, Confluenzia (3400m). That was slightly too fast. The unusually thin air takes its toll, I pay immediately with 12 hours of dreamless deep sleep. Also in the morning limp, dull, tired. Unfortunately, time is money here, my three days Permit is 170 $, extend it in the park is not possible. And at least I want to see the southern wall. Amazingly, once a tired body forced on the road, all inertia drops, the body obeys as usual and the legs follows willingly the path. The path winds its way through a surreal, barren landscape with a fascinating vision and sharpness, with endless new rock formations and color combinations, with a scorching sky-blue and glistening peak-white. At Plaza Francia (4250m) the path ends at the nearly 3000 imposing Aconcagua South Face meters. 4 km air line to the summit - so incredible far away. I sit for a long time, staring into the wall, looking for lines, succumb wild ascent fantasies but knows that this wall will remain untouched by me. But the summit, the summit! A few days ago, the decision to climb not now but "sometime" was looking perfectly reasonable, logical and rational (money! time! equipment!) but now the longing is hitting hard and shouts a vicious "told you so!" at me. Eventually, a small noisy group wakes me from my dreams. Chris, Andy and Jon are now on a acclimatization hike, the summit is planned for the next days. They tell of past tours, speculate about future ones and rave about the current trip. Their reality rushes my longing like a startled deer until it hurts. I mumble a "ciao", turn my back to group and mountain, start walking - no running, want to escape, sprinting away from my longing. This doesn't work a minute and the landscape captured me again, I marvel at my surroundings, be so happy to be here today, breath deeply the fresh air, enjoy every single step and know for sure, I'll come back and stand on top. At the very top and look down to where I was today.


Henry said: "Headache! I have headache but not even drunk! Wow is that high! So Stefan can go alone to the top if he really wants. That's nothing for a elk. I'll wait in Mendoza, check out the vineyards and visit the girls on the alpaka farms. And he even not think about using me as a mule to save some money! What is he thinking who I am?!?"

Kitesurfen recycling was yesterday! golden mountain Area for studying and reflexion Hiking boots To build a bridge Stone formations lonesome valley fascinating bridge of the incas Tourist market Dragon Park entrance Laguna Espejo means mirrorlake Fine: 37 $ Lugageservice Camp I Confluenzia great stone lines the coolest guy around a lst bit of greenyellow stone desert Stone formations I Stone formations II Stone formations III On the way the south face End of my way Plaza Francia lonesome not cheap


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