How do you climb Mount Aconcagua summit?

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Why you NEED to put an Aconcagua mountain climb on your Bucket List – and how to do it.

Climbing Mount Aconcagua might not be right at the top of your hiking Bucket List just yet, but after reading this, we reckon you might want to shift things around. That’s because there’s nothing – NOTHING – that comes close to the feels you get when you stand on the Aconcagua summit and look around at the world you just conquered. 

Okay okay, so Aconcagua’s fellow seven summits might come close, but there aren’t many places on earth where you can have an experience like this. And in this guide, we’ll spell out exactly where, how and why to climb Mount Aconcagua – so let’s dive in!

Landed here because you already know you NEED to climb Mount Aconcagua?! Head straight to our trip page here and book yourself a place on our next flight to Mendoza.

Where is Mount Aconcagua?

If you want to climb Mount Aconcagua, you’ve gotta pack a suitcase my friend. Standing proud as the highest peak in South America, Mount Aconcagua sits within the Andes mountain range way over in Argentina. 

The best airport for climbing Mount Aconcagua is Governor Fancisco Gabrielli International Airport, aka El Plumerillo International Airport (MDZ), just outside Mendoza in Western Argentina.

Soaring to an elevation of 6,960m (22,837 feet), she is colossal, commanding respect and awe from adventurers from all over the globe. Mount Aconcagua is one of the seven summits – the highest mountains on each of the seven continents – and also boasts being the world’s highest mountain outside the Himalayas (and if you’ve been to the Himalayas, you’ll appreciate that really is a big deal!).

If you’ve set your sights to climb the seven summits, or you want to tick the world’s highest mountains off your Bucket List (and you fancy spending some time in South America while you’re at it!), an Aconcagua climb is most certainly for you.

Aconcagua tickling your pickle? Find out more about her dizzying heights on our Aconcagua climb trip page here.

Mount Aconcagua from national park
Mount Aconcagua from sky

How long does it take to climb Mount Aconcagua?

Climbing Mount Aconcagua typically takes about 12 – 14 days, depending on your experience, the route you pick and – of course – the weather. 

As any decent Aconcagua trek itinerary should, this timeframe allows for several acclimatisation days so you can adjust to the increasing altitudes as you climb Aconcagua. Crucial for avoiding altitude sickness and giving you the best shot at reaching the Aconcagua summit. 

For more information on avoiding altitude sickness while trekking mountains, click here and read our handy altitude sickness guide.

How hard is it to climb Mount Aconcagua?

You’ll notice a maximum five-point difficulty rating on our Aconcagua trip page, and honestly? When we climb Mount Aconcagua, we take only the most dedicated mountaineers. Trust us, to climb Aconcagua summit is a long, strenuous and technical trek at high altitude – not for the fainthearted!

The trek to Aconcagua summit demands both physical endurance and mental fortitude, spanning approximately 42km and weaving through rugged terrain. The altitudes vary, the stunning landscapes will test you, and then there’s the glaciers to navigate. Ouchy.

Every step you take as you climb Mount Aconcagua is a testament to the relentless pursuit of triumph over nature’s grandeur, a journey etched into the annals of mountaineering lore. And that’s why we love it!

People at Mount Aconcagua national park
Mount Aconcagua summit at sunrise

How do you train to climb Mount Aconcagua?

Successfully climbing Mount Aconcagua takes more than just a backpack and sturdy boots; it requires a strategic and disciplined approach to preparation too. We always advise our Bucketlisters to take training for Mount Aconcagua seriously, and suggest you incorporate the following into your prep routine:

  1. Cardiovascular endurance: Begin your training by enhancing cardiovascular fitness and build endurance by regularly going running, hiking and cycling. Interval training can be particularly helpful, simulating the varied terrain you’ll encounter on Aconcagua.
  2. Strength training: Strengthen your muscles, especially your legs and core, to tackle the demanding uphill and downhill sections when you climb Mount Aconcagua. (Who doesn’t love to squat and lunge?!) Don’t forget to work on your upper body strength for carrying a backpack too.
  3. Altitude simulation: Since Mount Aconcagua stands tall in the thin air, acclimatisation is super crucial. If possible, incorporate altitude hiking into your training or spend time in high-altitude environments to help your body adapt to reduced oxygen levels.
  4. Long hikes with a loaded backpack: To get really prepared to climb Aconcagua, you’ll want to simulate the sorts of conditions you’ll face on the mountain. And there aren’t many better ways to do that than long hikes with a loaded backpack. Gradually increase the weight to mimic the gear you’ll carry too.
  5. Endurance building: Climbing Aconcagua requires prolonged effort, so build your endurance with extended hikes, gradually increasing the duration. This won’t just prepare your body for the demands of the climb, it’ll test your mental stamina as well.
  6. Technical skills: Depending on your chosen route, you might encounter technical sections. Hone your skills in using crampons, ice axes, and other necessary equipment. You should consider taking a mountaineering course if you’re not already familiar with these tools as well.
  7. Flexibility and balance: Yoga or other flexibility exercises can improve balance and reduce the risk of injuries when you trek Aconcagua. A stable and flexible body is crucial for navigating those uneven terrains and maintaining control during the climb.

It might sound like a lot of work, but you’ll thank your lucky stars you put the effort in the moment you reach Mount Aconcagua summit – you just watch.

Think you’re ready for the challenge? Click here to read more about our Aconcagua summit climb itinerary!

Where can you find the best Aconcagua guides?

Aconcagua guides are ten-a-penny in Mendoza, but finding the right Aconcagua guides is crucial for a safe and successful ascent. 

Reputable Mount Aconcagua guides will be able to share referrals from previous climbers, certifications, affiliations, reviews and testimonials. Climbing Aconcagua is serious, and as such you should only trek with experienced, specialist Aconcagua guides. 

And that’s exactly what we can offer you when you climb Mount Aconcagua with The Bucket List Company! On every Bucket List trek, we match you with a dedicated UK guide AND a local in-country Aconcagua guide who’ll not only show you all the best spots but also help you to climb Mount Aconcagua summit without a hitch.

Our Aconcagua guides are certified and seriously experienced ladies and gents who specialise in high altitude climbs and can spot altitude sickness a mile off. You won’t find a safer pair of hands than our Aconcagua guides! 

Aconcagua National, Park, Mendoza, Argentina

Click here to find out more about what makes the Bucket List Co Mount Aconcagua trek so utterly incredible!

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