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Question: Aconcagua via polish galcier, upper part of "piedra banderas"


Hi Guys,

I am thinking about my idea to climb aconcagua via polish galcier. I will climb alone, so I will not bring any gear like rope, harness and icescrews. But I am not sure about if this plan works. Alternative I'll go the polish traverse. The steepest part of the route seams to be up to the "piedra banderas". So I thought why not to give this a try: going up to "piedra banderas" and if this works, it will be not that steep anymore to the summit. Does anyone of you (Harry) has any experience about the upper part?

Another crazy idea (already done from someone): has anybody of you skied down the polish galcier and can give some advices?
If I will not find a partner, I dont like to load my mule unbalanced  - ski equipment could be at the other side.


Isn't there significant crevasse/serac danger taking the route up to the Piedra Banderas? Would the direct route not be better if you have no partner (there are still some crevasses on this route)

Yes, MoT is correct. That side (Banderas) is less steep, but is normally either really icy or it appears well, but then the crevasses are hidden. I would recommend against doing any of the variations alone. It is not the same as climbing a steeper route in the Alps or another lower place.
The altitude will kick in and at that moment you will want to have somebody to help you, or at least a rope, and some icescrews or abalakovs. And you will likely climb a large part in the dark, which makes discovering snowbridges even harder.

People ski harder stuff than I have climbed, so I cannot give advice, depends on your views of life and death I think :)
One tip: if you have extra luggage allowance, add 20 litres of clean water, will save you lots of time and efforts boiling or filtering them the first 4-5 days or so.

Not a bad idea with the water - although we didn't need to filter or boil any water on the false polish route last year. There were good springs at the camps on the walkins. Pampa de Lenas had a pipe coming from a spring above the camp. Casa de Piedra also had a nice clean spring coming from above. The base camp water was coming from a spring within the glacier (the water from the pipes was horribly gritty so we went and found a spring flowing along the top of the glacier). Higher up the water is pretty good - camp I is ok as long as you take it from the higher end of the camping area (remember Camp I has 2 levels - if you can get the higher level there's less people and cleaner water - no poo or urine). Camp II has a frozen lake with dead water in it - I'd be surprised if any organisms grew in it.

All the same - bottled water is a nice thought if you have space on the mule! Remember when planning weight - 1 litre of water = 1 kilogram


thanks a lot for the advices and the tipp with the water. If I find somebody else for the Polish Glacier I would prefere this, otherwise I go the traverse from camp 2 to the normal route.



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