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7 summits and other mountain stuff => Questions => Topic started by: Oski on Oct 1 2009, 21:25

Title: Aconcagua Ski
Post by: Oski on Oct 1 2009, 21:25

I am curious if anyone has any experience on skiing Aconcagua. I know that the polish glacier has been successfully skied and am curious as to the possibility of skiing the direct route. I know that it gets very steep, but seems possible with some raps through the rock bands. We are looking at a late November start/early december finish to hopefully get better snow/ice conditions at the expense of weather. Does anyone who has been there have any thoughts.

Title: Re: Aconcagua Ski
Post by: Mike1 on Oct 5 2009, 08:14
I'm at Las Cuevas training & acclimating at the moment, and since there hasn't been a lot of snow, it will be ICY!!! You will be able to skin it up but not be able to ski down there now except for the winter and it HAS to be done with a guide, experienced or not.  The snow is disappearing on this side of the border.  There's some spring skiing on the Chilean side. If you want to warm up, there are a few places to do ski mountaineering here.  I am currently training with the Argentinian army Andean Division.  Shoot me a line at 54 9 11 6031-6578 or 54 9 261 471-0506 if you want to warm up before the park opens on the 15th of November.  Just bring your beacon, shovel, probe, climbing  equipment & we're good to go.  There is no supermarket in the mountains, I would suggest that you get your food & supplies, especially gas canisters, in Buenos Aires, Mendoza, or in Santiago, if you plan on doing a multi-day traversing, climbing, and/or trekking.  It is beautiful here, especially trekking the Andean railroad route to Punte de Inca or Punta de Vacas.  There is Cerro Tolosa (5432m), which is a day climb, maybe two if you want to camp, or bivy it out.  Weather now is between 5c and -5c, plus winchill factor.  It is quite windy here in October & November, with winds up to 100 kph at Las Cuevas, but it's well worth it. If you need to get Acetazolamide, there is none in Mendoza, get them from home or in Chile, however, there are Dextamethasone in 4 mg bottles (IV  not included) in case you need it. If you need to cross the border or entering through Chile, DON'T BRING MEAT OR VEGETABLE PRODUCTS!!!  You will be OK if you're entering Argentina through Mendoza.  If you DO fly in through Mendoza, please bring some beef jerky, it'll be OK.  I kinda missed it after 1 1/2 months of being here.   
Title: Re: Aconcagua Ski
Post by: Oski on Oct 11 2009, 22:10
Thanks for the heads up. I have heard that it wasn't the greatest of snow years. However, I still suspect wind to be the main culprit for creating nasty snow conditions. but this is what to expect at high altitude and in the Andes.

I read your other thread. It seems that ice screws vs. pickets is the way to go for protection. Anyone else have some thoughts?

Also, still curious what is the true steepness that we will encounter on the route? I have heard everything from 50-70 degrees.

Looks like you will be there about a week before me. Good luck. Maybe I'll get some some beta from ya on the trail!
Title: Re: Aconcagua Ski
Post by: Mike1 on Oct 15 2009, 20:16
Are you going taking the route to Plaza Argentina or Plaza de Mula?  If I'm alone, I will definitely be taking the normal route (mixed with my own modifications), but if there are others, I just might start from Punta de Vaca.