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7 summits and other mountain stuff => Gear & stuff => Topic started by: Daisy on Oct 25 2004, 17:02

Title: Protection against Sun on Aconcagua
Post by: Daisy on Oct 25 2004, 17:02
One thing I've been warned about on Aconcagua is the sun. A couple of people I know who have attempted to climb Aconcagua have had to abandon their summit attempts because of very severe sunburn on the way up (especially us pale Irish people!) . This is something I hadn't really thought about. We are all aware of the dangers of the cold but quite often we forget how extreme the sun can be on these big mountains. Two girls I spoke to said that it is not enough to wear sunscreen - even the highest factor you can buy. You have to be covered up as much as possible, not forgetting your ears and nose, both inside and out. The sun can reflect up from the snow and actually burn your nose on the inside. They wore dampened balaclavas to cool themselves down. They also wore very light, white gloves to protect their hands from the sun. Obviously there is not only the risk of severe burns from the sun but this extreme heat also leads to dehydration.
Do any of you have any comments or useful pointers to add??
Title: Re: Protection against Sun on Aconcagua
Post by: 7summits on Oct 25 2004, 18:03
Hi Daisy,

I can tell you from experience that especially the walk in can be hazardous. There is a nice breeze normally, which makes you think the sun is not strong. I burned my hands completely the first day and had to wear silk gloves the rest of the expedition.
Mostly higher up it will be colder anyway and you will have less exposed skin.

On the non-technical routes you will not encounter much snow and ice, so the reflection is not that bad normally. But the direct sun is very strong and I urge anyone going there to wear similar silk gloves and a good hat, either from leather or other material that keeps the UV out. It will not only protect your nose, neck and face from direct sunlight but also your head from a sunstroke.

Of course you need to drink a lot more than you are used to as well, to protect both your entire system as well as your skin.
Title: Re: Protection against Sun on Aconcagua
Post by: Ron on Oct 25 2004, 23:25
People always recognise me in pics b/c i always waer a hat with a broad rim..like a jungle hat or boonie hat. Dont leave home without when you climb on altitude ;D

Here i am on Denali, It can even be baking hot there to.

Title: Re: Protection against Sun on Aconcagua
Post by: MoT on Nov 24 2004, 09:59
The sun on the walk in is horrendous - 9am to 9pm there is direct blazing hot sun and hardly any rocks to hide under and no trees either (except at the entrance to the Vacas Valley).

Like sitting in a crucible
Title: Re: Protection against Sun on Aconcagua
Post by: Corsair on Nov 24 2004, 16:23
Zinc paste. Blocks out everything. Some people experience dry skin after long term use.