Aconcagua Expedition Archives

Our Ojos del Salado + Aconcagua climbers enjoying a wine tour with guide, Terray Sylvester. More than 1,300 wineries are located in the Mendoza area, producing more than 75% of Argentina’s wine.

Another successful Aconcagua expedition has come to a close! The team is back to the comforts of Mendoza and has enjoyed a day of rest, good meals, and celebration after an exciting couple of weeks in South America. Congratulations to the teams on safe and successful climbs! One more expedition on Aconcagua is still to come led by legendary mountaineer, Ed Viesturs! Expedition leader, Terray Sylvester checks in with this departing dispatch from Mendoza:

Hello! This is Terray calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua (6961m/22,837ft) expeditions – today is January 16.

Today is the wrap-up day for our regular itinerary on Aconcagua, as well as our Ojos del Salado (6893m/22,615ft) and Aconcagua combination expedition. We flew out of base camp (4367m/14,327ft) yesterday via helicopter, and then drove to Mendoza (746m/2,449ft), and arrived here just in time for a late dinner – or a normally scheduled dinner according to Argentina time! Today we’ve been relaxing back here in the lovely summer temperatures of Mendoza, enjoying a wine tour, and some good meals.

So our guests will begin departing for their home countries early tomorrow morning, and that will wrap up another successful expedition on the highest peak outside of the Himalayas. Our next Aconcagua expedition starts in just a little over a week led by U.S. climbing legend, Ed Viesturs! We’ll be in touch.

Our Aconcagua climbers relaxing over breakfast in Mendoza (Photo by Terray Sylvester)

Our Aconcagua climbers relaxing over breakfast in Mendoza (Photo by Terray Sylvester)


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

Photo pulled from the Madison Mountaineering archive.

It’s with great excitement to share that the Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua expedition team has safely and successfully reached the summit of South America’s highest peak! Leaving from Camp 2 rather than the usual Camp 3, our team made an ambitious push taking advantage of a small window, ultimately getting all boots on the summit, sharing some high-fives and hugs before returning down to lower camps. Expedition leader, Terray Sylvester checks in with this dispatch from Aconcagua:

Success on Aconcagua (6961m/22,837ft)! With very high winds predicted to start tomorrow, our team took advantage of a brief weather window today and summited via an ambitious push straight from Camp 2 (5522m/18,117ft) instead of the usual start from Camp 3 (5989m/19,650ft). They enjoyed perfect weather on the summit! Now they’re safely back in Camp 2 and looking forward to beginning the journey back to the comforts of Mendoza (746m/2,449ft) tomorrow.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

Photo pulled from the Madison Mountaineering archive (Photo by Terray Sylvester)

Bags are packed and the climb has begun! Our teams left base camp today and are currently on the move up to Camp 1 on Aconcagua. While high winds persist on the mountain, the team is motivated and in good spirits! Expedition leader, Terray Sylvester checks in with this dispatch from base camp:

Hello! This is Terray calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua (6961m/22,837ft) expeditions that are currently heading up the mountain – today is January 12th.

Right now, we’re just getting our things together for our move up to Camp 1 (5060m/16,600ft). We’ll leave around noon today and spend a few hours, maybe a bit longer, going up to Camp 1. The weather is nice today! Winds continue to be high on the mountain, but today’s been overcast which makes for a pleasant change.

All is well here! We’ll check in via inReach when we get to Camp 1. Right now we have two teams moving up to Camp 1. Our Ojos del Salado (6893m/22,615ft) and Aconcagua combo expedition which is climbing the two highest peaks in South America – we already completed Ojos del Salado, the second-highest peak in South America. As well as our regularly scheduled Aconcagua expedition that began on January 5th.

So, all is well here and we’ll be in touch from Camp 1!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

Our climbers on an acclimatization hike near base camp this morning. (Photo by Terray Sylvester)

It was a busy day in base camp for the Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua expedition teams! Three teams crossed paths on their respective expeditions, coming together for a barbecue and socializing before each team goes their separate ways. Blue skies allowed the teams to bask in the sunshine as they prepare to make their way up the mountain. With good weather tomorrow, they’ll be back on the move again up to Camp 1! Expedition leader, Terray Sylvester checks in with this dispatch from base camp:

Hello! This is Terray calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua (6961m/22,837ft) expeditions – it’s January 11th.

Today three of our expeditions crossed paths here in Plaza de Mulas base camp (4367m/14,327ft) on the west side of the mountain. Our Vallecitos (6120m/20,080ft) and Aconcagua combo came down from Camp 3 (5989m/19,650ft), our Ojos del Salado (6893m/22,615ft) and Aconcagua combo spent a rest day here before moving up to Camp 1 (5060m/16,600ft), and our expedition on our normal itinerary that started on January 5th was doing the same thing today here in base camp.

We had a fantastic asado all together – that’s an Argentinian barbecue. And now we’re just all sitting down to dinner in one of our cozy dome tents.

So tomorrow, the Ojos and Aconcagua combo team and the regular expedition, we will all move up to Camp 1 tomorrow. The weather is fantastic and we’re looking forward to a good day! All is well here in Argentina and we’ll be in touch.

Our three teams on Aconcagua enjoying an asado (barbecue) today in base camp!

Our three teams on Aconcagua enjoying an asado (barbecue) today in base camp!

Guide Javier “Cacho” Beiza preparing asado!

Guide Javier “Cacho” Beiza preparing asado!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

Flying to Plaza de Mulas base camp (Photo by Terray Sylvester)

The Madison Mountaineering Ojos del Salado and Aconcagua expedition team has arrived in Plaza de Mulas! Their previous acclimatization in Chile allows them to speed up their ascent, which they’ll look to start in the next day or two. Flying by helicopter today gave the team great views all around and with fresh legs as they unloaded their bags and settled into their tents for the night. Expedition leader, Terray Sylvester checks in with this dispatch from Plaza de Mulas:

Hello! This is Terray calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Ojos del Salado (6893m/22,615ft) and Aconcagua (6961m/22,837ft) combination expedition – today is January 10th.

Today we woke up early and drove out of Mendoza (746m/2,449ft), arrived at the Horcones River trailhead here at Aconcagua at about 8:00 AM. Then we hopped on a flight directly here to Plaza de Mulas base camp (4367m/14,327ft), which is base camp on this side of Aconcagua. We had a beautiful flight with excellent views of the famous south face of Aconcagua and the spectacular Horcones River Valley.

Usually, we would have to spend several days hiking up the Horcones River Valley in order to acclimatize to be at Aconcagua base camp. But, since we’ve already climbed Ojos del Salado, we were just able to skip that and fly here directly.

Tomorrow we will either take a rest day or start our ascent up the mountain by moving to Camp 1 (5060m/16,600ft). But, that will depend on the weather forecast.

Alright, all is well here at Aconcagua and we will be in touch tomorrow!

Our climber, Serge, disembarking at base camp (Photo by Terray Sylvester)

Our climber, Serge, disembarking at base camp (Photo by Terray Sylvester)

Plaza de Mulas base camp during an afternoon hike today (Photo by Terray Sylvester)

Plaza de Mulas base camp during an afternoon hike today (Photo by Terray Sylvester)


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

Departing from the Atacama for Mendoza, Argentina!

One summit down, one more to go! The Ojos del Salado and Aconcagua expedition team has touched down in Mendoza, relaxed in the summer sun, ate good food, and are ready to hit the trail once again, this time towards Aconcagua. The team will fly by helicopter tomorrow morning to their base camp, marking the start of their second climb on this special, combo expedition. Expedition leader, Terray Sylvester checks in with this dispatch from Argentina:

Hello! This is Terray calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Ojos del Salado (6893m/22,615ft) and Aconcagua (6961m/22,837ft) combo expedition – today is January 9th, 2024.

Today we spent a rest day in beautiful, Mendoza (746m/2,449ft)! The temperature was just perfect after being up on the cold, dry Atacama Desert. We relaxed by the pool, packed, and prepared for our flight from the Horcones Valley trailhead to Plaza de Mulas base camp (4367m/14,327ft) tomorrow morning.

It was a beautiful day! We enjoyed the food and wine here in Mendoza and now we’re feeling recharged and ready to take on the highest peak in South America. So, all is well here in Argentina and we will be in touch tomorrow!

The team at our hotel in Mendoza!

The team at our hotel in Mendoza!

Dining in Mendoza!

Dining in Mendoza!

Fueling up with steak and wine before the upcoming climb!

Fueling up with steak and wine before the upcoming climb!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

Summit photo on Aconcagua!

Cumbre! We’re thrilled to announce the Madison Mountaineering team’s recent success on Aconcagua (6961m/22,837ft) – the first of five expeditions this season!

Reaching the summit on December 19, the team battled through windy weather conditions throughout the expedition. Their hard work, determination, and well-thought-out strategy put them in a position to make a summit push when a window presented itself. While many other teams and climbers on the mountain were unable to reach the summit, our team persevered and earned themselves a spot on top of South America’s highest peak, and one of the famed ‘seven summits!’

We’re very proud of the teams’ efforts and look forward to the expeditions ahead now that everyone is off the mountain. Strong work, team!

Climbing with beautiful views of the surrounding Andes!

Climbing with beautiful views of the surrounding Andes!

Sunset from one of the team's camps on Aconcagua.

Sunset from one of the team’s camps on Aconcagua.

Climber, Matthew Russell on the summit of Aconcagua!

Climber, Matthew Russell on the summit of Aconcagua!

Climbing amongst penitentes

Climbing amongst penitentes.

Climber, Matthew Russell descending with a heavy pack down the mountain.

Climber, Matthew Russell descending with a heavy pack down the mountain.

360-degree views of the surrounding Andes from high on Aconcagua!

360-degree views of the surrounding Andes from high on Aconcagua!

Guide, Cacho Beiza cooking up a warm meal!

Guide, Cacho Beiza cooking up a warm meal!

Celebrating back in base camp!

Celebrating back in base camp!

Beautiful weather after an unforgettable climb on South America's highest peak!

Beautiful weather after an unforgettable climb on South America’s highest peak!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

The 2023 Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua expedition team loading up to leave Mendoza to begin their climb!

The 2023 / 2024 Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua (6961m/22,837ft) season is off in Argentina! We are thrilled to be back in the Andes and on the trail with our eyes set on the highest peak in all of the Americas, Aconcagua. After a long day of traveling, our climbers touched down in Mendoza (746m/2,449ft) and were picked up by private transportation and dropped off at the team hotel. After some rest, the team came together for the first time completing a gear check and orientation, before heading out for dinner and later going to bed with departure for the trailhead scheduled for the following day.

The team awoke to blue skies and pleasant temperatures as they loaded the truck and hit the road towards Los Horcones, the gateway to Aconcagua. We’ve arrived in Plaza de Mulas (4367m/14,327ft) which will serve as our base camp on Aconcagua, and are getting ready to continue on up the mountain to Camp Canada (5060m/16,600ft).

The team is doing well and are in good spirits! We hope for good weather in the coming days as we continue to ascend the highest peak outside of Asia.

Stay tuned for more!

Madison Mountaineering private transportation loaded up and ready to go!

Madison Mountaineering private transportation loaded up and ready to go!

Dawning packs and hitting the trail en route to Aconcagua!

Dawning packs and hitting the trail en route to Aconcagua!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

The team atop the highest point in all of the America's!

It’s been another great season on Aconcagua for us! Our teams enjoyed spending time on the highest peak in the Andes and pushing to new heights. While not every climber we had made the summit, all had a fun and safe experience on the highest peak in the southern and western hemispheres. We pride ourselves on our small groups, high quality guiding / logistics and attention to detail throughout our program on Aconcagua. As noted in the recent Explorer’s Web Aconcagua article, the mountain is sometimes dangerous and fatal, so should not be underestimated. We look forward to returning to Aconcagua next season for more good times in the Andes mountains!

The whole experience you’ve assembled is just a total class act! So pleased to have this opportunity to spend some time with you on the mountain!” – Bill Chapman, 2023 Aconcagua

Above the clouds after an alpine start on summit day!

Above the clouds after an alpine start on summit day!

Breaking to refuel with food and water!

Breaking to refuel with food and water!

The camp hangout spot sitting below Aconcagua and alpenglow on the upper mountain!

The camp hangout spot sitting below Aconcagua and alpenglow on the upper mountain!

Guides, Garrett Madison, Ed Viesturs and Cacho Beiza working hard!

Guides, Garrett Madison, Ed Viesturs and Cacho Beiza working hard!

Taking in the views above camp!

Taking in the views above camp!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

Photo pulled from Madison Mountaineering Archive.

We’re ecstatic to announce that the Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua expedition team successfully reached the summit of South America’s tallest peak and have returned safely and soundly to their comforts in Camp 3! While it was a long day, the team had great weather on the ascent, and was able to enjoy a hot meal before crawling into their tents this evening. Expedition guide, Ed Viesturs, checks in with this dispatch after a successful summit on Aconcagua:

Hello everyone! This is Ed Viesturs reporting for Madison Mountaineering. We’re back at Camp 3 (5989m/19,650ft) now, we had an amazing day!

We reached the summit (6961m/22,837ft) today after an eight and a half hour climb. We had spectacular weather – it was sunny, very little wind, and once we reached the summit, the afternoon (inaudible) kind of rolled in and we got a little snow and it got a little spicy. But all in all, it was a great climb! 13 hours round trip and we’re safe and sound back at Camp 3. We just had a nice hot meal, called guamen, and tomorrow we’re heading down back to base camp (4367m/14,327ft).

Thanks for checking in!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram: