January 2016 Aconcagua Archives

Yesterday our team enjoyed a beautiful day of trekking through the Vacas Valley (8,000′). Weather has been enjoyable with winds gusting throughout the day and temperatures cooling down nicely in the evening. Last night our team enjoyed a traditional open fire barbecue with chicken, steak, fresh salad, and vegetables along the riverside. After a relaxing nights rest at Pampa de Lena camp (9,200′) our team woke up early to cross the river (with river shoes or by mule) through the Relinchos Valley to Plaza Argentina base camp (13,900′). This will be our team’s third day of trekking and they will be greeted shortly by our friendly outfitter and enjoy a warm dinner celebrating their arrival to Aconcagua. Tomorrow our team will rest at base camp and begin to organize the loads of gear to be moved to higher camps on Aconcagua. Members of the team will have the option to participate in a short acclimatization hike to a nearby peak with Garrett. Onward!!


Audio dispatch from expedition leader Garrett Madison:


Trekking toward Aconcagua ~ the highest mountain outside of Asia at 6,961m  (22,838ft)!


After a relaxing breakfast this morning at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Mendoza, our team has finalized their climbing gear and departed for the Aconcagua Park Office. Here our team will obtain their climbing permits. After a afternoon drive to Penitentes, our team arrived at the Ayelen hotel. Here guides Garrett and Wenny will discuss a strategy for the climb and enjoy another beautiful Argentine style dinner, (see below!). Tomorrow our team will begin the trek toward the Vacas Valley near Punta de Vaca (8,000′). Aconcagua, the “Stone Sentinel”, is located in Argentina near the border of Chile, and is the highest mountain outside of Asia. Garrett‘s proven approach for climbing is to properly acclimatize and then attempt the summit with enough extra days built in for bad weather.

For a complete overview of our climbers itinerary please visit our website here.

Awesome pictures here by our expedition leader Garret Madison!


2016 Madison Mountaineering Aconcagua Climbers (Left to right):

Audrey Cadwallader, Bernd Horsman, Ginna kelly, Linda Wohlgemuth, Walter harris, Peter Horsman, Weny Sanchez, Garrett



Gear check complete, heading to Penitentes tomorrow!



Entertainers, artisan vendors, and live music in the park!



Co guide: Wenny Sanchez



Wine & Dine



Garrett paying for Aconcagua permits



Relaxing first few days of the expedition!



Park Hyatt Mendoza, Argentina


Madison Mountaineering 2016 Aconcagua climbers are enroute to Mendoza! Everyone should be arriving by tomorrow and we will do our gear check, team meeting, and welcome dinner before heading off to the mountain! Aconcagua, also known as the “Stone Sentinel”, is located in Argentina near the border of Chile, and is the highest mountain outside of Asia. Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, and team will climb a less traveled route that allows for more acclimatization, and while we may use our ice axe and crampons occasionally, this climb does not require ‘roping up.’ Aconcagua is bounded by the Valle de las Vacas to the north and east and the Valle de los Horcones Inferior to the west and south. The mountain and its surroundings are part of the Aconcagua Provincial Park. The mountain has a number of glaciers. The largest glacier is the Ventisquero Horcones Inferior at about 10 km long, which descends from the south face to about 3600 m altitude near the Confluencia camp.

Our climbers will begin on the eastern side of the mountain, by trekking along the Vacas River to Plaza Argentina base camp. From here we ascend the non technical false polish and then upper Guanacos route to our high camp.

To the top!


Gear begins to arrive into Mendoza, Argentina!



Madison Mountaineering climbing team finalizing the pre-trip logistics before departure from Mendoza.