View of Aconcagua mountainThe mountain climbing bug has bitten again after being asked to climb Aconcagua mountain in South America. At 6962M (22,800 feet), Aconcagua in Argentina is the highest summit of the Americas giving it membership as one of the seven summits.

I’ve climbed Kilimanjaro in Africa, and been to Mt Everest Base camp but never been to South America. A British fellow I met while trekking the Himalayas in 2008 just asked me if I wanted to tackle Aconcagua saying he “fancies it”. Well, if he fancies it, then we must climb i say.

Steve Dabney is currently on an around the world tour, currently in Peru and about to visit Machu Picchu, and popped off a note through facebook asking me if I wanted to climb again. I’ve not looked into the Aconcagua mountain climb at all, so will be doing some brief research about it before I decide. I must say thought, that cursory info about the mountain has gotten my attention and the climbing bug has again bitten.

View of Aconcagua mountain map

Aconcagua is located about 15 kilometers from the border with Chile in the Andes mountain range and roughly half way north to south along the west border of Argentina.

Are Technical Skills Required for Aconcagua?

In answering a question from a reader on the 7 Summits website, they say “Aconcagua can be climbed by people without technical climbing knowledge as the main routes are mostly snow and ice free.” I’ve looked at a bunch of photographs from the website and around the net and yes, it looks similar to Kilimanjaro in that technical climbing skills for Aconcagua are not required. As with Kili, physiology is most important – can your body acclimatize and adapt to the attitude quick enough. I had no issues on Kilimanjaro or while climbing to Everest base camp.

How Long Does it Take to Climb Aconcagua?

Kilimanjaro took 7 days, 6 days up and 1 day down. Mt Everest Base camp took 9 days, 5 days up and 4 days down (and we skipped two days), but I’m told that it takes 2 to 3 weeks to climb Aconcagua. That’s a bit more than I had anticipated. I like the idea of acclimatization and adaptation, so taking it easy on the way up is fine with me, but that’s a bit of time for the climb if you ask me. At least the wife will be happier, because right now she’s not too thrilled with the idea of me climbing again.

7 Summits also advises to imagine summit day on Kilimanjaro and then expect three days like that on Aconcagua and that porters are not carrying your load, you are. If you’re interested, Mens Journal posted a trip log of the writers summit attempt that is a really good read.

hmmm, more fun!

Climbing Aconcagua sounds like something I may very well add to my list, and after much talking and approval from the wife, should be something I’d consider for 2010 or 2011.