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Aconcagua - Personal & Team Equipment
Personal & Team Equipment
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These photos were taken on our recent successful expedition. Photos in slide show: Ted Alexander. For caption information, please visit our Photo Gallery.
 
  • Walk to the top of the highest peak in all of the Americas. One of the famous "7 Summits" (non-technical).
  • We teach you everything you need to know about climbing during the trip.
  • Climbing Aconcagua may qualify you for Everest Nepal, Everest Tibet, or Cho Oyu.
  • New: optional climb of the "Polish Direct", a more challenging way to the top, avoiding the crowds.
  • We help you buy and rent inexpensive mountain climbing, trekking, hiking, and walking gear, equipment, clothing, boots, shoes for sale, purchase and hire at affordable, cheap, low prices.
  • Leadership: Max Kausch 3 time Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam, ShishaPangma, Aconcagua leader and 6000m peak world record holder.
  • Dates and Cost (does not include cost of your personal climbing permit):
    • NEW HOLIDAY DATES! for the Normal Route, 18th December – 6th January (20 days): Cost: $3750 , £2260, €2750
    • Normal Route, 11th January – 30th January (20 days) or 2 to 21 February (20 days): Cost: $3750, £2260, €2750
    • Climb the Polish Direct Route , 2 to 24 February (23 days): Cost: $4550, £2750, €3300
    • Please Click Here
    • Please click the logo for payment options including credit card, cheque, bank transfer, etcetera.

Recent News: Our recent expedition to Aconcagua was a huge success and the team returned home safely. Please click here to view dispatches from our trip. Please also visit our "Archived News" for more stories of past trips.

Below is a detailed list of equipment you need to bring for Aconcagua and at the bottom is a description of team equipment that we bring for you.

All of this equipment is needed for both the Normal Traverse and Polish Direct, except for the second to last category below, "Equipment needed for Polish Direct (not Normal Traverse)".

Weather: Like most big mountains, Aconcagua generates and attracts its own weather, making it unpredictable at times. A wide range of temperatures, from freezing nights, snowy and windy conditions, and bright sunshine intensified by the high altitude, may occur on the expedition. It can get very cold in the high camps on Aconcagua, with average temperatures 0º C/32º F during the day and -25º C/-13º F at night. Climbers on our December to January trips, may find snowfields high on the mountain, while on our February trips, members will encounter less snow and more dry, rocky terrain.
The best time to climb Aconcagua is from December to early March, during the Southern Hemisphere's summer, where days of clear sunny skies are quite normal. The mountain does receive occasional storms during the climbing season due to the muggy, humid winds blowing west off the Pacific Ocean. When this air rises over the slopes of the Andes, it's speed increases and it condenses to form lenticular clouds on the summit, known as white wind (viento blanco). Southern winds are usually an auspicious sign of good weather.
In Mendoza and the lower areas along the trek, the Southern hemisphere summer temperatures fluctuate between 18-33º C/65-90º F, with warm days and cool nights.

(Click link below to go directly to that section of the equipment list or just scroll down):

Please go to our personal & team equipment section of the "Aconcagua Questions" for additional information and detailed discussion of the equipment lists below.

Where should I purchase my equipment?

Please "click here" to view our list of recommendations on where to purchase kit from our Aconcagua Frequently Asked Questions.

Renting or buying mountain equipment in Mendoza is very easy. There are several shops in town and if your sizes aren't too different than normal you shouldn't have a problem. These CANNOT be paid by credit card due to argentine foreign card restrictions. Please add up the equipment you want to rent based on the list below and bring enough US DOLLARS for this. Prices vary a lot but this is roughly what we had last season (the price is for the 18-20 day itinerary):
  • Trekking poles U$25
  • Crampons U$40
  • Plastic Boots* U$95
  • Sleeping mattress U$20
  • 70 litre rucksack U$45
  • Sleeping bag U$105
  • Long ice axe U$40
  • Down jacket U$80
  • Goretex jacket U$55
  • Trekking boots U$45
  • Duffel bag U$30
  • Fleece jacket U$25
  • Fleece gloves U$15
  • Mittens U$35
  • Fleece pants U$25
  • Goretex pants U$45
  • Gaiters U$20
* Please note that if your boot size is larger or smaller than normal we might need extra time to find your boots. Please let us know in advance

Upper Body-

  • Upper Body-
  • Wind/waterproof/breathable jacket;
  • 1  very warm heavy down/duvet jacket or synthetic fill jacket with insulated hood;
  • 1 warm fleece jacket;
  • 3 long sleeve polypropylene shirt. Lightweight, light colored better for sun;
  • 1 polypropylene t-shirt;
  • Womens sports bras. Synthetic. Cotton is not appropriate. back to top

Hands-

  • 1 pair very warm mittens, consists of 1 water proof (gore-tex) over mitt matched with the very warm polar fleece mitt liner,
  • 2 pairs of hand-warmers. These are chemical pouches which warm up in contact with oxygen
  • 1 pair of windproof all day gloves; back to top

Head-

  • Helmet for Polish Direct Route members;
  • 1 balaclava;
  • 1 light weight warm hat wool or synthetic;
  • 2 buffs or bandanas;
  • Visor or sun cap;
  • Glacier glasses. 100% UV protection with side shields and a hard-sided storage case;
  • Ski goggles for on the mountain;
  • Headlamp with extra batteries & bulbs. Must be reliable with a strong beam. LEDs and Halogen Combos are good. back to top

Lower Body-

  • 1 pr wind/waterproof/breathable (gore-tex) trousers, salopettes, or bibs. Mid-heavy weight with side zips; Make sure multiple layers fit underneath;
  • 1 pr medium weight polar fleece trousers; No windproof materials, but warm pile fabric;
  • 1 pr medium weight polypropylene/thermal leggings;
  • 1 pr lightweight polypropylene/thermal leggings;
  • 1 pr non-cotton walking trousers;
  • 2 pair lightweight long underwear. Polypropylene or capilene;
  • 1 pair nylon shorts. Quick-drying type for hiking, please no cotton. back to top

Feet-

  • Double plastic boots (koflach) or One-Sport Millet Everest boots or equivalent. The boots must fit with one thick and one thin pair of socks with room to spare, not too tight;
  • Crampons - must fit boots perfectly. Steel crampons with anti-balling (anti-bot) plates are the best;
  • Light hiking shoes or trail shoes. For the hike to base camp and acclimatization hikes;
  • Gaiters, make sure they will fit over plastic boots;
  • 1 pair sandals are optional, nice for town or basecamp;
  • 2 pair of liner socks;
  • vapour barrier liner socks or plastic bread-bags;
  • 3 pair heavy wool/synthetic socks. back to top

Sleeping-

  • Sleeping bag. Rated to at least -10 to - 15 C / 0 to 15 F;
  • Sleeping pad. 1 full length closed cell foam. back to top

Rucksack-

  • Internal frame rucksack, large (80 litre/5000 cubic inches);
  • 1 daypack for the approach hike, possible use on summit day and carry-on pack. If you plan to use it for your summit pack it must be large enough for your down jacket, misc. clothes, food and water;
  • Travel, kit, or duffel bag with lock, (80‑100 litre/5,000-6,000 cubic inches). Your porter will carry this large bag;
  • Medium size travel, kit, duffel bag (with locks) for storage at the hotel in Mendoza. back to top

Personal Hygiene-

  • Female or male hygiene supplies;
  • Personal toiletry kit;
  • Hand wipes and camp towel;
  • 2 Lip balm. Make sure it is sun-proof;
  • Sunscreen. At least SPF 40. back to top

Medical-

  • small personal first-aid kit. (Simple and Light) Aspirin, first-aid tape, plasters (band-aids), personal medications, etc. The leaders will have extensive first-aid kits, so leave anything extra behind. Please let your leader know about any medical issues before the climb;
  • 1 skin blister repair kit;
  • 1 small bottle anti-diarrhea pills;
  • 1 small bottle anti-headache pills, Ibuprofin, Pracetamol, Asprin etc.;
  • 1 small bottle cough and/or cold medicine;
  • Enough throat lozenges; sterpsils, Halls etc;
  • 1 small bottle anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox, Acetylzolamide.
  • 1 small bottle stomach antibiotic: Ciprofloxacin, etc.;
  • 1 small bottle Chest antibiotic: Azytromycin, etc.;
  • Do not bring sleeping pills. They are a respiratory depressant;
  • 1 small bottle of water purification tablets or Steripen;
  • 1 set earplugs; Small personal first aid kit, Medicine, bandaids, etc.;
  • Extra prescription glasses, extra contact lens supplies (contact lens wearers: there is a lot of dust, you definitely need to bring prescription glasses as a backup);
  • 1 bottle water purification tablets, drops, or filter;
  • Ear plugs. back to top

Personal Food-

Meals along the trek are provided by the leaders and once we reach basecamp, fresh, tasty food and hot drinks are prepared by our logistics staff in a full kitchen and dining tent. The leaders cook and fill water bottles above basecamp.

  • Favorite snack foods. 1 kg / 2 pounds is a good amount (you may buy these in Mendoza);
  • 4 dehydrated meals (freeze-dried dinners) for the high camp. back to top

Practical-

  • 3 lightweight thermos bottles and water bottles. Nalgene type (1 is a pee bottle);
  • Plastic mug. Nice for hot drinks;
  • Bowl and spoon. Plastic, small tupperware works well;
  • Pocket knife;
  • 3 large plastic bags/rubbish sacks. For keeping miscellaneous gear dry;
  • Nylon stuff sacks. For food and gear storage and large ziplocs;
  • Extra Cotton Shirts, lighters, candy bars or power bars;
  • Bandanas;
  • Thermos (optional);
  • Basecamp entertainment. For example: paperback books, playing cards, ipod mp3 player, short-wave radio, small sturdy musical instruments, etc.;
  • Camera (you will need to sleep with your camera at night and keep it in your jacket during the day);
  • Cash for hotels, visas, small items and gratuities. Credit cards, traveler's cheques, bank/atm cards. Use an "under the trousers" money belt, not one of those round‑the‑neck jobs or bum‑bags that are really more of a sign showing where the money is;
  • Passport, proof of insurance card, flight ticket. Keep all in plastic bag;
  • Town clothes are recommended in addition to this list above;
  • Please be sure and bring your patience and try to keep an open, relaxed, positive and friendly attitude as travelling in this part of the world may be very different than what you are used to, but things always seem to fall into place at the last moment. Thank you. back to top

Climbing-

  • Ice axe with leash, lightweight (both Normal Traverse and Polish Direct);
  • Adjustable trekking poles. back to top

Equipment Needed for Polish Direct (not Normal Traverse)

  • Climbing harness with light weight adjustable leg loops, "alpine-bod" or other;
  • Climbing helmet, must fit with warm hat underneath;
  • Descender-belay device: "atc'' or other;
  • 2 metres/5 foot length piece of 6mm cord;
  • 2 regular and 1 locking carabiners. Large, pear-shaped carabiner is best, screw gate type recommended;
  • A second light weight technical ice axe is a good idea.

Group Equipment-We provide a plethora of top-quality, and time-tested equipment, group gear, and supplies, including rope and rock protection, tents, etcetera. Please see the group EQUIPMENT link, in the menu bars above to study what we bring for your use and safety. back to top

Please submit any equipment questions or concerns to: info@summitclimb.com