Aconcagua December 2020 At 6,962m Aconcagua is the highest peak in the southern hemisphere & the highest peak outside of the Himalayan ranges. This is a classic high-altitude expedition in the stunning High Andes, and a stepping-stone to 8,000m peaks. Aconcagua, known as the stone sentinel by the Incas, lies close to the Chile/Argentine border, but wholly within Argentina. With spectacular and relatively straightforward terrain on the normal route, this is one of the most regularly climbed “high” mountains of the world. While it is a very physical climb, it is one of the more achievable Seven Summits and is ideal preparation for Himalayan high-altitude climbing. Our 20-day itinerary includes a number of acclimatisation days & spare weather days, and an ascent of a 5,000m peak to optimise our acclimatisation and maximise your summit chances. We include porter support for group gear to ensure that we conserve and manage our energy levels. Our expert local guides are seasoned veterans who focus on safety and help you to enjoy and learn as much as possible from this ascent. The expedition is led by our founder, Everest summiteer Ricky Munday. Dates 21st December 2020 - 9th Jan 2021 Group Size 4 - 12 Cost £5,050 per person - based on our open expedition, but also applicable for private groups of 6 or more. This price does not include the local Aconcagua climbing permit fee (c. $800). Permit fees are payable in person at the National Park Service office in Mendoza. Itinerary Day 1 Arrive Mendoza - Our expedition begins in Mendoza. On your arrival to the international airport in Mendoza, our local representative will be waiting for you. You'll transfer to our Hotel and after a rest, we'll have a group meeting you'll be introduced to your guides and team members Day 2 Mendoza to Penitentes - After breakfast we visit the National Park Service office in Mendoza to pay our Permit fees in person. We'll then visit our local agent's office to meet staff and finalise logistics. We'll then drive for 3 hours to our mountain hotel at Villa Los Penitentes. In the afternoon, we prepare equipment for the mules who will carry our gear to Base Camp. Day 3 Penitentes to Confluencia - We drive to Horcones, the entrance to Aconcagua National Park, where we get our first stunning view of the mountain. After our permits are checked at the Ranger station, we start trekking to Confluencia (3,390m) to spend the night. Day 4 Trek to Plaza Francia - Today is an acclimatisation day to increase your chances to summit. We’ll trek for around 5 hours to Plaza Francia viewpoint, where we can view the impressive Aconcagua South Wall. Day 5 Trek to Plaza de Mulas - Early in the morning we start our trek across "Playa Ancha" (wide beach), which is a deserted, windy valley. We slowly gain altitude walking up to the Horcones Superior Valley. After 8-9 hours hiking across Playa Ancha and climbing up through a steep path; "Cuesta Brava" (Rugged Slope), we reach Base Camp at Plaza de Mulas (4,300m). Day 6 Rest day at Base Camp - Our first day in Base Camp is a rest day and a good opportunity to familiarise yourself with Camp, take a shower and explore the area. You'll have a mandatory medical checkup and we'll reorganise our equipment, prepare the loads and organise food for transportation. Day 7 Ascent of Cerro Bonete - We’ve included this ascent to support our acclimatisation and give you the best chance of summit success. After breakfast, we start the ascent to Bonete's summit. From the summit, we can view Aconcagua's awesome West Face, before descending back to Base Camp. Day 8 Rest day at Base Camp - We’ll rest in Plaza de Mulas to recover from climbing Bonete. We'll divide expedition loads for the carry to the high camps (group gear, fuel and food). We double carry to keep pack weight down and help ensure good acclimatisation. Day 9 Load carry to Camp 1 - Today, we'll carry some equipment & food to Camp 1 at Plaza Canada (5,050m). We keep our backpacks as light as possible to gradually adapt to the altitude, before we return to Plaza de Mulas. Day 10 Rest day at Base Camp - After a hard day carrying gear, we rest and recover at Base Camp. Day 11 Move to Camp 1 at Plaza Canada - After breakfast we walk for 5-6 hours on easy terrain to arrive at Camp 1 (5,050m). After building our camp, we divide loads for the following days, followed by rest and dinner. Day 12 Move to Camp 2 at Nido de Condores - We move from Plaza Canada to Camp 2 at Nido de Cóndores (5,550m), where we'll enjoy spectacular views of the Andes. Day 13 Rest day at Camp 2 - This is a prrogrammed acclimatisation day, but we may take the opportunity to gain some height & descend back to Camp for the night. Day 14 Move to Camp 3 at Plaza Colera - Early in the morning we move up to Camp 3. Plaza Colera lies at the same altitude as the Berlin refuge (5,970m). From here, we have incredible views of the highest peaks of the Central Andes. This is our high camp andwe'll discuss our summit day plans, have dinner and rest. Day 15 Summit day - Our day starts at 5:00 am and this is by far the most demanding day of the expedition. We continue on the Normal Route up to Independence Refuge (6,380 m), where we rest and normally see the sunrise. We traverse the "Portezuelo del Viento" where we can experience strong winds, even on calm days. We rest at La Cueva, where we begin to warm cold limbs, then climb "La Canaleta", a 300m channel that leads to the summit ridge. Beneath us is the Southern Wall of Aconcagua, one of the largest mountain faces in the world. From the summit at 6,962 m, we have stunning 360° views. After summit photos are taken, we descend to Camp 3. Day 16 Descend to Base Camp - We return from Camp 3 to Base Camp where we have a special celebration dinner. Day 17 Spare Day - in case of bad weather Day 18 Spare Day - in case of bad weather Day 19 Trek out to Penitentes & return to Mendoza - After breakfast we begin the long trek out from Plaza de Mulas to Penitentes. Here, we meet our private transport for the drive to our hotel in Mendoza. Day 20 Mendoza - Transfer to Mendoza airport & end of services. Note - The exact climbing itinerary is not fixed to allow for the optimal acclimatisation program to take account of poor weather, such as inclement cold temperatures and storms Detailed trip information How to book Book below by choosing your ticket type. You can choose: Deposit by bank transfer: £350 Deposit online (1.5% fee added): £355.25 Full payment by bank transfer: £5,050 Full payment online (1.5% fee added): £5,125.75 You'll also need to read and agree to both our Overseas Trip Booking Terms & Conditions and our Participation Agreement when selecting your ticket type. Overseas Trips Booking Terms & Conditions Participation Agreement You'll receive an email acknowledging receipt of your payment/booking. If you choose deposit only (options 1 & 2), you'll be asked if you'd like to pay your balance by raising funds for our social mission, which means you’ll have nothing else to pay after you've paid your deposit. Once you've booked, you'll receive a second email with a link to our online Medical Declaration Form. This must be completed before we can confirm your booking. Each individual participant must complete this form, so if you’re booking on behalf of a group you must ask each member of your group to complete this. If you have a balance to pay, you can pay by either bank transfer or direct debit. Once we've recieved your Medical Declaration Form, we'll email you an invoice that includes our bank details (for bank transfer) and a secure link to set up an electronic mandate to authorise direct debits, if you selected this option. Fundraise for us Rather than paying your balance, you can alternatively choose to raise funds to support our social mission - with this option, you pay your non-refundable registration fee of £350 when booking and pledge to raise a minimum amount of sponsorship (£7,850) for our own social projects with disadvantaged young people. We can host fundraising pages directly on our website and you can read some short case studies about our social impact. Read more about fundraising for Inspire Alpine®. Fundraise for Inspire Alpine® Our Social Impact Set up a fundraising page What happens if the trip cannot run due to Covid-19? Your safety is our top priority. Please rest assured that if your event cannot go ahead due to Government-imposed Covid-19 restrictions, we'll offer you a number of options including the chance to: postpone your trip to a later departure of the same event (this year or next) join any other UK event in our portfolio (this year or next) receive a refund of monies paid for the challenge Book with confidence What if there is no official advice against travel, but I want to cancel? We respect that you may feel more comfortable staying at home, and not travelling regardless of the official advice. If you choose to cancel, we’ll action your request but where there is no Government advice against travel to at the time of cancellation, our standard cancellation terms will apply. Booking for this event has now closed.