FAQs

In Andes Vertical we are dedicated exclusively to the organisation of trekking and expeditions in the Central Andes and Patagonia. We carry out our excellent personalised service from the first contact. We put special emphasis on being highly trained guides. The general profiles of our guides are well rounded people, with lots of professional experience, well mannered, friendly, fun and with a passion for mountains as well as each guide having different interests and a high level of general education and training.

Our guides are amongst the most highly skilled rock climbers and mountaineers in Argentina with more than 15 years of experience in the field. They are highly experienced guides certified by the EPGAMT (National Mountain Guide School), the AAGM (Argentinean Association of Mountain Guides) and/or the IFMGA (International Federation of Mountain Guides Association). Because your security is our priority, our team will guarantee the accomplishment of any challenging activity in an absolutely safe way. Our mission as Guides and Staff of Andes Vertical is to provide quality service for travelers looking for a safe and reliable adventure travel agency in Argentina.

Our Staff

We offer all kinds of activities; depending on the necessities, conditions and interests of the participants. We offer various walks of varying difficulty.We are always ready to make changes for our clients, not forgetting that you are on holiday and want to ENJOY yourselves. For a different experience there is also the possibility of horse riding in the National Parks. There is the possibility too of doing sightseeing in the Cordon del Plata, Aconcagua National Park and  Patagonian National Parks, from a vehicle, for those of you who don’t want to or are unable to go walking.

Our menus are based on fresh and natural products, Maintaining a balanced diet and taking into account the physical activity of the trip. If You have special dietary requirements; vegetarian, celiac or allergic to anything please let us know beforehand in order to be reliable to give you the service you deserve.

We only recommend to bring your child depending of the activity, you can choose a mountain bike tour, full day trek or full day rock climbing in Mendoza or El Chalten-Patagonia with childrens up to 12 year old under the entire responsability of their parents, we don’t recommend to bring your child to multi day adventures such as aconcagua treks or Cordon del Plata, Andes crossing or multiday adventures in Chalten – Patagonia because of the exposure of the high altitude or low temperatures in case of bad weather.

1. The water from the rivers and streams in some mountains in the Andes comes directly from glaciers and snow that has been untouched by human or animal, ensuring the water is absolutely pure and clean. We have never heard of any of our clients having problems, nevertheless we recommend taking a bottle of mineral water or ask your guide before to drink water from the river.

 

Depending on your preferences and budget, there are from chalets and dormitory accommodation in hostels to hotels of 3 and 4 star. For more information please ask before reserving. We are here to help.

On our camps or refuges,  we use high quality equipment; internationally recognised brands, manufactured for extreme weather conditions and high levels of comfort.

Normally the camp assistant will cook… but the base camp team will be happy if you help a bit … it’s part of the adventure taking part in the camp activities ! Whether you want to do a little, a lot or nothing we will respect your decision.

Our activities are generally for a maximum of 10 people in some of our treks and expeditions, with the aim of giving a more personalised experience. If you are planning on travelling with friends and family, let us know in order to be able to organise a private trip just for you!

Security for us is our number one priority. For this reason all our guides and tour leaders are trained and certified as Wilderness First Responders (WFR) and Wilderness Advanced First Aiders (WAFA). Furthermore we all have plenty of experience in rescue and first aid in the mountains having been in them for so many years. Even so, we believe that the responsibility is shared between guides and participants of the programmes. Therefore one of the first things we like to do when we meet a group is have a short chat, before going out, describing the route to be taken and how to carry it out safely.

The treks and expeditions generally take place in remote areas away from urban conurbations, therefore we use VHF radio, mobile phone or satellite telephone (depending the activity), which allows us to contact directly to our base, the National Park offices, the Rescue team, the hospital, etc. For our expeditions to Continental Ice Field or Aconcagua we use satellite telephones to provide the highest form of security possible. In general, there is no mobile phone signal.

There can be climatic changes which represent no immediate danger, such as rain. Others, for example strong winds, that if they become too strong can make it difficult to walk, this can cause the postponement of a trek or at least part of it .Unfortunately we cannot offer any refund of the tour for climate changes.

When the climate does not allow us to carry out a programme safely and it has not yet started the guide will propose possible alternatives. If the programme has started then it will be decided whether it’s best to wait, descend or whatever action allows us to get out of the danger zone as quickly and as safely as possible.

Andes Vertical will provide you with the required gear for the accomplishment of any of our activities (except personal items and clothes), i.e. tents, stoves, cooking and climbing gear. You will need to bring appropriate sleeping bags, clothes and shoes (please, consult the section ‘recommended to bring´ for the detailed information in this regard for every activity). If required, we can rent any other extra equipment (like sleeping bags) or advise you on where to rent it in Mendoza. During the activity you will be asked to carry your own gear but also other shared gear and food.

If you want to experience the full day rock climbing (single pitch) you don’t need previous experience.
For the multi pitch or traditional rock climbing trips the minimum knowledge is 2 years of rock climbing experience, belaying with different devices and be able to make an anchor point and rappelling by yourself in a multi pitch route in case of accident of your guide.

The international formalities are similar for both countries. If you are thinking of travelling from Argentina to Chile and then back to Argentina you should check whether you need a multiple entry visa, or if you need one at all. For further information have a look at the official websites below.

www.mininterior.gov.ar

www.mrecic.gov.ar

www.extranjeria.gob.cl

Citizens from Australia, Canada and USA must pay the Reciprocity Fee before arriving at any Argentinean border:

Payments forms.

Taking into account the fact that we are in a very isolated area and the climatic conditions can be very extreme it is recommended that you take out travel insurance in your home country, before departure, as here there are no insurance companies around to help.

Yes! we provide a complete packed lunch for the intense activity (sandwich, granola bars, fruit, cookies, juice)

The Aconcagua park entrance fee is an independent costo and is not included in our services, in the following link you will find the cost of the permit according to the season:

Aconcagua Entrance Fee link

 

Please find the address of the mountain shop to rent hiking boots , double boots or crampons in the following link http://www.orviz.com/ubicacion/index.asp

Aconcagua is taller, farther, harder, longer and colder than Kilimanjaro. Not climbing or mountaineering experience is needed to participate in our guided Aconcagua normal route expeditions. However, you are recommended to do some conditioning. Anyone who is in good health and mentally prepared can take part in our expeditions. Be sure that a good physical preparation and training will increase chances to get the top. The required equipment is not the same either. The participants should expect 25 – 30°C bellows freezing. I do not want to scare you but you’d better start your training if you want to enjoy the expedition. It is a really good experience, which will help you to reach the summit. And some of our guided had to reach the summit with less experience than that. You are ready for this challenge.

The Aconcagua Normal Route technically presents steep slides that you can ascend walking and easy snow slopes. It is not necessary to use hands or security ropes. It is not necessary to rock or ice climbing experience. But some camping experience, trekking and basic knowledge of mountaineering will increase the summit chances. Depending on weather conditions and the snow amount, the use of crampons will be needed. The guide will teach how to use them at Base Camp. On the summit day, we have the most demanding part of the expeditions. There is a snow traverse approximate 300mts before reaching the Canaleta base. This snow used to be frozen so crampons are essential to cross it. The guide will evaluate the group’s skills and the snow conditions. If it’s necessary he will use a security rope. Less than the 10% of the expeditions need rope assistance.

Risks: The highness and weather are the major difficulties that these routes present. The highness is responsible for most of the emergency evacuations. This is the reason why we are so careful with acclimatization including on our programs the “climbs high, sleep low” principle. We include trekking and carrying of the equipment to high camps. This will keep the backpack weight lighter in order to keep energy for the summit day.
On the other hand, we have bad weather conditions, this issue can be minimized by the good equipment. The first day of the expeditions the guide will check all the gear and if it is necessary he will assist the climber on the renting or buying the missing equipment.
In order, the weather conditions not to damage the summit chances we contemplate on our programs two spare days in case of this situation. Besides, the guides have the knowledge to modify the itinerary so they are able to optimize the summit chances.
The highness, low temperatures, and strong winds make this a challenging experience.

Physical: Participants must be in excellent physical condition, able to carry a heavy pack, and have basic mountaineering skills. Aconcagua expedition is strenuous and entails many days at higher altitudes exposed to low oxygen, very cold and high caloric food so a Physician’s approval is strongly recommended. Those climbers who suffer chronic illnesses should be considered talking with the personal doctor regarding the expedition’s strivings.
On the past, we have successfully guided climbers that suffered from asthma, allergies, epilepsy and other illnesses. However, each of them was advised by their doctors regarding the treatment and medicines to be considered during the ascent, special cares and special pre expeditions training norms.

Psychological: Another important issue is the psychological aspect. It must be warned that the ascent does not depend on a 100% of the excellent physical conditions or training, the perfect clothes or the good acclimatization.
Taking into account all the previous aspects we can say that the 50% of the success is confirmed. However, the other 50% will depend on the psychological disposition. We have to be aware that we will abandon our comfortable homes and the life routine in order to live in a hostile environment. This change will require the willingness, determination, energy, and imagination. The climber must be mentally prepared to accept uncomfortable places, difficulties; be flexible and adapt himself to changes. To be open to a teamwork and accommodate to the mountain conditions will help for the expedition to succeed.

To participate in this activity you need to have a good physical condition, need to be trained.
Many people chose as their first Aconcagua hill and were successful in reaching the summit, it was because they were able to combine all aspects (detailed previously) positively on their experience.

Be aware that Aconcagua is a windy mountain and chill factor should be considered.

To participate in this activity you need to have a good physical condition, need to be trained.
Many people chose as their first Aconcagua hill and were successful in reaching the summit, it was because they were able to combine all aspects (detailed previously) positively on their experience.

Regarding your request, We do not select people, we inform the difficulties that such expeditions have. Also, we suggest everyone to make the relevant medical checkups. We have a list of diseases or conditions under which we don’t suggest to perform this activity. Likewise, the park requested specific information about the health of entrants in the Permit Form, but if the government does not deny or restrict the admission to people, we can not do that either.
The forms are affidavits, therefore, omission or false answer could turn into a major problem for him. in all cases, appeals to the common sense of the people and the good will of them.

Previous experience is suggested but nor required. A Large number of people reached the summit without having climbed ever before, in the same way, that super-trained peoples unfortunately did not.

When designing our expedition itineraries we need to balance proper acclimatization and high altitude deterioration. The longer you stay at altitudes above 5000mts the more your body, mind, and animus deteriorate. At this stage, you can acclimatize a bit but in the other hand, you are burning fuel that will be required to reach the summit. So we try to acclimatize properly at the lower steps of the mountain and spend as short time higher than 5000mts as possible. This way we save energy needed later. If you are interested in a longer acclimatization period we have designed two different Extra Acclimatization Programs that will prepare your body better that just staying at Plaza de Mulas Hotel. The shorter one includes one more day resting at BC (4300mts) and another toclimb Mount Bonete (5000 mts) returning to sleep at BC. The other one is a week long and has proved to be the most efficient one. Because we gain an excellent body adaptation but in a different mountain landscape which is very good for your mind.

It is imperative that everyone joining a mountaineering expedition be in a high standard of physical fitness when the expedition begins. The amount of time needed for training is completely dependent on the general level of fitness a person is in prior to the expedition.

For the person that has spent the last ten years behind a desk with no emphasis on keeping in shape, it may take two years to regain top physical ability. The person that has always prioritized conditioning and a rigorous workout as a part of their daily routine may only take a few months to fine tune for the demands of mountaineering.

Consider, when setting up your program that you will need to develop the endurance to carry a 60-65 lb. pack, wearing climbing boots, for 6-8 hours per day. Though it is impossible to “train” for altitude you can put yourself on a conditioning program that will best prepare you for this type of physical stress. How to do this? It is impossible to be specific and say if you do this and that you will be ready for a physically demanding expedition. Each person is different and everyone has different terrain and time at their disposal. After many years of observing climbers, there are some reoccurring training schemes that seem to help some people be better prepared than others.

Train for developing stamina. Run, bike, ski, fast walk.

Vary your routine to prevent overuse injuries and push yourself without injuring yourself. Do warm up and cool down stretches.

Progressive resistance weight training. This type of training improves anaerobic metabolism that feeds much of muscular work. This type of human energy production is fed by stored carbohydrates that require no additional oxygen to metabolize.

*Train on hills or stairs with a pack on. You must be prepared for 13,000′ of uphill wearing a 60-65 lb. pack and 13,000′ of downhill. Start with a light pack and gradually increase the weight. Never run with a pack on.

*Wear 2 lb. ankle weights to help condition for the extra weight of climbing boots, soft snow and loose scree. (Don’t wear these while running).

*Train, as often as possible, by skiing or hiking for all day, weekend or longer trips. Train for what you are going to do! If you want to be good at climbing big mountains with a big pack on, start on little mountains with a small pack on and work your way up. Conditioning by climbing is the best thing you can do. Get comfortable moving in mountainous terrain all day long!! Heavy packs tend to tire climbers the most. Be prepared by training ahead of time and you will do fine. Don’t expect to get used to wearing a pack while you are on the expedition.

*Be mentally prepared for the expedition. Know before you start the climb and accept the fact that at times you will be uncomfortable and that your body is going to be uncooperative. You are going to have to push yourself (unless you are superhuman). If you don’t have the ability to do this you won’t be successful. You may be in a cramped tent for many storm days. You are leaving thecomforts of home in order to experience a unique challenge and a remarkable mountain. It is worth it! You must also be well enough “in tune” with yourself to know the difference between pushing yourself and acute mountain sickness, pulmonary or cerebral edema. These are all serious altitude related problems which must be acknowledged. It is possible to “push yourself” too far. For thesafety of the team, the chief guide will make a final decision on who needs a rest day, who continues to ascend or who descends.

*A good diet cannot be underestimated. Research out a diet that will help develop stamina and strength and that you can live with. There are lots of books and articles that will get you started or consult a professional nutritionist that has worked with athletes. This type of training can easily take two hours per day, 4/5 days a week. Be committed to it and be consistent. It will pay off many times over! We hope this gives you ideas on which to base your training schedule. We recommend talking to a professional exercise physiologist and setting up a conditioning program that you can incorporate into your daily routine which will meet these goals. Start today with your training and keep it up.

Aconcagua is, generally, a good weather mountain. However, snow storms and strong winds should be expected anytime. The official Aconcagua climbing season is from November 15th to March 15th. We run our expeditions during December, January, and February. Ends of November and December firsts are always a little colder and days are shorter and the wind blows more at the end of February. But you must be ready for a storm at any time. We have experienced heavy snowstorm in mid-January but usually, the sun shines most of the summer and wind is not dangerous in normal conditions.
Temperatures are very different during the day or the night. As a guideline, I can say temperatures are approx.
Approach (Confluencia): Night 0ºC; Day 20 to 30ºC
Base camp (Plaza de Mulas): Night -10ºC; Day 10 to 20ºC

Be aware that Aconcagua is a windy mountain and chill factor should be considered.

Aconcagua weather forecast BC

At the time to search info regarding Summit Success You will find various percentages, all based on different parameters, that is why you should pay special attention to this!
Some companies estimate their success by the number of “expeditions” to reach the top while a single member of it is who did it. Others companies measure their success by the number of climbers who made the summit.
I can give you the official information managed by the Aconcagua Park in terms of general statistical summits climbers who enter with guides and autonomously. The percentage they estimate is that 30% of climbers reach the summit.
But as I mentioned before, this is a generality.
If you come with Andes Vertical in an expedition planned and with a mountain guide, always you will have more chances of getting success:
The ascent of Aconcagua is subject to many variables which increase the chances of reaching the summit.
Basically, the variables depend on:

1 – The climber:
Previous training
Mountain Experience
Coping capacity less comfortable than in everyday life
Good food
Good rest
Mental balance
Quality of the equipment
Good acclimatization

2 – In the logistic:
Andes Vertical expeditions will provide:
• The Mountain Guide is a professional with extensive experience in the mountains, trained to resolve emergencies.
• Programs designed specifically to help the process of acclimatization. Our shorter programs are 18 days and they all include additional extra days to attempt the summit in bad weather. We can also arrange extra acclimatization programs.
• A good rest. Andes Vertical and his partner company`s camps have a complete park infrastructure. You can spend your free time reading in the dining dome, surf the Internet or sleep in your tent and focus your mind on the summit day.
• Communication between the base camps, high camp and with Mendoza. The guide will communicate with the BC to request a weather forecast for choosing the most suitable day to attempt the summit.
• Good support for mountain safety: specific action plans for each of the emergency in order to achieve, if necessary a successful evacuation.
• Medical equipment and daily individual controls.
• The staff and facilities excellent base camp services.
• Monitoring proper hydration. The guides are trained to detect symptoms of problems in the process of acclimatization to altitude.
• The menus specially designed by nutritionists and prepared in a balanced way for our cooks. We prepare special menus for coeliacs, vegetarians, etc.. less, with no additional cost!
• Porters for common equipment and the mules that facilitate the transport of loads. You also have the option of hiring personal porters.

3 – Of variables that cannot be handled by the climber or by the company
Subjective variables
* Adverse weather conditions
* Roof physiological adaptation to altitude, determined by the nature of every human being.
* Personal Health / Diseases
At the time refer to the percentage of summit success, you should inquire about which variables are taken to the result.

With all these variables controlled, on our expeditions, 6 out of 10 reach the summit.
The numbers above 50% take the total amount of expeditions, not customers.

Now, to decide which route will be the best decision for you, please note:

Both programs were designed specifically to help the process of acclimatization. So, its required to be mention: the difference between the routes.
The Normal Route and Aconcagua 360º Route are both easy and non-technical routes. All the way we just need to walk. Maybe we need to use crampons in some sections but it is not technically difficult. The difficulty is the altitude, as your body needs to get use to work with less oxygen than normally. That’s why we are very careful about acclimatization. The approaching to Plaza Argentina is long, Via 360º route you’ll know more of Aconcagua, as you have one base camp to start, and a different one to return. So you’ll make a tour around the mount. This route is also less used by climbers. the distance to base camp is longer than the distance to get to Plaza de Mulas. It is more than 25 km longer compared to Normal Route This route may be more difficult since it has more ups and downs and deeper rivers to cross. Generally, our muleteers help our clients cross the river on mules, so that would be no problem. Also, you have two approaching camps (Pampa de leñas – 2800 mts- and Casa de Piedra -3200 mts- before getting to Plaza Argentina (4200 mts), but only one camp (Confluencia -3400mts-) to get to Plaza de Mulas (4300 mts). In addition, these two approaching camps to Plaza Argentina are not set. So, you have to set your own tent once you get there. On the contrary, there is only one approaching camp to get to Plaza de Mulas, which is Confluencia. This camp is already set, so you just get there and relax. You also have WC, which is, of course, included for our clients. As you can see, Aconcagua 360º is longer and may be less comfortable. However, It is greener, it has more flora and fauna, and it has a more interesting countryside. Whereas Normal Route is almost barren after Confluencia. The positive thing about Aconcagua 360º is that you get to see both sides, you get to know more of Aconcagua. Oh! Another positive side of Aconcagua 360º ascent is that, since it is longer, it gains altitude more gradually, which helps acclimatization.In the other hand, climbing Mt Bonete and spend and an extra day at base camp, at 4300 helps too.
Our suggested schedule is programmed with days to double carry equipment to high camps and rest days. So, when the last attempt starts, you climb each day to the highest camp, and then the summit. We also have spare days in case of bad weather.
So in the end, the decision about which route would you have to choose it’s entirely yours, and it will depend on your needs, and preferences.

Andes Vertical can offer you 2 types of services:

? PRIVATE EXPEDITIONS: At Andes Vertical we have pre-set programs with the same itinerary and services of our scheduled expeditions.
? DEPARTURE DATES: You or your group can choose the best date according to convenience (During the Aconcagua Official Season).
? ITINERARY: You can choose our pre-set program (recommended) or propose one as programs. We advise you according to our experience to see if it is feasible to perform so you can reach the summit. (*)
? THE GROUP: The number of members per expedition can be from 01 to 12 people.
? PRICES: The figures vary according to the number of participants, the itinerary and the time of the season that you choose to visit us. For small private teams, prices are higher that if you book a scheduled trip since in those cases the fixed rates are divided between 12 climbers, while in a private it varies according to how many climbers you will be.
? SERVICES: We have the best professional guides which is very important as he will provide you with vital information, security and ensure a harmonized rhythm in your climb, and the best infrastructure in Aconcagua. Transportation, lodging, food … no need to worry about anything … just enjoy and get ready for an unforgettable experience.

? SCHEDULED EXPEDITIONS: At Andes Vertical we have pre-set programs designed specifically to help the process of acclimatization.Our shorter programs have 18 days and the longest 20 They also incorporate 2 additional days to attempt the summit in case of bad weather. This option is ideal for single mountaineers.
? DEPARTURE DATES: For the next season we have more than 30 expeditions, with departure 100% guaranteed.
? ITINERARY: The itinerary can not be modified (*) and the evolution of the expedition will happen according to the majority of the members.
? THE GROUP: From 01 to 12 climbers. Normally, in our groups, the age range varies between 20 and 70 years old. Male and female from all around the world. The youngest we have ever guided was 16 years old. The oldest was 76. Being in good shape will increase summit chances and enjoyment.
? PRICES: The figures vary according to the itinerary, if you come with other participants as well and the time when you decide to book your spot.
? SERVICES: PROFESSIONAL GUIDES • COMPLETE LOGISTICS SERVICE no need to worry about anything …just enjoy and get ready for an unforgettable experience.

(*) The proposed itinerary can be changed due to weather conditions o other forced situations that put in risk the group security. The guides have the authority to change the itinerary according to their criteria. You can be sure the changes have two fundamental objectives. These are to maximize the security and the summit chances. And they are based our guides knowledge and experience.

If you cannot find a suitable itinerary or date, please do not hesitate in contact us and we will arrange a private trip to suit your requirements. Simply call or email us and we'll construct the perfect program for you.
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