A great 6 day hiking expedition to the Plaza Argentina base camp and Vacas Valley, on the east face of Aconcagua, led by local EPGAMT guide Ilan.
A fantastic 6-day trek during which you won’t only visit Plaza Argentina and the Vacas Valley. You’ll also have the opportunity to experience Mount Aconcagua from the Condors’ perspective. This incredible program also includes a helicopter flight out of our base camp!
As you may know, the Aconcagua lies at 6962 meters in the heart of the Andes mountain range and it’s the highest peak in America and even in the world, after the summits of the Himalayas. But reaching its summit is not the only goal here. This mountain offers endless hiking options for those in search of an easier and shorter expedition.
That’s why I’ve planned this 6 day trek to the Vacas Valley and Plaza Argentina base camp, on the the east side of Aconcagua. Once we achieve our objective, we’ll come back by flying out instead of hiking 2 long days.
We have our own mules service so you’ll only need to carry a small backpack and some essentials. I will see to it that you enjoy the walk to the fullest!
So, if you come to Mendoza you cannot miss this amazing hiking trip. Book your place by clicking on the green button. Open dates in December 2017 and January 2018. It’ll be my pleasure to guide you through the Plaza Argentina and Vacas Valley!
- Accommodation included
- Guiding fee
- Transportation start and back
- Transport during the trip
- Group porters
- Helicopter drops as described
Not included in the price: trekking permit in Mt Aconcagua Provincial Park; lodging in Mendoza (optional); Beverages in Mendoza and Penitentes; Trip cancelation insurance; Personal gear (medications; ground or air evacuations; room services; laundry; beverages, phone communications and items of personal nature); Insurance liability; Any other service not mentioned above.
Pick up at the airport (optional, not included in the price). Then I will check your gear and assist you with the Park’s trekking permit procedures. Private transfer from the city of Mendoza to Los Penitentes, where we will spend the night in a lodge.
After breakfast, a van will take us to Punta de Vacas, our trailhead, where there is also the Park Rangers checkpoint. The trail gains altitude gradually as it winds along the Vacas stream and valley, on the less visited East side of Aconcagua. After a 4-hour hike we’ll get to our first camp: Pampa de Leñas, where we’ll eat the famous local “asado”(bbq).
Breakfast and 6-hour hike to Casa de Piedra, our second camp in the Vacas Valley. The trail offers great views of the Polish Glacier and the East Face of Mount Aconcagua.
We must leave the main valley and cross the stream (with the help of mules if needed). Then we’ll hike up the narrower Relinchos Valley, that leads to Plaza Argentina. Our base camp chef will greet us with a solid meal in a comfortable dining tent. It is the perfect reward after the hardest day of the trip (6-7 hours).
Plaza Argentina is the perfect spot to rest, explore and take a closer look at the cosmopolitan world of mountaineering: the lofty dining tents, the seasoned guides and porters, the climbers from all over the world, the pace of the mules and the rush of the chopper, living all together under the same Andean sky. A really enriching experience!
Early in the morning, our Base Camp manager will coordinate the helicopter flight (weather permitting). I will assist you getting on the helicopter. Seeing Aconcagua from the Condor’s perspective is a whole different experience! After enjoying one of the world’s most scenic transfers, the helicopter will land in Horcones, the trailhead of the Normal route. Finally, a vehicle will drive you to Mendoza City, where our program ends.
For most of my adult life the mountains, especially the Andes of South America, have been a source of self realization and fulfillment. There is nowhere I feel more mindful and free then out in the hills. I fell in love with the outdoors on family hikes in the Israeli desert. My love affair with the mountains started while working in the Alta Ski Resort in Utah, USA. But it was in Argentina after a season working as a porter on Aconcagua that I decided to make guiding my profession. I am forever grateful for the chance to share my passion with others as a way of making a living.
During the austral summer I work exclusively on Aconcagua leading groups up the western hemisphere's tallest mountain. For most of my clients these expeditions are their first foray up a high altitude mountaineering destination. The altitude, extreme weather and two weeks of tent life are a new and challenging experience. Supporting clients through this experience is my favorite aspect of guiding: being able to introduce people to this knew powerful environment and to help them discover their inner strengths to complete this exciting challenge.
When I am not guiding on Aconcagua the Cordillera Real in Bolivia, the Cordillera Blanca and Huayhuash in Peru and the national parks of Patagonia are my favorite places for climbs and treks in South America. Especially the Huayhuash Trek in Peru and Mt. Illimani in Bolivia for their utter beauty and incredible cultural richness.
I am also an avid mountain biker and hill runner. There is nothing I like to do more during the off season then to explore mountain biking itineraries that cross the Andes. I offer trips that cross the Andes twice in Patagonia, go over 5,000-meter high passes from Salta, Argentina to the Atacama desert in Chile and a ride that starts in Cusco, Peru descends to mythical Machu Picchu and then climbs up to Lago Titicaca.
The amazing thing about South America is that there is an infinite number of untapped destinations ready to be discovered. Whether it be for trekking, mountaineering, mountain biking or hill running there is an ideal itinerary for everyone. Some are classic destinations offered by various outfitters but many are bespoke trips tailored for your specific interests. It would be my great pleasure to be able to organize and lead you on your next South American excursion.
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