Camp Confluencia – the gateway to Aconcagua

24 03 2010

It is one of the seven summits and the highest mountain outside  the himalayan range: the Aconcagua. We decided to stop by there and visit the gateway to this famous mountain,  the Camp Confluencia at 3400m altitude.

Aconcagua - the south face seen from Campo Francia.

From Campo Francia (4100m) the spot we visited the next day you have impressive views to the technical difficult south face of Aconcagua. I added some detail shots of the seracs and icefields hanging there. It looks brutal even with clear sight. I don’t want to imagine how it is hanging in there and clouds and stormwinds howling with up to 120 miles per hour….

Okay, there is also the normal hiking path over the north face. You have to go to Campo de Mulas and then on to the Nido del Condores, the nest of the condors. But what we heard sounded more awful than inviting: up to 800 tents in the high season, loud music, crowds and overfilled loos and so on…does not really feel like a real experience of remote wilderness on a mountain.

Luckily there were only 3 more tents at the Camp Confluencia – end of the season when only trekking permits for 3 days are given out. You don’t get a permit for the summit at the end of march anymore. Which is quite a pity because the weather we had was perfect – over 20 degree C in the sun and nights with temperatures around 2 C.

The hikes are not difficult. You just walk along a trotten path in brown and grey gravel, sometimes up, sometimes just levelled. And you try not to walk to fast because you feel the altitude and you have to listen to your body to avoid AMS aka altitude sickness.

After three days in the outdoors and surrounded by stunning mountains we hiked back to the entrance of the park and to the ruta nacional #7 where we started to walk in the direction of Chile hoping that someone would give us a lift.