There are few other countries which can offer such an amazing range of scenic beauty as Argentina and Chile can. The central parts of Chile and Argentina – densely populated in both countries – are still reminiscent of the Spanish colonization. The climate with its Mediterranean character provides the natural preconditions for the flourishing of famous Chilean and Argentinian wines and for exotic fruits such as avocados and cherimoyas.
The Cerro Vallecitos serves quite well as an „antipasto“ (appetizer), since it is just along the way to the Aconcagua. The ascent is easy, and from the summit, we have a nice view onto our „main course“, the Aconcagua.
The Aconcagua (with complete name „Cerro Aconcagua“) reaches 6,962 m and is thus not only the highest mountain of the American continent, but in fact the highest mountain in the world outside of Asia. Swiss mountaineer Matthias Zurbriggen was the first to successfully climb the Aconcagua via today’s normal route in 1987. The mountain giant is of volcanic material, even though the Aconcagua itself isn’t a volcano. It lies near the Chilean border in the province Mendoza.
When talking about the „Polish route“, we have to clarify that the actual Polish route describes the ascent via the steep glacier on the east side of the mountain, which was first attempted by a Polish roped party in 1935. However, there are ways around the glacier. An alternative route preferred by K&P leads via Camp II (Guanaco, 5,470 m) on to Camp III (Colera, 6,000 m), from where on we can get back onto the normal route after about an hour’s march. This ascent is called the „false Polish route“ or „polacos falsos“. While around 4,000 mountaineers aspire to climb Aconcagua during the climbing season (about a third of them via the false Polish Route), only 20-30 climbers attempt the glacier route.