Day 3: Mendoza–Drive to Refugio Vallecitos (2400m)
Before continuing our journey, we have to apply for a permit to climb Aconcagua. This has to be done in Mendoza and all the participants need to be there in person to obtain it. In the afternoon, short bus ride (2 hrs.) to the mountain hut «Vallecitos»: first, we take the inter-city route from Mendoza to Santiago, passing the dam, which generates the electricity for Mendoza. We continue our drive, slowly ascending via a gravel road until we reach the little ski resort pertaining to Mendoza. Here, we find our hut, where we spend the night to get used to the altitude. This overnight stay not only helps us to acclimatise faster, but also provides a nice change.
Day 4: Ascent of Loma Blanca (3960m) / Spare Day
Some mountaineers need more time to acclimatise than other, so this day provides another opportunity to help with this process. Today we climb Loma Blanca (3960m). After the ascent, we return to our cosy hut. This day can also be used as a spare day in case of delayed flight. Overnight stay in hut.
Day 5: Vallecitos Hut–Piedra Grande (3500m)
The group equipment is loaded onto mules. We travel over moraines made of red volcanic earth and reach Piedra Grande («Big Stone») in 4 hours. This camp lies on the shoulder of Mt. Franke (5000m) and Mt. Adolfo Calle. Tent accommodation.
Day 6: Piedra Grande (3500m)–El Salto Camp (4200m)
We leave this area with its sparse vegeation travel, again via moraines, to El Salto Camp (4,5 hrs.). This Camp is surrounded by many peaks and is, thus, ideal to acclimatise further. Here, we will spend the next 3 nights sleeping in tents.
Day 7: Ascent of Cerro Vallecitos (5700m)
One of the first highlights of this programme: the ascent of Cerro Vallecitos! We have to get up early (04.30 am). First, we follow the Lomas Amarillas ridge to Vallecitos (5100m). Over the western slope, illuminated early by the sun, we make it to the summit. The descent brings us back to our camp on 4200m. Tent accommodation.
Day 8: Descent to Vallecitos Hut–Uspallata
The descent from El Salto Camp takes roughly 5 hours and brings us back to our starting point, Vallecitos Hut. Unhurried preparations for the continuing bus ride to the beautiful Uspallata Valley (1,5 hours). We check into the Grand Hotel Uspallata, located in the green oasis of Uspallata. It dates back to the era of Perrón, as Evita and Juan have also resided here in their days. Kobler & Partner have chosen this stylish accommodation as an alternative to an overnight stay in Penitentes, since Penitentes is not really a place to stay.