• Kate Sielmann

Aconcagua – The Vacas Valley Route In 31 Pictures (Part 1)


1. We stopped in at a store in Madrid on our way over to Argentina and I tried on a shirt only to find this sign in the changing room. It felt beautifully coincidental to have found it as we began our journey to the Summit of Aconcagua.




2. Welcome to The Penitentes (about a 4 hour drive from Mendoza)! We had trekked up a steep slope that afternoon, enjoying the fresh mountain air and getting a good view of the whole town. Normally, you’ll spend one night in Penitentes and begin your trek the following day.






3. The view behind us from where we stood in the previous picture. Such spectacular peaks!





4. The start of the Vacas Valley Route a 10-minute drive from Penitentes. This will be your last chance to use a flushing loo as you get your park permits checked before starting. From here it takes 3 days to trek into Plaza Argentinas/the Base Camp of The Vacas Valley. On the Normal Route, Base Camp is know as Plaza Del Mulas


5. Christopher (my husband) and I excitedly messing around while we waited to start!



6. Our first resting spot a couple of hours into the first day.


7. The next resting spot that day!


8. The first camping spot of the trek in – Pampa de Lenas (2,800m). Reaching this camp site will take between 5 to 6 hours.


9. Stunning scenery the next day trekking towards the second campsite – Casa de Piedra (3,250m). From Pampa de Lenas it is normally about a 6 hour trek with some very steep sections, lots of dust and your first view of Aconcagua!


10. A stunning overview of Casa de Piedra. On the right hand side of the picture between the two small peaks is a valley. That is the direction you will take the following day to get to Base Camp.






11. A view from the tents at Casa de Piedra. This campsite is very exposed and tends to get blasted with wind. When I mean blasted, I mean if you’re things aren’t strapped down properly, including your tents, you’ll find yourself chasing them down the valley.







12. The final hour or so to get to Base Camp with a clear view of Aconcagua.


13. 5 to 6 hours from Casa de Piedra, you’ll take these same steps into Plaza Argentinas – Your new Base Camp (4,200m)


14. Plaza Argentinas/Base Camp







15. The route from Base Camp to Camp 1. Starting with a scree slope to get to where this pictures was taken. You can see Base Camp in the far, far background on the right hand side.









16. A resting spot (between Base Camp and Camp 1) before a very steep section, with Aconcagua directly above my head.


Click here to see Aconcagua – The Vacas Valley Route In 31 Pictures (Part 2)

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