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How To Train For Aconcagua PLUS The 6-Month Aconcagua Training Plan

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

There is a misconception that climbing Aconcagua is relatively easy because it is known as the World’s highest trekking mountain, somehow meaning that it’s easy because you can still trek it. In actual fact, the summit success rate some years has been as low as 1 in every 4 people (33%). According to the chief park keeper in 2016, as many as 40% of the people per year who tried to summit Aconcagua did no preparation at all. Those are shocking statistics that should demonstrate how seriously you should take your training for Aconcagua.


You cannot climb a mountain just short of 7,000m and not train for it. Quite frankly, it would be irresponsible of you and in some cases a life threatening consequence.

In this blog, "How To Train For Aconcagua" you’ll find out the 3 biggest reasons why training so important to your success and safety followed by a very, very basic 6-Month Aconcagua Training Plan. I personally wouldn't call this plan enough but it is here to give you a small idea of the amount of time you'd need to invest into prepping for Aconcagua.


For a much more in-depth, structured step-by-step, week-by-week training plan then checkout out this coaching program and why it is so successful.


Not convinced? Read what my clients say and what results they got from doing my coaching programs.


The 3 Reasons Why You Need To Be Training For Aconcagua:

1. Altitude

The summit altitude is 6,962m. Sitting just under 7,000m it’s safe to say Aconcagua is a huge mountain. If the concept of being close to 7,000m high seems weird and something you just can’t imagine, then go for a 7km walk or run in a straight/straightish line. Doing that will put the magnitude of Aconcagua into perspective and show you why training is so so so important.


2. Trip Duration

It normally takes 21 days to reach the summit and return. That’s 21 days of lugging your gear around, being exposed to extreme altitudes, and most of the time disrupted sleep. It is essentially 3 weeks of your body accumulating the physical stress and strain of those conditions. It is an endurance event which is why, in my coaching programs, each week is made up of 50% Aerobic training in Zone 2. Doing this will massively build your aerobic base and as a result, you'll be able to go for hours on end without tiring.


3. Load Carrying

Unlike a mountain like Kilimanjaro, you are required to carry your own gear. The big pieces of gear, such as your tent are normally carried by porters, but your own gear, group food and equipment (like gas and group rubbish) is carried by you and your teammates. You should expect and train to carry a backpack weighting between 15kg and 20kg. The additional weight makes this high altitude expedition so much more challenging and in some cases impossible to those who have not trained properly.


A small disclaimer, 6 months to train and prepare is really the minimum amount of time I would suggest to any of my clients with reasonable/average fitness levels. If you struggle to walk 12km up and down hill with a 10kg backpack with a heart rate of about 130bpm or run a 10km with a heart rate between 150bpm and 160bpm then rather be on the safe side and assume you need longer than 6 months to prepare.



In my book “A Step-By-Step Manual To Mountaineering & Trekking Around The World” I share the formula I developed to calculate the exact number of hours you should be training per week to reach your peak physical condition for any mountain or trekking route you choose, as well as an entire, detailed and scientific chapter dedicated to creating your own training program.


Dedicate yourself to your training, give of your absolute best at sea level so you can give of your best at altitude. Aconcagua will demand nothing less than your absolute best.


Month 1 (per week)

  • 2 hours Aerobic Fitness

  • 1 hour Core Stability

  • 30 minutes Ankle Mobility and Balance

  • 2 hours Leg and Glute Strength

  • 20 minutes Anaerobic Power

Month 2 (per week)

  • 3 hours Aerobic Fitness

  • 1 hour Core Stability

  • 30 minutes Ankle Mobility and Balance

  • 2 hours Leg and Glute Strength

  • 20 minutes Anaerobic Power

Month 3 (per week)

  • 3.5 hours Aerobic Fitness

  • 1 hour Core Stability

  • 30 minutes Ankle Mobility and Balance

  • 2 hours Leg and Glute Strength

  • 20 minutes Anaerobic Power

Month 4 (per week)

  • 3.5 hours Aerobic Fitness

  • 1 hour Core Stability

  • 30 minutes Ankle Mobility and Balance

  • 2 hours Leg and Glute Strength

  • 25 minutes Anaerobic Power

Month 5 (per week)

  • 4 hours Aerobic Fitness

  • 1 hour Core Stability

  • 30 minutes Ankle Mobility and Balance

  • 2.5 hours Leg and Glute Strength

  • 25 minutes Anaerobic Power

Month 6 (per week)

  • 4 hours Aerobic Fitness

  • 1.5 hours Core Stability

  • 30 minutes Ankle Mobility and Balance

  • 2.5 hours Leg and Glute Strength

  • 25 minutes Anaerobic Power

For more genuinely useful training advice, high altitude tips and everything in between, subscribe to my weekly newsletter - The Summit Seeker's Dispatch


Make sure you follow me on Instagram (@kate.sielmann) where over 11,000 other people follow me and use my content as they prepare for their high altitude adventures all around the world.



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