Aconcagua is the highest peak outside of Asia and the tallest mountain in the Western Hemisphere. This expedition gave us an opportunity to experience high altitude conditions without dangerous slopes or technical climbing. At almost 23,000 feet, Aconcagua is significantly harder on every level compared to Elbrus or Kilimanjaro.
Those who were able to climb Kilimanjaro or Elbrus without any hard training most likely won’t have the same luck on Mt. Aconcagua. Being in good shape alone is not enough, and a dedicated training program for the mountain will be required for most climbers to reach the summit. The demands of a long expedition (20 days), carrying heavy packs, extreme altitude, and the cold and violent windstorms come as a shock to many.
As a result, about 70% of all climbers who attempt Aconcagua will fail. From our team of 18 climbers, 7 made it to the summit in December 2011. This had been our toughest mountain experience to date, and the 14-hour summit day is a significant physical challenge.