Great expedition. Thoroughly organized and executed very well. Park Hyatt in Mendoza is top notch & staff respects AAI. All logistics were executed without any issues. Well done. Food on mountain was excellent. Lots of fun and always felt safe. All our guides were personable and easy to get along with. I felt at ease with each one. Each was very approachable and eager to assist. My interaction with the AAI staff has always been excellent. Everyone is eager to help in their own way. AAI has the logistics down solid. You manage pre-climb expectations very well. I return to AAI for climbs as I value your: organization, execution pre-climb and during the climb, and quality of guides. I learn a lot and I have fun in the process. I look forward to future climbs through AAI. - 2016 Climber Read More
Why Climb Aconcagua With Alpine Ascents?
Aconcagua has become our home in the Southern Hemisphere, as many of our top guides spend the winter months guiding this great peak. We offer the highest quality of experience with an extended climbing schedule. Detailed logistics have been developed and honed over the last two decades, as we take the initial work of Aconcagua expert Willi Prittie and further refine it each season. We are pleased to say that no other company can offer the depth and accumulation of experience that Alpine Ascents brings to this expedition. We have likely led more expeditions than any other guide service, and have had many teams with 100% success.
Success on Aconcagua
Over the past 25+ years, Alpine Ascents has had outstanding success on Aconcagua. While this is a mountain that is known for low summit-success rates, our frank upfront information has helped prepare climbers for the challenge. We encourage your to review our cybercasts over the last few years, which paint an excellent picture of our success and expertise. With lead guides such as Vernon Tejas, Stuart Robertson, Brien Sheedy, Ben Jones, and other skilled professionals, we offer an excellent chance to reach the summit with some of the best in the business.
Last season, In a very tough year where some outfits saw very few summits, we had a 100% success for January and 66% overall. Some of our teams had 100% success. 2014-2015, 10 of 12 teams reached the summit. 2013-2014, saw 7/10 teams reach the summit in a year where most outfitters had very few successful expeditions. In 2012-2013 10/12 teams summited. Our 2010-2011 season saw 10 of 11 teams summit. 2011-2012, saw all 11 teams reach the summit.We encourage you to contact former Aconcagua team members.
A word on success rates: We encourage you to review our cybercasts to see how many team members actually made the summit. Some guide services note 80%, 90% or even 100% success, when this means merely that one of the team's guides summited - it may not reflect how many team members actually summited.
Our team success rate is above around 90% (higher for the last five years). In more than 25 years of guiding Aconcagua, only a handful teams have not reached the summit. We have led numerous expeditions in which all climbers have reached the summit. We are confident that our summit success rate is the finest in the industry. The success is a testament to our guides and the hard work and team spirit of our climbers. We believe that with our guides and our acclimatization schedule, along with our pre-trip assistance, Alpine Ascents offers the best possible chance for you to reach the summit of Aconcagua.
Our guides have found that enjoyment and success rates on Aconcagua are significantly increased by Alpine Ascents' focus on the following key elements. The combination of our expert guiding staff, local Base Camp assistance, and an outstanding route, help create an unrivaled alpine experience. Upon sign up we will send you a richly detailed information and pre-trip planning package.
- Our honest approach. We are very clear about the demands of climbing Aconcagua, (see letter from Willi Prittie). If you call our office and say "Hey, I've climbed Kilimanjaro," we will be frank about the need for a higher level of climbing skill. We go to great lengths to educate and prepare our climbers. Aconcagua is a serious, rigorous climb, and being properly prepared is of primary importance.
- We use four camps instead of three, which includes a second High Camp. Alpine Ascents pioneered a second High Camp, our Camp IV, at 20,600 feet. This extra camp helps prepare for our final summit bid and is one of the main factors in our incredibly high summit success rate. Other companies have followed our lead.
- Guides. Alpine Ascents carefully selects each Aconcagua guide team. Only guides who have co-led past ascents of Aconcagua (i.e., trained with an experienced guide) lead each team. Our guide staff is the most experienced on the mountain. (Most of our guides are US based Alpine Ascents guides with a few hand selected local guides). We are committed to running small groups (up to 10 climbers) and providing two or three guides, based on team size.
- Equipment. We carefully look at the quality of tents and gear. We usually change our gear every few years and frequently bring new tents to the mountain.
- Food. Guides purchase and prepare all meals while on the mountain and we take great care when making menu plans and food choices. Most outfitters use freeze dried food during the climb, we do not.
- Oversight. We have a lead guide from Alpine Ascents on every trip overseeing the expedition. We have handpicked expert local guides to assist on some climbs, or we send Alpine Ascents guides to be part of our Aconcagua guide staff. Our teams of 10 will have three guides, with the third guide generally meeting the team on the mountain.
- Porters available upon request. Alpine Ascents does not provide porters but will assist in arranging and paying porters. Many of our climbers hire porters to help carry gear.
- Full-service Base Camp. In addition to our lead guide, we have a Base Camp guide (local outfitter) to coordinate incoming and outgoing expeditions, handle specific needs of teams and clients, communicate between teams at various points on the mountain and to generally lend a hand wherever necessary. With our local outfitter, we maintain a Base Camp that serves as a communication center for climbers and guides, with use of two-way radios, while also assisting climbers who descend early. There is a medical team at Base Camp.
- Extended itinerary. A slightly extended itinerary includes extra days to allow us to wait out bad weather, acclimatize properly and, should we have early success, enjoy the charming city of Mendoza.
- Vacas Valley Route with traverse. We ascend via the less traveled and more aesthetically pleasing variation of the Vacas Valley route. This beautiful ascent offers a rare climbing opportunity, as we encounter fewer climbers and spend quiet evenings in the rich mountain wilderness. We ascend the mountain by establishing a series of progressively higher camps. For the three-day trek to and from base camp, our gear is carried by mules. We descend via a more direct group and our trekking gear is transported around the mountain to meet the team. This is a much better approach to the mountain than up and down the same route.
- Continual assessment of itinerary and camp locations. Every season we pour over feedback, evaluations, first-hand experience and obsessively refine our expeditions.
- History of success. We have likely led more expeditions than any other guide service and have had many teams with 100% success.
- Using Leave No Trace practices and environmental ethics, Alpine Ascents has initiated a waste-removal system on our climbs with the WAG Bag system.
- Waste Removal. Alpine Ascents will hire porters (whenever possible) to come to each camp and carry out waste instead of climbers carrying waste to higher camps.
Expedition was great. I really liked the way we pushed it up the mountain in order to get ourselves into position to summit. Guides were great as well as their understanding of leadership. 2012
Alpine Ascents provides climbers' family and friends the opportunity to follow our climbs in real time. Using state-of-the art technology, we receive regular dispatches from the climbers and post them on our website.
Our Guiding Team
Our guiding team is composed of seasoned, professional mountaineers. These guides are a part of the Alpine Ascents family because they understand and share our climbing principles. These individuals are dedicated to sharing their excellence with others. The role of an Alpine Ascents guide is to impart knowledge, use calculated judgment, and assist each climber's development. Our guides are experienced educators who measure their success by that of their clients. We stress our acute ability to provide personal, individual attention.
Our guides were terrific. It was a great experience that met all my expectations.