As with my other experiences with your company, this trip was fantastic. You run a tight ship over there. Your guide was amazing. With that said, rest assured the next trip I sign up for (Denali from the looks of it) I will be requesting a date with him specifically as the lead guide. 2012
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
Our guides were terrific. It was a great experience that met all my expectations. 2012
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 taking the initial work of Aconcagua expert Willi Prittie and refining 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. Our 2010-2011 season saw 10 of 11 teams summit. Last season, 2011-2012, saw 11/11 teams reached the summit and 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 merely means that one of the guides summitted and may not reflect how many team members actually summitted.
In terms of team success, our rate is above around 90% (higher for the last 5 years). In over 20 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, and for those who have reached Camp III, we are confident our summit success 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 with our guides and 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, our base and high camp managers, and an outstanding route, help create an unrivaled alpine experience.Key Elements of our Climb and Success
- Honest Approach. We are very clear as to 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 very frank about the demands of climbing Aconcagua. 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 4 camps instead of 3 which includes a second High Camp. Alpine Ascents pioneered a second high camp, our Camp IV at 20,600’. 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 now 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. We are committed to running small groups (usually 6 or 10 climber teams) and providing 2-3 guides based on team size.
- We have a lead guide from Alpine Ascents on every trip overseeing the expedition . We have hand picked expert local guides to assist on some climbs or we send Alpine Ascents guides to be part of our Aconcagua guide staff.. Our groups of 4-6 will have two guides and our teams of 10 will have 3 guides the 3rd guide generally meeting the team on the mountain.
- Porters available upon request. (Note: Alpine Ascents does not provide porters)
- 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 with climbers that descend early. There is a medical team at base camp.
- Extended Itinerary. A slightly extended itinerary includes extra days that allows us to wait out bad weather, acclimatize properly and should we have early success, enjoy life in 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 3 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.
- Continual assessment of itinerary and location of camps.
- We have likely led more expeditions than any other guide service and have had many teams with 100% success.
- Utlizing Leave No Trace practices and environmental ethics, Alpine Ascents has initiated a waste removal system on our climbs with the WAG Bag system.
Success on Aconcagua
Over the past 20 years Alpine Ascents has had outstanding success on Aconcagua. While this is a mountain that is known for low 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 Willi Prittie, Vernon Tejas, Stuart Robertson, Brien Sheedy, Michael Horst and other skilled professionals as lead guides, we offer an excellent chance to reach the summit and climb with some superb guides.
Alpine Ascents provides family and friends the opportunity to follow our climbs as they proceed. Utilizing state-of-the art technology, we receive regular dispatches from the climbers and post them on our web site. Please note the following and extend these comments to those who may be following the cybercast. On occasion satellite phones do not always function well and can lose service. This does not indicate a problem with the climb. Satellite phones are not the primary source for emergency communication (teams generally have radios). They function as a value added so we can post cybercasts for friends and family. Teams may not call in everyday, often teams do not call on rest days.
Our Guiding Team
Our guiding team is comprised 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 judgement, and assist individual climber development. Our guides are experienced educators who measure their success by monitoring climbers’ achievements. We stress our acute ability to provide expedition members with personal attention, realizing the commitment to assist each climber in obtaining their goals.
Alpine Ascents has a full gear department ready to assist with your questions and preparations for your climb.
We have a full time gear staff and a retail store (soon to be online) All Alpine Ascents climbers receive 15% off each purchase in our grear store.Return to Top of Page