Aconcagua Climbing Routes

The 33 Routes of The “Colossus”


Mount Aconcagua – Since Aconcagua is a large mountain, it has different routes with several levels of difficulty. It has some regular routes for people who do not have much experience, and others which only a few people in the world have been able to climb. These climbing routes are:

Mount Aconcagua – South Wall:

1 – Sun Line: it was climbed in 1988 by Slavko Sveticic and Milan Romih. It goes along the South edge from Portillo del Sargento Mas, going past mount Piramidal; difficulty: ED, VII, A3, 90°.
2 – Yugoslavian or Slovenian: climbed in 1982, it goes toward the South summit by the meridional mixed pillar. It can only be climbed in the first and last hours of the day.
3 – Polish Variant: climbed in 1987, it is the most difficult route to the summit to date, with an entrance of 1000 meters (V, 90°), different from the meridional spur by the Central route.
4 – Yugoslavian or Slovenian Variant: it joins the French variants in the big towers. It was climbed in 1982.
5 – French La Pargot Route: the first route on the wall, it goes along the central spur. Camps can be set up at 4900, 5800, 6400 and 6700 meters above sea level. It was climbed in 1985.
6 – Lower Argentinian Variant: the entrance is slightly more straight than the French variant, but it is still a route. It was climbed in February 1992.
7 – Upper Argentinian Variant: opened in the same ascent as the previous one, it leaves Messner in a V+ spur.
8 – Messner Exit Variant: from glacier superior it goes left on a 55° gradient toward a waterway between both summits on the Guanaco edge. There are camps at 5200 and 6100 meters above sea level.
9 – Japanese Variant: it starts from the French variant behind glacier Superior. It heads to the North summit through the spur to the right. The rock is poor and the route badly marked. There are camps at 5200 and 6100 meters above sea level. It was undertaken for the first time by a Japanese climber.

10 – The Russian Roulette: it assaults the Seracs from the front (95°) and the middle glacier. It joins the central route.
11 – Central Route or Fonrouge/Schonberger: climbed by the Argentine José Fonrouge, it goes all the way through the middle glacier and joins the French route before a barrier of Seracs. There are camps at 6290, 6400 and 6800 meters above sea level. It is the easiest route on this wall, but the most dangerous too due to slides from glacier Superior.
12 – French Direct Route: first climbed in 1985, it leaves from the central route and takes the Southeast spur. It joins the Argentine route at about 6000 meters in glacier Superior.
13 – Slovenian Route: it is a variant of the Pasic Route on ice (90°) and VI on rock. In 1993, the Argentine A. Randis undertook this route for the first time. It represents a variant of the Central route going to the left.
14 – Argentine or Pasic Route: climbed in 1966, it is the longest and least difficult on this wall. There are camps at 4800, 5400, 6000 y 6400 meters above sea level. The Seracs join the Relinchos glacier, also called Pasic Glacier, with glacier Superior.


Mount Aconcagua – East Wall:

15 – Southeast Edge: from Plaza Argentina it goes to Pasic glacier and takes the East edge to join the route of the East glacier. From Plaza Francia, it is necessary to go across Saddle Relinchos. It was first climbed in 1966.
16 – Argentine Route, or Route of the East glacier: it was climbed in 1978, and goes all the way through the East glacier. The glacier does not exceed 50° and joins the East ridge. Here starts a rotten rock wall, 400 meters high with an initial exposed first stretch of V+.
17 – Polish Glacier: it goes along the Polish Glacier, with a 40° gradient, and today it can be climbed from Nido de Cóndores in one day. It is the pearl for all skiers.
18 – Polacos Variant: it goes through the center of the glacier, dodging the Seracs and reaching the East ridge.
19 – Direct Route to the Polacos Variant: it was climbed in 1961. It goes along the left margin of the glacier with similar difficulties to the original route.

20 – Altoaragonesa Variant: it was climbed in 1995. These are corridors that leave the Polish Glacier and have a gradient of 75° and IV+ passes. After a long flanking, it joins the direct route at 6500 meters above sea level.

Mount Aconcagua climbing routes

Mount Aconcagua – North Wall:


21 – False Polacos Route: it is a long diagonal route from 5900 meters above sea level, searching for the Normal Route between Piedras Blancas and Independencia. It can be undertaken to descend since it is an easy road.
22 – Route from Nido de Cóndores to Polacos: it can be climbed almost as one wishes, also in two directions.
23 – From Berlín to Polacos: using this route, it is possible to join the direct Polacos route before the bottleneck.
24 – North wall: climbed in 1986, it is easy from Berlín, but it is difficult to find the way between corridors and little towers.

Mount Aconcagua – NorthWest Wall:

25 – Normal, Northwest: the first route of on the mountain and the most used, it was climbed in 1897 by Matthias Zurbriggen.
26 – Direct: climbed in 1991. From Canada camp it goes to the north spur of the West wall, about 650 meters from the Normal Route. Rocky stretch (III) at 5600 meters above sea level and 50° corridor. It finishes at the entrance of the gully.
27 – Mendoza Guides Route: climbed in 1991, it goes to the right of the Normal Route and to the left of the Southeast edge. Camps are to be found at 5150 and 5750 meters above sea level.

Mount Aconcagua – West Wall:

28 – West Edge: it starts from the Acarreo to join the Great Acarreo. It is located at the right of the Antártida shelter. There passages of bad rock up to the South summit and a camp at 5200 meters above sea level.

29 – Mendocinian Route or Tapia de Felipe Route: climbed in1988, it starts from the West edge and goes to the beginning of Esteban Escaiola corridor. It leaves it to the left and faces almost in the vertical side of the summit a dangerous and narrow canal with rock barriers and ice cascades. It can also be taken from Canada and it has three camps.


30 – Esteban Escaiola Route: climbed in 1991. It is necessary to climb a cliff to the South of Plaza de Mulas and then a culoir that goes to the upper steps on the wall and to the right towards the South summit. There is a camp at 4800 meters above sea level.
31 – Southwest Ridge, Ibáñez/Grajales/Marmillod Route:climbed in 1953, from the Acarreo it goes to the key canal of the West wall, which goes along several gullies to two vertical towers first and then with flankings to the left until it reaches Grajales culoir which ends in the South ridge.
32 – Southwest EdgeVariant or Zabaleta Variant: instead of the gully next to mount Piramidal under the Marmillod towers, this variant goes beyond one of the rotten rock steps up to a platform to end in Grajales couloir. There are four camps at 5300, 5500, 6400 meters above sea level and another one between the second and the third at an unknown altitude.
33 – Mendocinian Route, Mendocinian Variant: climbed in 1982, it goes along the South edge from Sargento Mas ravine and the summit of mount Piramidal. To take the edge it makes a flanking and then an aerial spur. Then it takes the Grajales couloir and requires rappelling from mount Piramidal.



Aconcagua climbing routes

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