Facts, Height, Location
The Aconcagua mountain (6962 meters above sea level) is located in the Argentine Republic, at 69º 59´ West longitude and 32º 39´ South latitude, in what is called Aconcagua Mountain Provincial Park in the province of Mendoza.
This province is situated in the Center West of Argentina, and it has an area of 150,839 square kilometers. Those who want to visit Aconcagua Mountain Park must go through the capital of the province, also called Mendoza, which is located 750 meters above sea level. Mendoza is well known around the world for the quality of its wines, mainly the Malbec variety from Luján de Cuyo, one of the best worldwide. Mendoza is a modern region with an international airport, all means of transport, and lodging capacity for 15,000 people (campsites, apartments, houses, hotels, cottages, etc.)
Aconcagua mountain is a preferred destination due to the physical and psychological demands it poses to climbers, its climate and the beauty of the surrounding scenery. It is the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the most sought after in the seven-thousand meter circuit. It is also special as an introduction to big heights since its elevation and geographic and weather conditions constitute an ideal setting both for moderate demands and as preparation for the more exacting challenges posed by the eight-thousand meter and other peaks in the Himalayas.
The “Colossus of America” is the goal of climbers from all over the world as well as an attraction to thousands of tourists per year who come enjoy its natural beauty and treasure this unique and magnificent experience.
The “Aconcagua Mountain Provincial Park” is one of the three high-mountain parks in Mendoza, along with Tupungato volcano and Diamante lagoon. It was created by Law 4807 on November 28, 1990; it is located in the district of Las Heras and comprises 71,000 hectares. The official season for visits goes from November 15 to March 15.
The harsh “weather conditions” of this reserve are due to the altitude of the ecosystem, and this explains its low bio-diversity. However, the local animal and plant species are of special interest and show an outstanding adaptation to the altitude. They are found in the lower areas of the park (up to 4000 meters above sea level).
The predominant vegetation is the steppe with low bushes, such as yellow firewood, yareta and goat horn, along with open height pastures made up of huecú and ichus.
Besides, over sixty varieties of birds inhabit the area. Among them, the most typical species are the condor and the purple eagle. The most common land animals are the mountain rats, the agachona and the red fox. Other species worth mentioning are some amphibians and reptiles indigenous to high mountain regions. Fertile plains and streams are home to spotted sandpipers, churrines and a variety of duck called torrente. There are also large herds of guanacos predated by pumas. European hares abound and are an exotic species growing wild in the region.
A few meters from the first park ranger camp and the international road, tourists can visit one of the most exotic lagoons in the province of Mendoza for its blue color and its cold temperature. This lagoon is home to a wide range of indigenous animals and wild plants.
Mountain Climbing in Mendoza
There are also several climbing clubs and federations, such as (MMC) Mendoza Mountain Climbing Club (CAM in Spanish) founded in 1935, which has one of the largest libraries on mountain issues in the country, as well as woodies and mountain shelters. The club also features a provincial school for mountain and trekking guides as well as a branch of the Argentine Association of Mountain Guides based in Bariloche and recognized by the International Union of Associations of Mountain Guides based in Switzerland.
In Cordón del Plata, 70 kilometers from the city, it is possible to climb several peaks over 5000 meters and one over 6000 meters in 3 to 5 day journeys, which is ideal for training and acclimation.