Equipment to Climb Mount Aconcagua
The best advice for protecting from the cold is to dress in “layers”; that is, to use different layers of clothing, preferring those that enable:
Breathing: expelling the humidity caused by sweating.
Insulation: keeping in the warm air our body generates.
Weatherproof protection: breaking the wind and preventing water or snow from soaking our clothes.
Wearing several layers of clothes keeps warmth in better than one thick layer, and it is also more practical because it is possible to control body temperature by adding or eliminating layers. Bear in mind that clothes do not generate heat by themselves; they only retain or eliminate it.
Underwear keeps away from our skin steam from sweat, maintaining our body dry and warm. Long underwear is advisable (underpants and shirt). It could be made of polypropylene or capylene, since synthetic fabrics work well. Cotton is not recommended.
The second layer goes on the underwear and is the layer that keeps the body warm. Polar linings work well here because they are lighter and warmer than wool. Trousers with side zippers are advisable to ensure simple dressing and good ventilation.
Finally comes the protection. A good quality waterproof jacket that allows breathing (Goretex or Ultrex) would be ideal. Let us not forget that it must have a hood. The trousers must have the same characteristics and should have zippers on the sides.
- Through the head is lost 30% of body heat, and this is easily prevented by wearing: A cap or hat
- Polypropylene or capylene balaclava
- Wool or polar hat
- Front torch (spare bulb and batteries)
- Sunglasses 100 UV protection with lateral covers. Always carry an extra pair.
- Climbing helmet
For weather conditions such as these, wear mittens (due to the air chamber they form inside) or else very good gloves. Since wearing gloves is uncomfortable, it is advisable to wear thin gloves and on top of these thicker polar gloves. In this way the hands will be protected from the cold and free to work.
- 2 pairs of light gloves
- 1 pair of mittens
- 1 pair of Gore-tek mittens
- Trekking gear
- Plastic double boots or tripple boots
- Leggings -warm socks (3 pairs): use synthetic fabric for cold weather
- Thin socks (2 pairs): use nylon or polypropylene for first skin
- Very warm sleeping socks
For the Camps
- A backpack of at least 70 liters with pick holder and a place to fix the crampons
- Another optional small backpack for the summit run or for touring the area
- Sleeping bag for at least -25ºC (-13ºF) with insulating mattress (neoprene)
- Pocket knife
- Two-liter bottles of water
- One-liter thermo
- Sunscreen: minimum SPF 30- chapstick with sunscreen
- First aid kit
- Duvet downjacket
- Kitchen utensils
- Gas or benzene heater
- High mountain tent
- Candles to see inside the tent
- Telescopic poles
- Ice ax
- Semiautomatic 12 point crampons
For the Polish Glacier Direct and Original Routes
- 4 ice screws
- 2 snow stakes
- 1 rope of 60 mts long (9 mm)
- 1 sit string harness
- 1 type 8 (eight) descendor
- 2 technical tools
- 2 – 3 locking carabiners
- 6 non locking carabiners
- 1 long ice axe
- Tubular cords and slings
Extra equipmentLarge haul bag to carry all the equipment. Mules can not transport weight over 30 kilograms on each side. If the bag is heavier than 30 kilos, then its contents should be split into two. It is advisable to carry a safety padlock
- Plastic bags to keep clothes and for waste disposal
- Small hygiene bag
- Photo camera (optional but advisable)
- Cotton shirts (2)
- Toilet paper
- Paper an pencil
- Sewing kit
- Duct tape
- Lighter and matches
See our video “Guide of Equipment to climb Aconcagua”