Aconcagua
Overview
 
Aconcagua is the highest mountain  in the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

 at 6962 m (22,841.2 ft). It is located in the Andes
Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

 mountain range
Mountain range
A mountain range is a single, large mass consisting of a succession of mountains or narrowly spaced mountain ridges, with or without peaks, closely related in position, direction, formation, and age; a component part of a mountain system or of a mountain chain...

, in the Argentine
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 province
Provinces of Argentina
Argentina is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city...

 of Mendoza
Mendoza Province
The Province of Mendoza is a province of Argentina, located in the western central part of the country in the Cuyo region. It borders to the north with San Juan, the south with La Pampa and Neuquén, the east with San Luis, and to the west with the republic of Chile; the international limit is...

 and it lies 112 kilometres (70 mi) west by north
WbN
WbN or wBN may refer to:* West by North, as a compass point in Boxing the compass * Wurtzite Boron nitride...

 of its capital, the city of Mendoza
Mendoza, Argentina
Mendoza is the capital city of Mendoza Province, in Argentina. It is located in the northern-central part of the province, in a region of foothills and high plains, on the eastern side of the Andes. As of the , Mendoza's population was 110,993...

. The summit is also located about 5 kilometres from San Juan Province
San Juan Province (Argentina)
San Juan is a province of Argentina, located in the western part of the country. Neighbouring provinces are, moving clockwise from the north, La Rioja, San Luis and Mendoza. It borders with Chile at the west....

 and 15 kilometres from the international border with Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

. Aconcagua is the highest peak in both the Western
Western Hemisphere
The Western Hemisphere or western hemisphere is mainly used as a geographical term for the half of the Earth that lies west of the Prime Meridian and east of the Antimeridian , the other half being called the Eastern Hemisphere.In this sense, the western hemisphere consists of the western portions...

 and Southern Hemisphere
Southern Hemisphere
The Southern Hemisphere is the part of Earth that lies south of the equator. The word hemisphere literally means 'half ball' or "half sphere"...

s. It is one of the Seven Summits
Seven Summits
The Seven Summits are the highest mountains of each of the seven continents. Summiting all of them is regarded as a mountaineering challenge, first postulated as such and achieved on April 30, 1985 by Richard Bass .-Definition:...

.

Aconcagua is bounded by the Valle de las Vacas to the north and east and the Valle de los Horcones Inferior to the West and South.
Encyclopedia
Aconcagua is the highest mountain  in the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

 at 6962 m (22,841.2 ft). It is located in the Andes
Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

 mountain range
Mountain range
A mountain range is a single, large mass consisting of a succession of mountains or narrowly spaced mountain ridges, with or without peaks, closely related in position, direction, formation, and age; a component part of a mountain system or of a mountain chain...

, in the Argentine
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 province
Provinces of Argentina
Argentina is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city...

 of Mendoza
Mendoza Province
The Province of Mendoza is a province of Argentina, located in the western central part of the country in the Cuyo region. It borders to the north with San Juan, the south with La Pampa and Neuquén, the east with San Luis, and to the west with the republic of Chile; the international limit is...

 and it lies 112 kilometres (70 mi) west by north
WbN
WbN or wBN may refer to:* West by North, as a compass point in Boxing the compass * Wurtzite Boron nitride...

 of its capital, the city of Mendoza
Mendoza, Argentina
Mendoza is the capital city of Mendoza Province, in Argentina. It is located in the northern-central part of the province, in a region of foothills and high plains, on the eastern side of the Andes. As of the , Mendoza's population was 110,993...

. The summit is also located about 5 kilometres from San Juan Province
San Juan Province (Argentina)
San Juan is a province of Argentina, located in the western part of the country. Neighbouring provinces are, moving clockwise from the north, La Rioja, San Luis and Mendoza. It borders with Chile at the west....

 and 15 kilometres from the international border with Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

. Aconcagua is the highest peak in both the Western
Western Hemisphere
The Western Hemisphere or western hemisphere is mainly used as a geographical term for the half of the Earth that lies west of the Prime Meridian and east of the Antimeridian , the other half being called the Eastern Hemisphere.In this sense, the western hemisphere consists of the western portions...

 and Southern Hemisphere
Southern Hemisphere
The Southern Hemisphere is the part of Earth that lies south of the equator. The word hemisphere literally means 'half ball' or "half sphere"...

s. It is one of the Seven Summits
Seven Summits
The Seven Summits are the highest mountains of each of the seven continents. Summiting all of them is regarded as a mountaineering challenge, first postulated as such and achieved on April 30, 1985 by Richard Bass .-Definition:...

.

Aconcagua is bounded by the Valle de las Vacas to the north and east and the Valle de los Horcones Inferior to the West and South. The mountain and its surroundings are part of the Aconcagua Provincial Park
Aconcagua Provincial Park
For other uses, see Aconcagua .Aconcagua Provincial Park is located in the province of Mendoza. It takes its name from quechua word of “Ackon-Cauak”, which roughtly is translated as ‘Stone Sentinel’. Splendid Andes Mountain Range draws all types of thrill seekers ranging in difficulty including...

. The mountain has a number of glacier
Glacier
A glacier is a large persistent body of ice that forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation over many years, often centuries. At least 0.1 km² in area and 50 m thick, but often much larger, a glacier slowly deforms and flows due to stresses induced by its weight...

s. The largest glacier is the Ventisquero Horcones Inferior at about 10 km long which descends from the south face to about 3600m altitude near the Confluencia camp.
Two other large glacier systems are the Ventisquero de las Vacas Sur and Glaciar Este/Ventisquero Relinchos system at about 5 km long. However the most well-known is the north-eastern or Polish Glacier
Polish Glacier
The Polish Glacier is one of the glacial fields of Cerro Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Andes. It was named after the Polish expedition of 1934. Led by Konstanty Jodko-Narkiewicz, the team paved an alternative route to the peak, named the Polish Route, through the glacier....

, a common route of ascent.

The mountain was created by the subduction of the Nazca Plate
Nazca Plate
]The Nazca Plate, named after the Nazca region of southern Peru, is an oceanic tectonic plate in the eastern Pacific Ocean basin off the west coast of South America. The ongoing subduction along the Peru-Chile Trench of the Nazca Plate under the South American Plate is largely responsible for the...

 beneath the South American plate
South American Plate
The South American Plate is a continental tectonic plate which includes the continent of South America and also a sizeable region of the Atlantic Ocean seabed extending eastward to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge....

 during the geologically recent Andean orogeny
Orogeny
Orogeny refers to forces and events leading to a severe structural deformation of the Earth's crust due to the engagement of tectonic plates. Response to such engagement results in the formation of long tracts of highly deformed rock called orogens or orogenic belts...

; however, it is not a volcano. The origin of the name is contested; it is either from the Arauca
Mapuche
The Mapuche are a group of indigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina. They constitute a wide-ranging ethnicity composed of various groups who shared a common social, religious and economic structure, as well as a common linguistic heritage. Their influence extended...

 Aconca-Hue, which refers to the Aconcagua River
Aconcagua River
For other uses, see Aconcagua .The Aconcagua River is a river in Chile that rises from the joint of two minor tributary rivers at above sea level in the Andes, Juncal river from the east and Blanco river from the south east...

 and means 'comes from the other side', the Quechua
Quechua languages
Quechua is a Native South American language family and dialect cluster spoken primarily in the Andes of South America, derived from an original common ancestor language, Proto-Quechua. It is the most widely spoken language family of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, with a total of probably...

 Ackon Cahuak, meaning 'Sentinel of Stone', or Quechua Anco Cahuac, 'White Sentinel'.

Climbing

In mountaineering
Mountaineering
Mountaineering or mountain climbing is the sport, hobby or profession of hiking, skiing, and climbing mountains. While mountaineering began as attempts to reach the highest point of unclimbed mountains it has branched into specialisations that address different aspects of the mountain and consists...

 terms, Aconcagua is technically an easy mountain if approached from the north, via the normal route. Aconcagua is arguably the tallest non-technical mountain in the world, since the northern route does not absolutely require ropes, axes, and pins. Although the effects of altitude are severe (atmospheric pressure is 40% of sea-level at the summit), the use of supplemental oxygen is not required. Altitude sickness
Altitude sickness
Altitude sickness—also known as acute mountain sickness , altitude illness, hypobaropathy, or soroche—is a pathological effect of high altitude on humans, caused by acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude...

 will affect most climbers to some extent, depending on the degree of acclimatization
Acclimatization
Acclimatisation or acclimation is the process of an individual organism adjusting to a gradual change in its environment, allowing it to maintain performance across a range of environmental conditions...

.
The second most frequented route is the Polish Glacier Traverse route, also known as the "Falso de los Polacos" route. This approaches the mountain through the Vacas valley, ascends to the base of the Polish Glacier, then traverses across to the normal route for the final ascent to the summit. The third most popular route is the Polish Glacier itself.

The routes to the peak from the south and south-west ridges are more demanding and the south face climb is considered very difficult.

The camp sites on the normal route are listed below (altitudes are approximate).
  • Puente del Inca
    Puente del Inca
    Puente del Inca , is a natural arch that forms a bridge over the Vacas River, a tributary of the Mendoza River. It is located in Mendoza Province, Argentina near Las Cuevas....

    , 2,740m (8,990 ft): A small village on the main road, with facilities including a lodge.
  • Confluencia, 3,380m (11,090 ft): A camp site a few hours into the national park.
  • Plaza de Mulas, 4,370m (14,340 ft): Base camp, claimed to be the second largest in the world (after Everest
    Mount Everest
    Mount Everest is the world's highest mountain, with a peak at above sea level. It is located in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas. The international boundary runs across the precise summit point...

    ). There are several meal tents, showers and internet access. There is a lodge approx. 1 km from the main campsite across the glacier.
  • Camp Canadá, 5050 metres (16,568.2 ft): A large ledge overlooking Plaza de Mulas.
  • Camp Alaska, 5200 metres (17,060.4 ft): Called 'change of slope' in Spanish, a small site as the slope from Plaza de Mulas to Nido de Cóndores lessens. Not commonly used.
  • Nido de Cóndores, 5570 metres (18,274.3 ft): A large plateau with beautiful views. There is usually a park ranger camped here.
  • Camp Berlín, 5940 metres (19,488.2 ft): The classic high camp, offering reasonable wind protection.
  • Camp Colera, 5980 metres (19,619.4 ft): A larger while slightly more exposed camp situated directly at the north ridge near Camp Berlín, with growing popularity.
  • Several sites possible for camping or bivouac
    Bivouac
    Bivouac may refer to:* Bivouac Peak, a mountain in the Teton Range, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA* A military camp** Bivouac shelter** Bivouac sack, or "bivy sack" or bivy bag, an extremely lightweight alternative to traditional tent systems...

    , including Piedras Blancas (~6100m) and Independencia (~6350m), exist above Colera, however they are seldom used and offer little protection.


Summit attempts are usually made from a high camp at either Berlín or Colera, or from the lower camp at Nido de Cóndores.

History

The first attempt on Aconcagua by a European was made in 1883 by a party led by the German geologist and explorer Paul Güssfeldt
Paul Güssfeldt
Dr Paul Güssfeldt was a German geologist, mountaineer and explorer.-Biography:Güssfeldt was born in Berlin, where he also died almost 80 years later...

. Bribing porters with the story that there was treasure on the mountain, he approached the mountain via the Rio Volcan, making two attempts on the peak by the north-west ridge and reaching an altitude of 6500 metres (21,325.5 ft). The route that he prospected is now the normal route up the mountain.

The first recorded ascent was in 1897 on a British expedition led by Edward FitzGerald. The summit was reached by the Swiss guide Matthias Zurbriggen
Matthias Zurbriggen
Matthias Zurbriggen was one of the great 19th-century alpinists and mountain guides. He climbed throughout the Alps, and also in South America, the Himalayas and New Zealand...

 on January 14 and by two other expedition members a few days later.

The youngest person to reach the summit of Aconcagua was Matthew Moniz of Boulder, Colorado. He was 11 years old when he reached the summit on December 16, 2008. The oldest person to climb it was Scott Lewis who reached the summit on November 26, 2007 when he was 87 years old.

Popular culture

The mountain has a cameo in a 1942 Disney cartoon called Pedro. The cartoon stars an anthropomorphic small airplane named Pedro who is compelled to make an air mail run over the Andes and has a near-disastrous encounter with Aconcagua. The mountain (also anthropomorphic, and scary-looking), later appeared in an illustration used in a retelling of the story in a Disney anthology book. It was also mentioned as the correct answer to a quiz show question in the 1969 Disney film, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes
The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes
The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes is a Disney film from 1969, starring Alan Hewitt, Kurt Russell, Frank Webb, and Joe Flynn. It is released by Buena Vista Distribution Company....

.


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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