QUALITY HIGH ALTITUDE EXPEDITIONS WORLD WIDE • ACONCAGUA SPECIALISTS • 7 SUMMITS
About Aventuras Patagonicas National Geographic Adventure Magazine has named us one of the Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth. At Aventuras Patagonicas we are honored to be rated a 96.67 Client Satisfaction score, this is one of the highest among all Mountain Guide Services
Aventuras Patagonicas is an international climbing guide service founded in 1989 by UIAGM Mountain Guide Rodrigo Mujica. Originating in Valdez, Alaska, Aventuras Patagonicas ran expeditions there for over a decade before moving operations to Boulder, Colorado. Our company is based on 29 years of professional guiding experience on high altitude mountaineering expeditions world-wide. We are very proud to be guiding in the worldâ€™s most spectacular mountain ranges of Alaska, Antartica, Europe, Asia, Africa, Indonesia, Patagonia, and South America offering as well the Seven Summits in our unique packages. We have guided over 200 successful Aconcagua expeditions, plus hundreds of quality expeditions worldwide with an impeccable safety record, and an extremely high success rate.
Aventuras Patagonicas is today, synonymous with success and professionalism on Aconcagua, our specialty since 1984. We first guided the mountain three decades ago, having guided more North Americans and Europeans successfully to the top of Aconcagua, than any other guiding company. I invite you to look at what we have to offer. Our guides are carefully chosen for their international guiding experience and their dedication to the guiding profession. Our lead guides are predominantly North American and experienced local guides may often assist on our expeditions. Aventuras Patagonicas is a small and dynamic guiding company. A combination of very high guiding standards, unique regional knowledge, and special attention to details, prepare us to offer you a remarkable and safe expedition experience. We look forward to sharing a wonderful mountain experience with you! Rodrigo Mujica AP Director UIAGM / IFMGA Mountain Guide
Aconcagua, Moving to Camp 2, 17,000 feet. Photo, Aventuras Patagonicas Guide Mike Bradley
ACONCAGUA OUR SPECIALTY, WE HOLD THE HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE & QUALITY IN THE FIELD. SINCE 1977
Aconcagua’s summit ridge at 22,800 feet. Photo, Aventuras Patagonicas Guide Mike Bradley
Aconcagua Expeditions · Guanacos Valley Traverse · Ameghino Valley / Upper Guanacos Traverse · Polish Glacier w / Traverse via Guanacos or Ameghino Valley
Aconcagua, located in the heart of the Argentine - Chilean Central Andes, rising to 22’834 feet, is the highest mountain in the world outside of Asia, making it also the highest peak in the Western hemisphere. This phenomenal mountain, with its impressive rock and ice faces, suits its native Inca name well: “Ackon Cahuac” or “Stone Sentinel”. Our approach involves 35 miles of colorful, spectacular, high desert scenery. We will have muleteers, or “arrieros” transport our gear to our 14,000-foot Base Camp. We are constantly surrounded by 21,000-foot peaks, providing us with a formidable view of the Central Andes. We will climb in traditional expedition style using multiple camps enroute. This approach allows us adequate time to acclimatize to the low oxygen environment, and to wait out stormy weather if necessary. Our goal is to get everyone safely to the top!. We offer three different routes on Aconcagua: our pristine Guanacos Valley Traverse Route, our New Ameghino Valley / Upper Guanacos Traverse Route, and our Polish Glacier Route - a classic technical glacier climb. Our Guanacos Valley Traverse Route and our Ameghino Valley / Upper Guanacos Traverse Route are not technically difficult, although high altitude, cold temperatures, and strong winds make this climb very challenging. Participants must be in excellent physical condition, able to carry a heavy pack, and have basic mountaineering skills. Participants on the Polish Glacier Expedition must have previous high altitude and technical climbing experience, since this beautiful route offers steep snow and ice climbing at extreme altitude.
Aconcagua Guanaco’s Ridge near the summit at 22,800 feet. Photo: Aventuras Patagonicas Guide, Mike Bradley
Which to Choose Guanacos or Ameghino?
Our wisest advise here is; choose our Ameghino Valley and Upper Guanacos Traverse Expedition. It is the best choice at the moment, for a non - technical route on Aconcagua. If the lower Guanacos Valley reopens to expeditions, we will contact our clients and discuss the option of using the lower Guanacos Valley approach. The trip price is the same for both routes. This guarantees you the best possible choice of routes, if access to the lower Guanacos Valley opens up by your expedition start date. Our Polish Glacier Expeditions will approach Aconcagua via the Ameghino Valley for now. If the lower Guanacos Valley opens, we will approach the Polish Glacier via the lower Guanacos Valley route. If you have any questions, please call us toll free at 1-888-203-9354.
Aconcagua Ameghino Valley Upper Guanacos Traverse Expedition w/porter option
Our Ameghino Valley and Upper Guanacos traverse route, with porter availability, is presently the BEST route on the mountain. Our long-time favorite route on Aconcagua, the Guanacos Valley route, is presently closed (the lower part of the route) to expedition access. We will be using our Ameghino route to approach Aconcagua while this closure is in effect. Our Ameghino / Upper Guanacos traverse expedition uses part of a previously established route (a.ka. Relinchos Valley), named after the striking Ameghino Peak, (19,530’), which surrounds the route. This route joins up with the upper section of our Guanacos route. Our Ameghino route is cleaner and less climbed than the over popular Normal Route of Aconcagua. This route, just as our Guanacos Valley route, has a higher success rate due to a longer approach (than the Normal Route) allowing more time for acclimatization. The Ameghino route is non-technical, and porters are readily available, if needed, at Base Camp – Plaza Argentina, for carries to the higher camps, and for the descent.
Above Camp One of the Ameghino route, we reconnect with the upper portion of our long-time favorite Guanacos route, offering our clients the benefits of both routes. The benefit of the upper portion of the Guanacos route, and the benefit of the less remote Ameghino Base Camp (Plaza Argentina), allowing our expedition parties the comforts of an established base camp, our own chef, access to porters, a medical doctor, and more, none of which are available at the lower Guanacos Base Camp.
Note: The Aconcagua Park Authorities have closed the lower Guanacos Valley until further notice. We hope to see this route reopened. This route closure does NOT affect our Ameghino / Upper Guanacos Traverse Expediton.
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The Ameghino Valley and Upper Guanacos Traverse begins with the same approach as the Guanacos Valley for the first 2 days. On the third day, we take the beautiful Ameghino Valley up to Base Camp. This eastern approach to the mountain is not as heavily traveled as the Normal Route.
Above Base Camp, we meet up with our traverse, then to the summit of Aconcagua, and our descent via the Normal Route. We will circumnavigate Aconcagua, traveling several different valleys; the Vacas, Ameghino, Guanacos, and Horcones Valleys. We experience an entire spectrum of Aconcagua, passing four spectacular faces of this tremendous mountain.
Guanacos Valley or Ameghino Valley?
Aconcagua Guanacos Valley Traverse Expedition
Our Guanacos Valley Traverse Route is a relatively untouched approach to Aconcagua, with calculated elevation gain between camps, allowing for more efficient acclimatization than other routes. Acclimatization is the key element to summiting the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere. Our excellent success rate has been improved by climbing Aconcagua via the Guanacos Valley. Our Guanacos Valley Route was named by Aventuras Patagonicas, for the large guanaco herds encountered in this valley, a rare sight in the Aconcagua region. It is the last untouched route on Aconcagua, and we hope to be able to share this scenic new route with you. We have guided on Aconcagua for over 25 years, and in the Guanacos Valley for eleven years. This route approaches Aconcagua via the pristine Guanacos Valley, meeting up with our long-time favorite traverse to the summit, and descending via the Normal Route of Aconcagua. On this route you will circumnavigate the mountain, explore several valleys, and view four spectacular faces of Aconcagua. The Guanacos Valley Route is a true luxury on Aconcagua. We have guided Aconcagua via the Guanacos Valley almost exclusively, beginning in 1997, until the lower part of the route was closed (until further notice) by the Aconcagua Park Service for environmental and boundary issues. Note: *This route is presently closed. * We hope to see this route reopened. In the meantime we will be using our Ameghino Valley and Upper Guanacos Route until the access issue to the lower Guanacos Valley can be resolved. Our Ameghino Valley and Upper Guanacos route is an excellent choice of routes on Aconcagua, and is the best route on the mountain, while the lower Guanacos Valley is closed!
The Aconcagua Traverse for all Routes
The traverse has proven to be a favorite method of climbing Aconcagua for Aventuras Patagonicas, after having successfully guided Aconcagua this way for many years. This is one of the most interesting and exciting ways to climb Aconcagua. All of our Aconcagua expeditions traverse the mountain, (excepted our Normal Route with Porters expedition) ascending the spectacular Guanacos Valley Route or the Ameghino Valley & Upper Guanacos Route, and after summiting, descend to our previously established High Camp. We then traverse the mountain and quickly descend the Normal Route. This allows us to experience the entire mountain. We travel trough three inmmense river valleys, and view each of the four tremendous main faces of Aconcagua. For many seasons we have been guiding our expeditions via the Guanacos Valley, wich include our traverse to the Normal Route for the descent. Note: The Aconcagua Park Authorities have closed the lower Guanacos Valley until further notice. We hope to see this route reopened. This route closure does NOT affect our Ameghino/ Upper Guanacos Traverse Expedition.
Ojos del Salado Expedition
Our Favorite Trip 2nd Highest Peak in the Word Outside of Asia Word Highest Volcano
Ojos del Salado, at 22,572’, is the second highest peak in the world outside of Asia, and the world’s highest volcano. It is a giant among giants located in the Chilean Altiplano comparable only with Tibet. Before the climb we will have several days to acclimatize. We will take day hikes in the fantastic Atacama Desert, visit saltwater lakes frequented by flamingos, and enjoy the natural hot springs at Laguna Verde, 14,765’, a turquoise lake with a view of snow-capped volcanoes and red desert slopes. 4-wheel drive vehicles will take us as high as 17,000’, where we begin our Ojos climb. From this point we climb to Refugio Tejos, a hut at 19,350’, is probably the highest mountain hut in the world! Gentle scree slopes and occasional snow patches lead us to the summit from which we can admire the huge extinct crater. We will also have a chance to climb an 18,000 foot volcano before the Ojos climb. Participants must be in good physical condition and have previous mountaineering experience. Although Ojos is not a technical climb, altitude and weather conditions are a major challenge.
Mount Vinson Expedition
Mount Vinson lies in the southern portion of the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains in Antarctica. At nearly eighty degrees South, it is a mere eight hundred miles from the South Pole. Mount Vinson, at 16,067 feet, has the distinction of being the highest point in our planet’s last great wilderness, as well as being in one of the most inaccessible ranges in the world. In fact, until recently, climbing Mount Vinson was logistically almost impossible. It was not until 1985, when Adventure Network International started providing full logistical support for expeditions to the Antarctic interior, that Mt. Vinson was considered more accessible. Aventuras Patagonicas Expeditions to Mt. Vinson will be supported by ANI aircrafts. We have been successfuly guiding Mt. Vinson since we began this program several seasons ago. Climbing Vinson is challenging! The expedition requires a sincere commitment, considering the remoteness of the region. The climate poses a great challenge as well. Mt. Vinson is located in one of the coldest climates on earth, with temperatures ranging from - 30F and even - 40F below zero. Participants must have experience with winter mountaineering and be in excellent physical condition. Mount Shin seeing from Vinson’s High Camp. Ellsworth Mountains, Antarctica. Photo, Rodrigo Mujica
Ojos del Salado, descending to Laguna Verde after a day acclimatization hike to 19,000 feet. Photo: Aventuras Patagonicas Guide Andres Middleton.
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Favorite Trips Nevado Juncal Expedition
Nevado Juncal, is one of the most impressive mountains in the Chilean Central Andes, located 50 miles south of Aconcagua. This is a rarely visited area offering a tremendous variety of scenic climbing from moderate to technical. After an enjoyable journey, with mules to carry our gear, we reach base camp at 8,910 feet. Here we are encircled by rugged alpine walls and a breathtaking view of Juncal. Our climb ascends the heavily glaciated north side of the mountain. Juncal is a challenging mountain to climb and one of our long time favorite trips. Climbers must have previous mountaineering experience, be in excellent physical condition, and be well acquainted with the use of ice axe, and crampons.
North Tower of Paine Expedition
This expedition takes us to the heart of Patagonia, and by far one of the most dramatic and beautiful mountain ranges in the world. The Paine Range is located in the Towers of Paine National Park, or â€œTorres del Paineâ€?. Some of the hardest climbs in the world lie in this magic land of Patagonia. Startling granite spires jut into the sky as part of our daily geography. Our route follows the same route first accomplished in 1962 by an Italian team. Climbing this route was an increadable achievement in 1962, and is still considered an impressive challange today! This very technical route, combined with the legendary Patagonian weather, makes this climb extremely challenging. Aventuras Patagonicas was one of the first companies to do this type of guiding in Patagonia. We find it tremendously exciting to be able to share this climb with our clients. Guide to client ratios are kept small, with a maximum of 2 clients per guide. Climbers for this expedition need to have previous rock climbing experience and be in top physical condition. Join us and climb a tower in Patagonia!
The majestic Torres del Paine, Chilean Patagonia. Photo, Rodrigo Mujica
Trekking Patagonia Torres del Paine and Fitz Roy Massiff
The two National Parks in Southern Patagonia, the Towers of Paine (Torres del Paine) of Southernmost Chile close to Cape Horn, and the nearby Park of the Glaciers (Parque de los Glaciares, and Fitz Roy Massiff) in Southern Argentina, offer some of the most spectacular trekking on the planet! The highlight of these beautiful and scenic wonders are their breathtaking granite monoliths jutting out of the Patagonian Plateau, symphony of glaciated towers, rugged horns, and monstrous fortresses, somewith faces rising more than 6,000 vertical feet from the plateau below. On this trek we will circumnavigate these magnificent formations, among themost famous of exotic destinations for the worldâ€™s most accomplished alpinists, crossing panoramic mountain passes alongside the tremendous expanse of the Southern Patagonian Icefield, hiking across windswept plains with dramatic, riveting backdrops, ascending through dwarf beech (lenga) forests, winding past glacier fed turquiose lakes, to the base of the towering vertical walls. An impression you will never ever forget. Most of the trek we will enjoy the freedom of daypacks as packhorses carry our heavier gear. We have designed variations of this trip due to the regionâ€™s rugged and unique character and extreme changeable weather conditions the area is noted for, adjusting distance and destinations of the trek for different experience and comfort levels. Most of the treks require moderate hiking experience and the ability to participate and enjoy the adventure of a lifetime, camping in unpredicatable weather conditions and spectacular beauty, enjoying the hospitality of the local people and the exoticness of the native wildlife, the nandu (ostrich family), the guanaco (alpaca family), and a variety of colorful geese, duck, swans, woodland birds and raptors, not to mention the famous Andean Condor. There are many ranches and orchards homesteaded in this region and we will have opportunities to enjoy the warmth of the local inhabitants who have pioneered and braved this rugged climate and magic land for many years.
Skiing Patagonia Expedition
This expedition takes us skiing in one of the least explored areas of the globe, the Northern Patagonia Icefield. It is the northern most of the two Patagonian Icefields. Our trip begins with a lake crossing by boat, then pack horses take our gear and skis to the snowline of the Nef Glacier. From here, we climb up to the Icefield, surrounded by hundreds of Patagonian peaks. We plan to ski to the base of Cerro SanValentin, the highest mountain in Patagonia. (We can also arrange custom climbing expeditions up San Valentin). We will ski by beautiful Cerro Hyades and make an ascent of Cerro Largo, an inviting mountain where we may carve some turns. For this trip you do not have to be an extreme skier, but previous backcountry skiing experience is necessary. Endurance, excellent physical condition, and an adventurous spirit are the key to this trip, since Patagonian weather can often be a challenge. Skiing Patagonia, Parque de los Glaciares, Patagonia. Photo, Rodrigo Mujica
Bolivia Our Mountaineering expedition to Illimani (21,201 feet), Ancohuma (21,095 feet) and Illampu (20,873 feet), will confirm that some of the most dramatic alpine peaks in the Western hemisphere lie in Bollivia. We start our trip in La Paz, Bolivia where we spend a few days to begin our acclimatization process. We then head to Illimani, the highest peak of the magnificent Cordillera Real of Bolivia, a range comparable with any of the world’s major ranges. Illimani is a fun nontechnical snow climb and a great place to get well acclimatized for our next objective, Ancohuma. This peak is one of the most spectacular peaks of the Cordillera Real with fun and steep ice and snow climbing up to 50-55 degrees.
The climbing includes mixed snow and rock, which give us access to the crest of the spectacular 1,500 foot knife edge north ridge that takes us to the summit. After our descent to Base camp, and a well deserved rest, we head for our final goal, Illampu. As our final peak, and greatest challenge of the expedition, this climb offers steep snow and ice of up to 55 degrees, with overwhelmingly beautiful views of the whole, and vast Cordillera Real, eastern Peru, the Amazon Basin, and Lake Titicaca.
Bolivia: looking at the Giant Illimani (21,201’) from Huayna Potosi. Photo, Aventuras Patagonicas Guide Jeff Sandifort
Join us to climb three spectacular Ecuadorian snow and ice volcanoes on our Equatorial High Altitude Expedition to these classic volcanic giants; Cayambe (18,997’), Cotopaxi (19,348’), and Chimborazo (20,703’); exploring this fascinating and colorful Equatorial country between climbs, a mosaic of mountains and rainforest, native peoples and their colorful, ancient culture. After several days of pre acclimatization hikes around the beautiful historic city of Quito, Ecuador, situated at 9,400’, in the Pre Andes mountains, then we move to our first volcano, Cayambe, Ecuador’s third highest, a giant surrounded by glaciers and snow slopes approaching 35 degrees. On this climb we will encounter crevassed terrain with spectacular seracs.
After our ascent and a well deserved rest, we travel through the pastoral countryside and villages to Cotopaxi, our second, and the world’s highest active volcano, located in Ecuador’s eastern cordillera.
After Cotopaxi we take a rest day on a 17th century hacienda. Finally, we head for our last, but not least, volcano, the highest of them all, Chimborazo, Ecuador’s highest peak, a massive five-summited mountain that rises eleven thousand feet above Ecuador’s central agricultural valley. By this time we will be well acclimatized, which will improve our chances of summiting Chimborazo, a diverse mountain, higher and more technical than it’s neighbors Cotopaxi and Cayambe. An early start and spectacular snow and ice climbing takes us to the vast summit crater with views of the Andes and the Amazon Basin that you will not soon forget!
Ecuador; Chimborazo, Highest point in Ecuador at 20,703 feet. Photo, Guide Robert “SP” Parker
Mont Blanc, Matterhorn, and the Eiger
We have been Guiding for well over a decade in the Swiss and French Alps. The Alps are one of our favorite destinations! We begin in the charming town of Chamonix, France. Chamonix is considered the world capital of alpinism, where easy access and quality climbing is a key characteristic. Chamonix is situated at the foot of the Mont Blanc Massif. From anywhere within Chamonix, we have impressive views of the highest point in western Europe, Mont Blanc, reaching an altitude of 15,771 feet. Mont Blanc will be our first objective on this trip. We do a spectacular traverse via Mont Blanc du Tacul, Mount Maudit, and finally summit Mont Blanc, then descend via the Gouter route, on the other side of the range! The climb is absolutely spectacular!. We are constantly surrounded by some of the most beautiful glaciated peaks in the world. We then move to Zermatt, Switzerland to tackle our next objective, the Materhorn (14,691 feet). One of the most beautiful peaks in the Alps, the Materhorn speaks for itself raising 9,500 feet above Zermatt, dominating the town with its majestic presence. Our route will follow the original route climbed by Edward Whymper in 1865, “The Hornli Ridge”. This route is a
spectacular granite rock climb, with ocassional snow patches and a final snowy summit ridge.
Our last adventure takes us to Grindelwald, located in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, in Switzerland. This beautiful Swiss village, and the valley in which it sits, epitomize the typical swiss alpine setting. Grindelwald is situated at the foot of the impressive Eigers north face and majestic peaks like the Monch, and the Jungfrau. Our objective here is to climb the Eiger via a semi technical rock arete called the Mittellegi Ridge. Depending on conditions we also have the option to climb the easier south ridge of the Eiger. The Eiger is a fun climb and a very attainable summit. This peak has a false reputation of being a “killer mountain” based on the history of the climbs attempted on its infamous North face. Participants must be in excellent physical condition and some rock and snow climbing experience is required.
Ask us about our other expeditions in South America and Alaska. We offer from High Altitude Expeditions in beautiful Northern Chile, to Skiing Expeditions in Patagonia, skiing and climbing in one of the least explored areas of the globe, the Northern Patagonia Icefield. We can also design a custom guided climb for you anywhere in the Andes. Let us know what kind of climb you are interested in and we will try to arrange it for you. Attractive itineraries have resulted from custom trips! One of our favorites being the Central Andes Alpine Climbs, an intensive eight day trip on which we climb 3 classic high altitude peaks in the heart of the CentralAndes. We also offer guided ice climbs and ice climbing Seminars in Valdez, Alaska a mecca for ice climbing, Valdez offers a paradise of multipitch climbs on perfect, steep ice. We also offer Expeditions to Denali (Mount McKinley) the highest peak in North America located one of the most beautiful ranges in the world; The Alaska Range.
22,834’ / 6,959m South America
At 22,834’, Aconcagua is the highest point in the Western Hemisphere. Our long time specialty for over 23 years. We offer 4 different routes, including Guanacos Valley, Ameghino Valley, Polish Glacier & Normal Route w/ Porters.
Seven Summits Packages Everest
29,035’/ 8,848 m Asia
There are no easy routes on Everest but we try to put the odds on our side. We take the North Ridge because we consider it to be the safest. Technically, it is more challenging than the South Side but does not have the ice fall danger. Our Advanced Base Camp (6,400m) is right under the shadow of Changtse and has a view of virtually the whole route. From here we use four more camps, a formula that has brought us considerable success in the past. We run this trip through Russell Brice, one of the most respectable & oldest companies operating on Everest.
19,340ft /5,895 m Africa
At 19,340’, Kilimanjaro, or Uhuru Peak, is the highest point in Africa, located in Tanzania. This extinct volcano rises over large game reserves and is certainly one of the world’s most impressive mountain adventures, taking place in one of the more diverse and fascinating regions of our planet.
20,320 ft / 6,195 m North America
Climb the West Buttress route to the highest point in North America at 20,320’. Climbers will use a variety of mountaneering techniques to safely make their way around crevasses and up moderately steep terrain.
If you are interested in climbing all of the Seven Summits, ask us about our Seven Summits Packages. We will be very happy to help you accomplish this attainable goal. For over two decades Aventuras Patagonicas has been leading expeditions to 3 of the Seven Summits for decades, specializing in Aconcagua, Denali, and Vinson. We have recently expanded to Everest, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, and Carstensz Pyramid, closing the circle at the highest possible standard. We have designed unique packages to provide you with an extremely flexible schedule of “climb when you can” when purchasing one of these packages to suit your aspirations, while at the same time saving thousands of dollars. The Seven Summits represent both technical and non-technical ascents. Our programs will work with you in a very progressive way, if you are motivated, and let us work with you, we can realistically help you attain six of the Seven Summits in a two year period and all seven in three years.
Denali, 20,320 feet. Camp at 16,200 feet on the West Buttress. Photo, Rodrigo Mujica. Circa 1986
18,510 ft / 5,642 m Europe
One of the seven summits having the distinction of being the highest point of the European Continent locted in the heart of the Caucasus Mount Elbrus at 18,510â€™ it is a great climb and cultural experience.
16,023 ft / 4,884 m Indonesia
Located in the western central highlands, Carstensz Pyramid (Irian Jaya) is the highest point on the Oceanic continent and one of the seven summits. The climbing is excellent and the culture quite exotic, making our climb of Carstensz Pyramid a fascinating adventure.
16,067 ft /4,897 m Antarctica
Mount Vinson, at 16,067 feet, has the distinction of being the highest point in our planetâ€™s last great wilderness, as well as being in one of the most inaccessible ranges in the world. Just 800 miles from the South Pole.
Everest Training Cho Oyu
Same as our Everest trips we will be running our Cho Oyu Expeditions through Russell Brice, which has over 3 decades of experience in logistic support and expedition planning in the Himalayas and more experience than anyone as well. Technically, it is a comparatively safe and easy route which enables climbers with determination but not necessarily a high degree of technical expertise to reach an 8,000m summit. The safety precautions and logistical preparations are, of course, the same as for Everest and the standard of equipment is equally high. This is an ideal opportunity to experience the world of 8,000m and above with the least possible danger. We see Cho Oyu as a Must before Everest. Cho Oyu is relatively easy to climb with minimal objective danger. It is a great opportunity to experience the surreal world of extreme altitude, to train for an Everest climb or to achieve a first 8,000m peak. Along with Everest, we specialise in this classic route and have a very high success rate.
Approach to Mount Elbrus 18,510 feet, in the heart of the Caucasus Mountains. Photo, Rodrigo Mujica
Route Description Above ABC (5,600m) we use three camps. Camp 1 (6,400m) is at the top of a long scree slope. From here the route is entirely on snow. We follow a gentle rounded ridge until we hit a short but steep ice cliff. We use a fixed rope to negotiate the cliff (normally about 20m) and then continue across a gentle glacier before we start another slightly steeper slope, again equipped with a fixed rope. Camp 2 (7,100m) is on an easy snow slope. The day to reach Camp 3 (7,500m) is relatively short, about 3 - 4 hours, climbing more gentle snow slopes. From here we can reach the summit in 5 - 7 hours and return to Camp 2 for the evening. This final day consists of climbing intermediate snow slopes until we reach a series of rock bands, which we cross by way of their snow ledges. We come out onto a snow slope leading us to the summit ridge and then what is often mistaken as the summit. The real summit is still about 400m away on almost flat snow. The retreat is then fairly fast but with time to enjoy the spectacular surrounding scenery.
International Certified Guides
Rodrigo Mujica UIAGM / IFMGA
Internationally Certified Guide, Director and Founder of Aventuras Patagonicas and Powder South Heli Ski Guides, the premier heli-skiing operation in South America. Guide for 28 years. and AMGA alpine, rock and ski guide. Guided 25 expeditions to Denali and 28 expeditions to Aconcagua. Expeditions to Xixabangma and Cho Oyu in the Himalaya. Climbs in Patagonia include North and Central Towers of Paine, Agujas Guillaumet and Poincenot, Cerro Torre attempts. Patagonian Ice Cap explorations including first east-west traverse of northern Ice Cap. First ascents in Antarctica, Andes and Alaska. Speed ascents of Denali, Aconcagua, Juncal, Guide in Ellsworth Mountains and Mt. Vinson in Antarctica. Extensive climbs and guiding in Alps, including frendo Spur and Grand Jorasses. Climbs in Yosemite. Former Technical Committee member for the American Mountain Guides Association. Guide at Exum Mountain Guides. Speaks English, French and Spanish.
Mark Houston UIAGM / IFMGA
Internationally Certified Guide, Guide for 28 years. Mark is one of the most competent Mountain Guides in North America and he has been highly involved in the certification process for new guides through the American Mountain Guides Association. He has climbed and guided virtually in every Mountain Range in the world, with ascents of the South Face of Aconcagua, Cassin Ridge on Denali, Cerro Torre in Patagonia, North Face of Eiger, Bonatti Pillar of Petit Dru, extensive climbs in the Alps, Ama Dablam, North face of Mount Robson, Alpamayo, Khan Tengri, West Pillar of Makalu, Southern Patagonia Icefield traverse, extensive climbing in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile and Argentina. Speaks English, French and Spanish.
Dominique Fellay UIAGM / IFMGA
Internationally Certified Guide, guide for 20 years, Dominique is a Swiss guide with a tremendous amount of experience in the Alps. He has climbed in virtually every massif of the French and Swiss Alps. He has also guided extensively in Alaska, and in South America. He has climbed the North Tower of Paine in Patagonia, Guillaumet, and has made an attempt to climb Fitz Roy. He lives in the Swiss Alps, outside of Sion. Speaks English, German, French, and Spanish.
Francisco Medina UIAGM / IFMGA
Internationally Certified Guide, Francisco is Chilean and has been climbing for more than 28 years, he is the president of the Chilean Mountain Guides Association and has been an active guide for almost two decades. He is one of the most competent guides in South America. Has climbed extensively in the Central Andes, Patagonia, Alps, Himalayas and the US. He is a former Nols Instructor and he has been guiding on Aconcagua since 1986. He has guided on Mount Everest. Speaks English, French, Italian and Spanish.
Jim Williams AMGA
Certified Alpine and Rock guide, guide for 38 years, first ascent Rudshe Konka,1982, China. Expeditions to Bhutan, Chile, China, India, Nepal,Peru, and Tibet. Explorations in Shagskam region, Xinjiang, China, Northern Karakorum. Leader 1989 Ski Expedition to South Pole. Co-leader Patagonian Ice Cap Traverse, 1991. Guide on Nupste, Lhotse, McKinley, Ama Dablam, Carstenz Pyramid, Elbrus and Aconcagua. Reached summit of Mt. Everest in 2000 with clients. First person to have guided all Seven Summits in a one year period. Member - Marmot Mountain Ltd. Design Board. Owner of Professional Mountain Guides, Jackson Hole. Senior Guide at Exum Mountain Guides.
Bill Crouse AMGA
Professional Mountain Guide, Bill lives in Breckenridge, Colorado following his passions for climbing, skiing and cycling in the Rockies. He has been guiding for the past 18 years throughout the USA, Nepal, Tibet, So. America, Antarctica and Africa. He has guided all over the wold for over 2 decades. His most relevant accomplishments among many more are: Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Pumori, Ama Dablam, Annapurna, Vinson, Aconcagua, Denali. He can be found guiding on Everest most of the spring since 1999, now with 5 summits from Nepal and Tibet.
Guide for 20 years, Climbs throughout US, including big walls in Yosemite and Zion, rock climbing in Greece, Ski descents in Tetons, expeditions in Alaska and to Broad Peak, Karakorum Himalaya. First ascent Bunch-Stewart route on Mt. Hunter, Northeast Face of Mt. Ratz on the Stikine Icecap. Expedition to Jambeyang in the Konka Risumggongba, Sichuan, China. Guide on Mt. McKinley, Aconcagua, and Juncal. Expedition to Rio Marta Group, Patagonia. Guide on Mt. Rainier. Backcountry ski guide. Senior Guide at Exum Mountain Guides. Wesley is today among our best Aconcagua Guide.
Markus Beck UIAGM / IFMGA
Internationally Certified Guide, Markus’ passion for the mountains stems from his swiss roots. A Swiss native, Internationally Certified Guide, he grew up roaming the mountains from an early age on forming an intuitive understanding of the mountains. A highlight in his career, Markus accomplished the first snowboard descent of Tharpu Chuli in the Nepal Himalaya. Eventually, he turned his passion into his profession by becoming a certified, full-time ski and mountain guide and founded Alpine World Ascents in 2000. One of an elite few guides in the U.S. with both AMGA and IFMGA certification, Markus has passed rigorous trainings and certifications in Alpine Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, and Ski Mountaineering. He is a Swiss-certified Level 3 Ski and Snowboard Instructor and Instructor Trainer, an AIARE Level 2 avalanche instructor and member of the instructor pool, and a backcountry observer for the CAIC. Markus has a Masters Degree from the University of Bern in Switzerland in Education and Sports. He speaks six languages. At home in the mountains anywhere around the world, Markus accompanies his guests to many different places- popular, exotic, new or even unknown ones. With his infectious love and passion for the mountains, he carries the adventurous spirit through in his guiding on the world’s great climbs and ski tours.
Tom Hargis UIAGM / IFMGA
Internationally Certified Guide, AMGA Certified Alpine and Rock Guide, guide for 33 years, extensive climbs in Canada and US, including five routes on El Capitan and many ascents in the southwest. Expeditions and guiding in Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, and Mount Rainier. Expeditions to Uzbekistan, Aksu and Asan-Usan valleys in Kyrgyzstan. First ascent of northwest ridge of Gasherbrum IV in Pakistan. Only American to summit Gasherbrum IV. Expeditions to Everest and Gasherbrum II. Guided Pik Communism, Pik Lenin, Pik Korzhenevskaya, and Khan Tengri (Kyrgystan). One-day ascents Aconcagua and Pik Korzhenevskaya. Five seasons guiding and teaching up to Grade VI ice and mixed climbing in New Hampshire. Examiner and instructor in Internationally Certified Guide. Recipient of AMGA Lifetime Guide Achievement Award 2004. Exum Technical Supervisor.
Has climbed aconcagua more than anyone alive with over 60 ascents to the top of Aconcagua. A Professional Mountain Guide from Peru, Augusto has made several first ascents in Peru, led many mountaineering expeditions in the last 29 years, has made multiple ascents of many challenging peaks in the Andes, not the least of which, Augusto holds the world’s record for summiting Aconcagua on 58 successful expeditions! In Ecuador; Chimborazo (18 times), Cotopaxi (25), Cayambe, Tungurahua, Pichincha and Rumiñahui. In Peru; Huascaran (38), Alpamayo (31), Yerupaja, Huandoy, Artesonraju and many others. In Bolivia; Illimani (16), Huayna Potosí (18), Sajama, and more. In Chile; Torres del Paine. Augusto has also challenged the Himalayas. He is the first Peruvian to successfully climb Mt. Everest two times, once in 1992 with oxygen and the second time in 1999 without oxygen! He also climbed Cho Oyu in 1998. On the North American continent, he has climbed several peaks in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and climbed Mt. McKinley in 1997. Augusto is trained as a Civil Engineer and as a Computer technician, but his passion for the mountains has led him to his career as a professional mountain guide.
Tom Torkelson / Emiliano Polleti / Jeff Sandifort / Aike Parvex / Kathy Cosley / Milles Smart / Art Mooney / Howie Schwartz / Eduardo Depetris / Allie Pepper / Martin Molina / Jason Thomas / Tim Hewette / Chris Morris / Jeff Evans / Mike Stencil / Rolando Garibotti
Jacob Schmitz started climbing 24 years ago, living in Yosemite for 7 years where he mastered the big walls. With the more than ten years Jacob has worked as a guide he has lead over 70 expeditions, with 45 on peaks over 6,000 meters. Some of his more notable guided trips include Cho Oyu, Spantik in Pakistan, Bogda feng in China, more than 25 expeditions to Aconcagua, 14 to Denali, 8 to Kilimanjaro, 2 Vinson Massif in Antarctica, and multiple trips to Bolivia and Ecuador. His passion and dedication to his group to have an enjoyable expedition shows on every trip he’s leads. When not out on an expedition he lives in Bend, Oregon. We are very happy to have Jacob as one of Aventuras Patagonicas main Guides on Aconcagua.
Mark has been a climber for 21 years, teaching and leading trips since 1994. Based out of Bend, Oregon he travels to Alaska in the spring to guide on Denali before heading to the Tetons of Wyoming for the summer. Winters are split between the thin air of Aconcagua and ski patrolling at home, Mark holds a B.S. degree, graduating with honors in Chemistry. He enjoys pursuing all aspects of the sport from bouldering to scaling glaciated peaks around the world. An avid technical rock climber in his free time, Mark has climbed over 50 5.13s, including the Smith Rock testpiece White Wedding (5.14a). Showing people from all walks of life the skills they need to succeed in the mountains is what he loves the most about guiding.
Mike is a year round Professional Mountain Guide and has traveled and climbed on five continents. When not guiding on Mt. Rainier, where he has over 40 summits, his vast list of expeditions include 4 to Everest, 7 to Cho Oyu, 10 to Denali, 19 to Aconcagua, 3 to Vinson, 2 to Ecuador, Shishapangma, Kilimanjaro, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Russia, France, and Switzerland among other places. Many clients have remarked that Mike’s love for the mountains is contagious. He is a former Division 1 collegiate ski racer and Junior Olympian, has a B.S. from St. Lawrence University. When not guiding Mike is usually climbing, ski mountaineering, biking, surfing, and fly fishing his way around the globe.
Mike resides in Vail, Colorado where he is the lead instructor for Level I & II Avalanche classes and a senior rescue member of the Vail Mountain Rescue Group. Mike has guided extensively on Aconcagua for Aventuras Patagonicas, and has spend over 15 years on Aconcagua guiding regularly season after season. He knows the Mountain better than most guides and have been to the summit of Aconcagua 18 times. Mike has had an interest in climbing and the outdoors since a young age and now likes to share the knowledge he has gained and his passion for the mountains with his clients. When he is not working you will most likely find him in the backcountry skiing, rock or ice climbing, backpacking, Mt. biking or if it is in the months after the Aconcagua season, you just might find him in a sea kayak paddling the Florida Everglades or Keys. He has climbed extensively in the Brenta Dolomites, the mountains of Colorado, and other areas of the U.S. and a summit of Kilimanjaro.
Pablo Borjas Von Bach / Kitt Redhead / Brian Harder / Brendan O‘ Neill / María José Moises / Eliana Camano / Fermin Avila / Larry Holmgren / Matthew Goewert / Andrés Zegers / Gino Casassa / Andrés Middleton / Matías Erros / Juan Henriquez / Emilio Cugni
1303 Sumac Avenue, Boulder Colorado, 80304 USA US Toll Free: 1-888-203-9354 or 303-447-2858 International Toll Free #s UK Toll Free: 0800-404-9183 Australia Toll Free: 1-800-005-957 France Toll Free: 0-800-911-013 firstname.lastname@example.org www.patagonicas.com
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Aventuras Patagonicas and its Guides practice Leave No Trace outdoor ethics