The best way to explore the beauty of this incredible planet on which we live is by making a journey beyond travel. Admiring the beauty of nature by standing at the precarious ledge of a cliff is not something that everyone can do. The deep yearning to discover the deepest truths of nature will not only be tough but will also be rewarded with experiences that last a lifetime.
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Mountain climbing is all about facing all the challenges by risking your lives and limbs to the chilling cold weather, frostbites, high wind, avalanches and thin air to reach the highest summits. Reaching the long set goal of standing at the top of the whole world and admiring the raw beauty of nature is an addictive feeling which cannot be explained. These untouched places on the earth have so much to teach us about life.
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The endless steppes, rolling landscapes, a variety of ecosystems, snow-capped mountains, gushing rivers, chiselled rock pyramids and the spectacular blazes of the sunrise touches the psyche of all the mountaineers so deep. They are always ready to embrace the difficulties that come their way to reach the land where the profound presence of nature can be felt. The beauty, wilderness and roughness of these mountain peaks attract the mountaineers to risk their lives to find solace in the adrenaline rush.
One of the most exquisite destinations for climbers which are nestled in South America is the Mount Aconcagua which is also referred to as the “Stone Sentinel”. It is the highest mountain in the world outside of Asia situated in Argentina. This mountain is the highest point of the world’s longest mountain range, the Andes and the second highest of the seven summits. These mountains are the second highest in the Western Hemisphere. The best climbing season for this mountain is mid-November to March.
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It has attracted a great deal of attention from climbers all over the world owing to the vast trove of facts associated with it. Any mountain climbing enthusiast would take the effort to conquer these beautiful mountain slopes with freezing and icy winds. The most striking feature which fascinates the climbers to accept the challenge is that even non-technical climbers with little or no experience can attempt climbing these slopes despite the cold conditions prevalent over there.
The amazing hues of the mountain colours, the breath-taking scenic beauty, the green pastures, gushing rivers and thick forests make these mountains one of the most beautiful in the world. The stunning summit views across the iconic mountain ranges of Aconcagua are truly mesmerising. The epic climb to the peak of this picturesque high mountain landscape gives us the opportunity to witness the unique architecture of nature.
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The cold and crude weather conditions of the mountain are accompanied with windstorms and snow. Mount Aconcagua is very prone to sudden climate changes like strong winds, snow storms, the feared electric storms and a constant temperature that never goes beyond zero degree Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The summers on these mighty mountains are extremely dry. “The Colossus of America” as it is generally called has a unique weather which is very different from the rest. The climbers often compare these mountains with the 8000m peaks of the Great Himalayas.
This summit peak forms a renowned “mushroom” cloud which is visible from the base camp at Plaza de Mulas as a result of the microclimate which is created by the strong westerly hills. This cloud is a sign of the approaching violent storms and wind. This warning sign is very crucial for the climbers as it can turn out to be fatal, and it is advisable to wait till the storm passes away.
The 3 routes to the summit of Aconcagua are:
- Normal Route
- The Polish Traverse Route
- The Polish Glacier Route
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The spectacular Andes of Argentina with a fair amount of wildlife and vegetation renders an incredible view to anyone who visits these mountains. The most common route taken by the climbers to reach these mountains is the Normal Route. It takes approximately 21 days to reach the peak which includes everything from setting up the base camp to summiting and descending.
Let us have a look at the most amazing facts associated with the second highest mountain peak in the world:
- The Cerro Aconcagua has an elevation of 22, 841feet.
- The first one to climb the peak was a Swiss climber Matthias Zurbriggen and it was his solo ascent.
- It has been observed that on an average around three climbers die while attempting to climb Mount Aconcagua.
- The surface area of the mountain is 71,000 hectares.
- It has many glaciers and the largest one among them is the Ventisquero Horcones Inferior which is 10km long.
- Technically it is considered to be an easy mountain if climbing is attempted from the north via normal route.
- The youngest person to reach the summit was Tyler Armstrong.
- This mountain has a cameo in Disney cartoon which was called Pedro.
- The highest contemporary art gallery tent is present in the base camp at Plaza de Mulas.
- The success rate of the climber who reaches the peak is 60%.
- It is 160km away from the Pacific Ocean.
- It is located in the Mendoza province in Argentina.
- The temperature at night during the summer season is -20 degree Celsius.