EL MERCEDARIO is one of the highest and most important mountains in America (the 8th); Just 100 km north of Aconcagua, this mass dominates a circus of other gigantic hills, more than 6000 meters high, that rise to the side, such as Pico Polaco, La Mesa, Alma Negra and La Ramada. These mountains are part of the Polish expedition history, in1934, when they were able to ascend all of them and signed the first official ascent to El Mercedario; all that story is immortalized in one of the most extraordinary mountaineering book in Argentina, Higher than the Condors, written by one of these Polish mountaineers, Victor Ostrowski. Then they moved to the Aconcagua area and made the first ascent through the Polacos Glacier and the second official ascent of this mountain.
Our style in Argentine mountaineering:
We form a group throughout the year, in physical and mental preparation and with previous outings to the mountain. We hold preliminary meetings with the group with audiovisuals and specific talks. We advise you during all the previous months on your equipment. It doesn´t matter if you don´t live in Buenos Aires, where the trainings take place, we can advise you anyway in your preparation.
We propose an itinerary that includes progressive and staggered acclimatization.
Confirmed El Mercedario ascent dates - 2020/2021 Season:
Programming-Itinerary: the programming of the first week, for the options Short Trek or Balcón de los 6000 Trekking, is also included here.
Day 1: Mendoza-Barreal - 1650 masl. Meeting in the Mendoza city in the morning. Guides presentation, equipment check, advice for rent. Last shopping. Charter vehicle transfer to Barreal town (San Juan), passing through Uspallata. Accommodation in a cabin complex.
Day 2: Barreal-Laguna Blanca - 3100 masl. Breakfast. Free morning. We´ll begin our great adventure in the colossi of San Juan and we´ll transfer on charter vehicle through the Valley of Rio Los Patos to a small farmhouse called El Molle; From there we make a short walk to Laguna Blanca, our first camp, at more than 3000 meters high. Hydration, food, rest and spend the night in mountain tents.
Day 3: Laguna Blanca-Guanaquitos Base Camp - 3550 masl. Breakfast. New approach hike to Guanaquitos base camp, at a 3,500 meters altitude. With the collaboration of the animals that will carry the equipment, we´ll carry out the trekking with lightweight. We continue with hydration and we reach the first great views of El Mercedario. Base camp with tents.
Day 4: Guanaquitos Base Camp - 3550 masl. Breakfast. Resting day (acclimatization) or walk back and forth to the viewpoint of El Caballito glacier and Arroyo Turquesa, amazingly colored water that rises suddenly on a slope. The walk is to acclimate.
Day 5: Guanaquitos BC- Cuesta Blanca (4350) - Guanaquitos BC / Descent of the Mercedario short trekking group (Arroyo Turquesa) / Continuation of the tour for the Trekking Balcón de los 6000 group. Expedition group will carry the equipment to Camp 1. Return to base camp. Last night in base camp.
Day 6: Cuesta Blanca (4350) - Ascent to Camp1. Day of ascent to Camp1. Approx 4 hours.
Day 7: Cuesta Blanca - 4350 - Pirca de Indios (5200) - Cuesta Blanca - Equipment carry day. Carrying and rest day (acclimatization) in Camp1.
Day 8: Pirca de Indios - 5200 masl. Ascent to Camp 2. Day of ascent to Camp 2. About 4 hours of activity.
Day 9: Pirca de Indios - rest or carrying to La Hollada - Pirca de Indios. Rest day in Camp 2, short walks in the area.
Day 10: La Hollada (or new rest) Pirca de Indios. Breakfast. Ascent to La Hollada high camp (camp 3 - 5700 masl) or new day at camp 2, according to the guide's decision; final preparation for the summit attack, the next day.
Day 12: Summit attempt 1.
Day 13: Summit attempt 2.
Day 14: Descent to Guanaquitos Base Camp. Long descent day to base camp.
Day 15: Descent to Laguna Blanca and transfer to Barreal. Night in cabins. Last trek Day, to Laguna Blanca where transportation is waiting to take us to Barreal. Toast to the end of the expedition.
Day 16: Transfer to Mendoza (arrival at noon); end of our services. Final transfer to Mendoza.
EXPEDITION EVACUATION AND ABANDONMENT SYSTEM:
In the unlikely event of an accident or someone not being able to continue with the expedition, the procedure we implement in our expeditions is as follows:
In the first 4 days (til the Guanaquitos Base Camp), the person can be evacuated by our guides and expedition assistants. If necessary, we hire a mule.
In the section between the base camp and the camp 2 Pirca de Indios, we can also count on the assistance of animals, if necessary, the guides and helpers will also descend the person. We forbid the self-evacuation system (to return walking alone).
In the stage of the high-altitude camps (last 8 days), people have evacuation on foot included, with a guide or helper assistance, to the base camp. They also have included the stay in Plaza de Mulas, with meals and tents. Then they can end up descending with the rest of the group that attempted the summit.
And if necessary, a vehicle goes up to Laguna Blanca and the person is evacuated conveniently.
We have designed a schedule of departures thought-out
to achive this great goal. Every month we make trips to the mountains focused on physical-mental and technical training to be prepared for the great occasion of trying great mountains such as Lanin-Tronador-Domuyo-Chañi and many others ...
Check the schedule of the Training Plan in the Training program that we do on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday
Your purchase in an official agency - travel and tourism company registered with the tourism secretariat (Ascent 23 EVyT Leg: 16396)
cabin complex in Bar Real
High mountain tents during the expedition (possibility of requesting individual tent).
If I never did mountain activities, can I dream of reaching the highest point of the Mercedario?
As long as you are physically fit and can adapt to the personal and / or group training system that we propose and you can make previous trekking and mountaineering trips with us or on your own. In the event that your experience is basic or null, it is essential that you make a long or two short trips with us (from the training trips plan with extra discount) so that we can know you and advise you properly.
I don't have even half the equipment that is required, can it be rented? what to buy?
We´ll advise you on this. Basically almost everything can be rented; In Mendoza there is a store we work with that rents boots, jackets, pants, goggles, crampons, third layer gloves and much more. There is equipment that should be bought such as underwear, trekking shoes and clothing, poles, headlamp, some gloves and others.
What real requirement does this expedition have? how much do you walk per day?
We are not walking every day. The expedition takes so long because the body needs a mandatory period of acclimatization to the altitude; there are days that we only rest. The longest days are the peak days, which can take more than 16 hours.
Where do we spend the night?
The overnight stay takes place in mountain camps in comfortable igloo-type tents for 2/3 or 4 people.
Within the PROTOCOL COVID-19-SALIDAS AEX, we include the possibility of spending the night alone in the tents.
Do I have to bring a tent?
The tents are included in the service.
From what age can this activity be done?
From 18 years of age.
How much does the backpack weigh?
Range between 8 and 12 kilos to base camp. 15 kg from the base camp upwards (except for the summit day or rest days; summit day only what you wear, water, flashlight and food)
Is there a carrying/porter service?
We have a mule carrying service, which will take the general equipment and the personnel that you do not use to the base camp and some high altitude camps.
What do we eat?
20% Up to 5 Kilos: Short excursion walks / Trekking Talampaya
40% Up to 8/10 Kilos: Round-trip trekking / Vallecitos 3 and 4-day programs
60% Up to 12/15 kilos: Crossing trekking with porting / Crossing of the Andes Paso Portillo
80% More than 15/18 kilos: Cross-country trekkings with little or no portage / Trekkings in Patagonia (Paso Vuriloche, PN Lanin or Nahuel Huapi, etc)
100% More than 25 Kilos: With a lot of equipment on top and little or no porting / Continental Ice
20% half a day or less with little unevenness.
40% more sustained slopes and longer days in the activity. 2-3 days / more than 6 hours per day.
60% Long ascents and descents with a longer duration. Ascents to more than 4000 meters in the central mountain range / intense 4-day trekking (Uruguayan plane)
80% Important work of legs in resistance. Very long days. Very long day ascents (Lanin - Domuyo) or more than 5000 meters. Ice courses.
100% Maximum demand. Aerobic work and constant effort on legs. Continental Ice, Aconcagua, mountains of more than 6000 meters.
20% flat land
40% trails with moderate ups and downs. General crossing trekkings . Sierra de la Ventana, Córdoba, Patagonia, Cuyo, north, others. Classic ascents
60% Steeper slopes and trails. Possible use of crampons. Domuyo, Cordón del Plata, Cordillera Central.
80% Mixed terrain, with snow or ice. Alvear, Lanin, Tronador. Bolivia, Peru.
100% Highly technical terrain. Glacial transit and climbing in sections. Hill climbing with sections on slopes of more than 60 ° inclination
20% We will not be much affected.
40% This is a normal level of attention.
60% We require more motivation, enthusiasm and concentration.
80% The activity will require us to be very connected and convinced.
100% Maximum control and emotional-psychological performance.
0% + sea level.
20% Up to 2000 masl.
40% + 2000 masl.
60% + 4000 masl.
80% + 5000 masl.
100% + 6000 masl.
HEALTH & HYGIENE
OPTIONAL, not mandatory (check space and weight)
Travel Photo Gallery
Training for Trekking/Mountaineering
MTB Argentina - Bicycle touring
Ascents to Greats Summits
Horseback riding in the Andes
Training group GEM/GEMA
Schools / Groups
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