Polish Traverse, Aconcagua (6 962 m / 22 831 ft)

Mountain: Aconcagua (6 962 m / 22 831 ft)
Activity type: Mountaineering
Activity level: Challenging/ Tough
Elevation: 6 000 m / 19 685 ft
Duration: 17 Day(s)
Expenses: from$ 3 500
Image of Polish Traverse, Aconcagua (6 962 m / 22 831 ft)


Route Name:
Polish Traverse, Польский Траверс
Activity type:
Activity level:
Challenging/ Tough
Type of Climb:
Snow & Ice & Rock
South America, Argentina: (Mendoza)
Starting Point:
Parent Range:
First Ascent:
??/3/1934 V. Otrowski (Poland), K. Narkiewicz (Poland), S. Daszinski (Poland), S. Osiecki (Poland)
17 Day(s)
Max. Elevation:
6 000m / 19 685 ft
Vertical Gain:
2 762m / 9 062 ft
103km / 64 miles
Climbing Season(s):
15 Nov-28 Feb;
Convenience Center(s):


South America, Argentina: (Mendoza)
Guided Tour

Location: Argentina

Price: $3500
19 Day(s)

Activity type:Mountaineering

Difficulty: Moderate/ Challenging

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Guided Tour

Location: Argentina

Price: $3850
17 Day(s)

Activity type:Hiking

Difficulty: Challenging

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  • Your Chance To Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    Ascent to Aconcagua is an unique opportunity for those who do not have high-altitude mountaineering skills to taste and smell the air up to 7 000 meters above sea level. For example, to find yourself on the same altitude somewhere in the Himalayas, Karakoram and Pamir, you will need several years of training and a special high-altitude equipment. Well, in addition to the above, it is an opportunity to climb one of the 7 Summits, which rightfully occupies first place in the ratings of several heights - it is the highest mountain in the whole of the Americas, the highest point in the Western Hemisphere and the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Description Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    Route "Polish Traverse" in comparison with the classic "Normal Route" has both its advantages and disadvantages. The advantages include the facts that it is much less crowded by tourists and therefore - more clear. But the lack of a large number of tourists entails much less developed infrastructure, compared to "Normal Route". And this route is a little more difficult due to a long and steep approach. Up to base camp Plaza Argentina all carry loads are done by mules. Above base camp climbers to carry their loads themselves. Try not to drink unboiled water even if it's water from the glacial stream. Always use boiled, bottled or purified water.
  • Getting There Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    Flight to Mendoza International Airport (Argentina). Take a car or bus to Uspallata or Penitentes. The entrance to the Aconcagua Provincial Park where Polish Traverse Route begins is at Punta de Vacas.
  • Red Tape Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    You must go to Mendoza (Argentina) to get your climbing permit and fill all necessary forms in person. Permits are sold at SUBSECRETARÍA DE TURISMO only. Address in Mendoza is på San Martín 1143. It's pretty close to the to Plaza Independencia. The permits can not be bought either at Puente de Inca or Punta de Vacas. Anywhere inside the park, the permit or the receipt may be required to be shown.
  • Are You Ready? Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    You will need to build a high degree of strength endurance, high-altitude tolerance, and strong cardiovascular conditioning. Just because you exercise regularly (four to six times per week) does not mean you have the conditioning needed to reach the summit of Aconcagua. Plenty of people who have the endurance to run a marathon or compete in triathlons fail to summit high-altitude peaks. Pure cardiovascular fitness is simply not enough. Focus on building the physical conditioning necessary to ascend 1 000 meters (3 500 feet) of vertical elevation gain on successive days carrying 20-25 kg (45-50 pounds). This trip includes a 30-mile approach trek over 3 days involving mule support, so you can enjoy the trek without extreme loads, and double carries, to keep pack weight down to allow for better acclimatization.
  • Tips Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    Cellular Network: No (Guided Tours)

    The route conditions very varies from year to year - sometimes climbers have to struggle with deep snow starting from the Plaza Argentina. If the winter was dry you probably even wouldn't take your crampons out from your backpack. But anyway you have to be ready for the most unpleasant situation - even during the warmest month (February) a huge snowfalls and hurricane winds can happen. There were times when climbers could not leave their tents for several days because of the wind and were waiting for the end of the storm somewhere in camp at the altitude of 5 200 meters. In 99 cases out of 100, you will need crampons to approach from the summit camp to the summit. Be very careful when passing couloir "La Caneleta" - sometimes it could be so icy that local guides even were forced to fix some ropes there.

  • Parameters Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    Base Camp Elevation: 4 200 m / 13 780 ft
    Summit Camp Elevation: 6 279 m / 20 600 ft
    Accommodation in Base Camp: Tents only
    Accommodation above Base Camp: Tents only
    Number of Camps: 3
    Avg. Cost: 3 500 USD
    Age Restrictions: 14
    Soloing: Yes
    Descent Route: Another Route -Please update
    Specify descent time: 3 Day(s)
  • Key Points Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    Name (Elevation) Description
    2 700 m / 8 858 tf
    Small city near the entrance to the Aconcagua Provincial Park. As a rule climbers have an overnight at Penitentens' hotels before crossing the border of the park.
    Punta de Vacas
    2 700 m / 8 858 tf
    Ranger's Station at the entrance of the Aconcagua Provincial Park. Here your climbing permit will be checked by rangers.
    Pampa de Lenas
    2 950 m / 9 678 tf
    Intermediate Camp located above national park entrance.
    Casa de Piedras
    3 240 m / 10 630 tf
    Intermediate Camp located above national park entrance.
    Plaza Argentina
    4 200 m / 13 780 tf
    The base camp Plaza Argentina is a colorful tent city, yet smaller and somewhat more manageable than Plaza de Mulas, the base camp of the normal route. At base camp, a compulsory medical examination done by an Argentinian doctor will take place, who will give permission to continue with the ascent.
    Camp 1
    5 000 m / 16 404 tf
    Camp I is a tent camp above Plaza Argentina. It's situated at the end of the big glacier's moraine.
    Camp 2 (Guanaco)
    5 500 m / 18 045 tf
    Camp 2 is situated above Camp 1 on the gravel slope. Sometimes it may be covered by snow.
    High Camp (Colera)
    6 000 m / 19 685 tf
    The main high camp situated above Camp 1 and 2. It's located at the narrow field on the small col of the North Ridge. Sometimes may be covered by snow.
    Independencia Refuge
    6 500 m / 21 326 tf
    A tiny wooden cabin situated above summit camp. In general it's used as a shelter.
    6 700 m / 21 982 tf
    Steep scree couloir that leads to the summit ridge. Sometimes may be icy or snow covered.
  • Agencies Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

  • GPS-Tracks

  • Did You Know Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    One of the variations that can diversify "Polish Traverse" on Aconcagua can be the route which called "Aconcagua 360 degrees." The main difference is an another descent from the summit of Aconcagua - instead of regular "Polish Traverse" descent climbers use a descent of the the "Normal Route". Thus climbers   ... Read more
  • References Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

Last update: (27 Jun 2018) • History
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3 climber who were here

Day 1

Move from Penitentes to Pampa de Leñas. You'll need to drive to Punta de Vacas, Aconcagua Park Entrance where you will get your permits checked at the Ranger station. Here your personal equipment will be picked up by the mules. They will transport it to base camp Plaza Argentina. Carrying only a day pack you head off to Pampa de Leñas by walking 4 or 5 hours, starting the 3 days approaching trek to the base camp. Overnight stay in tents.

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Day 2

Move from Pampa de Leñas to Casa de Piedra. On this day you advance towards an intermediate camp, passing through the Quebrada de Vacas, for 6 to 7 hours. This is where you will be able to see the first sight of the Western Face of the Aconcagua. You spend here you last approaching night before arriving to Base Camp.

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Day 3

Move from Casa de Piedra to Plaza Argentina. You start hiking for 5 to 6 hours, ascending the Relicho steep slope, which leads you to Inferior Plaza Argentina. This is where you will be able to see the last native vegetation before climbing towards the glaciers, where Plaza Argentina is situated.

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Day 4

Rest day at Plaza Argentina. This is a good opportunity to get to know the Camp, take a shower and explore the area. You will need to pass a medical check up, reorganize and review the equipment, prepare the loads for transportation for the next day. You can further support the acclimatization process by going on a short (3-4 hours) tour to the Cerro Colorado (4 566m). Cerro Colorado is a mountain with little technical difficulties and typical gravel slopes. Taking it slow, you reach the summit in 2–3 hours, where you are rewarded with a spectacular view. Overnight stay in tents at Plaza Argentina.

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Day 5

Carry loads to Camp 1 situated at 5 000 meters. Try to keep your backpack as light as possible and fundamentally to be able to gradually adapt to the altitude. The ascent starts on the broad ridge, along a narrow trench until said trench opens up again. Shortly before camp I, the path becomes slippery, the many loose rocks making it more difficult. Camp 1 follows just after the terminal moraine. Time for the ascent 4-5 hours, descent about 2 hours. Overnight stay in tents at Plaza Argentina.

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Day 6

Rest day at Base Camp. Use this day to recover energy, to rest, to hydrate yourselves and for abundant meals.

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Day 7

Move from Base Camp to Camp 1. The ascent to Camp 1 takes the first part of the Polish Route. After a 5 to 6 hour walk on gravel slopes you will arrive to Camp 1. Overnight at Camp 1.

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Day 8

Carry loads to Camp 2 situated at 5 500 meters. This is a hard day about 6 hours hiking on gravel slopes. At camp you'll cache your loads and have a brief rest before descending back to Camp 1 for overnight and rest day. Good acclimatization is still has a vital importance and this carry hike is another chance to support it.

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Day 9

Rest day at Camp 1. This gives you further acclimatization time and rest before moving higher to sleep.

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Day 10

You will carry and move to Camp 2, ascending the same route as the prior carry, while feeling much stronger and better acclimatized.

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Day 11

Move to High Camp, aka Colera, located on the North Ridge. On the approach, you'll enjoy magnificent views of the Polish Glacier. You'll traverse west across the Polish Glacier and up the snow/scree slope leading to Camp Colera, which offers breathtaking scenes of many of the highest peaks of the Andes. This is a single carry day in which pack weight may reach approximately 55 lbs. The weight depends on a number of factors including: weight of personal gear such as backpack; if extra days were used earlier in the trip consuming food and fuel; and temperature on the day of this carry (if all clothing is worn).

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Day 12

The summit day. It is the most demanding day of the expedition. You'll start between 4 and 6 o'clock in the morning, depending on the current weather conditions. It's going to be cold. Hopefully, the wind will stay calm this day. Following the well visible path, passing the white stones, you'll soon reach the ascent line of the normal route. Once you've reached the small wood cabin (Independencia) at about 6 500 meters, you will stop for a break. Then you will ascent through the “Portezuelo del Viento” , climb “La Canaleta”, and the “Filo del Guanaco”, that lead you to the summit. At the end of this experience, you will descend and have overnight in Camp Colera.

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Day 13

Descend to base camp for overnight.

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Day 14

Walk out to Casa de Piedra for overnight. All your personal equipment will be picked up by the mules. They will transport it to Punta de Vacas.

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Day 15

Walk out to the Punta de Vacas and back to Penitentens.

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Day 16

Spare day in case of bad weather.

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Day 17

Spare day in case of bad weather.

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