The Normal Route: Above: 5,000

Second part of the report on the Aconcagua routes. From Plaza de Mulas to Nido de Cóndores.


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In the continuity of access to the summit by the best known route, considered “normal”, from the base camp of Plaza de Mulas (4,300 m) a well marked path is taken describing zig-zags on a steep slope to a narrow pass between rock bands known as El Semáforo (4550 m).

Then we reach another isolated rock in the middle of a monotonous hauling, the “stones Conway” (4.750 m).
Continue the ascent to an ascending diagonal to the left and then exit in a zigzag to the left of the rocky pinnacle that forms the portezuelo of Plaza Canadá, at 5,050 meters. From Mulas the journey takes about 3 to 4 hours.

From this place (field 1) to Nido de Cóndores (field 2, at 5,500 m) the gradient of 500 meters is feasible to cover it in 4 to 5 hours. An ascending diagonal leads to a prominent rock in the middle of the hauling, called the 5,000 stone. From here the zig-zags follow each other to reach a point of reference, Change of Slope (5,300 m), suitable place to camp with the option to establish only two fields: Change of Slope and Berlin.

From here there are two possibilities: the zig-zags that go up towards the north slopes in the direction of the Great Carry, to leave then in net crossing to Nido; or the direct one that ascends by the center of the circus formed by the Great Hauling with the hill Manso, whenever this route is free of penitents.

This is how to get to Nido de Cóndores, formed by striking rocks in the form of turned peaks, the same rocks that on a summer afternoon in 1897 Fitz Gerald and his people found and so well served as a natural refuge against the strong gusts of the West.

Nido is a true viewpoint, to the east the central valleys Los Patos and Barreal; to the north the impressive mounds of Cord de la Ramada, dominated by the Mercedario (6,770 m); behind the hill Horn the Valley Volcano, the desolate lands of Güssfeldt; to the West the Cathedral, the bordering cord and the valley of Chile; and to the South the incredible spectacle of the immensity: the Great Carry and the North and South summits of the Aconcagua.

Source: Aconcagua: The top of America. Mauricio Fernández. Summit editions

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