Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM


Aconcagua Cerro Aconcagua
(Parque Provincial Aconcagua - Mendoza, Argentina)
At 22,841 feet* (6,962 metres), Aconcagua is the highest mountain outside of Asia. Located in western Argentina, near the Chilean border, Aconcagua is one of the "7 Summits" - the highest mountains on each continent and thus highly sought after by the world's climbers...



Yellow Arrow Right Click Here for additional pix and info on my trips to Argentina!

January, 2004:

Although I did not summit, I had a fantastic time in South America! As an individual, I was treated really well by the people of Argentina, even when I made such demands as "Soy vegetariano" (I am a vegetarian) - in beef country no less! Also, there was some South American hostility over America's recent invasion of Iraq with the Spanish Los Agresores ("The Agressors") used at times. Nevertheless, as individuals, the Argentinian people treated me, and the rest of our group, really well!

As far as the climb itself went, that too was extremely interesting. Eight of the 11 in our party made it to the summit from our high camp at Nido de Cóndores ("Nest of Condors," 18,000 feet*). This was an elevation gain of over 4,600 feet, a commendable feat (feet!) for the eight in our group who made it!

I, myself, went slightly above Independencia Hut, nearing the traverse, so this gave me a personal record of over 6,400 metres (21,000+ feet*). It was here that a few days of sickness (mostly from food) really caught up with me so I made a u-turn and went down to high camp where I vomited and slept for 12 hours!

Yellow Arrow Right Here's Jeff Kunkle's great site covering our entire trip!
Yellow Arrow Right Here's for Bob Dawson 's Climber.Org report about our trip.
Yellow Arrow Right Here's Tom Jagger's account of our trip...

*It seems like every elevation on Aconcagua, including the summit, is in dispute. The figures I use, throughout this page, are the most accurate measurements I could come up with through the use of books, maps, altimeters and GPS. Sometimes three or four of us would be gathered, with our GPS or altimeter in hand, only to find that our current elevation differed as much as 500 feet between all of us! And, of course, Alex's altimeter malfunctioned so badly one morning it suggested the 11 of us were having breakfast a few thousand feet higher than Everest...


Click on any of these thumbnail images for a larger view:

Park Office in Mendoza, Argentina
Park Office in Mendoza
Roger Feeling Smug
Me feeling smug at 14,400'
Dead Mule
Tired mules...
Steve and Tom at the Refugio, 14,400 feet
Steve & Tom at the 14,400' Refugio Hotel
Our Tents at Nido , 18,200 Feet
Another fun day at 18,200'
Jeff Kunkle Finds us Water
Jeff Kunkle finds us water!
Independencia Hut, 20,997 feet
Independencia Hut 20,997'
Stream Corssing
Stream Crossing
Bridge Crossing
Bridge Crossing
Duffel Bags
Helping with the duffels...
Our Tent
Home sweet home...
30 kg maximum per bag
All Eleven of Us
*All eleven of us!
Penitente Ice Formations
Penitente ice formations

Penitente resting
Our Team
Alex's finger and the rest of us...
*Left to Right:
Alex Preiser, Susan Baker, Wayne Herrick, me, Andy White, Jeff Kunkle, Rich McAdams, Lauri Pearce, Steve Bonowski, Bob Dawson and Tom Jagger




Trip Tidbits:
(Things that happened while I was there)

Yellow Arrow Right Click Here for the 2002 MIT and University of Washington report on Water Quality and Fecal Contamination on Mt. Aconcagua...





Most of our team, except for possibly me (!),
undertook "tons" of personal training in preparation
for this trip. In addition to our individual efforts,
leader Bonowski also created a half dozen mandatroy
group training climbs of which the following was one:

Our Leader, Steve Bonowski, Training on Mt. Elbert
Leader Steve Bonowski
These two photos were taken by
Rich McAdams from our September
28th, 2003 training climb up Colorado's
highest - Mt. Elbert (14,433 feet).



Tom, L, Greg, Roger, and Andy up front, training on top Mt. Elbert, Colorado
Tom, Laurie, Greg and Me
(Sorry, we couldn't get the entire group
together as it was like herding cats!)




Aconcagua -
The Name and History:

"The Ayamará Indians, living in today's Province of Mendoza, named the mountain Kon-Kawa, or Snowy Mountains, while the Chilean Indians, the Araucanos, named the river on the western side of the Andean crest Aconca-Hue, or "It comes from the other side." The Inca empire eventually reached the central Andes, where they called the mountain Ancocahuac made up of the Quechua words aco (white) and cahuac. There is no definitive proof that the Incas actually climbed to the summit of the White Sentinel, but there is considerable evidence that the ancient Incas climbed very high on the mountain."
- R.J. Secor, in his book, Aconcagua, a climbing guide (second edition, p. 15)

Who was first? Matthias Zurbriggen arrived on the summit, alone, on January 14, 1897. Zurbriggen was part of Englishman Edward FitzGerald's expedition, a trek Fitzgerald wrote about in his book The Highest Andes. The Fitzgerald expedition had to lay siege to Aconcagua over a five week period. It was only by the sixth attempt did Zurbriggen actually summit. Other members of the party were able to summit, over the following month, but Fitzgerald himself was held back by reoccurring bouts of altitude sickness...





  1. 12ers
  2. 13ers
  3. 14ers
  4. Aconcagua
  5. Aconcagua Now! Miguel's great mountain cam and info site
  6. Africa (Eastern) - Kenya, Tanzania, and my Kilimanjaro climb
  7. Africa (Southern) - Our trip through Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
  8. Amazonia
  9. Argentina and Brazil
  10. Australia Main Page
  11. Australia Two Page
  12. Backcountry Skiing
  13. Bolivia
  14. Bear Safety
  15. China
  16. Adam Marcinowicz summited alone about the same time I was there!!
  17. CIA World Factbook on Argentina
  18. Climbing
  19. Climbing Photos
  20. Climber.Org
  21. CMC Colorado Mountain Club
  22. Colorado Avalanche Information Center
  23. CORSAR - Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue Card
  1. Ecuador
  2. Gear - Stuff for the Backcountry...
  3. High Altitude Medicine Guide
  4. Hiking
  5. Highpoints
  6. India
  7. Japan
  8. Jeff Kunkle's Aconcagua site
  9. Leave No Trace - Center for Outdoor Ethics
  10. Lightning Safety
  11. Mexico
  12. New Zealand
  13. Pikes Peak and Barr Camp
  14. Russia
  15. Silk Road by me
  16. Survival in the backcountry
  17. Ten Essentials and then some!
  18. Tibet by me
  19. Trail Journals
  20. Travel
  21. Travel Two
  22. United Kingdom
  23. Waypoints


Warning! Climbing, mountaineering, and backcountry skiing are dangerous and can seriously injure or kill you. By further exploring this web site you acknowledge that the information presented here may be out of date or incorrect, and you agree not to hold the author responsible for any damages, injuries, or death arising from any use of this resource. Please thoroughly investigate any mountain before attempting to climb it, and do not substitute this web site for experience, training, and recognizing your limitations!




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