We had a great client question recently about what they should expect to pack on their Aconcagua trek in January, 2012 and more precisely, what they should expect to carry after the mules are done hauling the gear to Aconcagua’s Base Camp.
For the first 3 days of the approach, a small 30-liter pack will do, while a larger pack goes on the mules, all the way to base camp.
For the high altitude sections of the climb, Base Camp – Summit – Base Camp, in your big pack, you’ll carry all your clothes, crampons, ice axe, sleeping bag, mat, water, mug, spoon, and pack lunch or snack, etc. The average weight depends on how light or cutting edge your equipment is. For a typical male, this averages between 12 – 17 kg.
You can hire, at extra cost, a personal porter, who would carry up to a 20 kg load, for all sections of the climb, and the way down as well, except the section Camp 3 – Summit – Camp 3.
On Summit day, you will leave behind at Camp 3 your sleeping bag, mat, and other personal items. You will have on most of your insulation layers on at the beginning; as the day progresses, weather permitting, you will layer off the extra clothes into your almost empty pack. Depending on the conditions, crampons will already be clicked on your feet. You will also want to carry about 1 liter of a hot beverage, like tea.
Tents, pots, stoves, fuel, food, etc., is considered “common expedition gear” and is carried by our porters, as a service included in the expedition price.