Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Mt. Aconcagua located?
Mount Aconcagua (in Spanish: Cerro Aconcagua) is located in the Andes mountain range, in the province of western Mendoza in west-central Argentina, on the border with Chile. Possibly, the name originated from ackon cahuak (“sentinel of stone”) in the native Quechua language.
Aconcagua is an extinct volcano that was active until a minimum of 9.5 million years ago, explaining its height. It has two summits connected by a 0.6 mile ridge known as Cresto del Guanaco.
Aconcaqua is a few hours’ travel from the beauteous city of Mendoza to the east and Santiago, Chile, to the west. Mendoza is usually the start and end point for expeditions. It’s highly European in appearance, with cafés lining the streets and beautiful plazas all over the place.
How tall is Mt. Aconcagua?
The Military Geographical Institute of Argentina gives the height of Aconcaqua as 6,960.8m (22,831 feet) above sea level. It’s the largest mountain outside of Asia and one of the Seven Summits, the largest mountains on each continent (counting Australia and Australasia separately).
Aconcagua is 4,300 miles long and 310 miles wide.
What does the name Aconcagua mean?
There are several possibilities:
- From the Mapudungun Aconca-Hue, which refers to the Aconcagua River and means "Comes from the other side"
- From the Quechua Ackon Cahuak, meaning "Sentinel of Stone"
- From the Quechua Anco Cahuac, meaning "White Sentinel"
- Or from the Aymara Janq'u Q'awa, meaning "White Ravine"
What are the risks of climbing Mt. Aconcagua?
There are severe winds and low temperatures, but it’s Aconcagua’s altitude that presents the greatest problem. The traditional remedy for altitude sickness is diamox, which helps the body to raise its blood oxygenation levels.
Every year sees an average of three deaths on Aconcaqua– mainly people who underestimated their task. Mendoza’s police department supplies a rescue team. It doesn’t cover routes on the South Wall or Polish Glacier, as they’re too risky. Help may take several hours to arrive.