Aconcagua

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Aconcagua is the highest mountain in The Americas and the Southern Hemisphere, as well the highest peak outside of Asia and one of the Seven Summits.

This member of the Andes mountain range covers 59-68 W and 32-39 S with its boundaries marked by the Valle de las Vacas to the north and east and the Valle de los Horcones Inferior to the West and South. The mountain and its surroundings are part of the Aconcagua Provincial Park. The mountain has a number of glaciers. The most substantial are the north-eastern or Polish Glacier and the eastern or English Glacier.

The mountain was created by the subduction of the Nazca plate beneath the South American plate during the geologically recent Andean orogeny. The origin of the name is contested, it is either from the Arauca Aconca-Hue or the Quechua Ackon Cahuak.

Routes

In mountaineering terms, Aconcagua is technically an easy mountain if approached from the North, the 'Normal route', on this approach no actual climbing is needed although the effects of altitude are severe (atmospheric pressure is 40% of sea-level at the summit). The use of supplemental oxygen is not required.

The record for the Normal route is 5 hours and 45 minutes, set in 1991. More typically, the Normal Route is ascended through three camps with additional rest days.

The second most common route is the Polish Glacier Traverse route. This approaches the mountain through the Vacas valley, ascends up to the base of the Polish Glacier, then traverses across to the Normal Route for the final ascent to the summit.

The routes to the peak from the Southern and Southwest ridges are more demanding and the Southern face climb is considered very tough.

The first recorded ascent was in 1897 by an expedition led by the Briton Edward Fitzgerald. The summit was reached by the Swiss Mathias Zurbriggen on January 14 and by two other expedition members a few days later.

Before attempting the mountain climbers need to purchase a permit from the Aconcagua Provincial Park authority in Mendoza. Prices vary depending on the season.

External links

da:Aconcagua de:Aconcagua es:Aconcagua fr:Aconcagua it:Aconcagua nl:Aconcagua ja:アコンカグア no:Aconcagua pl:Aconcagua pt:Aconcgua zh:阿空加瓜山

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