It is an advisable site to spend the first night walk in the approximation to the base camping areas of “Plaza de Mulas” or “Plaza Francia”.
The site has drinkable water, and there is room for camping and forester service. It is around 3100 mts height. It is there where “Horcones Superior” and Inferior river are joined. You get there from “Laguna de los Horcones” in approximately four hours march.
Services: Park Rangers
CampsPlaza de Mulas
“Plaza de Mulas” (14.000 feet.) is the biggest base camp in Aconcagua. There is water around and big rocks that protect the placing of tents. “Plaza de Mulas” is an excellent place for acclimatization. From “Plaza de Mulas” it is possible to reach in a single day (or two) the neighbouring peaks, all over 5000mts high. The glaciar “Horcones Superior” is also a great place to visit and climb in its great gendarme and ice towers. The peak “Cuervo” (5450 mts.) is a valued alpinistic objetive. Its sides offer all kind of possibilities. From simple ascension to difficult climbs through the south walls. This wall has an unevenness of about 800 ms. Its direct way opened in 1986 by the swiss F. Mariani and R Notaris, has rope lengths or extreme difficulty. It is easy to reach “Plaza de Mulas” since there is a clear marked by the permanent transit of mountaineers and live stock. The river is crossed through bridges. The distance from “Puente del Inca” (2700mts.) is about 36 km and the difference in height is 1500 mts. It is advisable to do the journeys in two days.
Services: Park Rangers – Medical-Rescure Patrol – Phone – Helicopter.
Timing: Puente del Inca – Confluencia (3 to 6hs)-Confluencia – Plaza de Mulas (6 to 8 hs).
Access: Ruta normal-Southwest ladder-West side-Polish Glaciar.Plaza Francia
Plaza Francia (4100 mts.) is located over the left orografic margin of the glaciar “Horcones inferior”. There are a lot of places suitable for acamping determined by small streams wich go down from the “sur del circo” counterfort. In that place there is no vegetation and winds are not a problem, but it is important to place lents out of the way of the big rocks, that go down fast from the nighbouring counterforts. It is important no to understimate this. From “Plaza Francia”, you can climb the “Almacenes” hill (4800 mts.) and “Mirador” hill (5800mts. ). You can also climb and familiar with the rocks of that area, in the walls of the neighbouring big “Gendarmes”. Starting at “Puente del Inca” (2700 mts.) there are 26 kms and the difference in hight is approximately 1400 mts. The path is marked by the permanent transit of the mountaineers and live stock. It is possible to reach Plaza Francia in a day mark (7 to 13 hs.).
In “Confluencia” it is not necessary to cross the river, as it as in the way to “Plaza de Mulas”. You must follow the path that is located over the left orografic margin in the “quebrada”.
Timing: Puente del Inca – Confluencia (3 to 6hs)-Confluencia – Plaza Francia (3 to 5 hs) Access route: South wall.Plaza Argentina
“Plaza Argentina” is located at 4100 mts and it is a good place for camping. In order to reach these place, the starting point is “Punta de Vacas” (2400 mts.) and them you have to go north of “de las Vacas” river. There is water and firewood in all the deep pass, the path is well marked. Over the left orografic margin of “de las Vacas” river, at 15 km, the “casa de las Leñas” is located (2350 mts.). You can cross ” de las vacas” river 31 km from “Punta de Vacas”. Finally, and over the left margin of the same river, small shelter “casa de Piedras” (3060 m) is located, 47 km from the starting point.Just in front of the mouth of “de los relinchos” river. This little shelter is mimetized with the view an it is difficult to be found. In this place you can find water. From the surraoundings of “casa de Piedras”, you must leave “de las vacas” river and continue to the west along “rio de los relinchos”. There the pendent grows and several hard slopes appear. Finally you will acceed to a flat lowland (3800mts.). It is convenient to continue climbing cross the river (with high margins) an continue until the big very characteristic “square rock” around 20 mts high. Inmediatly after that you must go down a few meters to a big esplanade wich is at the mercy of the winds. That place has water an is apropiate for camping called “Plaza Argentina” (4100 mts.). The distance from “Punta de Vacas” is around 60 km there is a difference of 2000 of height, is convenient to complete the journey in a three day march.
Services: Park Rangers – Medical – Helicopter – Phone
< Day 1: Punta de Vacas – “Leñas” shelter (3 to 6 hs)
< Day 2: Leñas shelter – Vacas river – Casa de Piedras shelter (5 to 8 hs)
< Day 3: Casa de Piedras – Plaza Argentina (5 to 8)hs.