The Stone Sentinel and the Stars View Point, two of the most emblematic peaks in the world: two mythical challenges for climbers.
Aconcagua and Tupungato mounts are in the Andean Range, in the province of Mendoza. The first one, also known as the Stone Sentinel, with its 22,841 f.a.s.l., is the highest peak in the Southern Hemisphere and in the whole American Continent; the second, also known as Stars View Point, and only 1,300 feet lower, proposes identical challenges. Mountaineers shall have to spend some time to get used to the altitude. Approaching the top, they shall have to walk through valleys, ravines and glaciers. The satisfaction of overcoming oneself to conquer two of the most emblematic peaks in the world is worth every effort.
The ascent to the Aconcagua is by its northern side, called “Vía Normal” and it departs from Penitentes. All along the route, there are altitude camps necessary to get used to the altitude. At the base-camp –Plaza de Mulas, at 14,100 f.a.s.l.- there is a shelter offering accommodation services. The next camp is known by the name of “Cambio de Pendiente”, at 16,900 f.a.s.l. The following shelters -Plantamura, Libertad and Berlin- are at 18,700 f.a.s.l. Independencia, the last shelter, almost destroyed, is at 21,325 f.a.s.l. and it is the highest shelter in the world. In their way, climbers shall look for different milestones: The Street Lights, Canada Square, Stone at the 5,000s, Condor Nest, White and Black Stones, Great Voyage and Chute. And, obviously, the peak!
From the arrival to Penitentes until starting the ascent to the peak, 8 or 9 days are necessary for acclimatization. Expert climbers may try the ascent by the southern side, with a 9,800 ft. wall of extreme difficulty.
Tupungato volcano stands on its 21,555 f.a.s.l. As the Aconcagua, at technical level it is not extremely complicated, but the ascent is very hard and presents great difficulties at the last stage due to the presence of ice. This volcano does not attract as many climbers as the Aconcagua, and that makes it ideal for those willing to avoid the bustle of the high season. The routes to ascend to the Tupungato are by the North, South and West, with similar characteristics as far as length and difficulty levels are concerned.
Provincial Route N° 89 gets to Tupungato Provincial Park, and its goes from Tupungato to Las Tunas Dam and Estancia Gualtallary. Another pedestrian access is by Punta de Vacas (National Route N° 7).
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