Hemisphere High: Climbing in the Andes

Who should go

Aconcagua is no place for a rookie. Those attempting the peak should have a record of successful climbs at higher altitudes. No one wants suddenly to discover high that he/she is prone toward altitude sickness. Climbers must have the strength and endurance to lug heavy loads up continuously steep hills. Although the peak can be technically undemanding, participants should be adept at basic mountaineering skills, especially early in the season when snow still covers the slopes.


American Alpine Institute (www.aai.cc), Mountain Madness (www.mountainmadness.com), Rainier Mountaineering (www.rmiguides.com) and others offer professionally guided climbs.

Only experienced climbers should attempt to do the climb privately. Check the Aconcagua Web site (www.aconcagua.org) for permit and registration information.

About the Author: Dan Leeth is a freelance writer/photographer who has visited, photographed and written about adventures on all seven continents. To read more of his work, visit www.LookingForTheWorld.com.