The Cerro Aconcagua in November 2004


The Aconcagua ( with full name: Cerro Aconcagua ) is with 6962 meters the highest mountain in South America and the Americas as well as the highest mountain outside Asia and in the southern hemisphere. Since there are 187 higher mountains in Asia (see List of mountains in Asia), Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the world - 188.


The Aconcagua is located in the Argentinean Andes in Mendoza Province, near the Chilean border. He has five hanging glaciers and up to ten -kilometer-long glacier. A secondary peak ( 6928 m) is located south of the main summit. The mountain is not a volcano, even though he was just like the Mount Everest held due to frequent clouds flags on its summit a long time for such a.


The meaning of the name Aconcagua is unclear. It is believed that it was derived from Mapudungun Aconcagua Hue or Ackon Cahuak from Quechua, which means " stone guard". Another interpretation comes from the Aymara language, in which the name "Snow Mountain" would mean. In Chile, he has long been famous as El volcano ( " Volcano ").

Climbing history

Preliminary investigations of the area were carried out in 1817 by the independence fighter José de San Martín as he entered the passes on Aconcagua of Argentina to Chile. Robert FitzRoy measured the mountain from the sea in 1834 and calculated a height of 23,200 feet, so it was clear the Aconcagua the highest mountain in the Andes. Until then, the Chimborazo had been regarded as the highest mountain on the continent.

The first -mentioned expedition was conducted from November 1882 to March 1883 by the German Paul Güssfeldt. He could prove that the Aconcagua is not a volcano, and the amount determined relatively accurately. However, his summit attempts from the north he had to stop several times due to bad weather. His greatest altitude reached was 6560 m. The third after an unsuccessful attempt by the German Turnverein of Santiago de Chile expedition was led in December 1896 by the British Edward FitzGerald, the path from the south was chosen. The leader of the expedition, the mountain guide Matthias Zurbriggen Saas Fee, reached on 14 January 1897 as first to the top. Because nausea FitzGerald had below the summit of the mountain leader Nicola Lanti from Macugnaga, Josef Lochmatter, Josef Pollinger and Alois Pollinger junior from St. Niklaus back lead the expedition to the base camp. On February 13, Lanti Nicola and Stuart Vines led by the Second ascent. The first Argentine to the summit was on March 8, 1934, the soldier Nicolás Plantamura, the first woman Frenchwoman Adriana Banca on March 7, 1940 1946 several bivouacs were built to a height of 6400 m along the normal route via the northwest ridge. ; but they are mostly now in ruins. The southern side top of the mountain was in 1947 by a German group ( Thomas Kopp, Lothar Herold ) climbed.


The mountain is considered among climbers than on the north side of "light" to ersteigender mountain. The normal route from base camp " Plaza de Mulas " is off to cope without the use of climbing techniques. Due to the extreme altitude climbing nevertheless considerable dangers. Since the atmospheric pressure at the summit is only about 40 % of the pressure at sea level, a long acclimatization is essential. Most three high camps are established. The use of cylinders is not common at these altitudes.

The second most frequently used and nächstschwerere "false Poland route" leads from the base camp " Plaza Argentina " at the beginning of the northeastern Glaciar de los Polacos ( " Polish Glacier "). The glacier is exceeded in the lower flat and crevasse-free part, and after crossing a 25 to 30 degree steep slope at about 6400 m of coming from the base camp " Plaza de Mulas " " Normal " is achieved. The sun facing away from the south side of Mount Aconcagua is significantly heavier, the south wall Pared Sur is considered the most difficult ascent route.

The best time to Climb the summit is from November to March. At the foot of the mountain, there are two well-equipped base camp, where permanent National Park guides are stationed during the season. Before climbing a permit must be bought in the administration of the Aconcagua Park in Mendoza personally.

Mythological significance

Of the Incas Aconcagua mountain was sacred. Just as in other mountains ( eg Ampato ) places of worship were built here and sacrifice, even human sacrifices. The discovered in 1985 at a height of 5167 m plants are among the highest in the world and are the most difficult to reach all Inca sacrificial sites. Here, embedded on grass, fabric and feathers remains of a child were found within stone walls. The clothing suggests that it was a member of the top stratum of society. Figures and coca leaves were discovered more offerings.