The Trip-Finder, January 1999
Climbing Aconcagua via the Guanacos Valley Route
The Route: Tackling the 22,834-foot summit of the highest peak outside the Himalayas via a new route that's harder to approach and hence virtually untraveled. You'll see plenty of llama-like guanacos but very few turistas on this nontechnical but physically demanding 20-day
When to go: January-February
Travel advisory: Because the terrain allows camps to be ideally spaced for acclimatization, this new route should appeal to climbers who've had trouble at altitude. but don't underestimate Aconcagua's severe storms. Last year, 16 hikers died — more than on Everest in 1996.
- Standing on top of the Western Hemisphere and looking down at the Pacific Ocean, 80 miles to the west.
- Negotiating the difficult footing of this route, which is so lightly traveled that there are no trails.