Mount Aconcagua in Argentina is a popular destination for climbers. To find out more about this natural Argentine wonder read our guide for more facts & information…
Aconcagua has the highest summit of any mountain in the Americas at 6,962 feet. Located in the Andes between Argentina and Chile. One of the Seven Summits, it is second in height only to Mt. Everest in the Himalayas of Asia. Although it is popularly believed to have volcanic origins, Aconcagua is not an active volcano. It has several glaciers including the Polish Glacier, the Ventisquero Horcones Inferior and the Glaciar Este/Ventisquiero Relinchos. It is part of the Aconcagua Provincial Park
Formation of Aconcagua
Scientists attribute to formation of the mountain to the subduction of the Nazca Plate under the South American Plate. From a geological standpoint, the mountain is quite young. The name, taken from either the native Arauca or Quechua languages may have been misinterpreted by Europeans leading to the belief the Aconcagua was a volcano. The native name in Arauca, Acona-Hue, means from the other side which probably refers to the Aconcagua River. The Quechua name, Ackon Chuak or Ackon Cahuak, means either Sentinel of Stone or White Sentinel.
The first attempt to climb Aconcagua was made in 1883 by Paul Gussfeldt, a German geologist. Although his two attempts to reach the summit were unsuccessful, he did reach a height of 6500 feet and the route he pioneered along the Rio Volcan is now the most popular method of ascent. In 1907, an expedition led by Edward FitzGerald had three members who made a successful ascent, the first person being Maitthias Zurbriggen, a Swiss climbing guide.
In 2008, 11 year old Matthew Moniz of Boulder Colorado made a successful ascent of Aconcagua and he was the youngest person to do so. The oldest climber to make the ascent was Scott Lewis, age 87, who completed the ascent in November of 2007.
Aconcagua in Disney Movies
In 1942, Disney made a short animated film called Pedro in which a small aircraft named Pedro nearly crashed into the mountain on an air mail run. The retold story in a Disney anthology also mentions Aconcagua. The 1969 Disney film, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, used Aconcagua as the correct answer to a quiz show question. Disney is the only North America film studio to mention the mountain in any movies or television shows.
Although Aconcagua is not a volcano, it is a magnificent site and offers a challenging climb for mountaineers. Guided expeditions are available and since the mountain is located in the central western area of the country it may be subject to winter weather conditions. Ascents are not usually planned during the winter months of June and July.