Kit list for Aconcagua expeditions
The kit you need for a successful expedition to Aconcagua...
Posted on Tue 21 Mar 2023 · by Jason Rawles
Below you will find a list of the required gear to climb Mt. Aconcagua. We know that getting all these items can be time-consuming and expensive, but in a 7,000m mountain, having the right gear can make the difference between a safe, comfortable experience and one that “could have been better”.
One of the characteristics of this expedition is the wide range of temperatures and conditions you will encounter: from the 30c / 86f that you can find as you land in Mendoza, to 7 hours under a fiery sun during the hike in, to -20c / -4f (and often windy) on a typical summit day.
We recomend you to tick the items as you pack.A useful rule-of-thumb is to visualise yourself, all “dressed up for the occasion”, in the very different situations you will have to deal with; at the summit with harsh conditions (with goggles, gaiters, ice axe and all), getting your climbing permit in Mendoza (sandals and shorts), trekking to BC in a sunny but windy day (hiking shoes, light jacket).
Your clothing should be warm, lightweight, dry quickly and allow good freedom of movement. The layering principle, based on several thin layers of insulation (rather than one thick one), meets these requirements well.
Mendoza has an arid climate, so in the city and during the trek to base camp you can expect warm, sunny days, with the nights becoming colder as you gain altitude. Your altitude gear will be carried by mules to Base Camp at about 4.250 m / 13,900 feet. Above BC we use the “carry/move” system, allowing time for team members to acclimate to the higher elevations.
As you will be sharing the camps with other climbers, it is important to label and identify all items of personal gear. Items like headlamps and water bottles can look almost identical, and the same goes for clothing of the same brand and model.
If you are with Aspire Adventures you will be given a 120 litre expedition duffel bag and access to a discount with Ellis Brigham our retail partner.
- Two long sleeve tops, synthetic or wool. No cotton. Labelled "lightweight" or "silk weight" are best choices.
- One bottom, same as above.
Most climbers use their underwear underneath their base layer. Bring up to four pairs or as personal preference.
- One lightweight fleece or wind shirt made of nylon, fleece and be a windstopper.
- Bottoms as above and consider power stretch, wool or fleece. Not too bulky for your pack.
- A thin, light and breathable jacket but snow and wind resistant layer that is comfortable to wear and ideally with hood.
- Similar to properties of your jacket and will be your outer leg layer for a large majority of the time.
- An extra layer for warm that should fit under your outer shell. Something like a lightweight down or synthetic jacket.
- This is your outer layer jacket to protect from the harsh elements. Needs to be lightweight, breathable and packable plus with a hood.
- Same as the above but for legs. Side zips are great for getting on quickly and helping with heat management on the move.
- A warm, insulated, hooded jacket that will keep you warm in the coldest temperatures. Rating for this is down to your personal preference. It should fit over all your outer layers.
- Made of down or synthetic materials with side zips. These pants would fit over your midlayer bottoms.
- Thin liners and would be a first skin if things got really cold. Ideally one that's lightweight and one a little bigger.
- Fleece or leather gloves that could be worn all day from walking to pitching a tent.
- Expedition gloves which will be thick, waterproof and with detachable liners to help with things head torches. They should stretch up to your forearm and have loops or cords to stop them being blow away.
- Summit day mittens which can be worn over the liners. These must be warm and extremely weatherproof. As with the expedition gloves they should go up to your forearms and have straps or loops.
Head and face protection:
- Sun hat
- Warm hat like a beanie and thin enough ti fit under helmet
- Buff or balaclava
- As with gloves, the right fit and combination is key. Have at least five pairs with some thick and some thin. On summit day you may one thin and thick on together.
- Waterproof, breathable gaiters that cover over your ankle and fit your mountaineering boots correctly.
- You need double or triple boots designed for extremely cold weather. Double boots are okay with a gaiter and triple boots can be warmer. Try a few before deciding.
- Hiking boots that should be comfortable and with ankle support.
- Running shoes or sandals for travelling, days in Mendoza, perhaps a river crossing or resting at BC.
- Long sleeved lightweight shirt for trekking or relaxing that's quick drying.
- Mendoza clothes for getting the permit and after summit celebrations. Can be left behind when we head to the mountain.
- Trekking poles that are telescopic and you know how they work.
- Climbing helmet.
- Lightweight walking axe.
- Crampons that fit your boots and are easy to use with gloves on.
- Head torch and ideally runs on AAA batteries and bring spare batteries.
- Ski goggles which block 100% of UV light and ensure they fit over prescription glasses.
- Glacier glasses and make no compromise. Good quality lenses with 100% UVA/UVB protection. Recommended to bring a spare pair.
- Sleeping bag that is down or synthetic and rated to at least -20c as comfort rating.
- Sleeping pad and we recommend using two. One which is a closed foam cell and one inflatable. This helps with comfort and insulation.
- Eating utensils, thermal mug with lid, spoon, bowl and hydration (bladder and water bottles) for 3 litres. If you bring a camelback please also bring bottles. Insulating pipes and the bottles is advisable.
- Garbage bags and bring three or four.
- Pee bottle or pee funnel.
- Expedition back pack for load carrying that's 60-80 litres.
- Day pack around 35 litres for daily use.
- Solid, "mule proof" duffel bag for expedition use. Two is great but one big one is okay too. Should be 120 litres.
- Personal medical kit which deals with sunburn, cuts, blisters, headaches, scrapes and any personal meds needed.
- Personal toiletries and admin like anti-bacterial hand gel, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand towel, sun cream, lip protection cream, biodegradable soap, wash cloth.
- Multitool, gaffer tape, zip ties for fixing things.
- Money pouch for carrying valuables.
- Power pack/solar panels for charging electronics but be aware of weight and space.
- Wet wipes.
- Ear plugs.
- Headphones for listening to music or podcasts.
- Pillow case that you can put clothes in to help with comfort and sleep.
If you have any questions about kit, expeditions or more please do click here to CONTACT US and one of the team will be back to you ASAP.