Aconcagua Equipment List

Aconcagua Expedition Equipment List

The weather on Aconcagua can be volatile and clothing systems need to be capable of meeting the demands of an ever-changing environment. A layering system, which allows articles of clothing to be added or subtracted as the weather changes, has proven most versatile. The clothing items listed below should layer together to provide appropriate insulation in the most demanding conditions. Because it may snow or rain, materials used in clothing should keep you warm even if they are wet. Synthetics such as polypropylene, Capilene, Synchilla, fleece, and pile are best, wool will also work. Cotton, with the exception of a t-shirt for the sun, is unacceptable. It is also a good idea to test out your gear before you arrive in Argentina. Please make sure you have everything you need as it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to obtain most of these items in South America.

Upper Body Layers

Upper body layers are some of the most important components of a good layering system. They should be comfortable, lightweight and breathable. Cotton is unacceptable, except for a sun shirt while hiking on warm days.

Equipment

Quantity

Comments

Rental

Base Layers

2

One silk weight and one heavy weight top made of synthetic material that can be layered together to increase warmth. A light-colored silk weight is a good idea, because a light color (white/tan/light blue/etc…) will decrease the amount of solar radiation (warmth) that your shirt absorbs. However, your mid-weight base-layers should be darker so that they do absorb the sun’s warmth.

-

Tee Shirt

1

To be worn as a sun shirt while hiking at lower elevations. Synthetic fabric is the way to go, and can double as a bandana or extra sun protection under a baseball cap.

-

Medium Weight Top

1

To be worn over the base layers, this should be synthetic or wool. (a soft shell is an acceptable substitute)

-

Down Parka

1

A good down parka will be your best friend on cold nights and summit morning. It should easily fit over all layers. Most of our guides use either the Sierra Designs Flex or Manic down jackets with a hood. Please don’t hesitate to call us before making any major purchases! 1.800.766.3396

YES

Outer Wear

1

A jacket made of waterproof / breathable material such as Gore-tex is vital for keeping you warm and dry. It needs to fit over all layers. Consider the Sierra Designs Mantra or N2 Fusion jackets.

-

 

Lower Body Layers

Lower body layers should be versatile and easy to change into and out of under changing weather conditions.

Equipment

Quantity

Comments

Rental

Base Layers

2

One silk weight and one heavy weight bottom layer made of synthetic material that can be worn together to increase warmth.

-

Underwear

2-4 pairs

Synthetic briefs and underwear will keep you comfortable and hygienic during high output. Plan on bringing one pair per 4-6 days of use. 

-

Fleece or Synthetic Pants

1

These should be either fleece or synthetic down. If the pants have full-length side zips, it will make your life a lot easier by allowing you to layer without removing your foot wear. We recommend the Patagonia ‘micro-puff pants’.

-

Shorts or Lightweight pants

1

These are optional, but are nice to wear at lower elevations on the hike to base camp. Cotton is unacceptable; synthetic will dry faster and be more comfortable for long periods of wear.

-

Outer Wear

1

Pants made of waterproof / breathable material such as Gore-Tex are vital for keeping you warm and dry. They need to fit over all layers and should have side zips. Consider the Sierra Designs Fusion pant.

-

Head, Neck, Hands & Feet

Keeping your extremities warm & dry is crucial. We lose a massive percentage of body heat through our heads, and our hands and feet are the most susceptible to inconveniences like frostbite and trench-foot. Developing a system that works for your specific needs takes time; this guide is a good place to start.

Equipment

Quantity

Comments

Rental

Warm-Hat

2

Should be made of synthetic material or wool, cotton is unacceptable and dangerous.

-

Sun-Hat

1

The sun can be very bright especially with reflection, the more protection your cap offers from the sun the better.

-

Balaclava or Neoprene Face Mask

1

Used to protect the face from wind/snow, and can be a real life-saver under stormy conditions.

-

Goggles

1

Double lens models with vents work best.

-

Sunglasses

2

Dark lenses with good side protection are a must. The sun can be very bright (especially with reflection off of the water/snow/ice) and can cause permanent eye damage. Most of our guides wear Costa Del Mar sunglasses

-

Light Weight Gloves

1

Windstopper fleece works best. Work gloves with a water-proof palm are nice to have along when dexterity is more important than warmth. ‘Dura-Therm’ or like models (synthetic glove with rubber palm & fingers) work well, just ensure you find the warmest model available.

-

Heavy Weight Gloves

1

Removable shell is a must. These should be warm, easy to use, and water-proof/breathable, with removable liners for easy drying.  Black Diamond makes several great climbing gloves. 

-

Expedition Down or Synthetic Mittens

These should have a removable liner and a waterproof shell. The Absolute Mitt is Black Diamond’s warmest and most comfortable mitten.

-

Socks

3-4

These should be synthetic or wool. Having a mix of light and heavy weight socks is nice to adjust to variable weather.

-

Light Hiking Boots

1

These should be lightweight and broken in well.

-

Mountaineering Boots

1

Plastic boots with a removable liner work best because they are easy to dry out and extremely warm. Please don’t hesitate to call us before making any major purchases 1.800.766.3396 

YES

Gaiters

1

These should fit over your mountaineering boots, and are used to keep water/snow/rocks out. They should be tall and water/abrasion resistant.

-

Technical Hardware

For technical gear we recommend Black Diamond. We run their equipment on every mountain trip we operate, and find it to be among the best in the industry. For sleeping bags we recommend Sierra Designs.

Equipment

Quantity

Comments

Rental

Backpack

1

Should have a minimum capacity of 5,000 cubic inches (85 liter), and should be comfortable with 40-60 lbs of weight.

YES

Trekking poles

1

Lightweight and adjustable length work best.

YES

Lightweight Harness

1

Should fit over all layers and be comfortable when wearing a pack. Adjustable leg loops are best.

YES

Crampons

1

Light weight, sturdy, and easily adjustable are best. The Black Diamond Sabre-tooth works well.

YES

Ice Axe

1

Should be light weight mountaineering axe.

YES

Locking Carabineers

2

Standard aluminum locking carabineers are used on your harness for glacier travel and technical climbing.

-

Large Duffel

1

Used for transporting gear in planes and vehicles on route to trip local. A duffel bag that is burly and can handle large loads are best.

-

Sleeping Bag & Pads

Having a good sleep system is essential in the mountains.  Down bags are preferred because of the high elevations and dry climate of Aconcagua. They are very warm and pack incredibly small.

Equipment

Quantity

Comments

Rental

Sleeping bag

1

The bag should have a minimum warmth rating of -15 degrees F, which is the absolute minimum acceptable temp rating. If you generally “sleep cold” or have other questions about sleeping warm at night we recommend a -25 F bag. A vapor barrier liner or bivy sack can be used to raise a bags temperature rating by approximately 3 degrees F, though creates additional weight and bulk in the pack. Sierra Designs are an excellent option.  Please don’t hesitate to call us before making any major purchases! 1.800.766.3396 

YES

Sleeping pads

2

A system of one compact inflatable pad (‘Thermarest) and one closed cell foam pad works best to insulate when sleeping on snow.

YES

Miscellaneous

Equipment

Quantity

Comments

Rental

Passport

1

Don’t forget! A minimum of 4 photocopies should be made of your passport prior to your departure as well.

-

Eating Utensils

-

Bowl & Spoon (Lexan or titanium work well), as well as a 14oz mug with a lid for hot drinks.

-

Headlamp

1

We recommend LED headlamps, because they are lightweight, long-lasting & durable. Bring extra batteries.

-

Toilet Paper

1

Bring with your own in a Ziploc bag.

-

Iodine

1

A bottle of ‘Polar-Pure’ Crystals is the most convenient, but ‘Potable Agua’ works well also.

-

Personal Med-Kit

1

A personal prescription of a broad-spectrum antibiotic like Ciprofloxacin or Erythromycin is REQUIRED. Diamox and Dexamethasone is also REQUIRED; speak to your doctor for additional information. Your kit should also include ALL personal medications, as well as a stash of Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Band-Aids, and Neosporin. A group Med-Kit will be available for everyone, however bringing a personal kit is mandatory. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1.800.766.3396

-

Blister Kit

1

This should include mole skin/foam and cloth athletic tape for personal use.

-

Lip Balm

1-2

Should have some type of SPF protection.

-

Sunscreen

4-8oz.

Should be SPF 30 or higher and be waterproof.

-

Water Bottles

2

Wide mouth 1-liter Lexan bottles (‘Nalgene’) work best.

-

Bottle Insulation

1-2

Closed cell foam water bottle insulator to keep your water from freezing on summit day.

-

Bandana

1

Used for extra sun-protection. Your t-shirt can be used in place of a bandana if you are trying to shave weight (which is a good thing).

-

Lighter

1

“Bic” is best.

-

Compression/Stuff Sacks

2-4

For organizing your gear inside of your backpack. Consider using compression sacks for both your sleeping bag and clothes to maximize usage of space, as well as a few plastic zip bags and garbage bags for keeping gear dry and/or organized.

-

Garbage & Ziploc bags

variety  

A must to keep your gear dry inside of your pack. (i.e. line your stuff sack with a garbage bag before you stuff your sleeping bag in there)

-

Optional

Equipment

Quantity

Comments

Rental

Summit Pack

1

Used on summit day, should be between approximately 2100 cubic inches (35 liter) and be light weight (many people use their big pack for this purpose).

-

Hand Warmers

6

A invaluable item to keep in your pack for those brisk alpine starts.

-

Sleeping Bag Liner

1

For increased warmth.

-

Pee Bottle

1

1-liter wide-mouth Lexan with a SECURE LID. Nice to have when there is really inclement weather outside.

-

Energy/Candy Bars

0-20

Bring bars that taste good!  Electrolyte gels work well.

-

Moist Towelettes

0-20

This will be as close to a shower as you will get, we recommend one wipe a day.

-

Book

1-2

Leave the 15 pound hardcover at home.

-

Journal

1

‘Rite in the Rain’ or similar water resistant papers work best.

-

Camera

2-4

Digital or Film. If you are buying a digital camera; having a view finder allows you to take photos when it is too bright to see the screen and helps save batteries, also having a camera that is compatible with AA’s allows you to bring extra batteries that don’t cost an arm and a leg. Bring an extra memory card.

-

Money Pouch

1

A good way to keep your money close at all times.

-

 

 We provide the following: tents, group climbing equipment, expedition first aid kits, cooking equipment, and trip food.

Please don’t hesitate to call us with any questions 1.800.766.3396