Known among extreme climbers as the world’s seven summits, this pinnacle group of mountains represents the highest reaches of each of the seven continents. On the list: Mount Kosciuszko (Australia), Mont Blanc (Europe), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Vinson Massif (Antarctica), Everest (Asia), Elbrus (Europe), Mount McKinley (Denali) and Argentina’s very own, Aconcagua. Though some debate circulates around which peaks to include on the list of seven, this list – proposed by Richard Bass – is considered to be the definitive test of a climber’s true grit.
Scaling any of them is a mountaineering milestone, and Aconcagua is no mean feat as the highest outside of the Himalayas. Aconcagua stands at an impressive 6,961 meters, known as the ‘stone sentinel’ that demarcates the border between Argentina and Chile.
With the climbing season in full swing (November to March), those looking to make a trip to the mountain need to be well-prepared. Climbing and trekking permits can be acquired in Mendoza city and range from 3-20 day mountain passes (http://www.aconcagua.mendoza.gov.ar 261 425 8751), the 20-day permit is required for those hoping to make a summit bid.
By Madeline Blasberg
Published in the December 2012/January 2013 edition of Wine Republic