Mount Aconcagua is the tallest mountain in South America. It is located in Argentina in the Principal Cordillera of the Andes mountain range, in Mendoza Province. Likewise, it is also a part of one of the longest mountain ranges in the world. The height of Mount Aconcagua is 6,960.8 m (22,837 ft) above sea level. Besides the mountains in Asia, Mount Aconcagua is the tallest mountain in the world.
This mountain is situated very close to Chile. There are just so many interesting things to know about Mount Aconcagua. Make sure to read till the end of this article to know more about the mountain!
Where is Mount Aconcagua?
Mount Aconcagua is located in the Mendoza Province in the Principal Cordillera of the Andes mountain range in Argentina. This mountain is the tallest not just in Argentina or South America but also in the world, after the tall mountains of Asia. Aconcagua is one of the seven summits in the world. Many mountaineers visit the mountain every year in an attempt to summit it. Mount Aconcagua is situated in such a region and is of a make that is fairly easy to climb than most other tall mountains in South America. This makes it a non-technical mountain, meaning that you won’t need any gears and equipment to summit the mountain.
Mount Aconcagua is also the tallest mountain in both the Southern and Northern hemispheres. The mountain is in between Valle de las Vacas to the north and east and the Valle de los Horcones Inferior to the west and south. Mount Aconcagua is also a part of the Aconcagua Provincial Park. The largest glacier of the peak is the Ventisquero Horcones Inferior, which is about 10 km (6 mi) long and goes down from the south face to 3,600 m (11,800 ft). Ventisquero de las Vacas Sur and Glaciar Este/Ventisquero Relinchos system are two of the enormous glacier systems of the mountain. Another best-known glacier located in Mount Aconcagua is the Polish glacier.
Origin of Mount Aconcagua
Mount Aconcagua is a volcanic mountain. And there are traces in the mountain that proves this point. It is not an active volcano, and many don’t even consider it a volcano. But, it has its origins as a volcano from several years ago. Likewise, the name of the mountain is also a mystery, but it has been said to have gotten its name from the language of the natives of Quechua.
Furthermore, the formation of Mount Aconcagua was done after the merge of the Nazca Plate beneath the South American Plate. The subduction that happened around 8 to 10 million years ago happens to be the reason why Mount Aconcagua was lifted up from its volcanic roots. What best shows the evidence of the mountain being an active volcano several millions of years ago are rocks like lavas, breccias, and pyroclastics. The volcanic existence of this mountain has been there since the formation of the mountainous plates.
In the Horcones Valley and south of Puente Del Inca, one can find greyish, greenish, and bluish deposits, the limestones, turbidites, carbonates, and evaporates that filled the basin. Likewise, the red-colored stones and deposits found in the mountain are also evidence of the mountain originally being a volcano.
How hard is it to climb Mount Aconcagua?
Mountaineers have always considered Mount Aconcagua as one of the easiest mountains to climb among the seven summits. One of the main reasons for this is it is almost completely non-technical. You won’t need equipment or gear to climb the mountain. And, in many cases, even beginners can climb the peak without much difficulty. There has been a record of a nine-year-old, the youngest person in the world, to have climbed Mount Aconcagua. Likewise, a 12-year-old girl, and an 87-year-old man, have also been successful in expediting the mountain, which is one way to think of how conveniently one can climb this peak if he is careful and gets enough acclimatization.
One of the main reasons why people might suffocate in Mount Aconcagua is they might rush and not get enough acclimatization. But this can be overcome with the right amount of air and time taken to climb the mountain. Mount Aconcagua has been known for not requiring any artificial oxygen as well. However, altitude sickness still has a good possibility of affecting the mountaineers; hence, even if not used, it would be wise to carry at least a single oxygen on your way to the top of this mountain. The success rate of climb of Mount Aconcagua is 30-40%.
The mythology of Mount Aconcagua
Mount Aconcagua was originally known as “Ackon Cahuak,” which translates to Stone Sentry. For the native Incas of South America, Mount Aconcagua has always held a sacred place. People from the native circle have always worshipped the mountain. One of the most shocking things to the outer world related to Mount Aconcagua has to be the fact that there used to be sacrifices on the mountain, and sometimes, even human sacrifices. The sites of the mountains were discovered in 1985 at a height of 5167 m. This height has been known as the most difficult height to reach throughout the mountain since its discovery.
Another shocking discovery was the remains of a child with feathers, cloth, and grass that was embedded inside stone walls. This is called the Aconcagua mummy. The things that were found with the remnants of the child signify that this body belonged to a child from a high social class of the Incas. Other offerings that were made with the body were figures and cocoa leaves. While there still isn’t any evidence of whether the child was buried after death or simply sacrificed in the mountain, the burial gives major hints about the history related to the Incas and Aconcagua. With time, whatsoever, the patterns seem to have changed, and Aconcagua has become more of a tourist and trekking site while also withholding its sacredness among the natives in Argentina.