Two South African climbers are making final preparations to climb Aconcagaua, the tallest mountain in South America, via the technically challenging Polish Glacier Direct Route. If successful, they’ll be the first mountaineers from their country to successfully top out on the mountain using this approach.
The two climbers, Andrew Raubenheimer and Dobek Pater, are already in Argentina, where according to the latest news on their website, the are attempting to get all the necessary permits they need to climb the mountain. With that little detail out of the way, they intend to set out for the mountain itself in the next few days, where they’ll establish base camp and make their final preparations for the climb.
The Polish Glacier Direct Route was first opened back in 1934 and is known for it’s hazardous, and technically difficult, ice climbs up the Polish Glacier. The route is rather gear intensive, requiring both traditional mountaineering equipment as well as a full compliment of ice climbing gear, which means that Andrew and Dobek will have heavy packs when the make their assault on the summit.
Standing 6962 meters (22,841 feet) in height, Aconcagua is the tallest peak in the Western Hemisphere and the tallest outside of the Himalaya. It is part of the Andes mountain range, and sits in the far western regions of Argentina, close to the border with Chile. As one of the Seven Summits, the mountain sees plenty of traffic, and is generally considered a non-technical climb along it’s most popular route. Alternative routes like the Polish Glacier Direct offer a much more challenging climb for experienced mountaineers.
Thanks to Lisa from AR.co.za, an excellent site on adventure racing in South Africa specifically and the sport in general.