Climbing your first 4,000-meter mountain (in summer) is no different than any other adventurous goal – it’s closer than you think if you simply do some training and work up, up, up to it!
Tamar Hela: writer
Even the most seasoned and athletic hill walker may find mountaineering in the Andes intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. The Andes, a 7,000-kilometer-long mountain range, are South America’s sturdy spine. It runs from Patagonia’s icy reaches in the far south to the Caribbean in the north, and spreads out to 700 kilometers in some areas.
Having its tallest peaks reach heights of nearly 6,000 meters, any journey here would require crossing passes, plateaus, and strange landscapes. To prepare for the imminently thin air in your hiking adventure in the Andes, here’s my strategy to reaching the summit of your ideal peak.
Hiking is a lengthy, strenuous trek in the countryside, typically on trails or pathways. During the seventeenth century, walking for pleasure became popular in Europe. Religious pilgrimages have been around for a long time, but typically include traveling great distances for a spiritual reason connected with particular faiths.
Now, hiking is more than just a religious adventure. In fact, it is considered to be one of the most popular recreational activities especially if you want to unravel the world’s most mesmerizing views. There is no physical strain for hikers since they may walk as long as they wish until they stroll amid hills or mountains.
However, this is not the case when hiking the Andes. This traverses the length of Patagonia, providing countless climbing opportunities. The Patagonian Andes, which stretch from Bariloche to El Chaltén in Argentina and Coyhaique to Torres del Paine in Chile, are a treasure trove for climbers looking for quiet, solitude, and adventure.
Even as a non-professional climber, you have the opportunity to be climbing alongside fantastic climbers. Because the routes are so varied in complexity, you can keep going and going. It makes you want to come back and climb more, learn more, and be around the people who know so much.
Seeing the region’s granite and ice spires in person ignites climbing fantasies. Adventure stirs—a thrilling mix of dread and excitement—as she stands among the glaciers, alpine lakes, and verdant forests at the foot of her unique and alluring peaks.
Unexplored peaks can be found all over the Andes. Its immensity, remoteness, and climate whims result in excellent routes and unconquered summits.
Well, how do you prepare for your hiking adventure in the Andes? Just follow these tips to get started:
1. Begin slowly and choose the appropriate path for your fitness level
2. Become acquainted with the path
3. Examine the weather
4. Tell someone where you’ll be and when you’ll be there
5. Pack your necessities
6. Wear the proper shoes and socks
7. Put on a successful outfit
8. Keep things simple
Over it’s 7,000 km range, the Andes encapsulates dozens of biomes, from steppe plains to thick rainforest jungle to glaciated peaks.
The easier summer mountaineering routes in the Andes tend to be clustered in the central-northern region of the range, in the high peaks of Argentina, Boliva, Peru, and Ecuador.
The rainy season in the Andes is from November to March, and the Inca Trail closes for renovations in February, the wettest month of the year.
The greatest season to visit the Andes is from May to October, when the weather is cooler (especially further south) but dry, with the best possibility of blue sky and stunning views. This is also a fantastic time to explore the Amazon if you’re planning a trip to the region.
If you continue south to Patagonia, however, the far south almost completely shuts down for the southern hemisphere winter.
Trekking is one of the best ways to experience the breathtaking Andes. There are treks for people of various abilities, ranging from easy day walks to strenuous 12-day excursions. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the most famous, but Peru offers a range of hikes, some of which visit lesser-known Inca monuments.
Mount Aconcagua in Argentina is the tallest peak in the Andes, the highest in South America, and indeed the highest mountain in the world outside of the Himalayas.
Many easy 4,000m peaks are in the Cordillera Real mountain range of the Altiplano Andean Plateau, centered on Bolivia. The average base elevation of the plateau is 3,750 m! The Altiplano is wide, flat, and wind-eroded, with large salt flats and steppe plains popular for llama herding. The Cordillera Real offers dozens upon dozens of glaciated granite peaks easily accessible from host cities like El Alto, La Paz, Oruro, and Puno.
Home to the famous Macchu Picchu trail in Peru, the Cordillera Oriental covers a great deal of Colombia. With its close proximity to the Amazonian basin, Caribbean and Pacific Ocean, the mountains tend to be wetter and more lush. The lower foothills are thick rainforests, rising into cloud forests, sub-alpine tundra and even glaciers!
Home to the famed Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile, Patagonia is literally the edge of the earth. Best suited for experienced mountaineers, Patagonia is home to many of the world’s foremost technical traverses and climbs, such as the Fitz Roy Traverse.
Hiking is, for the most part, walking. It is possible for almost anybody to do it and enhance their mind and body via exercise, fresh air, and open spaces. There are certain specialized talents that may come in useful in specific circumstances that you may face when trekking. Take a few minutes to read up, and you may find that you enjoy your next hiking adventure a little more.
Hiking the Andes mountains can be a very difficult adventure, so you have to learn the fundamentals of hiking pace, relaxing, and rhythm. A slow hike is 1.2 mph; a medium hike is 1.5 mph; a fast hike is 2.0 mph or faster.
Crossing rivers and streams should be done with caution, or not at all.
The Andes mountains are no exception to high altitudes, so prepare for hikes over 3,000 meters by knowing the symptoms of HAPE and HACE. Hydrate yourself!
Mountain weather can be unpredictable, so it’s ideal to be prepared before your Andes hike. Check the weather religiously before your trip, and stay off exposed ridges during the afternoon.
Pay close attention to the environmental effect you have. Learn how to reduce the impact of your passage across the land, especially above the treeline.
Because backcountry water hasn’t been treated, you’ll need to filter it to prevent water-borne diseases like Giardia. To disinfect the water, put it to a boil for one minute or use an iodine solution.
Mountaineering is a skill that takes a lot of patience to master. Let’s face it: no one can expect to complete a mountain climb in a short period of time; reaching the summit necessitates sound decision-making and a high level of self-control.
The risks of mountain climbing are very real, and they can happen anytime when there’s a lack of preparation made by the hiker. The most common dangers you’ll encounter when climbing include falling, avalanche danger, exposure to the weather, and altitude sickness.
Mountain climbers must be disciplined enough to work through challenges and barriers while remaining calm and composed, even when faced with perilous and/or unexpected situations. Similarly, you must be disciplined in order to attain your professional and personal objectives.
A high level of focus is also required to maintain safety in your hike. Climbers may have the added incentive of not dying to assist them in reaching the summit, but when it comes to achieving personal and professional goals, unexpected failures and seemingly insurmountable difficulties might be enough to crush your optimism.
Mountaineering fitness necessitates a high overall level of physical conditioning. Climbing at various degrees of effort and navigating difficult terrain, frequently while carrying a heavy pack and at high elevations, need both aerobic and motor fitness.
The more fit you are, the more effectively you can acclimatize (i.e., adapt) to altitude. Simply said, fit climbers use less energy on specific activities (for example, a day of hard climbing), allowing their bodies to prepare for the job of acclimatization.
Given the time limitations imposed by weather, route conditions, objective dangers, and the impacts of altitude, training objectives are essential. Proper physical training enables you to perform better by climbing longer, stronger, and quicker, to be more comfortable on steeper and more difficult terrain, to carry larger loads, to recover more rapidly at rest, and to enjoy the whole trip more fully.
The amount of preparation required varies greatly depending on your location and planned trekking path. I would get in shape and bring coca tablets to assist counteract the effects of altitude on the climbs to Machu Picchu (Dead Women’s Pass is 4,200m).
The W Trek in Patagonia, on the other hand, is largely under 1,000 meters in elevation, so it’s more like a mountain hike in the United Kingdom. In any case, you must be prepared for changing mountain weather by wearing the appropriate clothing and equipment.
If you want to take your Andes hiking adventure to the next level, bring a portable charger with you. Phone batteries expire quicker while they are looking for a signal or using GPS applications. Both of these things happen often when hiking!
Also, if you’re trekking in a wildlife-rich region, you’ll want to pack binoculars! Keep your distance from animals at all times, although binoculars may be a wonderful way to view wildlife up close.
There are so many various gear choices available these days that you may personalize your equipment to fit your budget – to a point. To fully equip oneself with new backpacking gear for your next trip, you should expect to spend between $1000 and $5000 on average.
Food will cost between $8 to $60 a day per person on average. It all depends on what you want to eat while you are camping, the equipment you will use to prepare your food, and how many people are in your camp. Food will cost between $5 and $10 each meal on the low end.
From New York, the costs range from USD 1000 to 1500. Purchase your ticket at least a couple months in advance. Flight ticket from the United Kingdom to Buenos Aires. Lastly, flying from London starts at £800. Flights from Buenos Aires to Mendoza start at USD 120.
The cost of accommodation in hiking the Andes mountains depends on the place you’re staying in. You should be good with a budget of around $14 to $1,000, and you’re definitely getting the accommodation you’re paying for.
In most cases, you should factor in some extra costs. The cost of an ascending permit for the Normal Route at Macchu Picchu varies from US$ 291 to US$ 800, depending on the season and your nationality. You must process it in person in the city of Mendoza prior to the ascent. The majority of guides will offer to assist you with this.
Here are some tips for you to save up for your upcoming Andes hike:
These are some tips most hikers don’t know, and you’ll be needing these for your next Andes hiking adventure: