Mount Aconcagua is the highest mountain outside Asia. It stands 6,961 meters tall and is one of the peaks of the “seven summits”. It is the highest peak in both the Western and the Southern hemispheres. It is located in the Andes Mountain range of South America in Mendoza province of Argentina. Read on for awesome facts on Mount Aconcagua
Created during Andean Orogeny
Andean Orogeny is an ongoing process that formed the Andes Mountains. It began during the Early Jurassic Period and is still continuing. Mount Aconcagua was formed due to the subduction of Nazca plate under the South American plate.
Mount Aconcagua was once a volcano
The Andean Mountain range became volcanic due to the Andean Orogeny, but Mount Aconcagua is not volcanic. It once used to be a stratovolcano. However, in the Miocene era, the subduction angle changed that lifted Mount Aconcagua up from its volcanic roots.
Nobody really knows how it was named
The origin of Mount Aconcagua’s name is unclear. It could possibly be derived from the Mapuche language word “Aconca Hue”, which means “come from the other side”. Or it might have been derived from the Incan language word, “Akon-Kahuak”, which means “Stone Sentinel.”
The first successful ascent was made in 1897
The first person to climb Mount Aconcagua was Swiss guide Matthias Zurbriggen. The first attempt to climb it was made by European climbers in 1883 led by German climber Paul Gussfeldt. A British climber, Edward Fitzergald, attempted to ascent the peak 8 times between December 1896 and February 1897.
The youngest person to climb Mt Aconcagua was 9 years old
Tyler Armstrong from California was 9 year old when he climbed the peak in December 2013.
The oldest person to climb Mt Aconcagua was 87 years old
Scott Lewis became the oldest person to climb the peak at the age of 87 years.
Vegetation and life on the mountain
Most of the vegetation and animal life survive below 4,000 meters altitude. Common animals found on Mt Aconcagua are Pumas, mountain mice, foxes, lizards, toads and, guanacos. Some frequently seen birds here include condor and, the purple eagle.
The flora is includes plants that can survive in lower temperatures. Cacti species are common in this area.
Climate at Aconcagua
There are many glaciers on the mountain, the largest being Ventisquero Horcones Inferior, which is about about 10 km (6.2 mi) long. Two other large glacier systems are the Ventisquero de las Vacas Sur and Glaciar Este/Ventisquero Relinchos system at about five kilometres (3.1 mi) long. A glacier that falls on the route of ascent is Polish Glacier.
At heights higher than 5,000 metres, the temperature is about -30 degree celsius.
Climbing Aconcagua is as hard as the 8000ers
Storms are frequent due to currents from the humid seas. It takes about 21 days to climb the peak if you start from Mendoza. Storms on higher regions of the peak are also called “mushroom storms” and are a warning for the climbers to not to climb.
It has two peaks
One peak is to the south and another to the north. The two peaks are connected by a ridge known as the Cresta or Filo de Guanaco, which measures approximately 1 kilometer in length.