The 6,962-meter-high Aconcagua is not allowed to be climbed for the time being. Due to the corona pandemic, the authorities of the Argentinean province of Mendoza canceled the climbing season on the highest mountain in South America, which normally lasts from mid-November to the end of February. The Aconcagua National Park is only open to local trekkers, overnight stays are not allowed.
Decision was made some time ago
Aconcagua belongs to the Seven Summits, the highest mountains of all continents, and is therefore very frequented. Each year between 4,000 and 7,000 mountaineers reach the summit. The cancelation of the season was actually already decided at the beginning of September, but the official announcement has been delayed until now, the Swiss expedition organizer Kari Kobler wrote to me. Kobler lives temporarily in Argentina and is one of the founders of the agency “Aconcagua Vision” which offers Aconcagua ascents and trekking in the national park.
Strongly affected by the pandemic
To date, more than one million infections with the coronavirus have been registered in Argentina. The only countries where there have been more corona cases are the USA, India, Brazil and Russia. Around 28,000 people died of COVID-19 in Argentina so far, and the corona curve continues to climb steeply. Yesterday, Thursday, 16,325 new infections were reported in the country, almost 1,000 of them in the province of Mendoza. Not a good time to climb the highest peak in South America.