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It is the simplest route, sometimes incorrectly called North, since in fact it is Northeast. In general no short-shafted ice ax or ropes are needed. For practical purposes climbers use ski poles. Even though it does not have drinking water, near the camps are large snow melters used to produce water.
Going up by this route there are several itineraries; therefore, it is common to set up two or three altitude camps (Canada, Nido de Cóndores and Berlín).
After this, the next stop is the second or third camp which is usually Berlín and from here the assault on the summit starts. Among zigzags and slopes, climbers go past Independencia, Saddle de los Vientos, Gran Travesía up to Súper Gully (a steep canal with loose rocks) which constitute the last 300 meters of ascent. Several precautions must be taken such as:
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Each guide, group or person may choose any of these camps or their combinations to reach the summit, depending on the weather, tastes and needs of the team members.
After resting for a day in Plaza de Mulas, climbers can proceed toward the first altitude camp. The ascent has to be slow to improve acclimation. The route is clearly traced by the constant treading of climbers, and shelters should be overlooked to spend the night due to their inadequate capacity and bad condition. Some of the above mentioned camps have a limited number of plots for tents. In case of doubt, it is better to ask the park rangers since they may know whether there are available places.
- Using large crampons in the presence of snow.
- Carrying short ski poles, which are very helpful.
- Taking extreme care not to loosen any rock, or slip and get hit on the way down.
Towards the end are Filo del Guanaco and La Cumbre. An aluminum cross and a guest book await climbers. Then come the photos and hugs. Anyway, the descent still lies ahead.
- See also Camps Description