Two Die on Aconcagua

The climbing season has just started on 6,962m Aconcagua, but the last few days have already been complicated. On Jan. 3, a client of the Seven Summits Club, 30-year-old Andrey Minaev perished in his tent at Base Camp at 4,260m, according to Cumbres Mountain Magazine.

No sign of life

Yesterday morning, when the guide was waking up the members of the team, he discovered a lifeless Minaev. Doctors at Base Camp confirmed his death. It surprised everyone, as the Russian mountaineer had shown no signs of health problems the night before. The exact cause of his death remains unknown at the moment.

The normal route on Aconcagua.

The normal route on Aconcagua. Photo: Wikimedia


Another fatality

Just a few days earlier, on Dec. 30, a U.S. client died on the way down Aconcagua, after summiting. Raul Alexander Tartera, also 30, fell ill near the place known as La Cueva. Guide Pedro Lizabe attempted CPR, but Tartera’s health deteriorated quickly. He died at about 10:10 pm, according to Infobae magazine.

Bad weather and crowds

Reports describe an unusually high number of mountaineers on Aconcagua this season. However, there have been only a few brief weather windows. Bad weather with low temperatures and harsh winds has made ascents difficult most of the time.

Over the last few days, local medical services have carried out several rescues. A Mexican mountaineer showed the beginnings of altitude sickness around the Plaza Colera. As the hours passed, his condition worsened. He had to remain all night in the area’s small, high-altitude hospital. Finally, he recovered.

On Jan. 1, a French mountaineer and his Argentine guide also needed rescue at more than 6,800m on Aconcagua, near the Canaleta. The French climber had signs of altitude sickness, fatigue, and dehydration, while his guide had similar symptoms and was snowblind. A helicopter evacuated both men from the mountain for further treatment, according to Cumbres.

Aconcagua Provincial Park.

Aconcagua Provincial Park. Photo: Bernard Gagnon for Wikimedia

Kris Annapurna

KrisAnnapurna is a writer with ExplorersWeb.

Kris has been writing about history and tales in alpinism, news, mountaineering, and news updates in the Himalaya, Karakoram, etc., for the past year with ExplorersWeb. Prior to that, Kris worked as a real estate agent, interpreter, and translator in criminal law. Now based in Madrid, Spain, she was born and raised in Hungary.