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prussik1

Aconcagua: muleteer recommendation?

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Hi all,

Leaving in a month, have a list of muleteers, but if anyone has had a memorable (good or bad) experience/recomendation/condemnation, it would be greatly appreciated. Plan is to climb Polish Glacier variation.

 

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Hey Dude, you will find that all of them are similar in price and service, it is very competitive there; I used them only on the way down from plaza de mulas; I carried all gear and climbing food, because I was travelling light doing carry-over from plaza Argentina; I recommend to take only food for the climb and access to basecamp and use basecamp restaurants, cheap and nice food; doing direct route is pretty cool and not difficult as most of people will make you believe; I hope that by Polish Glacier variation you mean direct route and not false Polish track...

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I just used Aymara and they were very helpful. We had a summit poster ass bag out at Plaza Argentina. With only one tent we were in a bit of a bind but Aymara was gracious enough to let Gordo live in their mess tent.

 

They were also super helpful and excited to talk to us about the climb, route conditions, and summit weather. All the muleteers charge the same price so it´s a crap shoot, but I found Aymara to go above and beyond in terms of helpfullness.

 

We had some extra gear to sell at the end of the trip and one of the Aymara porters gathered his buddies as we basically auctioned off our gear. Gotta replace it when I get home, but the prices we got were worth it.

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We also used Aymara and actually felt somewhat cheated. It may have been our fault and language barriers though.

 

When talking to an Aymara guy at Puenta del Inca trying to decided if it was worth getting a mule, we asked the price ($180) and if it was "round-trip". He spoke english quite well and answered our question with a yes. He either flat out lied or didn't understand "round-trip". When trying to arrange mules out of Plaza de Mulas we were told we needed to pay $90. Not having that much cash we were forced to carry a lot of weight out.

 

Based on some questions I posed in English to other mule companies at Plaza de Mulas I think the phrase "round-trip" is not understood correctly. So I guess I'm not recommending against Aymara, but make sure you are clear about what you are paying for (this goes for Argentina in general). This wasn't the only case where we were asked for more money when we thought we paid for the whole deal.

 

Also many people have said that all mule companies charge the same including the park service. It's not true. They vary by up to maybe $30 or $40 (one way), but they are quite similar.

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