Cerro Aconcagua, often referred to as simply Aconcagua, is a mountain in Argentina near its border with Chile. Aconcagua is the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere. It is more than 6,706 meters (22,000 feet) high, though the exact height of its highest peak has been the subject of some debate.

Aconcagua is part of the Andes Mountains chain. The mountain is believed to have its origins in volcanic activity, but it is not an active volcano. No one knows for certain how Aconcagua got its name, but some historians believe that it comes from the native language of Quechua.

Aconcagua is one of the Seven Summits, the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. It is second in height after Mount Everest. The first known attempt to reach the mountain’s summit was made in 1883, but the attempt failed. In 1897, Swiss mountaineer Matthias Zurbriggen became the first known climber to successfully reach the summit.

Today, many climbers try to reach the summit via what is known as the “Normal Route,” which is a nontechnical climb. A nontechnical climb is one that can be achieved without using special skills or technology. However, the altitude on Aconcagua is so extreme that a number of hikers have died from altitude sickness while trying to reach the summit. Climbers also face the challenge of high winds resulting from frequent storms.

 

Cerro Aconcagua

Cerro Aconcagua, part of the Andes Mountains, is believed to have its origins in volcanic activity, but it is not an active volcano.

active volcano
Noun

volcano that has had a recorded eruption since the last glacial period, about 10,000 years ago.

Noun

the distance above sea level.

altitude sickness
Noun

illness caused by reduced oxygen levels at high elevations.

Andes Mountains
Noun

mountain range extending along the western coast of South America.

Noun

one of the seven main land masses on Earth.

equipment
Noun

tools and materials to perform a task or function.

mountaineer
Noun

someone who climbs mountains.

Mount Everest
Noun

highest spot on Earth, approximately 8,850 meters (29,035 feet). Mount Everest is part of the Himalaya and straddles the border of Nepal and China.

peak
Noun

the very top.

Quechua
Noun

language native to western South America, and language of the Inca civilization.

summit
Noun

highest point of a mountain.

volcanic
Adjective

having to do with volcanoes.