Cerro Mercedario and the Six Thousand

This is a classic for climbing in Argentina. An adventure to reach higher than the condors.

Cerro Mercedario It is the fourth peak of America. It is a mythical mountain of the beautiful Cordillera de la Ramada, in the province of San Juan, where the Incas climbed up to 6.770 meters of its snowy summit to worship the sun god.

The most popular route to ascend to the Mercedario is the one on the north face -the one originally used by the Incas- that leads to Glaciar de la Ollada, but it is not the only one. On the east side, you may climb following the route known as Glaciar Caballito. On the west the ascent is more vertical and, also, more dangerous: this is the route called Argentina. From the camp on the south side you can also access other summits of the Cordillera de la Ramada: Pico Polaco (6.000 m.a.s.l.); la Mesa (6.100 m.a.s.l.); Alma Negra (6.200 m.a.s.l.) and Ramada (6.300 m.a.s.l.). In all cases, expeditions start in Barreal, in the department of Calingasta, where you can hire transport services, equipment, supplies, and guides.

It is suggested to hire certified mountain guides for detailed information on the routes and terrain conditions.

The mountain range is quite inaccessible, so several days of walking are required. From Barreal you reach the Molle in one day, and from there the distance varies according to the chosen summit. A climb to Mercedario requires acclimatization and, depending on weather conditions, you must calculate at least ten days to reach the summit. Between mountains and valleys of amazing beauty, adventurous travelers will walk here among guanacos and foxes. In the rest area at the camp of Valle del Colorado, surrounded by glaciers and a spectacular waterfall, climbers will hear the irresistible call of the summits.