Argentina/Chile (6,961 m) – Tallest Mountain in South America
Mount Aconcagua is the highest peak in the Andes Mountains and the tallest mountain in South America. It also bears the distinction of being the tallest mountin in the Southern and Western Hemispheres. Located in west-central Argentina, part of the mountain straddles the border with Chile. The meaning of the mountain’s name is disputed, though it appears to be related to native words meaning “White Sentinel” or something similar.
Despite its great heigh, Aconagua is considered the easiest of the Seven Summits to climb. It was first ascended in 1897 by a British and Swiss expedition. Considered a non-technical mountain due to the relatively gentle north slope, the the mountain has been scaled by amatuers as young as 10 and as old as 87.
Aconcagua was believed to be held as a sacred place in pre-Columbian times. The mountain came to prominence in the 1940s thanks to its appearance in the Disney short “Pedro”, a segment of the travel film “Saludos Amigos”. Aconcagua is located inside Aconcagua Provincial Park, which while remote is relatively accessible from the nearby town of Punte del Inca. The world’s second largest base camp supports climbers who are attempting the mountain.