Alpine

Expeditions

Andes Survivor Expedition

Andes Survivors Expedition

UPCOMING – December 6-11, 2022

Visit the historic site of the most famous survival story of our time!

Join survivor Eduardo Strauch and Mountain Guide Ricardo Peña for another special visit to the crash site of the Fairchild! This expedition is full of adventure, beauty and a wealth of information about the story of the Andes Survivors.  Don’t miss an opportunity to experience this unique trip!  

These expeditions have been the origin of wonderful and lasting friendships between people from all over the world, who share an interest and passion for this story, and Ricardo, Eduardo and many of the other survivors. One of the powerful and positive repercussions of this tragedy and survival story is how it inspires and helps people from all over the world. Eduardo and Ricardo are very proud to help more people connect with this story.

You are invited to join us in this unique opportunity to visit the site of this incredible epic story.  Participants will have the opportunity to see the stunning sights of this part of the Andes, to visit the memorial on the mountain and see the airplane parts that are still there, to be at the amazing valley where one of history’s most famous survival stories took place. All of this is in the company of survivor Eduardo Strauch, who shares openly all the details of their ordeal and candidly answers all questions.

You can also inquire about our Andes Survivors Colorado and Andes Survivors Mexico trips with Eduardo Strauch. Join Eduardo Strauch and Ricardo Peña on these wonderful trips that combine the mountains of Colorado or Mexico with Eduardo sharing his experience on the Andes in 1972. Contact us!

US and Canada residents
To reserve a place in this expedition:
-Fill out the application below and press submit.
-Mail a deposit check to the address we will provide you when we receive your application or send us an electronic transfer via Paypal or Venmo for $1000 US dollars (Canada residents please send a money order in US dollars or see instructions for other countries below). Please write Deposit for Andes Survivors 2020 expedition on your check
-Final payment of $3300 is due 90 days prior to departure date

Other countries
To reserve a place in this expedition:
-fill out the application below and press submit.
-We will contact you shortly to discuss payment options depending on the country you live in.
-Final payment of $3300 is due 90 days prior to departure date

​If you experience any problem with the online application please email us at info@alpineexpeditions.net

ITINERARY FOR ANDES SURVIVORS TRIP

December 6 – 11, 2022 and March 2023 (exact dates to be determined soon)                 

We highly recommend that all international participants arrive in Mendoza, Argentina at least one day before the itinerary starts.  Having this extra day will be crucial in the event of delayed or canceled flights, to ensure that everyone will be present when we depart Mendoza on the first day of the expedition. 

Day 1. Eduardo Strauch, Ricardo Peña and all participants will rendezvous at the Aconcagua Hotel in Mendoza, Argentina at 2pm. At 2:30 we will board our van and depart for San Rafael. In the evening we will have dinner with Eduardo and then check our equipment for our early departure the next morning.

Day 2. Breakfast at the Tower hotel in San Rafael. We will load the vans and begin the drive into the mountains to the abandoned hotel and hot springs at the base of the 18,000 ft volcano, El Sosneado. A bit farther down the valley we arrive at our horse post (7500’) where we meet with our horses and handlers. Lunch. Saddle up and begin our horse ride over rugged terrain to our camp at El Barroso river (8800’). Spectacular views all day! Our cooks will prepare a wonderful dinner for us. We spend our first night sleeping in tents.

Day 3. Today we ride horses to the Valle de las Lagrimas where the memorial is found, and where the survivor’s incredible story of survival took place. This is an incredible valley surrounded by 15,000’ high snowcapped peaks and very impressive glaciers. Depending on snow conditions, weather and participants preference, we may be able to offer some of our team members the choice of spending a night at a high camp (12,000’) on this valley. Eduardo and the rest of the members will return to our lower camp to spend the night. If you are interested in spending the night at this high camp it is important that you have extra warm gear and that you tell us well in advance. We will try to accommodate your preference but we are limited by conditions on the glacier and weather factors, so we cannot guarantee a night at the glacier.

Day 4. Participants staying at the high camp will go explore the surroundings. Those with mountaineering experience have the option of doing an alpine ascent with Ricardo of some of the nearby glaciers for even more spectacular views (ask ahead of time about the Mountaineering option as this requires technical gear). Those staying with Eduardo at the lower camp will have the options of doing a scenic horse ride to a beautiful lake on a glacial basin, going for a hike or resting in camp. This gives participants the chance to spend more time with Eduardo and ask questions. In the evening we will all meet at the lower camp and have dinner together. If the weather is good (and it often is this time of year) we may build a bonfire and enjoy the stars, a good Argentinean wine and perhaps some music as Ricardo often brings a guitar or ukelele to the expedition. One last night in tents.

Day 5. Horseback riding back to the horse camp where we will meet with our 4×4 vehicles. Lunch at the horse post and then we head out of the mountains and down to San Rafael to the Tower hotel. We will have a great celebration with a wonderful dinner and excellent wines and enjoy our luxurious hotel.

Day 6. We drive back to Mendoza. End of trip. Arrange for a flight that departs Mendoza, Argentina after 4pm. Many participants stay an extra day to enjoy Mendoza. If you would like to stay an extra night in Mendoza we can help you arrange for a hotel and transportation (cost not included in itinerary).

LAND COSTS: $4300
PAYMENTS: $1000 deposit, due with application.
                        $3300 payment due 90 days prior to departure.

All checks should be made payable to: ALPINE EXPEDITIONS

LAND COSTS INCLUDE:

·         All land transportation while in Argentina during itinerary days.
·         Hotel and lodging in Argentina during itinerary.
·         Group gear (tents, cooking utensils, etc.). Tents are shared. You are free to bring your own tent if you prefer not to share a tent.  
  ·       All meals while on the mountains.
·         Horses, 4×4 vehicles.
·         Guides and support team.
·         Eduardo Strauch (Andes Survivor) exclusive for Alpine Expeditions.

LAND COSTS DO NOT INCLUDE:
·         Round trip airfare: US or point of Origin – Mendoza, Argentina
·         Hotel in Mendoza for days before or after itinerary
·         Excess baggage charges and airport tax.
·         Personal gear (see gear list)
·         Meals (other than breakfasts) in Mendoza or San Rafael
·         Tips (Restaurants, hotels and others) There are only a few restaurant and hotel tips to take care of so $100 should be more than enough. This does not include tips for your Alpine Expedition guides who will be working for you the whole trip, watching every detail to make your expedition safe and very enjoyable.
·         Charges incurred as a result of delays or changes in the itinerary beyond the control of Alpine Expeditions (Ricardo Peña).

CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY:
·         $1000 Deposit will be fully refunded if applicant is not accepted.

If accepted the following applies:
·         $200 non-refundable registration fee.
·         Full refunds, minus the registration fee, will be provided if requested 90 days prior to expedition departure.
·         50% Refunds will be provided if requested 60 to 89 days prior to expedition departure.
·         No refunds will be provided 59 days or less prior to expedition.

It is essential that every participant bring every item (not marked optional) in this list. Please check the list carefully!

Clothing and riding gear:

  • helmet for riding horses (horseback riding helmet is recommended but a bicycle or climbing helmet is acceptable)
  • Hiking boots
  • Running shoes  (It’s important to have an extra pair of shoes, besides the hiking boots, as one pair could get wet during river crossings on horse back)
  • Warm socks that fit your hiking boots
  • Pants that are comfortable for horse back riding
  • Wide Brim Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Street clothes for wearing off the mountain (Weather in that part of Argentina in February is hot during the days and cool and pleasant at nights. Bring shorts and short sleeve shirts)

For the mountains we recommend bringing several layers to be able to adjust to different temperatures. During the Austral summer (December thru March) temperatures on the mountain can range from high 80’s to below freezing at night.

The following layering system is recommended but not required as long as you have warm enough clothing, as well as good rain gear.

  • T-shirt
  • Long sleeve shirt (preferably not 100% cotton)
  • Fleece jacket and fleece vest
  • Light Thermal Underwear tops and bottoms
  • Shell Pants windproof, waterproof and breathable (preferably Gore Tex)
  • Wind and Rain parka (preferably Gore Tex) or Poncho
  • Down or synthetic Jacket with hood
  • Winter Hat (fleece)
  • Warm Gloves
  • Bathing suit in case you’d like to swim at any of the hotels. Temperatures in Mendoza and San Rafael during this time tend to be in the 90’s.

Camping Gear:

  • Head lamp and extra batteries
  • Sunscreen and Lip protection
  • Pocket Knife (optional)
  • Camera and extra battery (recommended)
  • Small fanny pack or small back pack*
  • One-litter water bottle (two bottles if planning on hiking or wanting to stay at high camp)
  • Toiletries including toothbrush/toothpaste, some toilet paper, soap, wet wipes, travel towel, hand sanitizer, ear plugs, etc.
  • sleeping bag rated 20º F or lower
  • Sleeping pad 
  • Bandana
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Insect repellent
  • Bring an assortment of your favorite energy bars (8 to 10 bars should do). Note: it is illegal to bring beef jerky, any meats or fresh produce into Argentina. Bars are not a problem.

*If you’d like to hike make sure to bring a day pack and two (1 quart) water bottles. Trekking poles are also recommended for hiking.

  • Do we have to carry full packs at any time?

No. Horses carry all of our gear so you do not have to carry a heavy backpack at any time.

  •  What kind of logistic support do you offer on the mountain?

Our expedition offers full support for your comfort. We provide tents for sleeping and dining, cooks to prepare our food, horse handlers, and guides and assistants to help you with anything you may need: from translations and setting up tents for you, to packing and answering any questions.

  • Can you give me a feel for the level of difficulty of the trip? Do you have to have any mountaineering experience to participate?

Since this trip is done in the middle of the Summer (January/February in the southern hemisphere) access is remarkably straight forward. Clients are not required to have any mountaineering experience. Participants can choose to either:  

-hike the whole distance between the vehicle drop off point and the Valley of Tears, and back (about 18 miles each way and 5000 vertical feet gain) over the course of 4 days.

-hike some of the distance (whatever distance desired) and ride horses for the remainder.

-or simply ride horses all the way to the Valley and back. This being the least physically demanding choice, all it requires is to ride horses for 3-4 hours a day for the 4 days we are on the mountains.

Previous experience riding horses is recommended but not necessary.

If you currently do not exercise regularly Alpine Expeditions can give you a specific training program designed for your current fitness level and this trip as a goal. Ask us about our specific training programs.

  • I’d rather hike than ride horses, is this an option?

Yes. Participants can get as much exercise or make it as challenging as they would like but it can also be done with minimal effort if horses are used exclusively which is a good choice for people who are more interested in sightseeing, listening to Eduardo and spending a few days in the beautiful Andes than challenging themselves physically. Of course those who enjoy hiking can get all of that and as much or as little hiking as they want in a spectacular setting. Also see previous question and answer.

  • Where do we leave the stuff that is not going up the mountains with us?

Any stuff, such as city clothes, that you are not going to need for our 4 days in the mountains can stay at our hotel in San Fernando. It is safe to leave clothes, luggage and other items you may want to bring to the trip but not up the mountains at the hotel. 

  • I have never been to high altitudes before, will this be a problem?

  Our itinerary includes plenty of days for acclimatization. We raise our sleeping altitude very gradually to avoid having any problems with altitude. Most of our clients tend to come from sea level (Eduardo Strauch also lives at sea level in Montevideo) so we have designed a generous acclimatization schedule that has been 100% successful in past trips.

  •  I prefer to sleep in a tent by myself, can I bring my own tent?

Yes, you may bring your own tent. Accommodations on the mountain camp are in 2 or 3 person tents. If you bring your own tent make sure it’s in good working order and that it’s a 3 or 4 season tent. Contact us with any questions.

  • I prefer to sleep in my own room during the hotel nights of the expedition. Is this an option?

Yes, you may request to have a single room on any of the nights in hotels or in all of them during the itinerary. There is an extra charge for having a single room. Prices vary but in general you can expect an extra charge of $80-150 dollars more per night depending on the hotel and their current prices and availability. If the hotel has single rooms available (which they often do) we will be glad to arrange any changes for you.

  • How do I sign up?

Simply fill out the application on the trip sign up page and mail a $1000 US dollar deposit to the address indicated on the trip sign up page. Make sure to read the payment information document before sending your application.

If you have any other questions please email us at info@alpineexpeditions.net or mail@ricardopena.net