Ascent of Bonete on 2011-01-17

Climber: Rob Woodall

Date:Monday, January 17, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Elevation:16417 ft / 5003 m

Ascent Trip Report

This peak is easily accessed from Plaza de Mulas (base camp on standard Aconcagua route) and often done as an acclimatisation hike. I made the ascent 2 days after our arrival at base camp, while we waited for a suitable weather window for summitting Aconcagua.

From Mulas (S32.64846 W70.05816, 4394m), take the well-worn path west to the hotel, keep R past the hotel and climb the obvious steep loose zigzag path beyond. At the top of this ascent, follow the path L (west), into the side valley with the graceful cone of Bonete at its head. The path crosses a stream, follows a moraine ridge then heads L again to cross another stream. A small level area is reached (a large party was resting here after a morning ascent). From here, a path heads up a steep loose scree gully. However, a more suitable ascent path zigzags up the stony ridge just to the R. This climbs steeply, levels off then zigzags up towards the summit cone. The path contours R below a line of crags, then a short loosish scramble (YDS 2+) leads to the summit ridge, where an easy ridge leads roughly S to the compact breezy summit.

I found a sheltered spot and dozed for a few minutes, enjoying the dramatic situation, the view of Aconcagua and Catedral, and the solitude in close proximity to the teeming base camp. I then headed back down to join Greg and Adam.

Timings: hotel 1415, summit 1545-1600, base camp 1710.

The elevation is unclear. We noted an elev of 5004m on several maps (SRTM derived maps, but the 5004m is presumably an IGM survey figure). John Biggar's Andes guide doesn't mention the peak. Petter Bjorstad climbed it and cites 5060m from GPS (Day 12). I didn't take my GPS but I did note my wrist altimeter reading at the summit, subtracted the altimeter reading at base camp, added the difference to my base camp GPS reading and came up with 5050m - comparable with PB's reading.

As regards prominence, I stopped 100m below the summit (according to the altimeter) and at this point was clearly looking down on the prominence col (to Catedral). I estimate it as approx P120m which I recall as being consistent with the SRTM map contours.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2197 ft / 668 m
    Extra Gain:98 ft / 29 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5 mi / 8 km
    Route:north face
    Trailhead:Plaza de Mulas  14416 ft / 4393 m
    Grade/Class:YDS 2+
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 10 Minutes

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