Porters and porters are people experienced in mountain activities who play a vital role in the development and success of expeditions. Its traditional function is to carry the packages on their backs of the mountaineers who aspire to conquer the top (or summit) of Aconcagua. Transferring personal loads (sleeping bag, tents, clothing, double boots, crampons, etc) and those of the expedition such as kitchen utensils, food, and sometimes water, etc. to the high altitude camps. The porter follows the same routes as the expeditionary, but ahead of the group.
For the expedition member, it is essential to save energy and concentrate on his expedition, for which the logistical support of a carrier is necessary, who is in charge of the prudent transfer of loads and the logistics of ascent, while the expedition member fulfills his objective.
It is an activity with great physical demands and mental resistance that also requires experience, equipment and knowledge to perform regularly in potential risk situations inherent in the mountains.
The Association of Portadores/as de Aconcagua (APA!) is a self-managed collective and assembly of workers and mountain athletes, specifically dedicated to this crucial service to expeditions: porterage.
In 2009, the nature of a non-profit Civil Association was acquired, a milestone that materialized the effort and dreams of the pioneers of the movement who had spontaneously begun to meet and organize some time before, since in the Provincial Park the figure as a freelance porter (person who works on their own) was going to disappear and as a way of fighting against unfair labor situations.
Since its inception, its objectives and mission have been clearly outlined: its vocation to unite and defend this very particular mountain trade; his appreciation for Nature, manifested in actions for being friendly to the environment; and a new and proper identity as mountaineers.
The APA! It is also -in its mission, in a broader and ultimate sense- the collective construction of many compañeros and compañeras for leaving open on this Sacred Mount a space of freedom and emancipation for future generations, a testimonial space that forms of horizontal, assemblies and productive human organization. The first porters worked independently, dictated their own rules, managed their logistics and entered in summer through the ravine of pitchforks and cows, they settled with their tent and equipment in the base camps and they offered their portering service to whoever wanted to save effort in their ascent to the summit.
We have two base camps, one in Plaza Argentina and one in Plaza de Mulas, both plots located in front of the Park Ranger space, where we receive our clients and manage the logistics related to porterage.
The porters and porters are people who dedicate our lives to the mountains, we are passionate about feeling immersed among them and travel them regularly. Carrying out the different activities, which make us more versatile mountaineers. We also constantly train ourselves to self-manage our safety and that of our colleagues, at the same time we take care of our families and we have a great commitment to environmental conservation.