Aconcagua and Tupungato as Mountain Parks. Both Aconcagua and Tupungato have been declared by the legislature of the state of Mendoza as parts of two recently created provincial (state) parks. Aconcagua became part of the Parque Provincial Aconcagua by virtue of decree 4807, April 23, 1983. Limits of this mountain park are: south-east to north, from the summit of Cerro Juan Pobre to the summit of Cerro Guanaco; west to summit of Cerro La Mano, then southwest along the summits that separate Las Cuevas Este-Relinchos valleys from the Penitentes River; from the summit of Cerro Catedral, a familiar summit to visitors and climbers, south and south-east along the line of summits that separate the Cuevas Oeste valley from the well known Horcones river basin, then from the summit of Cerro Agua Salada east to meet again the summit of Cerro Juan Pobre. The famous cemetery at Puente del Inca, although outside limits, is also a part of the park itself.
The Parque Provincial Tupungato came into being by decree 5026, September 8, 1985. Its limits are: north, from Cerro Penitentes to Navarro Pass, on the Chilean border, then southwards along the border until reaching the summit of Tupungato itself; then, east to El Fraile Pass and then north to meet again the summit of Cerro Penitentes. Thus, the great rock-and-ice peaks of Tupungato (6550 meters, 21,490 feet), Nevado Juncal (6110 meters, 20,046 feet), Nevado del Plomo (6050 meters, 19,849 feet) and Cerro Riso Patrón (5750 meters, 18,865 feet) are within the park.
The Aconcagua park has at present three huts, usable in spite of the 1984 avalanches and storms that destroyed three others and left a fourth partly ruined. As for Tupungato, there is only one military hut halfway along the Tupungato valley. New facilities are being contemplated and being created for both parks. A rescue service with helicopters is available, weather conditions permitting.
Luis Alberto Parra. Club Andinista Mendoza