Analysing terrain data
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The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
By this point, you'll already have reached the top of the mountain, but the adventure is still not over.
The descent remains.
By doing the 360 route you get the advantage that the way back down will still be interesting, as you’ll continue getting new views and experiences on a different trail from the one you ascended. Keep in mind the main characteristics of this trail: it is steep and made of gravel (and snow, depending on the weather conditions).
You have already been on a long and tiring expedition and tripping now on the way back down is not a good way to end the whole journey.
Using crampons and hiking poles will increase your stability and surefootedness. You’ll probably find that this side of the mountain is more crowded.
You’ll meet more people, both going up and down, since Plaza de Mulas is a more popular base camp than Plaza Argentina.
The standards are pretty much the same, but one cool feature is that Plaza de Mulas actually has its own little contemporary art gallery, which is the highest art gallery in the world.
Visiting it can be a fun thing to do while there.
Maybe you can find something of interest, but be aware that the prices are relatively high. The views on this hike are still great, but they will naturally enough provide fewer and fewer overlooks of the surrounding mountain range.
Due to this, it might not be the most impressive part of the journey after having been spoiled for several days with marvelous, majestic views.
One fun part, though, is when you approach Base Camp and see it from above.
The many different colors of the tents represent a small community down in the valley, and the whole scene is rather inviting.