Podcast: Episode 176: Tyler Andrews: Want to climb Aconcagua? Our South American Regional Editor has the scoop (and the FKT)!


Tyler twice ran in the Olympic Marathon Trials, and now runs up the biggest mountains in South America.  From a 2:15 marathon to climbing Aconcagua (22,841') in 3:32.

"A big reason I went to Aconcagua is because that is where the best guys go."

No kidding: the legendary Bruno Brnod still has the fastest round trip from basecamp, Kilian Jornet had an FKT before Karl Egloff (#1 FKTOY in 2019 on Denali) broke it, and now Tyler has the Ascent FKT from both Base Camp and the Trailhead (13,838' of vert).  

We discuss gear and tactics on the 'Big A'.  Being one of the Seven Summits it is very popular, and large guiding company's set up lux operations at base camp.  Clients then spend a week shuttling loads to camps up the mountain, in standard expedition style.  Is this a required tactic, or does it just exhaust would-be climbers?

"You are digging yourself into a hole the entire expedition."

Tyler is very experienced, with 27 FKTs, climbing many of the big Andean summits.  His thoughts on safety are a must-listen:

"We see the stuff that goes well, but don't hear anything of what didn't.  Out of those 27 FKTs, I've probably turned around or failed a hundred times.  No, more than that."

"There is a really fine line between being extremely tired and it being really hard, and needing to push through it, and the situation becoming unsafe, and needing to turn back."

Tyler is also a professional coach who founded a coaching collective (read his list of coaches).

(Correction: In the podcast Buzz said Alex Huber had a previous fast time on Aconcagua, but he had him confused with the Argentine guide Willie Benegas).

Full CV

Tyler Andrews

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Just listened to this, and will be interested to hear what happens with the Tres Cruces idea.  I just remember endless unstable basalt talus covered in fresh powder above 20,000 feet, which is about the most miserable thing one can imagine.