Argentina. Mt. Aconcagua


This photograph of Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina is from the Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection at the Library of Congress. Frank G. Carpenter (1855–1924) was an American writer of books on travel and world geography, whose works helped to popularize cultural anthropology and geography in the United States in the early years of the 20th century. Consisting of photographs taken and gathered by Carpenter and his daughter Frances (1890–1972) to illustrate his writings, the collection includes an estimated 16,800 photographs and 7,000 glass and film negatives. Located on the border of Argentina and Chile, Mt. Aconcagua is the highest peak in the Andes. In Carpenter’s Geographical Reader: South America (1899), Carpenter recorded his impressions of his visit to the mountain: “On one side we could see the pampas of Argentina, and on the other, over the narrow band of green which is the country of Chile, ninety miles away, would be the shining, silvery waters of the Pacific.” “Aconcagua is more than 23,900 feet high. And as we look at its snowy top we long to climb it. If we should make the attempt, we should probably meet snowstorms, and we might be frozen during the cold nights. Near the summit there are cliffs which are hard to scale, and at the top we should stand on a square plateau about two hundred feet wide, with great masses of fleecy clouds far below us, and the mountains stretching away to the east and to the south.” (Aconcagua is in fact some 6,690 meters high, 1,065 feet lower than Carpenter believed).

Last updated: September 29, 2014