The seven summits, the highest peaks of the 7 continents: Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Vinson, Carstensz! Trips, Statistics & information!
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Harry Kikstra's Guidebook  about Aconcagua

Lightweight, yet packed with practical information, this book will help you all the way to the summit.

Jaime Viñals, a seven-summiteer who has climbed Aconcagua 8 times


Harry Kikstra
August 2005
UK price £9.99
96pp+3pp map flap; weight 112g/4oz
ISBN 1-898481-51-2
Aconcagua, Summit of South America,

by Harry Kikstra (


Aconcagua is the first of the new Rucksack Pocket Summits series: 96 pages (105x145 mm) with wraparound map flap, open-flat binding and waterproof paper.

Of the seven continental summits, Aconcagua (at 6962 m/22,840 ft) lies second only to Everest. Yet it is surprisingly free of snow and ice, and experienced hikers can reach the roof of the Americas without technical expertise. However, it is one of the world’s highest and toughest treks.


Author Harry Kikstra from has summited twice, and explains in detail how to tackle the main trekking routes (Normal and Polish Traverse), as well as giving a useful summary on the technical Polish Glacier route. This pocket-sized book contains all you need to plan and enjoy your summit attempt:

- concise advice from an expert about preparation, planning and choosing your gear

- detailed information about altitude effects and sickness, and how to monitor and prevent them

- fold-out map showing the routes, also enlargement of summit area
- 96 waterproof pages with open-flat binding
- in full colour, with 60 photographs.

You can buy it at, click here:



You can download some sample pages here from our publishers's website, where you can also order the book:

Click on the thumbnails below to view sample pages from The Aconcagua in standard PDF format. To reduce loading time, image resolution has been limited in these screen samples, but all photographs in our books are printed at the highest technical quality.

All text and images are copyrighted © Rucksack Readers and licensors: please respect our intellectual property.

Planning and choosing a route
Planning and choosing a route
3.4 Camp Canada to Nido
3.4 Camp Canada to Nido

Most modern computer systems already have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed. If yours doesn't, the above samples won't work: please download the Adobe Acrobat Reader.

See also the new Denali pocket guidebook, the same handy format and filled with info about the summit of North America. click the cover to read info, sample pages and reviews:

Readers reviews:

Received by email from Burt Smith, USA




Duwaine and I absolutely love your books. The format is fantastic and the content very useful. We are using it and "The Art of Glacier Travel" to prepare for Rainier and then Denali. I also appreciate you signing our copies.


Thanks again!




By email from J. Beede:

Wow! A message from Harry himself!! I used your guides on both Denali and on Aconcagua and found them both very, very helpful!! So, thanks for writing them and doing such a great job. The Everest guide is right next to me now as I plan for 2011.

Thanks again for everything, Harry.


Received by email from Mat Lapointe, Canada:


WOW! That's a book!

I just finished your book on Aconcagua. This book rocks! I was a little disapointed when i saw it at first. I thought it was too small! It is not! It is not just as small as it should, it is more complete than a lot of documents i read on this mountain. Bravo! I love it and i warmly recommand it to everybody who wants to climb aconcagua or want to know how to organise a high altitude expedition. I may return on Kilimanjaro next year (and/or Aconcagua!). I may organise a fund raising event in Canada for a NGO. Which road is described on your book on the Kili? If i already did the mountain, is it useful to buy it? will i learn something?

Thanks a thousand times!


Beste Harry,

 Is is a beautifully designed guidebook with a clear story and sufficient tips and directions, also wonderful pictures. I already knew a lot through the Internet, but now I can also show others when they ask me, one of the reasons to buy the book.


(Het is een fraai vormgegeven guidebook met een helder verhaal en voldoende tips en aanwijzingen. Prachtige foto's ook. Nou wist ik al veel, grotendeels via internet, maar zo heb ik ook wat te laten zien als anderen er naar vragen. Eén van de redenen om het aan te schaffen. )


Peter Sikkema


"I like it very much and it will definitely accompany me on my trip. I
particularly liked the no-nonsense approach (that is, you did not feel the
need to fill out pages with non-essential or non-useful information)."

John Price

Thanks again Harry!
I got the book today and after a quick read I can honestly say that I absolutely love it!
Everybody should own one Cheesy



"Hi Harry
I have read the book and find it charming and informative. As I see it, it's a personal view on climbing (this and other) mountains. I ordered it to get some more views to choose betweeen normal and False Polish Glacier route and got what I needed. As a bonus i find that theres a lot of other small and big details that will be usefull to me.
Best regards
Tom "

Tom Jørgensen

I really like the book, special the "Planning and preparation" section was very good. The best thing about the book is it size. It is really a book that you probarbly could bring with you to Aconcagua in your jacket pocket and still have room for other things in the same pocket.  Roll Eyes Though it is small in size, I still feel that it contains lots of information.

All in all, a very good book. Keep up the good work Harry!

Thanks again!
Best regards, Andreas

Hi, sorry its been a while since I’ve had the mountain guide to Aconcagua but only just got the chance to get back to you.

Really enjoyed the book, inspirational and very practical without over playing the danger factor. (Just a sensible section with that picture of the graveyard near Aconcagua, that picture stands in my mind very well :-) )

 Thanks for signing my copy, I hope to try Aconcagua myself in a couple of  years time by the normal route (I have no mountaineering experience but loved the Kili experience! - i know this is much much harder, hence the couple of years!)

Once again, many thanks

PS – am I the only person who has trouble sometimes pronouncing Aconcagua review:

Good things come in small packages!,

August 23, 2006

Reviewer: John D. Rose

I've been to Aconcagua before but didn't have this pocket book with me. Most authors seem to write quantity not quality. This little book is written with a climber in mind and does not sacrifice quality even though it is a small climber friendly guide. How much info do you really need to go up the mountain anyway? This book covers all and is packed with usefull information minus any fluff. Do yourself a favor and head to Argentina with this book rather than any of the library size climbing guides out there.

5-starsGreat guidebook,

October 3, 2008 By William Albrets (Cupertino, CA United States)

This guidebooks is small and concise. The only book I took on the trek; the only one I needed.


5-starsVery Helpful Book,

February 19, 2007 By J. Maehl

I'm planning my trip to Aconcagua and this book has been very helpful. Love all the helpful photos and diagrams.


5-stars Ultimate selection including all necessary information

April 11, 2007 By Lile Alminaite (Lithuania)

I have ascended Mt. Elbrus, Mont Blanc, Mt. Kilimanjaro and did hiking in Caucasus, Pamir, Altai, Kamchatka, did participate in skying tours behind polar circle. Therefore I now perfectly well the value of information necessary to prepare for such tours. Our next target is Aconcagua and I was searching many websites and books for very detailed Aconcagua information. The book "Aconcagua, Summit of South America" by Harry Kikstra is ultimate selection including all most detailed necessary and useful information not even mentioning very professional and beautiful photos. I did never find so helpful source of information before. Arvydas Sekmokas (55 years old)


4-stars-on-amazonA Great, Compact Guide to Aconcagua,

September 15, 2008 By A. Pulsipher -

I have been to Aconcagua three times on self-guided expeditions, each time with a copy of R.J. Secor's guide book in hand. Since then, Harry Kikstra has published a series of climbing guides and is to be commended for writing concise guidebooks that have just enough information in a small, compact package.

This is a book that truly can and should be included in the backpack. Mr. Kikstra doesn't include information about what restaurant one should patronize while in Mendoza, nor does he have a list of muleteers or guides with whom you can contract, as does Secor.


But Kikstra does provide detail where it is important...his description of the routes is superior. A quibble might be that he should include a table of the Camps and their altitudes along the route, which is otherwise provided by Aconcagua Provincial Park.


I appreciate that Kikstra--a European--also provides altitudes and distance in feet and miles, not just meters and kilometers.

Aconcagua is a most dangerous mountain because it is easily assessible, has a misinformed reputation as being a "walk-up", and is crowded with people who may or may not have good climbing expertise and judgement. Further, as the second highest of the "7-Summits", many people think this will be an easy undertaking, then quickly ascend into the danger-zone without proper acclimization. (This mountain is frequently disrespected by "real" climbers who emphasize its "non-technical" routes...)


The first time I went to Aconcagua--in January, 2000--there were 7 deaths, all of which went under-reported in the climbing press. Three Argentine men in their twenties were roped but didn't use running belays on the Polish Glacier; one fell, couldn't arrest, and pulled the other two to their deaths. A Mexican woman alone at Nido De Condores felt sick (cerebral edema) while her partners went higher; they returned to a corpse. A solo and older Japanese gentleman arrived at Plaza De Mulas, entered his tent, and wasn't seen alive again (cerebral edema) without going higher than Base Camp (14,000 ft). A Chilean woman was with a group in a big hurry which didn't take any rest days while pushing for Cambio De Pendiente (Camp Alaska); she was dead a day after I talked to her. Number seven died after we left the mountain.

With publicity of mountain climbing disasters playing center stage in the press (see Krakauer's "Into Thin Air"), the Mendoza Provincial Government has since provided more ranger assistance to climbers and even purchased a high-altitude helicopter to mitigate deaths as much as possible. But don't rely on such when the wind is blowing at 80 mph and the temperature drops to 40 below...


Bottom line is this...don't do this mountain unless you humbly acknowledge your own limitations, are serious about taking your time and acclimating, and follow the very good advise given in Kikstra's guide. Happy climbing...

Miscellanous reviews

Comment from a seven summiteer

The summit of Aconcagua is perhaps the only place on earth where you can reach nearly 7000m without necessarily having to use crampons and ice-axes. What it may lack in technical difficulty, it certainly makes up for in altitude and environment. It is a perfect 'next step' for those who may have conquered Kilimanjaro and want to set the bar a little higher. 'Aconcagua: The Summit of South America' is a gem of a guide from the expert hand of Harry Kikstra. He demonstrates not only his in-depth knowledge of the mountain, but also an impressive flair for communicating this information and producing a well thought-out and intelligently put together guide.

Jake Meyer, who in 2005 became the youngest man to complete the seven summits

As reviewed in the journal of the Outdoor Writers' Guild

This handy little book is packed with practical information to help get you to the top ... the wealth of information and beauttiful photographs on every page of this very pocketable book make it a a "must-have" for anyone heading for Aconcagua, whether they are self-organised or guided.

Clive Tully, Bootprint April 2006, p10

Extract from an online review

The Pocket Summits books are just that, pocket-sized, done very nicely with a spiral binding and a wrap-around cover that features a full color map of the climb (1:200,000), plus color photos, trip planning & preparation info, area history, wildlife, etc. In this one, author Harry Kikstra, who has summited Aconcagua twice, explains in detail how to tackle the main trekking routes (Normal and Polish Traverse), as well as giving a useful summary on the technical Polish Glacier route.

On the website

Sunday Herald, 2 October 2005

Aconcagua is smaller, more compact, but it has a tardis-like capacity for cramming in information. Everything is there. Worried you might not be able to diagnose the early signs of High Altitude Cerebral Edema? Well worry no more - this book tells you.

From a feature article by Richard Moore

Dutch climber Gerrit Vreugdenhil was kind enough to send me a picture of him on the summit with the book in his hand! As you can see, it is big enough to get you to the summit, but small enough to carry it there :)

Gerrit Vrugdenhil on the summit of Aconcagua with the pocket Guidebook