Book data

Harry Kikstra  
16 April 2012
UK price £9.99
96pp, 115 x 145mm, 125g


Summit of South America


Harry Kikstra

In stock

"Kikstra's guidebook packs quite a punch" - Simon Calder, The Independent

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 has summited twice, and explains in detail how to climb Mount Aconcagua by the main trekking routes (Normal and Polish Traverse), as well as giving a useful summary on the technical Polish Glacier route. The book was reprinted with many updates in 2012.

This pocket-sized guidebook has a wraparound map flap, open-flat binding and waterproof paper.


This pocket-sized guidebook contains all you need to plan and complete your attempt to summit Aconcagua:

  • concise advice from an expert about preparation, planning and load-carrying
  • how to choose your route and what is really essential
  • detailed information about altitude effects and sickness, and how to monitor and prevent them
  • fold-out map of Aconcagua showing the routes, with an enlargement of the summit area
  • step-by-step detail on the Normal and Polish Traverse routes
  • 96 pages with open-flat binding
  • in full colour, with 60 photographs
  • pocket-sized, rugged and weatherproof.
  • .
Look inside

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Planning and choosing a route
3.4 Camp Canada to Nido

From an article in The Independent newspaper

For a guidebook that boasts of its lightness (4oz), Aconcagua: Summit of South America packs quite a punch.

Simon Calder, The Independent: read his article here

This guidebook saved my life - literally

I climbed Aconcagua with this book for 2008/2009 … a season of major tragedy on the mountain. Without Harry’s guidebook, I could have been one of the [casualties] … The first death I saw was a fall on the Polish Direct. This was my intended route, but partially due to the advice Harry gave … I chose to go for the Polish Traverse. The day my team changed route is the day a climber fell and was killed on the glacier.

Next, at the White Rocks camp, we saw a looming lenticular cloud appear on the mountain. This book gave the ever-so important advice that when this is seen, get the hell down. … I was one of the last to see the Italian group alive; they elected to go up and I elected to go down at the advice of this book. …

As a lightweight, waterproof, full color, spiral bound book (awesome for tearing out pages you don’t need to save weight when climbing), it’s the absolute best there is. I bought and borrowed several other books before climbing Aconcagua but this was the best of all.

John R Beede, on

Comment from a climber who summited Aconcagua 8 times

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

Jaime Viñals, climber and seven-summiteer

From a climber who summited Aconcagua in December 2009

The size, design, waterproofing etc of the book makes it the one of choice to carry on the expedition and indeed the mountain. A great little book from a great series.

Lee Farmer, 180th Briton on Everest

Written, edited and designed by climbers for climbers

“Many people have written accounts of their own successful completion of the seven summits, but nobody has before published the practical details of how to prepare yourself, how to organize and book an expedition, how to choose your route, what level of fitness you really need and how to prevent and manage altitude sickness. Written, edited and designed by climbers for climbers.”


Excellent guidebook ... breathtaking pictures

“Since I bought this book the first time, I ordered some for all my expedition partners as gifts…! I never saw a guide like this one!”

Excerpt from review by Mathieu Lapointe (Montreal, Canada) on

Small little guy, but packs a punch

“First off, it’s great to have the waterproof pages. I’m sure I’ll get all sorts of junk on this book, so good to know it will survive. Great gear list, and it gives reasons why you will need each piece, which is a huge help so you can determine what brands/types of gear to get. Good maps and discussion of the routes.”

Excerpt from review by M Lyons, Houston, TX on

Good things come in small packages

“This little book is written with a climber in mind and does not sacrifice quality even though it is a small climber-friendly guide … [it] is packed with useful 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.”

Excerpt from review by John D Rose on

From a review in Scottish Mountaineer magazine

“This is a very comprehensive guidebook and probably more than adequately fulfils its objective of getting “experienced hikers” to the top of Aconcagua … The book is compact, lightweight, opens flat and waterproof but could have been made smaller still by splitting it into two smaller booklets inserted into a cover …”

Scottish Mountaineer, May 2007, page 95

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 beautiful photographs on every page of this very pocketable book make it 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

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