Harry Kikstra's Guidebook
“Lightweight, yet packed with
practical information, this book will help you all the way to
Jaime Viñals, a seven-summiteer who has
climbed Aconcagua 8 times
UK price £9.99
96pp+3pp map flap; weight 112g/4oz
Aconcagua, Summit of South America,
by Harry Kikstra (7summits.com)
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 7summits.com 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
- 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 amazon.com, 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.
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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:
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.
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!
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. )
"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)."
Thanks again Harry!
I got the book today and after a quick read I can honestly say that I absolutely
Everybody should own one
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.
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.
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!
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
Good things come in small packages!,
August 23, 2006
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.
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.
Very 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.
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)
A 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...
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
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 store.everestgear.com 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 :)