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ACONCAGUA AND THE SOUTHERN ANDES: TREKKING IN ARGENTINA AND CHILE Jim Ryan 2009 2nd ed
By Ryan
Price: $24.95


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2009, 2nd edition. 154 pp, maps, photos. Complete guide to climbing Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America (also the highest peak outside the Himalayas and one of the highest peaks accessible for ordinary mortals). Has route descriptions up the Normal and Polish Glacier routes, plus trekking routes for other peaks in Chile (Tupungato, Vallecitos, & El Plomo).
 
Also has all information on Tupungato, and hikes in the Santiago area.
 
Also has all practical info for climbing and trekking, and details of getting the most out of stays in Santiago and Mendoza.
 
Aconcagua, 'The Sentinel of Stone'. Its name has roots in the Quechua language and when translated means 'The Sentinel of Stone'. 

Aconcagua, at 22830 feet (6959 meters) is the highest point in the Western and Southern hemisphere, towering above the surrounding peaks in the Argentine Andes. The mountain stands on the border with Chile, some 30 km (a day-and-a-half hike) from the Puente del Inca settlement. Aconcagua does not lie in the actual Andes, but in the Frontal range, slightly to the east. It has a very steep and massive face on its south and a gentle slope on the north, with a huge glacier, the Polish glacier, flowing to the east and a series of aretes and couloirs to the west. As the highest point in South America, Aconcagua is one of  the much sought after 'Seven Summits' and a world renowned peak.                                                    

                       
The mountain has two summits - North (6959 meters) and South (6930 meters), joined by a ridge (Cresta del Guanaco) approximately one kilometer long. Various ridges radiate from each summit and the whole massif is isolated from other high peaks. Only to the northwest is it connected by a high snow ridge with the surrounding mountain systems. The usual approach is from the south up the Quebrada de los Horcones, which circles the western flanks of the peak, to the Plaza de Mulas base camp at a height of 4230 meters. From here 3 routes start: the normal via the Horcones Glaciar Superior and north ridge, the West Buttress route, and the South-West route. The best climbing period is mid-November to March. On the normal route, refuges exist at heights of 5850 meters and 6480 meters.

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