Aconcagua Polish Glacier Direct Route

On this page you will find a comprehensive and impartial guide to the Aconcagua Polish Glacier Direct Route. 

Note to Climbers

Due to dangerous regional changes in weather patters the Polish Glacier direct route is rarely climbed these days.

Aconcagua Polish Glacier Direct Route


At 22,834 feet, Aconcagua is the highest mountain on the South American continent. “Ackon cahuac” is “stone sentinel” in the native Quechua tongue.

The Polish Glacier routes to Aconcagua’s summit are a more serious undertaking than the Normal Route. There are two variants – the Polish Glacier Direct Route and Traverse Route.

Ice climbing experience is necessary – multiple climbs at high altitude such as Denali with heavy loads and an intermediate to advanced winter mountaineering course are recommended. You must be in excellent physical condition, as must your equipment. Use of an ice axe and crampons may be called for.

Please Note:

The climb commences in the desert and ends among heavy snow. Weather is unpredictable and sometimes positively severe. On the Polish Glacier Traverse Route, there is one section of hard snow and a slope of a few hundred feet at an angle of 30 degrees, where crampons might come out.

Regional Map

Below is a map detailing the various route up Aconcagua. The Aconcagua Polish Glacier Direct Route is highlighted in blue for the first section and then continues straight up the thin red line. The continuation of the blue line designates the Polish Traverse Route.


Typical Itinerary

Below is a detailed Aconcagua Polish Glacier Direct Route itinerary. Please note that all operators offer slightly varying itineraries depending on season, weather etc.


Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7 

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14-16

Day 17

Day 18

Day 19

Day 20

Recommended Guidebook

Aconcagua- Summit of South America by Harry Kikstra

There are a few guide books for Aconcagua.

We recommend Aconcagua: Summit of South America by Harry Kikstra.

For more Aconcagua guidebook recommendations and literature check out our Library.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the trek cost?

Are permits required for this trek?

When is the best time to trek?

Is altitude sickness a risk?

How difficult is the trek?

What gear do I need?

What travel insurance do I need?

Do I Need Insurance for the Trek?

Climbing insurance is vital for Aconcagua. If an accident or incident should occur that requires immediate medical assistance and evacuation you will most definitely want adequate trekking insurance that can cover the costs of air ambulance and treatment.

Make sure you have insurance that covers you for any travel related risks, like lost, stolen, damaged or delayed baggage; interruptions and flight delays and tour operators default.

Please read our article on travel and trekking insurance on Aconcagua. The article provides great information on what type of insurance you need.

Other Routes

We work with local guides to offer great value adventures at unbeatable prices