Aconcagua Polish Glacier Direct Route - Mountain IQ

Aconcagua Polish Glacier Direct Route


On this page you will find a comprehensive and impartial guide to the Aconcagua Polish Glacier Direct Route. We are not a tour operator, but we can put you in touch with our recommended partner, please see below.

As this is a very long and detailed article on the Aconcagua Polish Glacier Direct Route, we recommend using the quicklinks below to navigate to the sections that interest you most. Alternatively, bookmark this page for future reference.

Route Overview

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.


Recommended Map

We recommend Aconcagua: Trekking and Mountaineering 2017 edition by Sergio Zagier. 

climbing aconcagua

Get a quote from our recommended Aconcagua Operator

Pop your details in the form below and you will receive a price competitive quote from our trusted Aconcagua trek operator.


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

Click each day to

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


Video Overview

A great video overview of the Aconcagua Glacier Direct Route by Ciclo Andinismo.

Although not in English and only under 2 minutes long, the video still gives viewers a good idea as to how the summit looks like from the top down!

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?

climbing aconcagua

Get a quote from our recommended Aconcagua Operator

Pop your details in the form below and you will receive a price competitive quote from our trusted Aconcagua trek operator.

Insurance Information

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.

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