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 patterns 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 is required.

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 need to be used.

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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

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Day 14-16

Day 17

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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.

aconcagua summit cta

Join an Aconcagua Climb

Book with our recommended local guide

Polish Glacier Direct Route FAQ

How much does the Polish Glacier direct route cost?

You can expect to part with around £3,000-£4,000 (excluding flights) to climb the Polish Glacier route with a commercial tour operator.

Are permits required for the Polish Glacier direct route?

A permit is required for entry to the Mount Aconcagua Provincial Park, which you obtain at the Department of Renewable Resources on the 1st floor of 1143 San Martin Avenue in Mendoza City, which is open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm at the weekend.

The permit costs vary depending on season (find more information here) and covers a consultation with the doctor at Base Camp, of which you will certainly take advantage, and possible helicopter evacuation, a service of which you will hopefully not need to avail yourself. You must be present in person with your passport.

How difficult is the Polish Glacier Direct Route?

The Aconcagua Polish Glacier Direct Route requires technical mountaieering skills and anyone who has no experience of this should not attempt this route.

About the author 

Mark Whitman

Mark has trekked extensively in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. He founded Mountain IQ in 2014 with the sole aim to be the best online information portal to some of the most popular mountain destinations around the world. When not writing for Mountain IQ, Mark is out exploring the outdoors with his wife!

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  1. Is the polish glacier direct route really sand bagged because of weather patterns this year? If not, what would a guided polish glacier direct route trip cost pp?

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