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Mountaineering is an activity where true elation and deep disappointment thrive in equal measure. Nothing exemplifies this more than the story of Mark Horrell's two attempts on Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the world outside Asia, and one of the Seven Summits. This is the story of the second happier half.

In 2005 Mark set off up the Normal Route on Aconcagua's western side, possibly one of the most boring routes on a big mountain anywhere in the world. He spent several weeks staring up a huge featureless scree slope, before giving up much too easily on a cold summit day at the instigation of an over-cautious guide who didn't seem particularly bothered about reaching the summit.

In 2010 he tried the other side of the mountain, a much more interesting climb, and was privileged to be guided by a man who had climbed the mountain more times than any other. It soon became clear to him that you don't get a record like that unless you really care about getting to the top every time you set foot on the mountain.

It was an altogether different experience, and one with many happy memories. The True Peruvian Route is Mark's travel journal from his expedition, and will be a valuable reference to anyone who is thinking of climbing South America's highest mountain with a commercial tour operator, or anyone with an interest in mountaineering and the Seven Summits (highest mountains on each continent) in general. The book includes many photographs of the trek and climb.


The True Peruvian Route: An ascent of Aconcagua, South America's highest mountain
Average rating
4 / 5
Raw adventure
August 25th, 2013
Exactly as it is 'on the hoof'. A true insight to what drives these mountaineers to do what they do. Only a mountaineer could answer the question 'Why'. Never fun, endless deprivation, suffering in the extreme, boring endless miles on the lower slopes. Days trapped with poor weather..... Thank goodness some of us can take the easy route and read about it.
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1 review
Very good read
May 5th, 2013
Good book about climbing.
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1 review

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