The Andes Cordillera is the backbone of the South American continent, forming at certain points an impassable barrier. It establishes the natural border between the eastern, low-lying areas and the Pacific coastline, which extends westwards for thousands of kilometres. The Aconcagua (approx. 7,000 metres), dear to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, is the highest peak in the Andes mountain range. It rises majestically between Argentina and Chile. It is usually covered with clouds. Its ascent has tempted many andinists - the name given to mountaineers. However, it presents serious dangers. - 1973