South America, Argentina, Andes

Author: H. Adams Carter. Climb Year: N/A. Publication Year: 1954.

In February 1953, the Swiss couple, Dr. and Mme. Fred Marmillod and the Argentinians Francisco Ibáñez and Francisco Grajales made the first ascent of the south ridge of Aconcagua (23,036 ft.). The climbers reported that although the route was not difficult, it was more interesting and Alpine than the standard route.

Early in 1953 a group from the Círculo Andino Buenos Aires made the following first ascents in the Aconcagua region: Cerro Zurbriggen (18,040 ft.), Cerro Fitzgerald (17,220 ft.), Cerro Reichert (17,036 ft.), and Cerro La Mano (18,368 ft.).

Andes, Chile. An expedition of the Club Andino de Bariloche climbed Cerro San Valentín (13,310 ft.), the highest point in Patagonia, on 13 December 1952. They approached the mountain up the 25 mile-long San Rafael Glacier from Laguna San Rafael on the Pacific, establishing five camps on the mountain itself.

On December 1st, Juan Harseim and Bion González of the Club Andino de Chile climbed the Volcán Llullaillaco (22,051 ft.) in northern Chile. No ascent is recorded, but they were amazed to find on the summit rock alignments of the kind made elsewhere by the Indians before Columbus discovered America.

Ociel González of the same club made the first ascent of the north peak of the Marmolejo (20,008 ft.) in Central Chile on 15 January 1953.

Luis Krahl, Sergio Kunstmann, Eduardo Meyer, and Ernesto Hoffmann climbed the Cerro del Castillo (17,991 ft.) on 27 February 1953. This first ascent provided considerable technical difficulties in the three days it took them to make the actual climb.

Andes, Peru. In July and August, 1952, Piero Ghiglione led an Italian expedition which climbed Cerro Verena (18,860 ft.), Cerro Lomellini (18,040 ft.), both names not official, and Volcán Solimana (20,500 ft.). They also climbed three of the summits of the Ausangate group, though not the highest. In 1953 Ghiglione led a joint Italian—Swiss expedition in Peru. He and Felix Marx climbed Lasontay about (19,000 ft.), the shoulder of Humantay (to an altitude of 18,700 ft.), Colquepunco (19,680 ft.), both summits of Halancoma (18,434 and 18,652 ft.), and Huacratanca (19,385 ft.).

In June the German expedition of the Akademischer Alpen Club Munich, consisting of Fritz März, Heinz Steinmetz, Jürgen Wellenkamp, and Heinrich Harrer reached the highest summit of Ausangate (20,182 ft.). They established high camps at 16,070 and 18,700 feet.

Two ascents were also made of Peru’s highest mountain, Huascaran (22,463 ft.), by Peruvian and Mexican parties.

H. A. Carter