South America, Chile, Andes
Andes, Chile. On January 28, 1954, Juan Harshein, Bion González, and Walter Bachmann of the Club Andino de Chile made the first ascent of Chachacoma (16,400 feet) in the Cordillera de la Serena. This ascent took place on a reconnaissance of a nearly completely unexplored region. They had hoped to find the route to Cerro Alivares (20,340 feet) and climb it, but they lacked time to do so.
In the Maipo Valley a group from the same club climbed for the first time the Alto del Yeso (16,912 feet) on February 27th. They established camps at 12,000 and at 14,750 feet. The climb was made infinitely more difficult by the rotten rock, which they described as “compressed mud.” To assure success they divided into two groups on different routes. Bion and Ociel González were the pair that reached the summit.
Other notable Chilean ascents included the following: Littoria (17,700 feet), February 28, by Luis Krahl, Sergio Kunstmann and Edwardo Meyer, 2nd ascent; Cortaderas (17,060 feet), February 1, by Krahl and Kunstmann, 1st ascent of south face; Corona (13,780 feet), January 10, by Deanna Manley, Ociel and Bion González, and Roberto Busquets, 1st ascent of east face; Punta Negra (13,288 feet), January 17, by Bion and Ociel González, 1st traverse from Punta Andino; Nevado Piuquenenes (19,685 feet), January, by E. Maier, Schneider and Schlotfeld, 1st ascent of Chilean side.