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South America, Central Chile

Central Chile. The most important recent ascent in the central Chilean Cordillera was that of Juncal Chico (18,767 feet), which for some time has been the highest yet-unclimbed peak. After establishing camps at 14,000 and 17,000 feet, on January 10, 1957 at 5:45 P.M. the Chilean, Manuel Bazán, and the Czech, Radko Schneberger, reached the top. They had had difficult climbing up rock and steep snow to a col which gave access to the summit. The Italian, Aldo Cassasa, had to give up because of the altitude.

Somewhat farther south, above the Mamá valley east of Rancagua, a Chilean group made several rather difficult first ascents. On January 24 Bión González, Patricio Campos, Leonardo Alvarez, and Alvaro Yañez climbed the Cerro Gabriela Mistral (14,928 feet). On January 26 Eduardo García and Francisco Vivanco climbed the Matterhorn-shaped Alto de la Mama (15,595 feet), a difficult climb, on which they used 30 pitons. The next day Gonzalez, Roberto Schnell, Ernesto Lavanchy, and Hernán Molina ascended the Corona de Don Manuel (14,600 feet).

An expedition of the Asociación Santiago de Andinismo y Excursion- ismo failed, as have all other groups, to climb the last 100 feet of Chimbote (17,815 feet). They did climb on March 11, 1957 Polleras (19,510 feet), which had been ascended before, and made the second ascent of Polleritas, or Académico (17,618 feet). This group consisted of Bión González, Jorge Duprat, Roberto Fuentes, Juan Tangol, Oscar Zorrila, Eberhard Meier, and Guillermo Silva.

In July Kurt Claussen led the first winter ascent of the Plomo (17,815 feet).