American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Cordillera Carabaya

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1960

Cordillera Carabaya. Dr. G. H. Francis and Dr. Alan T. Charig of the British Museum of Natural History, London, arrived in Peru to investigate what had been reported as possibly the world’s largest deposit of nepheline syenite, a rare rock rich in aluminum trioxide in the Cordillera Carabaya southeast of Cuzco. They were joined in mid-June by Simon Clark and Beverley Holt, graduate students in geology at Cambridge University. They investigated geologically and mapped the region which lies in the triangle between Macusani, Ayapata and Ollachea. This is a region of high plateaus from which snow peaks rise, the highest of which are Allinccapac, Chiciccapac and Huaynaccapac. After making geological studies and finding much less nepheline syenite than they had expected, Holt, Francis, Clark and the Peruvian Julio Cárdenas carried a light camp to the base of Chichicapac (ca. 18,400 feet), the most easterly of the big peaks. It was an exhausting but not difficult climb, on which they discovered footsteps in the snow. They later found that Piero Ghiglione and a porter had made the first ascent only a few days before. Joined by Charig, they attempted to climb Allincapac (ca. 19,000 feet) but did not have sufficient time to complete the ascent. Francis and Charig returned to England at that time in mid-July, leaving Clark and Holt to complete the geological work and mapping. The latter two walked west from Ayapata to Ollachea and Corani over the Chimboya Pass and through the Cordillera Vilcanota to Sicuani, a 200 mile trip that took them 15 days.

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