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South America, Peru, Pucahirca Central, Cordillera Blanca

Pucahirca Central, Cordillera Blanca. The Torino section of the Club Alpino Italiano sent an expedition to Pucahirca, which had defeated the efforts of another Italian group from Bergamo in 1960. The party was led by Giuseppe Dionisi and was composed of Mildo Fecchio, Piero Fernelli, Giuseppe Garimoldi, Luciano Ghigo, Giuseppe Marchese and Arturo Rampani, climbers, and the scientists Luciano Luria and Giordo Dal Piaz. Base Camp was set up on May 19 at 13,775 feet on the Laguna Santa Cruz. Though bad weather dogged them, eighteen days later they established Camp II at 18,200 feet. They had hoped to have a third camp on one of the spurs that give access to the final ridge, but these were laden with snow and it seemed too dangerous to try to carry supplies up them. They first tried the spur on the left side of the face which drains to the Amazon, but a reconnaissance of this showed it was more dangerous than the spur Lambert had attempted. New snowfalls kept this ridge in bad condition, but finally two beautiful days allowed the snow to consolidate. At last on June 13 they set out to try for the summit directly from Camp II. The ridge went well but the final 65-foot ice wall required many hours of work. Finally at four p.m. Dionisi, Marchese, Ghigo and Fecchio reached the summit (19,718 feet). They also made five other climbs. They ascended in the Taulliraju group a 17,946-foot peak, which they called the “Punta Isabella,” and the Punta Unión (15,584 feet). (The editor believes the latter must refer to a small peak above the pass, which he climbed with his 15-year old son and a friend of the same age in 1959. It is hardly worth mentioning as a separate peak and certainly no first ascent as the Italians claim.—Editor.) In the Artesonraju group they climbed a peak of 17,061 feet (“Nevado Superga”) and one of 17,389 feet (“Nevado Italia ’61”), both first ascents, and the Punta Munich (18,045 feet), climbed by a different route from the one taken by the Germans in 1954. (The editor continues to deplore giving to peaks names which have no local reason for being and are not in the language of the country, in this case either in Spanish or preferably Quechua.)

Japanese Expedition to Pucahirca Norte and the Cordillera Apolobamba. The Hitosubashi National University Expedition to the Andes was organized by the Alpine Club of the University in commemoration of its 85th Anniversary and sponsored not only by the Asahi Press but also by many leading companies. Our party consisted of seven members: Ichiro Yoshizawa, leader; Jiro Amari, sub-leader; Tamotsu Nakamura, Noriji Maruyama, Shigeo Nakagawa, Hiroshi Nakajima, and Kei Kurachi, all graduates of the university except for Mr. Kurachi, who is yet in it studying economics. Our first objective was to make the first ascent of Nevado Pucahirca Norte (19,849 feet). (This was an unclimbed peak, for it was not Pucahirca Norte which was climbed by the Americans in 1955 but a peak perhaps some 65 feet lower and just to the north of Pucahirca Norte which was climbed then. See note below.—Editor.) We approached the range from the Quebrada Jancapampa and established Base Camp in the upper reaches of its northern fork at 13,125 feet. From Camp I at 15,420 we reconnoitered the route to Camp II which we intended to establish on the glacier flowing down from the col between Pucahirca Norte and the Americans’ peak. We were lucky to find a fairly broad rock shelf on the lower part of the east ridge of the Americans’ peak. We placed Camp II at 16,900 feet and Camp III at 17,700 feet. The most difficult part was between Camp III and the summit. There were tremendous icefalls above the camp and below the col between the Americans’ peak and Pucahirca Norte, where we reached the northern ridge of the latter. On June 12 and 13 all but I reached the summit of Pucahirca Norte. This appeared to us to be the highest mountain in the group, being about 35 feet higher than Pucahirca Sur and 165 feet higher than Pucahirca Central. Our second objective was the northern part of the Cordillera Apolobamba, near the Peruvian-Bolivian boundary. On July 17 Nakagawa and the porter R. Centeno made the second ascent of Ritipata (18,209 feet) and on the 20th Nakajima and the porter Martínez made the second ascent of Chocñacota (18,537 feet). On July 22 Amari and Martínez climbed Palomani Grande (18,924 feet) and Nakajima and Nakagawa ascended Chupi Orco (19,830 feet). The next day the latter three Japanese climbed Salluyo (19,056 feet), while Nakamura and Kurachi climbed Chupi Orco Norte (19,685 feet). All of these had been ascended before. The day after, the first ascent of Puinapata (18,373 feet) was made by Maruyama and Centeno. Nakamura, Maruyama and Kurachi climbed Los Tres Hombres (18,045 feet) on July 26 and on the next day Nakajima and I climbed Cacahuacho (17,881 feet) while Maruyama and Kurachi ascended Nevado K (18,373 feet). Nakagawa and Kurachi climbed Nevado N.K. (18,045 feet) on August 3. These last four were all first ascents. The latter two have temporary names, as we could not find out the local ones. Our third phase took us into the Puyuya group, southeast of Chupi Orco, a range found by Werner Karl’s expedition in 1957 from the summit of Huelancallac. Maruyama and I repeated this ascent (19,148 feet) on August 13. The other climbs in this region were all first ascents. These included Canisaya (18,865 feet; Maruyama and Nakagawa) on August 8, Acamani (18,701 feet; Nakamura, Nakajima, Kurachi) on August 10, Cavayani (18,701 feet; Amari, Maruyama, Nakagawa) on August 11, and Yanaorco (18,373 feet; Nakamura, Nakajima, Kurachi) on August 12. In all we climbed 17 mountains and made 10 first ascents. But we will not be able to forget that we climbed these mountains from and on the shoulders of many pioneers and especially by the great helps of the kind mountaineers of the American Alpine Club.

Ichiro Yoshizawa, Hitotsubashi University Alpine Club