American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Bolivia, Quelluani, Cordillera Real

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1965

Quelluant, Cordillera Real. Our group was made up of Pedro Laurys- sens, Captain Benjamin Nazar, Dr. Pedro Cirrincione, Marcelo Quiroga, Raúl Angel Espiño and me. After our arrival in La Paz on July 15, 1963, we were cordially received by the Club Andino Boliviano, where we were informed that the Japanese were attacking Illampu but that there remained one high virgin peak, namely Quelluani (19,456 feet), located between Chearoco and Chachacomani. After an air reconnaissance, made through the courtesy of the Bolivian Air Force, we left for Kerani, 50 miles from La Paz, where we finally convinced a driver that the sum we should pay for him and his seven donkeys would be sufficiently remunerative. We crossed the river of the Chachacomani valley and penetrated the Quebrada Hichucota to Base Camp at 13,125 feet. Lauryssens, Nazar, Quiroga and Ian Hornsby, a Chilean living in Bolivia who accompanied us on nearly all the expedition, left on reconnaissance and to carry high-altitude food upwards on July 19. On the 20th, Lauryssens, Nazar, Quiroga and I followed the quebrada to its end, climbed a small rise to the left to another short quebrada, where the Chachacomani Glacier ends at the foot of the peak of the same name. We camped, well supplied with wood and water, at 14,750 feet. The next day we reached the ice in an hour and a half. After climbing the first steep section of ice onto the glacier, we advanced rapidly, bothered only by our packs with seven days of rations. Camp II was on the ice. On the 22nd we climbed for seven hours to install Camp III at 16,250 feet. On the 23rd we left early and an hour later saw for the first time the summit, a handsome ice pyramid. We could see Lake Titicaca almost constantly. To the north rose Chearoco, with its glacier and icefall, and to the south Chachacomani, whose glacier we were traversing. At one p.m. we found ourselves at the foot of the pyramid with its knife-edge arête covered with hard snow that allowed good ice-axe belays. After an hour on the ridge, we each stood one by one on the tiny summit.

Ulises Sila Vitale, Club Andinista Mendoza

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