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Antarctica, Cerro Francés, Amberer Island, Palmer Peninsula

Cerro Francés, Amberer Island, Palmer Peninsula. The expedition was composed of Martin Donovan, Jorge Ruiz Luque, Ismael Palma, Alfredo Frageiro and me as leader. We left Ushuaia aboard the Argentine Navy transport Bahía Aguirre and after a fifteen-day voyage, touching at various Argentine Army and Navy bases, we were landed on Amberer Island, scene of our climbs, at 64° South Latitude on Gerlache Strait. The island measures some 12 by 25 miles. There after a few days of organizing camp, we decided to climb peaks in order to locate our main objective, Cerro Frances (c. 9200 feet). Therefore we ascended Cerro Verde (c. 4000 feet) in a two-day climb and another more modest peak, called Barry, of 3000 feet. After this reconnaissance, on February 2 I left with Donovan for Cerro Francés. After nine hours on skis, a bivouac at the peak’s base, another bivouac 3000 feet below the summit, on the third day, February 5, we reached the top of Frances. The route led up the enormous central snow spur, which rises up the whole height of the mountain, nearly from sea level. There were no serious difficulties, except for the temperature, which was —25° F. at nine A.M. on the summit. The climate is excellent, there is no wind and the snow conditions are generally good.

JOSÉ Luis Fonrouge, Centro Andino Buenos Aires