American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Chile, Cerro Tórtolas, Northern Andes

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1969

Cerro Tórtolas, Northern Andes. The twin tips of Cerro Tórtolas (20,243 and 20,744 feet) had been suspected by local mountaineers to be an Indian sanctuary; findings previous to 1960 had produced only rock constructions. On February 21, a group of the Santiago section of the Club Andino de Chile (Sergio Kunstmann, Pedro Rosende and Mauricio Zwahlen) established a camp near the top at over 20,000 feet, and ascended to the main peak, which they explored for the next two days. Digging produced, at a depth of four feet and within the area enclosed by the rock constructions, statuettes ornamented with pink feathers and silver pins, plus plenty of very finely decorated ceramic. In April, a larger group of local and German climbers from Santiago and La Serena (Claudio Canut, Luis Krahl, Sergio Kunstmann, Heinz Koch, Fernando Norra, Rubén Parada, Jorge Quinteros, Emilio Vicens, Claudio Wernli and Mauricio Zwahlen) again visited the top. In organized shifts and after a week of diggings performed in different places, they produced the following material, all of Inca extraction: knit bags, a tambourine, ceramic, sticks (probably to be used as fuel), pieces of wool clothing and herbs. All this material is at present being analyzed by the Museo Arqueológico at La Serena.

Humberto Barrera V., Club Andino de Chile, Santiago

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.