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South America, Argentina, Mercedario, South Face

Mercedano, South Face. In the second half or January H├ęctor A. de la Vega, Cesarino Fava and Fausto Barozzi, Argentines, set out to make the first ascent of the south face of Mercedario (21,884 feet). From a high camp at the foot of the face at 15,500 feet, they all started up the steep snow and ice face, making bivouacs at 17,000, 18,375 and 19,700 feet, where Barozzi remained while the other two continued. Fava and de la Vega bivouacked at 20,675 feet and then went on to the summit. Meanwhile, Barozzi had somehow let fall his sleeping bag and his boots, which were in it. It goes without saying that the descent was hazardous and difficult. The climbers did manage it finally, though not without serious frostbite.