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South America, Peru, Cordillera Blanca, Concaracá

Cancaracá. Graziano Bianchi, Carlo Nembrini, Romano Cattaneo, and Franco Robecchi of the Erba Section of the Club Alpino Italiano on July 27 ascended from Shilla by way of the Quebrada Ulta to Base Camp at 13,850 feet. They decided to attack the west ridge of Cancaracá, attempted by Dionisi’s party in 1971. Camp I was established on July 29 at 16,250 feet below the ridge that connects Cancaracá to the Hualcán group. By July 31 it was obvious that Cattaneo was not acclimatizing and he returned to Huaraz. On August 1 the other three moved up steep ice and loose snow to the west ridge to a point where a crevasse seemed to bar the way. This was to be Camp II. They managed to cross the crevasse on the left. The ridge above was difficult rock and ice. The first gendarme was turned on the left on the north slope, where they fixed ropes. (This was Dionisi’s high point.) On August 3 the three left Camp II for the summit and soon reached the end of the traverse. A 60° ice chute, difficult to protect, led to the top of the first tower. They continued along the ridge, often being forced onto the northern face on ice, granite and unconsolidated powder snow. They bivouacked at 17,400 feet. It took most of August 4 to reach the summit (18,084 feet) and they bivouacked again near the top. They were back in Camp I at three P.M. on August 5. They had left behind eight 40-meter lines, 15 rock pitons, 4 ice screws and 20 snow pickets. On August 12 they returned to Camp I and on the 13th traversed the ridge which runs from the col above camp over two lesser points to Chekiacraju (17,352 feet). The latter had been previously climbed several times.