Cordillera de Palca. In November I visited this group, which is probably the last remaining unclimbed range of ice peaks in South America. Though I tentatively call it the Cordillera de Palca, John Ricker, who informed me of its existence, has called it “Sistema Minapunta”, from the name of its highest peak. Located northwest of Juliaca, the main peaks form a 15-mile northwest-southeast crest. After reaching the village of Palca by truck from Lampa near Juliaca, I walked 12 miles to the presently inactive Pomasi mine by a road still passable by car. From camp at the mine I climbed the following: Wira Apacheta (17,225 feet) via west slope and San Carlos (17,061 feet) via north slope on November 12; Minapunta (Yanawara; 17,917 feet) via north ridge and Minapunta Norte (17,389 feet) via west slope and southwest ridge on November 13; San Luis (17,553 feet) via north slope, San Luis Oeste (17,553 feet) via east slope and Wayqera Oeste (17,225 feet) via south slope on November 14; Quilca (17,553 feet) via south ridge and face, Jatunpasto (16,962 feet) via south slope and Wayqera (17,225 feet) via north slope on November 15. The weather was quite good, following the pattern of late spring clearing, which is not unusual in Peruvian ranges in November. All names and elevations are those accepted by the Peruvian Instituto Geográfico Miltar.
Hugh R. Clark, Club Andinista Cordillera Blanca