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South America, Argentina, El Potro

El Potro. A detachment of the Gendarmería Nacional (Territorial Military Police) of Argentina covered 500 miles of desert, more than three-fourths of it on muleback, to reach the base of a peak thought to be El Potro (“The stallion”). The peak was ascended by the gendarmes, but upon the return of the detachment it was learned that they had mistakenly climbed a lesser mountain, about 17,400 feet high. An official expedition of the Club Andino Mercedario, of San Juan, travelled to El Potro and ascended it from the east on December 4, 1971 (19,128 feet). The summit party was S. Job, A. Beorchia and E. Yacante. On the top Beorchia, who has been consistently dedicated to high mountain archaeology, conducted a quick survey and found only one trace of Inca occupancy: a walking stick, similar to those used by the chasquis, or Inca couriers.

Evelio EchevarrÍa