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South America, Ecuador, Illiniza Sur and Ayapungo

Illiniza Sur and Ayapungo. The Ecuadorians José Bergés and Marco Cruz made the first ascent of the steep south face of Illiniza Sur (5266 meters, 17,278 feet) on Oct. 12. A cold bivouac had to be spent at a height of about 16,000 feet. The standard route for this peak is the north face. The same two climbers, plus Angel Lovato and two Indian porters, climbed later in October Ayapungo, perhaps the southernmost snow peak in Ecuador. They discovered that Ayapungo has two peaks of which the highest, which they had ascended, is locally known as Pico Soroche (4730 meters, 15,520 feet) and the lower, as Achipungo (4650 meters, 15,256 feet). The climbers declared in the report that they wrote for El Comercio, of Quito, that “. . . with this was crowned the last virgin summit that existed in our Ecuadorian Andes”.

Evelio EchevarrÍa