American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Peru, Cordillera Vilcanota, Ritipampa del Quelccaya

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1976

Ritipampa del Quelccaya. A field party from the Institute of Polar Studies, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, made several ascents of the Ritipampa del Quelccaya, an ice plateau in the Cordillera Vilcanota, during the course of glaciological and geological investigations, in late June and early July, 1974. We approached the region from Sicuani, and climbed the icecap from the west. The field party was led by John Mercer, and included Cedomir Marangunic, Lonnie Thompson, and John Ricker. Our purpose was to conduct a preliminary study of the glaciology and glacial geology of the icecap and its environs to determine whether a large-scale investigation should be mounted. A snow pit was dug on the summit of the icecap to a depth of 3.8 meters and a 3-meter core was taken from the bottom of the pit. Preliminary analysis suggests an annual accumulation of about 3 meters. The icecap is probably temperate. Glacial geological studies were concentrated in the valley of the Río Huancane. The moraine belts, 1, 5, and 9 km from the present ice margin, were examined. Glaciological studies included an examination of the pit wall stratigraphy, firn temperature measurements, and laboratory analysis of snow samples for oxygen isotope and microparticle concentrations. Preliminary results have been published in the Antarctic Journal of the United States of January-February 1975.

John Ricker, A.A.C. and Peter J. Anderson, Institute of Polar Studies

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