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South America, Bolivia, Cordillera Real, Calzada Group

Calzada Group, Cordillera Real. Our expedition, composed of Carlo Festi, Aldo Franceschini, Ostilio Campese, Padre Angelo Gelmi, Marco Gorini and me, climbed in the Calzada group in August. After ten days of acclimatization, we drove to the village of Corpapatu at 14,775 feet. Our original objective had been the unclimbed west face of Chearoco but abundant new snow was causing avalanches all over the difficult face. We turned to the Calzada group between Chearoco and Casiri. From the village we crossed a 16,500-foot pass to the northwest to reach the western side of the group. We placed Base Camp at 16,000 feet at a small lake into which the only icefall descends. The Calzada peaks form a semi-circle open to the west with the following summits: P 5669 (18,600 feet) and P 5663 (18,580 feet) on the northwestern arm; Calzada Grande (5871 meters, 19,262 feet), P 5340 (17,520 feet) and P 5465 (17,930 feet) on the eastern side; and P 5400 (17,717 feet) on the southwestern arm. A Mexican-Bolivian expedition on August 1, 1964 had climbed P 5465 from the Corpapatu valley by the easier east ridge.* Gelmi and Gorini climbed Calzada Grande by the west face and south ridge while three others were forced back by the lateness of the hour. It was a mixed climb; the granite was fractured and unstable. Two days later Festi, Gelmi and Campese climbed P 5669 by its west face and south ridge. It was also mixed climbing with difficult rock and had a knife-edged final ridge. On the southern and southwestern part of the semi-circle Franceschini and I made three rock ascents. South of Base Camp we climbed P 5400 and to the east P 5465 and P 5340.

Enzo Pontalti, Club Alpino Italiano

* It appears that the Italians were unaware of climbs made in the Calzada group. The British Reading University Expedition in 1962 climbed the six peaks in the region (A.A.J., 1963, p. 511). The Mexican-Bolivian expedition of 1964 climbed five peaks (A.A.J., 1965, p. 456), the only one which we can identify being P 5465. Since the altitude they gave was 435 meters too high, their two peaks of 6200 meters were probably P 5669 and P 5663. It thus seems unlikely that the Italians made any first ascents as they thought.—Editor.