American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Bolivia—Cordillera Real, Chearoco and Quelluani

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1979

Chearoco and Quelluani. Our expedition was composed of 24 people. To avoid being shut up in Base Camp to acclimatize, we spent five days at 10,000 feet in Cuzco before arriving at La Paz. There we were amazed to find that some of the boxes which we had sent by boat had been broken into and clothing and climbing equipment had been stolen. Regardless, we left on August 17 by truck and microbus for the town of Chearoco at 14,750 feet. From there the next day we were transported by llama and horse to the Quelluani valley, but not as far as we wished; we were left only a short distance beyond the pass. From Base Camp there, all were active in the region from August 19 to 28. With the help of others on August 20 Beppe Zandonella and Gianni Pasinetti were established in a camp at the head of the valley at 17,000 feet. That pair set out on the 21st to climb the south face of Chearoco (20,072 feet). They bivouacked at 19,200 feet and reached the summit on August 22. That same day Aldo, Ugo and Riccardo Lorenzi with Enrico Bellotti forced their way up the south-southeast face to the same bivouac spot. On August 23 they followed Zandonella and Pasinetti’s route to the summit. Carlo Morandi, Tarcisio Pedrotti and I set out on August 24 and placed camp at 18,200 feet on the Chearoco-Quelluani col. We climbed the long and difficult crevassed and corniced east spur, taking nine hours to the summit of Chearoco. We descended the south face. From this camp on the saddle on August 26 Pompeo Casati and Pasinetti climbed Quelluani (19,451 feet) by its south face. On August 24 Achille and Antonietta Poluzzi climbed P 5670 (18,603 feet; due south of Chearoco, the middle of three peaks on the east side of the Quebrada Quelluani). The other peaks climbed were all on the ridge which runs to the west from Chearoco and divides the Chearoco and Quelluani valleys. We did not climb the first Matterhorn-like peak but did ascend the following from east to west: P 5520 (18,111 feet) on August 24 by Angela Masino and Zandonella; P 5330 (17,487 feet) on August 22 by Casati, Marco Majrani and Alda Nicora; P 5400 (17,717 feet) and P 5350 (17,553 feet) on August 27 by Clemente and Laura Maffei, Bellotti and R. Lorenzi; a five-summited peak (the highest was 17,717 feet) on August 28 by the Maffei and Bellotti.

Arturo Bergamaschi, Club Alpino Italiano

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