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South America, Bolivia, Cerro Lipez and Cerro Nuevo Mundo

Cerro Lípez and Cerro Nuevo Mundo. Aldo Franceschini, Romeo De Stefani, Dr. Ostilio Campese and I as leader arrived in La Paz on August 5 in the midst of the disputed presidential election. This persuaded us to hurry. We hired a Toyota and driver to take us to the very southern part of Bolivia. It took us two days to get to the Uyuni Salt Flat. Beyond, the roads were barely passable but we managed to get past San Pablo de Lípez to San Antonio de Lípez. We hired five Indians to carry our loads to 16,900 feet southwest of Cerro Lípez. We four headed the next morning for the highest mountain, Cerro Nuevo Mundo (5890 meters or 19,324 feet), arriving on top towards noon after easy climbing. This mountain had been climbed previously. In front of us was the south face of Cerro Lípez, not too steep but with frozen snow between points and pinnacles of extraordinarily rotten volcanic rock. To have climbed it would have been a serious undertaking. We returned the next day to San Antonio de Lípez. The day after, August 15, De Stefani left to try the east ridge of Cerro Lípez. Franceschini and I followed a couple of hours later in support. De Stefani completed the first ascent (5870 meters or 19,259 feet) at three P.M., having climbed Grade V rotten rock and ice. The drive back to La Paz took three days.

Enzo Pontalti, Club Alpino Italiano