American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Bolivia, Cerro San Enrique, Quimsa Cruz, 1980

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1982

Cerro San Enrique, Quimsa Cruz, 1980. Elaine Brooke had climbed in the Quimsa Cruz before and knew her way there. I remember little of the approach since most of the travel was at night in trucks. Somewhere, about 100 kilometers south of La Paz, we turned off the main highway and headed east. On the morning of May 28, 1980 we caught another truck to our destination, the mining village of Malla Chuma, which lies desolate at the head of a steep, barren valley just below the snout of a glacier at 15,750 feet. The inhabitants, Aymara Indians, treated us well. The only other climbers they remember were Japanese in 1979, who climbed a peak just above the village. We bivouacked at the base of the glacier. On May 29 we walked across the glacier to the foot of the south face of our peak. Because of the sun on the face and laziness, we bivouacked again. On May 30, 1980 we were off early. The face was a straightforward 55° or steeper. About 75 feet below the summit we traversed west along the lip of a bergschrund and followed a steep ramp to the summit. From the top we could look directly north to Illimani. We descended the steeper northwest face because it was in the shade. We estimate the height to be 19,000 feet (5791 meters).

Judy Sterner, Canadian Alpine Club

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