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South America, Argentina—Central Andes, Aconcagua, South Buttress of South Summit

Aconcagua, South Buttress of South Summit. In January, a Slovene expedition of 15 members first spent ten days acclimatizing by climbing Mirador (5500 meters, 18,045 feet). They then split into three groups. The first, including a woman member, Tamara Likar, tackled the Polish east-face route and reached the summit on January 23. The second, Bogdan Bišcak, Milan C rnilogar, Slavko Svetlicic and Igor Škamperle, started up the south face to the left of Messner’s route, joined the French route and finished the uppermost part on Messner’s variant. They reached the summit on January 22 after four days of climbing. The third group, Zlatko Gantar, Pavel Podgomik, Peter Podgomik and Ivan Rejc, started on a new route, the south buttress of the south summit, well left of the usual south-face route, on January 20. Bad weather bothered them on the whole climb. For the first 3000 feet they could climb only at night when running water and rockfall were reduced by freezing. Only after three days did they reach the first good bivouac site. Because of the very rotten rock, they climbed on ice wherever possible. After passing séracs and climbing 55° ice to the base of the rock buttress, they traversed right on crumbling rock (UIAA V + ) to reach steep ice. They next climbed a snow ridge to a red-rock barrier, which they found broken by a narrow, steep ice couloir. This gave access to the snowfield below the overhanging rock band which traverses the whole buttress. The seventh day was spent climbing some 65 feet of UIAA V, A3 difficulty. They bivouacked twice at the foot of this section. All got over the barrier and the nearly vertical ice above on the eighth day. They climbed steep snow to the base of the final rock barrier where they had their eighth and last bivouac. On January 28 they climbed the rock barrier and snow summit ridge to reach the south summit. They descended the normal route.

Franci Savenc, Planinska Zveza Slovenije, Yugoslavia