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South America, Argentina–Central Andes, Maipo, First Ski Ascent

Cerro Bonete. Seven mountaineers from Mendoza and Buenos Aires explored and climbed in the area forming the provincial boundaries between Mendoza and San Juan in January. From the railroad station of Punta de Vacas they went into de Matienzo valley where they used as a base a hut intended for glaciologists. In two groups they ascended four peaks, three of which were christened after Argentinian climbers that have perished in climbing accidents: Cerro Ulens (4920 meters, 16,142 feet), Cero Castro (5150 meters, 16,897 feet) and Cerro Frías (4875 meters, 15,993 feet). The fourth peak was known as La Flaca (4900 meters, 16,076 feet). The entire group then entered the valley called Cajón del Rubio and climbed Cerro Alma Blanca (5170 meters, 16,962 feet). On its lower peak they found a tin box left by a Brazilian party that had climbed it in 1957. In the second part of their program they crossed a pass located in the north rim of Cajón del Rubio and descended to the Volcán River. It took them two days to place camps on the flanks of the fine square ice peak of Cerro Bonete (5281 meters, 17,327 feet), which was subsequently climbed in two groups: by the south face and by the southwest gully and ridge. Except for the lower summit of Alma Blanca, all these were first ascents. Members were Marcelo and Liliana Aguilar, Alberto Bendinger, Guillermo and Daniel Burrieza, Osvaldo Brandi and Pedro Friedrich.

Evelio Echevarría