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South America, Argentina–Northern Andes, Nevado de Pissis and Other Peaks

Nevado de Pissis and Other Peaks. After exploring Llullaillaco in December 1984 (see below), Louis Glauser and I, driving a jeep, entered the Argentinian side of the Puna. We ascended Cerro Salín (6033 meters, 19,793 feet) on December 27, where, contrary to what had been previously reported we did not find ruins on the top. We then drove to Salta to meet Swiss climbers Martin Erb and Alexander von Bergen. We all ascended Nevado del Acay (5730 meters, 18,799 feet), January 7, 1985, and surveyed its summit ruins. We then headed for the Nevados de Cachi. We climbed to the top of the main peak (6380 meters, 20,932 feet) as well as the second (6120 meters 20,079 feet), the same day (January 13) and to my disgust no ruins were sighted on them. Glauser and I did next Nevado de Pissis (6780 meters, 22,244 feet), on January 25. This is the third highest peak on the American continent. After three days of hiking and climbing we reached one of its main tops but did not locate ruins. A 100-mph wind hindered our search but meanwhile our two companions, who were climbing Ojos del Salado, reported that they did not encounter winds. Our last ascent in the Puna before returning to Chile was that of Cerro Pabellón de la Laguna Verde (5815 meters, 19,077 feet), March 17, on whose summit we again failed to locate traces of pre-Columbian ascents.

John Reinhard